Head of state for Iran tweets support for #BlackLivesMatter movement

 

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Iran’s head of state Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reportedly tweeted his support of the #BlackLivesMatter protests that have denounced the recent police killings of black people in America.

A series of tweets came from Khamenei’s account that made clear references to the ongoing movement in the U.S. in an effort to call attention to the racial biases that exist in law enforcement and the justice system. 

BYP100: ‘violence in Chicago is very personal’

 

More than 80 people were shot in Chicago over Fourth of July weekend.  15 of the victims have died. Residents in the city are fed up with the senseless violence, but many feel helpless.

But members of the BYP100 are taking a stand against the tragedy, even if it means being in the thick of it. During an interview with NPR, BYP100’s National Coordinator Charlene Carruthers explained how the organization is combating the violence, and that it’s very personal. 

October is Breast Cancer Awareness and Domestic Violence Awareness: But Are We Truly Aware of Both??

So, I am sitting here trying to understand why during the month of October Breast Cancer Awareness gets more media attention and corporate sponsorship than Domestic Violence Awareness which is also remembered during the month of October. I know that most women have breast irrespective of their size, pigmentation, and function. And, I also know 1 of 8 women will be diagnosed with some form of breast cancer. However, what I am having a hard time trying to understand is why it seems to be favored, if one could favor one personal disaster over another, over domestic violence especially when 1 of 4 women will experience some form of domestic violence in their lifetime meaning women are more likely to be exposed to domestic violence than breast cancer.

This acknowledgement is not to reduce the level of attention Breast Cancer Awareness’ initiatives receive because it is important. And, evermore important to me because a couple of months ago my “beloved” godmother was diagnosed with it which caused me to become a consumer of all things related to curing Breast Cancer. However, as a survivor of domestic violence—lived through my mother’s daily beatings—and goddaughter of a breast cancer survivor, I see the interconnections and similarities between both issues and why they must be addressed simultaneously.

How Racism Is Destroying America's Political Discourse

A few years ago I had an internship at the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition, where one of my chief duties was to spend hours looking through microfilm for newspaper clippings that dramatized the racial climate in Philadelphia throughout the years.

One article that stood out was a poll of Philadelphians that asked, “How would you describe the state of racial equality in America today?” The vast majority of whites (something like 60-70%) answered “Good.”

The year was 1968.

These people had no idea how dire the state of race relations was in America at the time because all they could compare it to was a not-so-distant past marred by lynching, sharecropping and segregation. But today we can see quite clearly that things were bad. Racism was alive and well.

And that’s why race is such a tricky issue in America. Racism grows classier and more refined every day, but it never goes away. How else can we explain the American people tolerating the unprecedented disrespect, racism, obstruction and outright legislative terrorism being perpetrated by the GOP?

Is Nicki Minaj In An Abusive Relationship?

These days, it seems like all Nicki Minaj does is win, win, win.

Pink Friday is still selling like hot cakes, “Super Bass” is currently the number 3 song on the Hot 100 chart, and (by most accounts) she nailed her supporting slot on Britney Spears’ massively successful Femme Fatale Tour. Even today, news broke that Nicki has signed on to provide vocals for a character in the upcoming animated flick “Ice Age: Continental Drift,” alongside Jennifer Lopez, Joy Behar and Young Money cohort Drake.

Nicki Minaj is the definition of a rising star right now. And that’s only made the persistent rumors regarding a violent, July 12th confrontation with (alleged) boyfriend Safaree all the more disturbing and distressing.

Nicki has denied repeatedly that any abuse occurred. But a 9-1-1 tape that leaked yesterday tells a very different story.

A Daughter’s Reflection on Sickness, Intimacy, and her Godmother

When I was a little black girl I would secretly pray to God, the Father, to become sick. You see, when I was sick my non-domestic black mother would cuddle me and become the “ideal mother.” She would busy herself with medicinal concoctions and Vick’s rub. Yes, my mother thought and continues to think; Vick’s rub sees all things, cures all things. It is her personal on-call physician. Looking back, only when I was sick could my non-domesticated black mother let down her veneer of calm and her embodiment of “the eternal girl” to obsess about her daughter’s physical welfare.

And, because of this, I learned to play the role of the ailing downright contagious sick child. With one cough, I could produce bodily spasms. By holding my breath in 5 minute intervals, I could produce a mild fever. And, if these things did not work, I would simply say to my mother in my most sick, cough . . . cough . . . cough . . . woe is me, voice that I could not go to the school today because I felt quite ill . . . bubonic plague ill (I could say bubonic plague because we were studying it in history class). And, my mother would grant my request and tend to me as if I was her one and only love . . . her one and only obsession. When I was young, I thought being sick could bring my mother back to me. Make her stay. Keep her from wandering from man to man. But, it did not. Her presence was only momentary, there to wipe a nose, to rub a sore chest. Mind you, my mother did the best she could, but her sense of care and nurturing came fully alive when I was sick.

From Arizona to South Africa: Is there Hope in the World?

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1aRD79-OoQ

Revolution begins with the self, in the self.
Toni Cade Bambara

Given the last six months world events—massive earthquake in Haiti, flooding in Nashville, killings in Palestine and Thailand, corrective rapes of lesbians in South Africa, Arizona legalized racial profiling law, oil spill that will forever effect the Gulf Coast, the lies about governmental accountability from Toyota to the Banking system, the rise of the Ku Klux Klan Tea Party embodied in Rand Paul—one wonders is there hope in the world. Is there ever a time when justice, fairness, and love reigns supreme?

I ask this because right now I feel overwhelmed by all the injustices in the world. My heart weeps. I desperately need to know that change can happen. Not the type of change that jingles in your pocket or the type of change President Obama promised, but I am talking about the type of change that Gandhi and other spiritual leaders speak of . . . a world of peace . . . a world of hope . . . a world that cherish differences . . . a world that does not colonize and enslave with market ideas . . . a world free of oppression. I like trees who need soil to grow need to know that the world can change and that there is hope . . . hope in this godforsaken world of ours.

Are You My Daughter: A Mother’s Day Yearning

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W12cItlAx8M

Daughters eased their mothers’ burdens – helping with the spinning, the grinding of grain, and the endless task of looking after baby boys, who were forever peeing into the corners of the tents, no matter what you told them. But the other reason women wanted daughters was to keep their memories alive. Sons did not hear their mothers’ stories after weaning. So I was the one. My mother and my mother-aunties told me endless stories about themselves. No matter what their hands were doing – holding babies, cooking, spinning, weaving—they filled my ears.  Anita Diamant’s The Red Tent

So, I took this blog’s title from my godmother who seems to always know the right word to use to convey a thought, “Fallon, the word you are looking for is palpable or the word you are looking for is verdant or the word you are looking for, little one, is yearning.” And, yes, the right word for this blog is “yearning” . . . a type of yearning that is at times “palpable” and at other times unquenchable creating a constant drought lodged in the middle of my throat longing for a thunderstorm.

Yes, I am quite thirsty for a “present” mother. You know the type, the ones who are living. The ones you can share your secrets with even though sometimes you wish they would mind their own business. The ones you lovingly tease for their archaic notions about sex, love, rubbers (yes, condoms), and men. The present ones . . . but this blog is not specifically about present mothers, but more about the expectations that both mothers and daughters have of each other.

Women Her-story Month: Do You Have a Chosen Sister?

I speak as a – a sister of a sister. Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated on my birthday. And for over 30 years, Coretta Scott King and I have telephoned, or sent cards to each other, or flowers to each other, or met each other somewhere in the world.

We called ourselves “chosen sisters” and when we traveled to South Africa or to the Caribbean or when she came to visit me in North Carolina or in New York, we sat into the late evening hours, calling each other “girl.” It’s a black woman thing, you know. And even as we reached well into our 70th decade, we still said “girl.”

I pledge to you, my sister, I will never cease.

Dr. Maya Angelou’s remarks at Coretta Scott King’s Funeral

So, I was watching the Monique Show last night and Taraji P. Henson was one of her guests. What was interesting about the show was not that they both were Oscar nominated actresses, but that they were girlfriends. I mean Sistergirl girl friends. Sistahfriends whose on screen chemistry spoke of countless nights of belly laughs and Girl, let me tell you . . .” call and response, “I almost had to take my earrings off,” black girl stories. So, inspired by their on camera friendship and Women’s Her-story month, today I pay tribute to Sisterfriends without whom many black women including myself would go crazy on what seems like an ordinary day. Yes, black girl friendships are a blessing.