Like most children, I told lies when I was a little black girl. I told big lies. I told small lies. I told white lies. I told lies. And, even had the audacity to argue with my “all seeing all knowing” do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do black grandmother about the usage of lie over her usage of “telling a story.” What does telling a story have to do with telling a lie? I tell you, this infuriated me. I prefer the word lie. Even though my grandmother and I had many disagreements over the terming of untruths often leaving my backside sore with resentment, she had a remarkable almost supernatural way of knowing when I, her precocious granddaughter, was telling her a lie. She would say with a type of black woman resolve, “There’s a stirring in the pot . . . there’s a stirring in my soul,” and before she could finish her statement I knew she knew that I had lied. And, boy did my sore backside know it too. And, so in the tradition of my no nonsense black grandmother, I say, “There’s a stirring in the pot . . . there’s a stirring in my soul that something is amidst in Conservatives—religious fundamentalist, Republicans, Tea Party Members—grand desire to restrict or completely annihilate US’ women’s right to choose.
Tonight I got the opportunity to meet and speak with Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark. Yes the rumors are true—he is quite inspiring. And even though he is having a hectic week due to Whitney Houston’s Funeral (RIP) occurring in Newark this Saturday, he took time out of his schedule to speak at the annual OBS Kent Lecture. He reminded me (over everything else) to remain honest and authentic. It made me think about my dedication for educational equality and how I will be traveling to Mumbai India this summer, to engage in this topic. Mayor Booker received a 100 million dollar grant from Facebook for his education system in Newark. The Mayor, in his talk on education and urban America, spoke about the sedimentary agitation. He defined this as happening when people sit on their couches watching social issues on their news stations, while doing nothing. I refuse to be plagued with this syndrome.
According to a recent report, 1 in 12 marriages are interracial in America. That’s about 4.8 millions Americans who have married outside of their race.
And while that accounts for only 8.2 percent of all marriages, it’s a fairly large increase since 1980, when only 3.2 percent of marriages were interracial.
While Asians and Hispanics are more likely to marry outside of their race, African Americans have seen the largest increase in interracial marriage. Experts attribute that to a rising Black middle class that exposes African Americans to other races.
Additionally, studies showed that Black men are more than twice as likely to date outside of their race than Black women.
In today’s economy, it seems that everyone is struggling in some way – students are worried about loan debt, homeowners are worried about the value of their homes and everyone seems to be cutting back on some of the finer things in life. In considering that most everyone has had to make some adjustments in the past 5 years, I wonder about American’s level of empathy with each other. Beyond congressional debates about government assistance programs, it has been my observation that many Americans hold the opinion that they have their own problems to worry about, and not enough time or resources to be concerned about others. One controversial area I witness this in is the relationship between the homeless and those of financial means.
Nikki Giovanni is a world-renowned poet, writer, educator and activist.
Active since the 1960’s, her work runs the gamut thematically; delving into a variety of themes — black pride, sexism, cultural memory and love, to name a few — with incredible beauty, grace and power.
Her finest moment might be “Ego-Trippin’,” a funny and empowering ode to blackness that read and flows like a funkier “The Negro Speaks of Rivers.”
Check it out below:
The journey through life is always different and challenging.
We have to make choices along the way to our future. Some of the choices are
good and some are bad but you can live to create success out of each situation.
What is success? Success is being able to fail, take criticism and using it to
grow. Sometimes we have to look our self in the mirror and be truthful to life
about things you should be doing to become successful. We all have a story to
tell but how did that story strengthen your life to become a better person.
Every step in life will not always be easy. Everything will
not always be the same. For example I was a program coordinator for 9yrs at my
old job. Now that I am running my own company I am the Executive Director and
the task has changed for me to operate an Organization verses a program. I have
to adapt or I will lose it all. Success carries weight because there are a lot of
people who expect you to make it and there are a lot of people who don’t want
you to make it.
You must come up with a plan to have mentors, a support team
that will show you love and challenge you to become better, pray, have faith,
and the Number 1 rule is be Humble. You can only control your own actions. So
stand up and start walking to your road of success.
The American media and education systems are great at feeding us lies. Either given with knowledge, ignorance, malicious intent or not, these inaccuracies have proven to negatively affect the well being of Black folks by setting us up for political, social, mental, psychological, economic, and spiritual hardship. We must stay equipped with knowledge of our history. If we don’t learn it, share it, and protect it, then who will? Today, I’m kicking off a series of brief articles that revisits a number of American myths surrounding the many facets of Black communities. Each time, we will test the myths with some research and discuss below in the comments.
Today’s Fact Check revisits the use of standardized testing for Black students in America.
It’s becoming problematic. The obsession and total preoccupation we have with celebrities is problematic, as evidenced by the number of young girls who, while watching the Grammys, stated that they would allow Chris Brown to beat them. I’ve always been concerned with how forgiving we become of a person just because they have special talent or are in the public eye. We ten to accept things from celebrities that we wouldn’t accept, even from family members. I wonder if it will ever come to affect our interpersonal relationships. Could our willingness to accept and forgive (and in some cases hope for) Chris Brown’s physical abuse, R. Kelly’s alleged sexual abuse or even Whitney Houston’s drug abuse ever degenerate into accepting those things in our personal lives?
According to NBC New York, the NYPD’s “stop and frisk” program has hit an all-time high; a whopping 684,330 people stopped in 2011 alone.
This is a 14 percent increase over 2010.
About half of those stopped are actually frisked. Of those individuals, only 12 percent were actually charged with anything.
Obviously, activists and community members are outraged by the policy, alleging that it is both racist and an abuse of power on the part of the NYPD.
A fascinating article at Colorlines.com shines a light on “parent trigger laws,” and the continued controversy over its merits and limitations.
A parent trigger law “allows parents at a school with consistently dismal test scores to file a petition to restructure their children’s school.”
The educational community is sharply divided over the merits of such a law. Supporters think these laws empower the surrounding community with the tools necessary to cut through bureaucracy and force change on school systems that are failing their students. Former D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee is a big supporter of parent trigger laws.
Opponents say such a program is susceptible to abuse, in which concerned parents are used as pawns for a larger agenda.
Education is a major source of concern in Black communities; they are understaffed and under resourced. Hence, our children are being gravely under served in perhaps the most important social institution. We are in the midst of a new wave of school reform in the nation and there are several models attempting to overturn this fate. Examples include schools focusing on Black male pride, health and wellness, or school culture and safety. The last focus is one I am most interested in because my observation has made me concerned although I have yet to make a judgment. In a school where the school culture strives to provide safety for its students, is it necessary to implement more rigid discipline measures? Can urban children have the freedom to express themselves in lunch and in the halls without threatening the well being of themselves and others?
America may have mentally excluded its children for two decades, but Generation Y has made it back to the center of public consciousness. Last week I spoke on the critical perspective of Kendrick Lamar–a partial result of the psychiatry and education partnership that eliminates children from “normal” life”. Evidently, marking Kendrick for the margins was a defective diagnosis; considering his demonstration of the inadequacies of American institutions. Resistance against the divisive authority of education and psychiatry return this week with the flow of Hopsin. This emcee from Cali approaches beats with a vicious delivery and criticism that no one is safe from.
The Black Youth Project presents a new analysis of voting data that examines how the historic youth voter turnout in 2008 among young blacks and Latinos could impact the 2012 election.
The fact sheet, entitled ‘Historic Turnout Among Black Youth in 2004 and 2008,’ is the second in a series entitled Democracy Remixed: Black Youth and the Future of American Politics released by the Black Youth Project of the University of Chicago.
Analysis reveals that education, income, and gender are key sources of variation in youth turnout.
After delivering a jaw-dropping (and WTF-inducing) Grammy performance last Sunday, Nicki Minaj aims for radio ubiquity with her new single “Starships.”
Produced by Lady Gaga’s go-to producer RedOne, “Starships” strikes the perfect balance between Nicki’s signature rap-sung vocal delivery, and a larger-than-life, arena-sized dance-pop sound.
This could be be a massive hit.
Why is black history celebrated during the month of February? Because it’s the shortest month of the year. This joke has circulated in black communities for several years, and the cynicism embedded in it is telling. It points to a web of frustration, resignation and resentment which rarely fails to ensnare the observant black.