Last week, a video circulated online that showed Patrick Harris showing a group of his D.C. Public School students how to properly wear a du-rag. Most who watched it saw a pleasant exchange between mesmerized first graders and a teacher giving them an extra life lesson. So, we talked with Harris to learn more about the video and what motivates his work.
I am not the same person now as I was when I was 14—and thank God for that. I was remarkably naive and unbearably insecure, and stuck in an environment that did nothing but exacerbate those complex internal struggles that are so typical of adolescence.
So imagine my outrage upon being continuously confronted with articles that insist on describing the affairs between Thomas Jefferson and a fourteen year-old enslaved Sally Hemings (simultaneously his slave and wife’s half-sister) as a ‘relationship.’ I cannot fathom, at fourteen, being denied the liberty to reject the sexual advances of a 44 year-old man (and not just any man, but a man who would become the President of the United States) only to have historians and writers skip over the imbalanced power dynamics and categorize it as a ‘relationship.’
Thousands of people from a variety of backgrounds met in New York City’s Times Square on Sunday to show solidarity with the Muslim community.
Speakers from almost every faith imaginable, civil rights leaders and politicians came out to participate in a protest that was titled, “Today I Am Muslim, too”.
Many of our Black history idols have been immortalized for their work against racism carried out by whites, from the federal government on down. They have been applauded for their magical strengths and abilities to overcome insurmountable odds. Their legacies are contextualized through brief chapters in k-12 history classes, where examples of racism are narrowed down to physical harm and explicit parameters that describe what Black people could and couldn’t do “a long time ago”. As a result, many of us were socialized to understand Black history in a way that has been whitewashed or sanitized. The stories we are fed as young people that immortalized, or mainstreamed, our Black figures of inspiration conveniently left out important details, such as the anti-capitalist leanings of their work.
We are in a time where need the full story of the experiences and perspectives of our ancestors, and we need to reclaim those radical beliefs so that we can create space for true progress not just against racism, but also against capitalism.
Once you make it to the top of the corporate ladder, it can easily become second nature to delegate responsibilities and tasks to those below you to the point where you don’t really have to do much. By the look of things, this is an approach Donald Trump may have taken in his past business ventures and is even trying to implement as the president.
That would surely explain the boatload of unqualified appointments of the past few weeks.
However, Trump’s attempts at weaseling his way out of his responsibilities reached a new low today during his highly covered press conference.
W.E.B Du Bois was a prominent and prolific Black American sociologist who wrote about life in post-Reconstruction America. His work chronicles the horrors African Americans faced throughout the United States as they attempted to navigate life as second-class citizens after the Civil War.
The look and feel of movements for justice and equity are changing thanks to social media’s ability to spread messages and create access to information, resources, and actions. Pushing these limits of social media use are young people of color and their networks (the ignition of #BlackLivesMatter is an example), as this group finds different ways to spread messages focusing on the things they care about. In this way, communication and movement building tie together by tightly spreading information that can’t as easily be hidden, whitewashed, or ignored. Thus, these young people are creating a digital toolbox for justice.
“Bronzeville,” a ten episode mini-series executive produced by Laurence Fishburne and Larenz Tate, could easily be viewed as a loose retelling of the stories of thousands of Black families, my own included.
The current political moment requires that young, socially-savvy people lead on issues of gendered oppression, racism, education inequality, and many other issues facing marginalized groups.
In this way, communication and movement building tie together tightly spreading information that can’t as easily be hidden, white washed, or ignored and creating a digital tool box for justice. Project NIA and The Barnard Center for Research on Women have added a resource to this toolbox, aimed at helping you respond to situations of violence on individual and systemic levels.
By: Marq Montgomery
**This article was originally posted at AngryBlackHoemo.com and has been republished with permission**
It’s Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, so it’s a good of a time as any to dive into this topic.
When we talk about the HIV/AIDS epidemic among Gay men, in general, there’s often an air of judgement and condescension, dripping with implications that any of us who contract the virus “deserve it” for our “immoral” behavior. And when you add in the racism of addressing Black, Gay men, that attitude only grows…even from other Gay men.