Many powerful images are coming out of the Movement for Black Lives. Most of them are from people on the ground who are organizing to end police brutality. However, this new video from Mic News called “23 Ways You Could Be Killed if You Are Black In America” features celebrities like Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Rosario Dawson, Pharrell, and A$ap Rocky discussing the many ways that Black people are murdered by police in the United States.
The week of July 3, 2016 may go on to be looked at as a turning point in the history of the Black Lives Matter movement. With the death of Alton Sterling, immediately followed by the death of Philando Castile, immediately followed by the shooting of nearly a dozen Dallas police officers, it’s sure to be a time period we remember for quite a while.
When Alton Sterling was shot and killed by Baton Rogue police, many felt both a great loss and helpless. Issa Rae, the actor-producer responsible for her Awkward Black Girl YouTube series and her forthcoming HBO series, Insecure, has stepped up to provide an outlet.
Rae, like many others, saw the pain on the face of Sterling’s family following his death – especially his son. To help, she decided to start a GoFundMe campaign to support all of Sterling’s children and their plans to go to college. As of writing, the campaign has collected more than $650,000.
Jesse Williams’ speech at the BET Awards may have been too good. Because people have been popping up out of the woodwork with their own takes on America’s racial climate as if it were easy. But a lot of them are getting tripped up on a lack of information and confusion. The latest to do just that was Wendy Williams.
Black women in the limelight are not only scrutinzed by onlookers and consumers. They are often devalued, hypersexualized, and fetishized in ways that render them mere objects.
What happens when activism becomes cool? Profitable? In a world driven by consumerism it seems almost necessary to integrate something like Black Liberation into the culture – as something that can be accessed, understood, bought, and enjoyed by most- to create sustainable change.
Laughter and pain have always had an intimate, almost symbiotic relationship. So it’s fully appropriate for writer, producer and activist Agunda Okeyo to explore that relationship when it comes to the pain that black people encounter through her stand-up comedy showcase.
If we aren’t fully free, how do we celebrate this country’s freedom?
Next Monday, Americans all over the world will celebrate Independence Day, the day the thirteen colonies declared their independence from the British crown. On July 5th, 1852, however, Frederick Douglass was not in celebratory mood. In a speech to the Ladies’ Antislavery Society, Douglass discussed the history of Independence Day and acknowledged the bravery of the founders. But he had an important question for his audience, “Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us?” This question still resonates today.
Activists, viewers, and commentators around the country have been talking about Jesse Williams’ iconic speech he gave at the BET Awards this past Sunday. Williams was awarded the Humanitarian of the Year award and spoke candidly about his passion around the preservation of Black lives. Even folks like the acclaimed poet Alice Walker were taken with his words. In his honor, she wrote the poem “Here It Is.”
The poem is important because it highlights the ways that Williams’ skin and eye color does not exclude him from Blackness. Read the full poem below.
Sometimes I feel like people see me like they see Rachel Dolezal. Yeah, her.
As a biracial woman (half Black, half white) from the suburbs, whose features are not predominately “Black”, I find myself in a constant battle with myself as I try to figure out if fighting for equity and the uplift of the Black community is something I should act on – or even speak on – knowing that by doing so I am taking up space that should be reserved for darker-skinned Black people who cannot necessarily pass for anything else.