On Lynching and Prejudice

Photos of lynched bodies have always given me pause. My body has a very visceral reaction to seeing a lifeless form hanging from a tree. More than the body, the white faces that stare up at it in contentment, contempt or fascination haunt my mind for hours, and sometimes days after seeing a photo of a person that has been lynched. My stomach churns, my heart races, my gut wrenches, my eyes close and I immediately turn away. I’m unable to stare, to analyze. I find myself paralyzed by an odd mixture of fear, sadness and disgust. My reaction seems completely opposite of those white faces in the pictures.

Unity in Trayvon’s Wake

We have all been mourning the untimely and unjust death of Trayvon Martin across the nation and now internationally as well. The case itself is so heavy because it is not a unique travesty but a manifestation of race problems long unresolved in America. Yet there is some beauty arising from the ashes. In the wake of this tragedy the nation is witnessing a pulling together of diverse groups to rally against hate.

Bull Sh#t Youth

Growing up we always knew that Capitalism, or “the system”, was responsible for the hardships of our parents. These days the youth of the present generation don’t seem to think that Capitalism just in its essence produces struggle. What if we have been surprised by the good experiences the labor force has lent us? Graduate students can get paid over $20,000 a semester; working young adults can earn a wage and healthy assets; and college students have an effortless ability to create lucrative businesses.  Today the possibility for the future includes a positive attitude towards the job market.

“A Song For Trayvon”, Live from Brooklyn, NY

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Kevin Powell, Akila Worksongs, MoveOn.org & ColorofChange.org hosted a Justice 4 Trayvon rally at the historic House of the Lord church in Brooklyn, NY, where I performed “A Song for Trayvon” backed by singers, featuring Inyang Bassey and a live band. My emotions almost got the best of me but I held it together, this was indeed a night I will never forget. As they attempt to demonize Trayvon in his death we have to be even more vigilant in our demands that George Zimmerman be arrested and put on trial.

Help get Justice 4 Trayvon by signing the petition at moveon.org/trayvon or texting “TRAYVON” to 30644

UPDATE: Unarmed Atlanta Teen Shot; Private Security Guards Arrested For Impersonating Cops


More information has been released regarding the tragic death of 18 year-old Ervin Jefferson.

The two private security guards who shot Jefferson have been arrested for impersonating police officers. They’d detained a group of women near the Jefferson home.

Ervin’s stepfather was arrested for firing upon them from the Jefferson home. Ervin was shot as he approached the group of women, whom he believed were there to attack his younger sister.

For My Players in the(ir) Hood(ies)

The support for Trayvon Martin has been rather remarkable. The public has gone into their protest toolkit and hashtagged, blogged, marched, sent Skittles, and updated Facebook pictures accordingly. Even the POTUS, notoriously mum and/or known to toe borders on issues that concern race, went as far as to suggest that his male offspring would have perhaps resembled Trayvon Martin.

The most popular method of expressing dissatisfaction with the way that the Sanford, Florida, police department has handled the Martin case has been the donning–and therefore Facebook picturing–of people wearing hoodies. Martin had been wearing a hoodie when Zimmerman killed him; in fact, he had put the hood on his head to protect himself from Zimmerman, whose gaze he found worrisome, to say the least. An act, ironically, that exacerbated Zimmeran’s presumably prejudicial determination that Martin was suspicious. 

Geraldo Rivera’s Idiotic Rant: ‘Trayvon’s Hoodie Is As Responsible for His Death as George Zimmerman’

Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera is under fire after asserting that Trayvon Martin’s hoodie is as much to blame for his death as George Zimmerman, the self-appointed neighborhood watch captain who pulled the trigger.

At 8:10pm last night, Rivera sent out a tweet that said “His hoodie killed Trayvon Martin as surely as George Zimmerman.”

And he didn’t stop there, folks. Rivera took to the air and let out an offensive and totally ridiculous rant that blamed the victim rather than the perpetrator of racism and violence.

“If We Must Die”

“If  We Must Die”

If we must die, let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Making their mock at our accursed lot.

If we must die, O let us nobly die
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!

O kinsmen! We must meet the common foe!
Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one death blow!
What though before us lies the open grave?

Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!

–Claude McKay 1919

I recently visited a church last Sunday, and the pastor compelled us to think about our death. Not to invoke a deterministic notion of lamentation, but rather to force us to think about the trivialities in our lives. In his words, he asked, “What if your last fight, was your last fight?”