‘We Need To Be Rethinking Our Response To This’: An Interview with dream hampton

Days after clinching the U.S. presidency in November, Donald Trump appointed Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions as his pick for Attorney General of the U.S. Department of Justice. From stating he was once “okay with the Ku Klux Klan” until he learned they smoked marijuana, to prosecuting Black activists in the decades following the fall of Jim Crow for registering people to vote, Sessions’ past, like Trump’s, is filled with controversial, biased and racially-charged rhetoric and action.

Civil rights groups around the country have begun mobilizing against his confirmation and urging senators to reject him. I spoke with longtime filmmaker and activist dream hampton about her efforts, in tandem with the advocacy group Drug Policy Alliance, to block Sessions’ confirmation as U.S. Attorney General.

If Betsy DeVos’ Nomination Tells Us Anything, It’s That We Can’t Wait To Educate Our Own Youth

By: Imani J. Jackson

“Make America Think Again,” several protestors’ signs read at a Jacksonville, Florida Sister March to the historic Women’s March on Washington. So far, 673 solidarity marches have been recorded and nearly five million people participated worldwide. The signs, a play on President Donald Trump’s co-opted Ronald Reagan catchphrase, and several Plural-led speeches against Trump’s lengthy “isms” history, reminded me that American anti-intellectualism breeds high human costs. I also remembered that teenagers of color care about and deserve to learn about the history, present and future of their nation.

Teen View: Voices from Women’s March Chicago

Last week, six students from blackyouthproject.com’s high school journalism program traveled downtown to Columbus Drive and Congress for the Women’s March. Their goal: Talk to as many protesters as possible about why they joined the demonstration and what issues were important to them. Here’s what students learned …

Barack Obama Sent $221M To Palestinian Authority During Last Hours In Office

A series of best-selling books could be written about what happens in a president’s last hours in office. What do they do? Sit in the oval office one last time and spin around in the chair? Crack open a bottle of scotch they got on the first day? We may never truly know.

But we have found out that Barack Obama was still pushing forward with his political agenda hours before Donald Trump made the White House his base of operations. 

Navient, Formerly Known As Sallie Mae, Sued For Misleading Borrowers

Student loan debt is one of the most critical issues affecting today’s work force. Graduates often come out of school with the weight of tens of thousands of dollars in debt holding them back from moving forward with their lives.

If that wasn’t bad enough, a new lawsuit alleges that millions of those borrowers may have been the victims of intentionally damaging lending practices. 

Understanding the ‘cultural not remedial’ aspect of Black Vernacular English

“Why don’t you hand in papers in Ebonics since that is how you talk?”

I remember someone asking me this in my early days of grad school. I then explained that, as a student, it was my job to perform particular scholastic duties – including showing a mastery of the traditional APA, MLA, and Chicago Turabian styles of writing.

However, I told him that I use my native tongue – manifested from my years in Oakland, Calif, raised on the music of E-40, Keak Da Sneak and Tony! Toni! Toné!, and on the slang stylings of radio DJs like KMEL’s Chuy Gomez and Sway – in the classroom when I speak because I have no problem being who I am in that space.

But his question made me think about the ways that our use of regional tongues of Black Vernacular English (sometimes referred to as African-American Vernacular English, AAVE, or BVE) is often judged unnecessarily. Not only that, our decisions to use them in particular settings rather than others is often questioned as inauthenticity.

This New Book Delivery Service Sends Black Brilliance Right To Your Doorstep

Many of us make New Year’s resolutions to read a book a week or once per month. And, if you are anything like me, you want those books to come from Black authors. Now, a company called Noir Reads is making meeting those goals all the more possible by delivering books from the Black Diaspora to subscribers for a small monthly or quarterly fee.

‘Hidden Figures’ Represents Black Women’s Continued Quest For Dignity and Recognition

I remember the first time I had my intelligence questioned by a peer like it was yesterday; I had just won the regional spelling bee when a classmate, a non-Black person of color, started a rumor that my accomplishments were simply a result of me smoking marijuana.

I was 14, and had never smoked a day in my life.

N.J. Girl’s Basketball Team Targeted With Lynched Dummy Before Game

A girl’s basketball team from Plainfield High School in New Jersey was welcomed to a school they’d be playing against with a black dummy with a string tied around its neck and a basketball at the end of it.

While changing in a classroom at Arthur L. Johnson High School in Clark, New Jersey on Saturday morning, the team noticed the dummy which also had bulging eyes and its mouth appeared to be open as if it were gasping for air. 

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.