Black History Spotlight: Harriet Tubman

In her day, Harriet Tubman was hands down THE baddest woman on the planet.

Imagine escaping slavery – literal bondage – only to turn around and risk life and limb journeying back into the South repeatedly, saving 70 people over the course of 13 trips deep into the belly of the beast.

Soul Train Creator Don Cornelius Dead at 75

Don Cornelius, host and creator of the landmark television program Soul Train,  died this morning at the age of 75, after apparently taking his own life.

Officers found Cornelius at his Los Angeles home around 4 am, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Don Cornelius’ contributions to the world of television, music, Black history and pop culture cannot be overstated. Soul Train was  the place to see Black artists, entertainers, and everyday people like you and me, at a time when Black faces on television and in the media were incredibly hard to come by.

Before BET, before the Cosby Show, and before Tyler Perry, there was Soul Train.

Soul Legend Etta James Dies at 73

After a much publicized battle with leukemia, soul legend Etta James has died at the age of 73.

The terrible news was announced today by longtime friend and manager Lupe De Leon. According to De Leon, James passed away with her husband and sons by her side.

From CNN:

“The powerhouse singer, known as ‘Miss Peaches,’ lived an eventful life. She first hit the charts as a teenager, taking ‘The Wallflower (Roll With Me, Henry)’ — an ‘answer record’ to Hank Ballard’s ‘Work With Me, Annie’ — to No. 1 on the R&B charts in 1955. She joined Chess Records in 1960 and had a string of R&B and pop hits, many with lush string arrangements. After a mid-decade fade, she re-emerged in 1967 with a more hard-edged, soulful sound.

‘Shit White Girls Say…To Black Girls” Creator Speaks Out, Releases Part 2

“Shit White Girls Say—To Black Girls” creator Franchesca Ramsey has returned with a sequel to her highly controversial contribution to the relentless “Shit People Say” meme.

And it is absolutely hilarious. Check it out below!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnwqECbNm4Y

And Ramsey hasn’t taken the crticism from naysayers lying down.

Why I Hesitate to Use the “P-word”… “Progress” & Black American Life

“Nobody is free until everybody is free.” -Fannie Lou Hamer

Why am I so hesitant to speak of progress? I think it’s because my heart is heavy and my conscience is unclear given what I know about our present. I can’t state enough that the middle and upper class, college educated, and successfully professional Black people are the exceptions, statistically insignificant sub-populations of a larger community embroiled in a struggle much like the past. The word “past” has proven dangerous in these conversations because it overplays the difference of the life of our poor from previous conditions associated with pre-civil rights and slavery.

I can’t tell a formerly incarcerated black woman from watts with a daughter in prison that the conditions and policies that currently shut her out from employment, welfare services, tax benefits, voting, and shelter, aren’t  considerably similar to that of post-slavery reconstruction. I can’t.  I can’t tell a sizable population of afrikan, south asian, and latino undocumented people to give back the social security, the passports, the lattes, the laptops, the privilege, and the respect  that they don’t have. I can’t tell the families of those murdered by police, Oscar Grant, Deandre Brunston, Amadou Diallo, 73 year old cancer survivor Bernard Monroe and 7 year old Aiyana Jones that we have somehow progressed beyond the lynch mob mentality and violence of our past.

Rick Santorum’s Defense: I said ‘Blah’ people, not Black people….

We didn’t think Rick Santorum could make this “I don’t want to give Black people other people’s money” controversy any worse than it already is, but he’s shocked us yet again.

And this time he’s insulting our intelligence, rather than simply offending us.

During an interview with Bill O’Reilly, Santorum defended his controversial comments by asserting that we didn’t actually hear what we thought we heard.

Apparently, Rick said “Blah” people, not Black people.

T.I.: Gays Are 'Too Sensitive' About Homophobia

T.I. has ignited a whole lotta controversy with his recent statements in a Vibe Magazine interview.

When the conversation turned to homophobia, T.I. defended Tracy Morgan’s “If my child was gay, I’d stab him to death” rant from earlier this year, and then defended an individuals right to hate Gay people!

Not content with expressing his admiration for the above-mentioned joke, T.I. gave his stamp of approval to another of Morgan’s controversial jokes.