These Black West Point Cadets’ Raised Fists Are Not All That Political

If pictures are worth 1,000 words, the same must be said for symbols. But the words that people see in them can greatly vary depending on the lens they use.

For many, the Confederate flag is looked upon as a visual ode to a time no one living today even saw, yet many idolize it with a sense of nostalgia. On the other hand, a lot of people can’t ignore the centuries of slavery and racism that raised the flag in the first place. While this juxtaposition isn’t surprising, it can often be divisive like many other symbols that touch on racial identity and history.

For example, this year’s graduating class from the U.S. Military Academy in West Point holds more than 900 cadets, according to CNN. 18 of them are black women. 16 of those same black women got together for a group photo that’s bringing out vastly different reactions from the public and military alike.

Beyoncé Speaks Out On North Carolina’s Anti-LGBT Law

Many feel that a bill making it’s way through North Carolina’s state legislature would open up members of the LGBT community to an onslaught of discrimination. To show their support for the LGBT community, many celebrities have come out and donated the money from their shows in the state to LGBT-based organizations or even cancelled appearances altogether.

While it doesn’t appear that Beyoncé will be doing either for the Raleigh, NC stop on her latest world tour, she did make a public statement to show support.

Obama Tells Howard University Graduates To Be Confident In Their Blackness

President Barack Obama is on the last leg of his presidency much to the collective cheers and tears from people on either side of U.S. politics. So, for the last time, he’s giving a handful of commencement addresses to graduating college students as the sitting president.

One of his last stops was Howard University, where he spoke to students about their future as both individuals and Americans. 

President Obama Introduced National Teacher Of the Year

Jahana Hayes, a history teacher at John F. Kennedy High School in Waterbury, Conn., didn’t even think she would become a teacher when she was growing up, better yet the National Teacher of the Year. But with the help of some teachers in her own life, she was able to set higher standards for herself than what was expected in her local community.

Now, Hayes not only excels in the classroom, but encourages students to play a role in their neighborhoods through community service and fundraising, according to the Root.

Chicago Schools Are Ending The Transgender Bathroom Debate

Debates are occurring across the country about bathrooms and how they should be used by people of transgender experience. Some states (like North Carolina) are attempting to pass laws that would require people to use bathrooms that correspond to the gender they were assigned at birth, regardless of how they identify today. Chicago has officially made their stance known – they’ll allow students and faculty to use the bathrooms for the genders they identify with rather than how they were assigned at birth. 

John McCain’s Son Isn’t Here For Racists Against Interracial Couples

Old Navy recently came under fire for an advertisement they posted of an interracial family, with a black woman, black child and white man. While some wouldn’t look at it and think twice, other people felt threatened by what they felt was an attack on their race.

Scores of Twitter users filled the company’s mentions with accusations of supporting what they consider to be an attempt to get rid of a white majority. Luckily, even more people came out to show support over the advertisement, including Jack McCain, the son of U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). 

President Obama’s Reaction To Larry Wilmore’s N-Word May Surprise You

This past Saturday, Larry Wilore, host of The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore on Comedy Central, stole the show from President Barack Obama at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Obama spent his portion of the annual roast – which was his last – taking jabs at presidential candidates on both sides of party lines.

Wilmore then followed up with his own roast, which included both laughs and awkward silences from the audience as he touched on racism and questionable journalistic practices. But at the end of his speech, he turned towards Obama and said, “So Mr. President I’m going to keep it 100: Yo Barry, you did it my nigga. You did it.”

Obama Drinks Water In Flint To Prove It’s Safe

The people of Flint, MI have been understandably distrusting of local government officials’ claims that their tap water was clean enough to drink even with the use of filters. To help sway locals, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has been drinking the same filtered water for weeks (even though this hasn’t been enough to keep residents from booing him at a recent press conference). He’s now gotten one of the best cosigns he could’ve asked for.

President Barack Obama announced that he’d be visiting Flint, MI in a letter to an 8-year-old girl commonly known as “Little Miss Flint.” During his visit on Wednesday (May 5), Obama spoke to reporters and drank a glass of Flint’s filtered water to let people know it was safe.

Angela Davis Calls For Assata Shakur’s Protection Amid Improved U.S.–Cuba Relations

Assata Shakur has been living in exile in Cuba since 1979 when she escaped from jail while serving a sentence for the death of a New Jersey state trooper she’s long fought against. As a result, she’s been separated from family and has grandchildren she hasn’t yet met. However, Barack Obama becoming the first sitting U.S. President to go to Cuba and address its people has some thinking now is a time for Shakur’s status to change.

Angela Davis, a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz and a former member of the Black Panther Party, appeared on Democracy Now! to speak about her longtime ally and friend. 

Organizers Stopped Traffic On Lake Shore Drive During NFL ‘Draft Town’

The NFL Draft had only taken place in New York City for 50 years before relocating to Chicago in 2015. After the events huge success, the city got a chance to repeat it this year and welcomed heaps of tourists and media. With this level of attention, a group of Chicago organizers took the opportunity to speak out against problems in the city’s infrastructure.

The 17 demonstrators, all women according to the Chicago Sun-Times, wrapped themselves in chains and walked across Lake Shore Drive in Chicago’s downtown where they stopped traffic on Saturday. They were arrested and charged with obstructing traffic.