Sesame Street Does it Again: New Black Girl Video-Change the World


I tell you, many television and movie companies including Tyler Perry can take a chapter from Sesame Street when it comes to creating positive images of black women and girls. So, last year, Sesame Street’s video, I Love My Hair, went viral with parents excited to see positive messaging about black girls’ hair. However, this year, Sesame Street has gone further with not only positive imaging of black girls, but that black girls can be and do all things and, ultimately, change the world. Please share the video with others.


"WOKE UP BLACK" Special Screening Nov 2nd at UChicago!

A fascinating new documentary called Woke Up Black will be screened at the University of Chicago on November 2nd, and the Black Youth Project wants you to be there!

Directed by Mary Morten, Woke Up Black follows five Black college students from the Chicago-area. Over the course of the film, we learn about the many challenges they face, ranging from poverty and gangs to self-doubt and stereotypes.

“For two years, Morten and associate producers Keisha Farmer-Smith, Aparna Sharma, and Marisol Ybarra followed five youth from the Chicago area to explore their experiences when it comes to navigating the world they live in. As they move through their personal challenges this documentary also mirrors the complexities of this often ignored group that are at the center of many socio-political issues including discrimination, political participation, sex and relationships, music, and the media portrayal of black youth.”

Halloween, The Foundation of Minority Paranoia

Hands smacking the table, “Paranormal Activity” is the scariest movie since “The Exorcist “(1973); it’s the classic of the millennium, a renaissance of horror at the movie theater. My roommates and I believe PA to be the avatar (of fear) so much so, that we have made a tradition around Halloween and PA. We spend the week of the new release watching the previous chapters, along with other scary classics. Tonight the third installment of the series opens in showplaces across the nation and I’m concerned about whether I can enjoy the movie as a person of color. After watching PA2 on Tuesday, I noticed some problematic dynamics between the predominantly white cast and their Latin@ nanny, Martine. In America, you can’t even experience a good thriller without being reminded that you are still over determined by whiteness.

NYPD Falsely Charges Black Man: "I Fried Another Nigger"

The NYPD is at it again.

Audio has surfaced of an NYPD officer bragging about falsely accusing a young, Black male of resisting arrest, and then adding for good measure:

“I fried another nigger.”

According to the Root, the officer stopped the young man as part of the department’s racist “stop and frisk” program. The man had done nothing wrong; when he protested the unnecessary stop and asked for the officer’s badge number, Officer Michael Deragjati promptly arrested him for “resisting arrest.”

The rest of this story is like the best episode of Punk’d I’ve never seen.

Rhythm, Community, and the Power of Drum Circles

There is something both fascinating and spectacular about rhythm. We see the manifestations of this in the most simplistic everyday activities. If we observe the movement of ocean water crashing up against a sandy shore, the steady lullaby of car engines putting children to sleep in backseats, or even just a heartbeat– embodied in all of these things is literally the rhythm of life. This rhythm reaches its full potential inside the atmosphere of a drum circle. And today I learned how life changing a drum circle could be.

There’s something symbolic about a these drum circle that brings one to understand how young people can come together and form a unified community and why this act is so necessary. There is both a cultural and historical trajectory of what some call “community percussion.” In various ways community drumming or drum circles are organically appearing in neighborhoods that experience multiple levels of systemic barriers and oppression.

Connections and Disconnects to a Generation of Communication

Living in America, and especially being a young person in America, means that I am arguably at the very center of the growing culture of excessive communication and interconnectedness that has permeated all aspects of the coming generation. I barely know a anyone who doesn’t have a cell phone and email and facebook and at least 2 or 3 other means of communication. So the idea of “isolation,” doesn’t always hit home. A few years ago I did a community service trip to Costa Rica, where a stayed with a family their small home in Las Brisas, Alajuela. This is a co op community of about 800 people in the mountains in Costa Rica. Google it. No hits. And I have yet to see the name on a map of any scale. Over the weekend, I received an e-mail from my host family. Their rare access to the internet (once every few months, during a trip to the closest thing to town, which is a two-hour drive) means I get an update on the family and always questions of when I plan to return.

We volunteers who have passed through are a window to them into the world outside of the Costa Rican mountains where people have access to airplanes and have the mobility to travel, to immediately receive their e-mails, and bring books of photographs of the skyscrapers in the cities we come from.

RAY J, The Money Team, and Masculinity

By now most of you have heard or heard about Ray J’s (Brandy’s brother) drunken “Money Team” rant. If you haven’t let me give you a quick recap. Rapper Fabolous went on Twitter and clowned Ray J for singing a song for Floyd MayWeather at his mansion. Apparently Ray J felt like Fab tried to emasculate him via the social networking site. He aired his frustrations on New York’s Power 105.1 radio station. For more than 5 minutes Ray J talked about how much of a man he was because he had “an indoor pool and outdoor pool, and seven new Rolls Royces outside”. All of this bragging got me thinking about how we qualify success in our society. Below is a poem I wrote inspired by Ray J aka Willie Norwood Jr. aka Brandy’s brother.

Ray’s response