Willow Smith's Ridiculously Good "Whip My Hair"

The first time I’d ever heard the name Willow Smith was earlier this week.

Seemingly out of nowhere, blogs all across the internet were ablaze with praise for a song called “Whip My Hair.” And no, we’re not talking Disney Channel blogs; adult-oriented music (or otherwise) news sites lauded this song as pop gold, a surefire hit, and perhaps the beginning of an incredibly successful career. She has ridiculously famous parents (Will and Jada), but that wasn’t the focus of this media coverage. People really liked this song. And of course, what was apparently most astounding about Willow is that she’s just 9 years old.

I tend to find kid singers annoying so, of course, I ignored all of these bloggers.  

I was being an idiot.

The Housewives of DC: Do you think Stacie should check Kat?

Yes, I must admit I have a guilty pleasure. I watch Bravo’s Housewives Series. I know what kind of feminist am I to watch such internalized hatred among women. I know I should be ashamed and given a timeout. But, I am not.

Honestly, I have a love/hate relationship with the entire Bravo’s Housewives’ series. I hate it because of the title of the show—Housewives—is misleading. Most of the women on the show are not housewives they are often fiercely employed independent women who are unabashedly traditionally unfeminine at times—flipping tables, opening their own businesses, and choosing happiness over marriage. I think a more sensible name of the show would be “We Are Thick as Thieves” complements of Carolyn of the New Jersey Housewives or “Who gonna check me Boo” complements of Sheree of the Atlanta Housewives. These names really get at the crux of the show which is fundamentally about drama and more drama. Because we all know either through demonstration or inference that women on the Housewives Series can as my great aunt would say, “Throw down.” Yeah, I probably deserve a time out for watching show.

Muslim Hate: Northern- and Southern-Style

“America is not at war with Islam.” Richard L. Eubank

A southerner once told me that American racism in the North was worse than in the South. For him, the covert racism he experienced in certain northern cities was more dangerous and misleading. Not sure I ever really understood the call for a more “upfront” racism as it seemed a scary thing that I could be called a “Nigger” in the open or accosted in a way that reminded me of my place in the world. To me, it seemed the subtlety of the North was preferential to the in-your-face racism of the South. But one needs to only think of some of the many forms of “subtlety” to know they can be some of the loudest types of discrimination, from Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policies to the absence of gay marriage. Of course, there is seldom an outright attack on a group (a la slavery, Holocaust), but these small, some would call “covert” acts create a type of invisibility that works to silence particular groups. It is standard hate practice both here and abroad.

Love Where the Black Woman Is Not White

Love can be "unthinkable," are you ready for a love that transcends cultural consideration?


At a first glance from the average black female, I’m dateable, if the thought comes across her mind. However, if my fingers should ever cross the knuckles of a white hand, I am dead to her; I am no longer a “brotha.” In this case, you are witnessing a type of black on black hatred that originates from insecurity. Black women and men are dealing with a shortage of swagger in their own skin. The black profile loses it smoothness while sharing space with a white person because our minds operate on an “us” and “them” mode. “Oh, he’s with that white wench, the sistas must not be good for that Uncle Tom,” We’ve heard it all before, right? It’s wrong.

Considering Marcus Garvey

Recently I had a series of discussions with people on Twitter and in real life about Marcus Garvey’s status as a Black leader. I was surprised to find that not everyone respected him or his ideas as much me. Why was I surprised? No idea. His ideas have long been misunderstood as simple back-to-Africa rhetoric couple that with his flamboyant style of dress and his consultation with White separatists and there’s no denying he was and remains a bit of a puzzle.

The End of an Era

In life everything comes to an end. (Well most things, poverty is staying pretty consistent on us). But for the most part, things come to an end, eventually. I for one never thought my senior year of high school would end, as the sickness of senioritis went into full fruition at the end of my junior year, but nevertheless, high school ended, and now I am still amazed to find myself in my third year of college. I digress.

Today, an era ends in Chicago and the future is unknown. I say all this because Mayor Daley announced today that he would not be running for re-election. To some people in other cities this might not matter, for the 10 million plus Chicagoans, this is significant. I think the impact of this announcement is summed up well in a statement that one of my students made this summer: “I am graduating high school, and I have only lived under one mayor.”

August 30, 2010 – September 5, 2010

Racial violence changes student and school
Jesse Washington, Associated Press, September 5, 2010

Urban violence rarely a campaign focus
Andrew Ryan, Boston Globe, September 4, 2010

Major parties offer youth nothing
Ash Pemberton, Green Left, September 4, 2010

Black and Latino boys disrespected, task force finds
Dale Mezzacappa, The Notebook, September 3, 2010

Educators: System Sets Up Black Boys to Fail
Michael Cottman, New America Media, September 3, 2010

Our Youth Don’t Need Bootstraps, They Need Us
Ernest Saadiq Morris, Huffington Post, September 3, 2010

When a black student has problems in a predominantly white school
Jerry Davich, Post Tribune, September 3, 2010

Police, volunteer groups combat youth violence on Metro
Markham Heid, Washington Examiner, September 2, 2010

Too many guns in hands of our youths
Mindi Goodpaster, Indiana Star, September 2, 2010

Youth and violence expert offers advice for Tulsans
Tulsa World, September 2, 2010

Working to keep black, Latino males in school
Dafney Tales, Philadelphia Daily News, September 2, 2010

Murders of young black men rise
Mike Wilkinson, Detroit News, September 2, 2010

Study reveals race gap in college grad rates
Emily Peters, Reporter News, September 2, 2010

Backing the black males
Aubrey Whelan, Philadelphia Inquirer, September 1, 2010

Wanted: Black male teachers across the nation
ReShonda Tate Billingsley, The Madison Times, September 1, 2010

On Labor Day, grim news for young black jobsee
Margaret Simms, Lexington Herald- Leader, September 1, 2010

Youth Doing Hard Time For Nonviolent Crime In Illinois
Staff Writer, Huffington Post, September 1, 2010

No Black Class Presidents Allowed in a Mississippi School
Leah Jones, CW News, August 31, 2010

A grim future for many black males
Bill Maxwell, St. Petersburg Times, August 30, 2010

Urban League president proposes charter school geared toward minority boys
Susan Troller, The Cap Times, August 30, 2010

Multiracial Advocates Change Race-Based Mississippi School Policy
Marcia Dawkins, Huffington Post, August 30, 2010

Leaving young black men behind
Michael Corbin, The Baltimore Sun, August 30, 2010

Play Teaches Juvenile Offenders Valuable Lessons
Melonie Magruder, Calabasas Patch, August 30, 2010

Terry Jones & The Story Of Religious (In)tolerance

“I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him”- Booker T. Washington. We live in a seemingly tolerant nation. We have a Black President, more than dozen female CEO’s of fortune 500 companies, and a few LBTQ members of Congress. Let’s give ourselves a pat on the back. We’re such a great country. We tolerate these people.  The hypocrisy in our national rhetoric is sickening. Many of our media/political elite talk about all the human rights travesties in foreign countries as if we are not culpable of the same thing.

As the holy month of Ramadan comes to a close I can’t help but weep for our Muslim brothers and sisters who continue to face an uphill battle for freedom and acceptance in our country. According to Rush Limbaugh, “There is not backlash against Muslims in America. Zip, zero, nada”. I don’t know what prescription pills he was on when he made this statement, but in a land where Mosques are firebombed and a pastor goes on Koran burning crusade, it’s hard to believe that there is no backlash. In 2010 Muslims are the new whipping boys.