Steve Stephens

Black men, we need to acknowledge that we are the problem. Let’s talk toxic masculinity.

By Shekinah Mondoua

I cannot pinpoint the exact moment I began to question the masculinity of African-American men as toxic. At one point I found myself constantly attempting to live up to the standards presumed from my Black male counterparts. Acceptance from my Black male friends was something that I sought out more than accepting my own self.

It might be best to start this conversation with my experiences at 15 years old. I had just left the private school scene and was entering the public school environment that I had once inhabited. The sights, the rhetoric, the style of the students were drastically different from how I last remembered them.

Review of ‘The 13th’: When Art Imitates Life, We Have to Ask “What’s Next?”

Regardless of where you are in your political education, Ava DuVernay’s documentary The 13th was pretty well done.

Weaving the staggering numbers of rising incarceration rates with the insights of prominent activists, journalists, and academics coupled with a soundtrack that highlights the connectedness of mass incarceration to Black realities, it is a signature piece of art imitating life. The 13th brought many conversations around systematic racism that usually happen in select circles to a potentially larger audience, but I’m not sure if anyone besides the usual “woke” circle sat in on this one, and if they did – what now?

Dunham Apologizes for Odell Beckham Jr. Comments

Last week, Girls star and creator Lena Dunham had a conversation with comedian Amy Schumer, where they discussed what it is like to be a woman in the entertainment industry and deal with sexism on a regular basis. However, the conversation took a strange turn when Dunham and Schumer discussed their experiences at the Met Gala last year. Dunham’s comments sexualized and projected her own insecurities onto the unsuspecting Odell Beckham Jr., who had the misfortune of being seated next to her at the Met Gala. 

Why Black Men Still Need to Watch ‘The Birth of A Nation’

By: Ahmad Greene-Hayes

Last week, I saw the NYC pre-screening of “The Birth of A Nation.” I left feeling invigorated by the same Holy Spirit that called Nat Turner to lead a slave revolt in 1831. My excitement soon diminished, however, when I learned that Nate Parker, the film’s lead, is a rapist.

I’m a Black man like Nate, but I’m also a survivor in community with far more survivors than I can count on my ten fingers. And though many have run to Nate’s defense, I am left wondering who will cry for those who have been assaulted? Who will stand with the Black women whose DNA holds psychic scars of racial-sexual terror? Who will believe survivors, even when the rapist is a Black male athlete, actor, and humanitarian? Who will listen to the voices and the silences of survivors who are no longer with us, who took their lives because the pain was too much?

U.S. Suicide Rates Are On The Rise Across the Board

A report from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics has found that, between 1999 and 2014, suicide rates for pretty much every demographic in the United States have been on the rise, with black men being the exception. The study looked at statistics for deaths considered to be suicides for people from the ages of 10 to 74, according to CNN.

Overall, suicide rates in the U.S. are their highest in 30 years. 

Michael B. Jordan and Ryan Coogler Photo Shoot Reveals Frailty Of Black Masculinity

Rcently, Michael B. Jordan’s and Ryan Coogler’s friendship gained a place in the public eye it didn’t have before. All because of a photo.

They’re two talented young black men working together to excel in the film industry. Their collaborations have given us great works such as Fruitvale Station and Creed and should lead to more in the future.

ICYMI: Charles Blow Shuts It Down for Tamir Rice at CNN

“If they had taken one moment to look and survey the scene, they would have seen that none of the kids were running away because none of them felt that they were in any danger,” Blow said on CNN Tonight. “Before you shoot somebody, you need to take a breath to say, ‘Let me assess the situation, let me not jump out with my hand on the trigger and shoot somebody at point-blank.’”