Blake Brockington, Trans Activist, Dies

Blake Brockington

Blake Brockington, a freshman at University of Carolina, Charlotte, committed suicide Monday night.

Brockington, 18, broke barriers as the first trans homecoming king at his North Carolina high school. The national response to his homecoming win, while beneficial in some ways, caused Brockington some strife. “That was single-handedly the hardest part of my trans journey. Really hateful things were said on the Internet. It was hard. I saw how narrow-minded the world really is,” Brockington told his local newspaper in 2014.

Brockington continued activist work after high school, speaking at his local Transgender Day of Remembrance rally and being photographed by the To Speak No Evil Civil Collective.

Brockington’s death is the sixth known suicide of a trans youth this year.

h/t The Advocate

Photo:  Blake Brockington/Facebook

 

Are You Watching ‘Ackee & Saltfish’? You Should Be.

ackee & saltfish

British web series “Ackee & Saltfish” is what every carefree black girl has been waiting for. Written and directed by Cecile Emeke, the series follows main characters Rachel and Olivia. The show is a good look at black female friendship in a time when it is rarely seen on screen. The series just wrapped up its first season. Take a look below:

Photo: Screenshot from “Ackee & Saltfish”/Youtube

Chicago Police Made More Street Stops Last Year Than NYPD

 chicago flag

The Chicago police made more street stops last year than the NYPD did at the height of their stop-and-frisk initiative reports the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois.

The study found that the Chicago police stopped African-Americans at a disproportionately higher rate than Latinos and whites. All together, more than 250,000 stops were made from last May to August. In comparison, the NYPD made 192,500 stops without arrest in 2011, the year in which stop-and-frisk was at its peak.

“For young men of color, it becomes just basically everyday street harassment that they learn to live with. Young black and brown men are so used to getting stopped in the city, they really don’t complain about it with the intensity that you would think. It’s become pretty commonplace on the South and West sides of our city,” said ACLU’s director Harvey Grossman.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune.

 

Photo: City of Chicago flag

Kerry Washington’s GLAAD Speech Will Give You Chills

Kerry Washington accepted the Vanguard Award at this weekend’s GLAAD Media Awards and her speech brought down the house.

“We can’t say that we believe in each other’s fundamental humanity and then turn a blind eye to the reality of each others’ existence and the truth of each other’s hearts. We must be allies. And we must be allies in this business because to be represented is to be humanized. And as long as anyone, anywhere is being made to feel less human, our very definition of humanity is at stake and we are all vulnerable,” she told the crowd.

Photo: Kerry Washington/IMDB

Missing Mississippi Man Found Hanging From Tree

otisbyrd

A missing Mississippi man was found hanging from a tree on Thursday. It has yet to be determined whether he was lynched or if he committed suicide.

From CNN:

The hanging death of an African-American man who had been missing since early this month and was found Thursday by local authorities in Mississippi has drawn the scrutiny of the FBI and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.

The sheriff’s office in Claiborne County, Mississippi, had organized a search for the man, who had been missing since March 2 and was reported missing March 8. Authorities said the man’s body was found with a bed sheet tied around his neck and a skull cap on his head, hanging from a tree. The man’s hands were not tied up.

FBI Supervisory Special Agent Jason Pack said that it’s unclear how the man died, and “it is too early to say what happened and speculate.”

“We don’t know what happened out there, if it is a suicide, a homicide, that is why we investigate these types of cases to determine exactly what happened,” he told CNN affiliate WAPT.

Read more at CNN.

 

Photo: Otis Byrd/Undated hand out photo

This Tweet Is the Perfect Response to Respectability Politics

The violent arrest of University of Virginia student Martese Johnson, has set off a wave of conversation about police brutality and respectability politics. It’s clear that no black body is safe from police violence.

 

 

 

 

Photo: Screenshot/Twitter

Students Hold Rally After Violent Arrest Of Martese Johnson

A rally was held Wednesday night to protest the arrest and beating of University of Virginia student Martese Johnson.

From The Root:

On Wednesday evening, University of Virginia students gathered to protest the beating and arrest of third-year student Martese Johnson, 20, who was accosted by Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) officers in what many witnesses call an unprovoked attack after Johnson was denied entry to a bar.

UVA students marched through the streets chanting, “Shut it down” and “Black lives matters,” NBC 12 reports.

According to the news station, protesters used the rally as a cathartic experience for those affected by the event to share their thoughts. Johnson spoke briefly to the crowd, urging those in attendance to be respectful of each other’s opinions.

“I beg for you guys, regardless of your personal opinions and the way you feel about subjects, to please respect everyone up here, we’re all part of one community,” Johnson said, the news station reports. “And we deserve to respect each other, especially in times like this, thank you.”

According to several news reports, Johnson, 20, an honors student at the school was denied entry to Trinity Bar early Wednesday morning for reportedly using a fake ID. After Johnson was denied entry, several witnesses report that he was walking away from the establishment when two ABC officers approached him to arrest him.

Read more at The Root.

Photo: Screenshot/NBC 12