REVIEW: ‘Hidden Figures’ Amplifies Black Female Brilliance and Community

By: Imani J. Jackson

When a movie theatre packed with people of varied races, ethnicities, ages and genders erupts into simultaneous applause and cheers during a film’s closing credits, it’s safe to say the story resonated. That human happiness is exactly what manifested on Saturday when my mother, a grandmotherly elder, my younger sister and I attended a Hidden Figures showing.

Cinematically, Hidden Figures demonstrates creative power and how to sensitively wield it. Theodore Melfi directed the film and co-wrote the script with Allison Schroeder, which is based on the non-fiction book Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly.

Why I can’t hold onto the gospel of Pastor Kim Burrell

By: Kelvin L. Easiley, Jr.

Where does one seek solace when faith fails? Where do the lost find shelter when the leaders that claim to love them preach “death and hell fire” for the simple act of existing? When the music that once soothed and brought peace only sounds like a cacophony of chaos and the choir’s chorus rings a melody that you and your kind are not welcome?

This past week, two major influencers in gospel music openly spat venomous vitriol from the pulpit to the raucous amens from their respective audiences.

On Kim Burrell and why ‘theological violence’ has no place in Black Liberation

By: George M. Johnson

No one is free unless the black Trans woman is free.

I imagine these are the words that will ring out of the mouths of every preacher and Black person in this nation when we finally reach the day of liberation.  A day that will likely never come in my lifetime, as the battle between the “Church” and “State of the LGBTQ” continue to be at odds over who is acceptable in the eyes of man and God.  This week, has brought out the some of the worst in people, as two pivotal leaders of the Black church and gospel music community have continued theological warfare on a community that is “tired, weak and worn” – to quote the classic hymn “Take My Hand, Precious Lord.”

This is what happens when political resistance goes digital

By: Imani J. Jackson

To many millennials’ chagrin and not of our own doing, American capitalism continues to operate despite its negative impact on Black and Brown communities. Confronted with this economic system and sustained government violence against Black and Brown people, activists are increasingly combining traditional civil rights tactics, like protests and economic boycotts, with digital resistance.

Why ‘Taking the High Road’ Won’t Save Us and Maybe a Little Shade Will

By Jasmine Banks

“Taking the high road” is a myth and a distraction from revolution. It wasn’t even two days after the United States of America established Donald Trump as president that calls to “take the high road” started. The calls came from white folks who did and didn’t vote for Trump and Black folks who were seemingly embarrassed that the nation, yet again, held a referendum on Black folks and their humanity and confirmed that they could not vote for our wellbeing.

In fact, the ‘high road’ is covertly coded language that leads Black folks to believe that if they act in a way that others deem respectable, that we can elevate ourselves above our own oppression. Taking the high road applies pressure on the victims of oppression to modify their anger and rage in order to package their experiences and reactions for consumption and judgment. The fact is: how Black folks choose to express themselves should never be a measurement of their worthiness to live lives free of harm and domination.

Black Lives Matter, Taiwan’s ‘228 Incident,’ and the Transnational Struggle For Liberation

By: Chanda Hsu Prescod-Weinstein

Someone was selling cigarettes illegally. The State didn’t need the money, but it did want to be in control of how everyday citizens made money. When the authorities showed up, the enforcers could have let the sale of contraband cigarettes go, but they didn’t. Instead, they used force and the cigarette seller ended up on the ground. Not long after, a man was dead.

On first thought, this sounds like it’s just the story of Eric Garner’s death on July 17, 2014 in New York City, USA.

But Eric Garner’s story resonates across the continents and the decades. The story above could have been describing not his death but instead an incident that occurred decades earlier in another hemisphere, with the death of an unnamed man in a crowd that gathered when the cigarette seller was attacked by police on February 27, 1947 in Taipei, Taiwan.

Poll: Racial vulnerability linked to youth vote choice

By: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Among the youngest white adult Americans, feelings of racial and economic vulnerability appear to be closely connected to their support for Donald Trump in last month’s election.

That’s according to an analysis of a new GenForward poll of Americans between the ages of 18 and 30. Other surveys of white adults of all ages have found a similar pattern.

Among young people from all racial and ethnic backgrounds, feelings toward President Barack Obama and about the way the government is working were related to support for Trump’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

The pre-election survey data comes from a GenForward poll conducted by the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago with the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

The survey is designed to highlight how race and ethnicity shape the opinions of a new generation.

Things to know about young voters in the 2016 election:

___

DEMOGRAPHICS

The GenForward polls showed that even the youngest voters were deeply divided along racial and ethnic lines in this year’s election. Large majorities of young black, Hispanic and Asian-American likely voters in the surveys said they planned to vote for Clinton, compared with less than half of young white likely voters who said the same.

Among young white adults, more than half of those with a college degree supported Clinton, compared with less than 4 in 10 without such a degree.

The surveys suggest that support for Trump among young white likely voters increased in the weeks immediately before the election. Exit polls conducted for the AP and television networks by Edison Research show that young whites were ultimately slightly more likely to support Trump than Clinton.

___

WHITE VULNERABILITY

Among young whites, the survey suggests that feelings of racial and economic vulnerability and racial resentment appear to have played a role in support for Trump.

In particular, among young whites who scored highest on a scale measuring “white vulnerability,” or feelings that whites are losing out socially and economically in today’s society, more than half said they planned to support Trump, compared to only about 6 percent of those scoring lowest on the scale.

The analysis shows Trump performed well among young whites who felt that gender discrimination is not a problem in society. Likewise, both young whites and young Latinos who felt that blacks need to work their way up in society without special favors and haven’t been significantly held back by racial discrimination were more likely to vote for Trump.

Both of those attitudes were closely linked with feelings of racial vulnerability among young whites, and those feelings of vulnerability had the strongest relationship with choosing to vote for Trump when all three attitudes were analyzed together.

___

POLITICAL ALIENATION AND EQUALITY

The surveys show that feelings about the political system were linked to vote choices among young people from all racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Young Asian Americans and Latinos were less likely to support Clinton if they had feelings of political alienation, such as that leaders in government are looking out primarily for themselves and don’t care about people like the them.

Young whites and African Americans who felt that American society and government were moving toward greater political equality were more likely to support Clinton.

Whites, blacks, Latinos and Asian Americans were all more likely to support Clinton if they had warmer feelings toward President Barack Obama.

___

The analysis is based on two polls of young adults age 18-30 conducted Oct. 1-14 and Oct.20-Nov. 3. Both used samples of about 1,800 people drawn from the probability-based GenForward panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. young adult population. The margins of sampling error for all respondents are plus or minus 3.8 percentage points and plus or minus 3.7 percentage points, respectively.

The survey was paid for by the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago, using grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Ford Foundation.

Respondents were first selected randomly using address-based sampling methods, and later interviewed online or by phone.

___

Online:

GenForward polls: http://www.genforwardsurvey.com/

Black Youth Project: http://blackyouthproject.com/

AP-NORC: http://www.apnorc.org/

 

Image via Johnny Silvercloud/Flickr

Shirley Caesar Is Turning The #UNameItChallenge Into An Act Of Philanthropy

By Imani J. Jackson

It is the week of Thanksgiving 2016, the same 2016 many of us would prefer to put in rice, turn on and off for a reboot, or take to a specialist to see if 2017 will emerge and actually be working properly. This year brought losses: of creative genius through Prince, of human rights advocacy and athleticism through Muhammad Ali, of principled and groundbreaking news reporting through Gwen Ifill. 2016 also showed a loss of decency through president-elect Donald Trump and his white supremacist crew. And yet, black Internet inspiration did the timely thing it often does: provide joy.

Pastor Shirley Caesar, the 78-year-old gospel great, Hollywood Walk of Fame honoree, and Shaw University alumna whose “Hold My Mule” melodic sermon inspired millions of new fans and rejuvenated her longtime supporters, allowed observers to not just hear a sermon, but to also see one in action.

Facing Race: Building for Racial Justice In Schools Post-Election

By Nuala Cabral

Last Thursday, over two thousand people from across the country came together in Atlanta for Facing Race, a national conference on racial justice. Organized by the NY-based nonprofit Race Forward, the conference embodies the organization’s mission to “build awareness, solutions, and leadership for racial justice.” The timing of this conference couldn’t have been more perfect; only one day earlier Donald Trump was announced president elect of the United States. The conference, thus, became a space where folks could grieve and process the implications of this destructive election and strategize around ways we can respond.