For the past thirteen days, the #LetUsBreathe Collective has been occupying Homan Square, the known Chicago Police black site where arrested individuals have been disappeared, tortured, and abused. The occupation began on Thursday, July 21st, following the national #FreedomNow Campaign against police unions and has continued in the style of a block party. #LetUsBreathe activists are feeding the nearby North Lawndale community, providing mental and health care, giving out books, and putting on arts activities for young people.
I turned 24 years old on Wednesday, the same day I watched two black men lay lifeless after being shot by police officers.
Then I watched the aftermath of a sniper attack in downtown Dallas, interrupting a peaceful protest as an opportunity to cause pain and instill fear. I’ve laughed, cried, fought sleep and passed out due to exhaustion this week. Yet, these experiences are likely being felt by millions of people across the country along with me.
Maybe all of our griping and organizing around the lack of people of color awarded by the Academy is finally paying off. Maybe.
A few days ago, I sat in a room full of activists as they worked their way through a variety of issues that occur in their spaces. One of these was the challenge of avoiding exhaustion and complete burnout due to the constant fighting for a cause and, ultimately, feeling like you’re tallying up far fewer wins than losses.
My thinking on this problem is that the effects of social activism usually can’t be quantified until much later on. By trying to change an entire world’s thinking on certain issues, there’s no sort of instant gratification involved. A leader could spend their entire career fighting for equality and not see any significant change until years, or even decades, later.
By L.G. Parker
It’s ironic that I’m sharing a Juneteenth playlist after the attack on Emanuel AME. How might I suggest that you celebrate the June 19, 1865 emancipation from slavery when you’ve just witnessed a terrorist attack on a Black institution?
I suggest that this is the queerness of black celebration. Even as we celebrate, there are things that remind us that we shouldn’t. It’s the ache that makes the smile brighter, the dance stronger. Which calls to mind the life of joy, what comes before and afterwards that might lead us to re-imagine it.
In the South in particular, there are celebrations of Juneteenth every year.
I’ve witnessed these primarily as cookouts. During those hours, somebody’s uncle fries fish and babies waddle through grass almost as tall as them. Mosquitoes tear your legs up, aunties do their dance with a red cup in one hand and the world is still the world, your cousin still locked up, somebody kills somebody black, but the music is right so the work of forgetting is made easier and you arrive at something like joy.
1. Earth, Wind, and Fire – September
2. Chaka Khan – Ain’t Nobody
3. Chaka Khan — Tell Me Something Good
4. Earth, Wind, and Fire – Sing A Song
5. Carl Carlton – She’s A Bad Mama Jama
6. Maze feat. Frankie Beverly – Before I Let Go
7. Commodores – Brick House
8. Rick James – Give It To Me
9. E.U. – Da Butt
10. V.I.C – Wobble Baby
In the age of social media prowess, not only does everyone have an opinion, they have thousands and they have no hesitation when it comes to sharing every single one of them. While free speech and open dialogue is wonderful, a clear drawback to social media culture is an overabundance of thought. But these people are changing that.
Monday saw another disappointment for many in the Black community, as a police officer who involved in the murder of Freddie Gray, the black man who suffered a fatal spinal cord injury while in police custody, was acquitted on four charges. This brought up questions about whether or not any of the six police officers who were charged would be convicted in connection with Gray’s death.
It’s been more than a month since Beyoncé released her second visual album, Lemonade that discussed many personal issues and triumphs like infidelity, female empowerment, and more. She kicked off her tour on April 27 in Miami, Florida and concludes in Nashville, Tennessee. There will be 49 shows in total, 32 in North America and 17 in Europe.
Seeing how DJ Khaled is opening up for her, we know that the show is bound to be something special, even if he’s scared of her.
Last Sunday, President Barack Obama was the commencement speaker at Rutgers University’s 250th Commencement. During his speech, he offered the graduates encouraging words of wisdom as they moved to the future, and he also talked about politics, of course.
It may have been a long time coming but ESPN has launched their African-American sports and culture blog, The Undefeated. It has been in the works for three years.
It gets scarier to think that Donald Trump is the Republican nominee, especially when the world saw it as a joke that he was running. As we get closer to the final race, it seems like the race will be Clinton v. Trump. And, in a new poll, it looks like Clinton may be winning.