“If We Must Die”

“If  We Must Die”

If we must die, let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Making their mock at our accursed lot.

If we must die, O let us nobly die
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!

O kinsmen! We must meet the common foe!
Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one death blow!
What though before us lies the open grave?

Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!

–Claude McKay 1919

I recently visited a church last Sunday, and the pastor compelled us to think about our death. Not to invoke a deterministic notion of lamentation, but rather to force us to think about the trivialities in our lives. In his words, he asked, “What if your last fight, was your last fight?”

VIDEO: Obama on Trayvon Martin: ‘If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon”

President Obama has finally spoken out about the tragic shooting of 17 year-old Trayvon Martin.

The President stressed sadness and sympathy for the ordeal Martin’s family has been forced to endure, explaining “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.

Obama stressed the importance of “soul-searching,” and of taking seriously a thorough investigation into the events surrounding his death.

Check out his comments below:

Trayvon Update: Sanford Police Chief Steps Down ‘Temporarily;’ Zimmerman Kicked Out Of College

Bill Lee Jr. has stepped down “temporarily” from his position as Sanford Police chief as local and national anger mounts regarding the alleged mishandling of the investigation into Trayvon Martin’s death.

The announcement was made by City Manager Norton Bonaparte Jr. at a press conference yesterday afternoon, just hours before a massive rally in Martin’s honor.

From the Huffington Post:

“Bonaparte told reporters that he hoped the move would ‘restore calm to the city of Sanford’ and help speed the case through the legal process. He said that the city has not yet appointed an interim chief.

The Voices of Those Who Are In Subcultures



If I could take all my parts with me when I go somewhere, and not have to say to one of them, “No, you stay home tonight, you won’t be welcome,” because Im going to an all white party where I can be gay, but not Black. Or I’m going to a Black poetry reading, and half the poets are antihomosexual, or thousands of situations where something of what I am cannot come with me. The day all the different parts of me can come along, we would have what I would call a revolution. ~Pat Parker

The above quote represents my experience and the experience of people who share my identity. Don’t believe me?

LGBT Tolerance in the Black Community: Have We Turned our Backs?

When my mom first told me she was a lesbian, I was 16 years old and in my Junior year of high school. I remember she asked my older sister and me to come into the living room because she wanted to talk. She looked so serious and slightly concerned that my best guess was that she was pregnant. Clearly, I was off the mark. When she hesitantly told us her news, I think part of her was expecting us to be upset, despite knowing she raised us to react better than that. Perhaps she recognized there’s a difference between teaching your kids to be tolerant and actually being the person they need to “tolerate”.

Deryl Dedmon Gets Life Sentence For Hate Crime Murder

White Mississippi teenager Deryl Dedmon has been sentenced to life in prison for murder and committing a hate crime, after running over 49 year-old James Craig Anderson with a pickup truck.

As you may recall, Dedmon and some friends were out partying last June 26th when he got the bright idea of hunting down a black person to harass. They stumbled upon James Anderson at a gas station and beat him mercilessly, before Dedmon hopped back into his truck and ran him over, killing him.

Union Square rally exposes public tensions with police

When Sybrina Fulton, proclaimed, “our son is your son,” to the crowd of protestors in Manhattan’s Union Square, she was speaking to the parents in the audience, she was speaking to humanity. Fulton and her ex-husband Travis Martin traveled to New York City from Sanford, Florida where their son, Trayvon Martin, 17, was shot dead on February 26th by George Zimmerman, 28, a neighborhood watchman.

The Million Hoodie March, the rally held in response to the recent murder of the Florida teen displayed the growing frustration among New York City residents, many still angered by the police murders of young men such as Sean Bell, 23 and Bronx teen, Ramarley Graham, 18.  Like Martin, both young men were unarmed.  And in both instances, police went unpunished.  Zimmerman, an armed civilian, who claimed self-defense, still remains free.  Sanford police continue to come under fire for a series of miscues such as the delayed release of the 911 recordings, correcting a witness’ account of the shooting, sending a narcotics officer to a homicide, and failing to test the shooter for drugs and alcohol.

White Silence is the New Mob Violence

This period of time is very telling for the future trajectory of America. In the last decade, we’ve seen the murder of countless unarmed, innocent Black men and women in cities all over the United States. New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Phoenix, Baltimore, St. Louis, Detroit. We’ve lost the precious lives of Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, Devin Brown, Amadou Diallo, 7 yr old Aiyana Jones, James Deon Lennox, Imam Ameen Abdullah, 73 year old Bernard Monroe, and recently, Trayvon Martin.

All of these created some local buzzes, but seldom brought about the widespread outrage to demand justice, value or respect for Black communities and families. The case of 17 year old Trayvon and the shrouding in White silence of alarming. Let’s continue to encourage our fellow people to be brave, to have compassion, and to speak unapologetically against the toxic nature of racism and its impact on our society.

Why do issues in America matter only when White people choose to popularize and commodify them?

In the wake of Trayvon, Mary Morton asks ‘When will we listen to Black Youth?’

In the wake of the Trayvon Martin tragedy, a brand new op-ed from filmmaker Mary Morton asks the all-too-important question; When will we listen to Black Youth?

There are many wonderful and thoughtful individuals and organizations that are working every day towards the liberation of young Black people. We know that our youth are suffering under the weight of overt and systemic oppression. They need our love, and they need our support and advocacy.

But they also need to be heard.

A Letter to my Future Son

Dear Son,

I want to start by apologizing to you. This is not the world I wanted you to be born into by any means. Your life won’t be easy and no amount of my love can change the way people will see you. And for that I apologize. I never wanted this for you.

I can only hope that my love is enough to guide you through a world that is ill-prepared to deal with you. I can only hope that my guidance is enough to make up for teachers and an education system that are ill-equipped to prepare you for the world that awaits you. I can only hope that the people who inhabit said world are prepared to accept you and what you offer, that they can see you and the things that you offer, that they see past the color of your skin when making judgments of your character.