Last Sunday, President Barack Obama was the commencement speaker at Rutgers University’s 250th Commencement. During his speech, he offered the graduates encouraging words of wisdom as they moved to the future, and he also talked about politics, of course.
As 2016 rolls on, the upcoming presidential election is shaping up to be a showdown between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and bigoted billionaire Donald Trump. For left-leaning voters who don’t find the prospect of another Clinton presidency appealing, or who are disillusioned by the entire two-party system itself, skipping the polls on November 8th appears to be a better alternative.
On May 13, Ben Garrison released a racist photo that compared the First Lady Michelle Obama to Melania Trump. While Melania was depicted as the epitome of femininity, the First Lady was depicted as a muscular brute, a thing to be feared and unwanted. As President Obama’s second term in the White House comes to an end, we are left to reflect on mainstream media’s treatment of FLOTUS and what that means for young Black girls in America.
From POTUS, to the Hill, and even sheriffs, America’s legal and political powerhouses are finally confronting our overly punitive and discriminatory criminal justice system. The ever-growing list of the Department of Justice’s investigation into local policing practices has revealed a fuller realm of the effects of the 1994 crime bill. But as the wave of criminal justice reform takes the country by storm, will it reconcile racial injustice along the way? I spoke with Shaka Senghor, a formerly incarcerated man who is now an activist, author, and Director of Strategy for #Cut50, to get his perspective.
From the #ByeAnita actions in Chicago to the Fund Black Futures campaign, 2016 has already yielded significant gains for young Black organizers across the country. But the launch of Black Scholars for Black Lives (BS4BL), a collective made up of over 200 scholars and academics who have taken a pledge to use their platforms to support the Black Lives Matter Movement, just might be one of the most powerful tools the two-and-a-half year old movement has acquired as of yet.
Despite wins in Missouri and Michigan, Bernie Sanders still trails Hillary Clinton by a decisive margin—especially among African-Americans. After competing in 31 primaries, the most Sanders has been able to clench of the Black vote was 29 percent— even with the support of prominent civil rights activist and fellow leftist Cornel West, who contends that “Brother Bernie is better for Black people”. But the long history of anti-Blackness in the American political left may be to blame for Sanders’ inability to earn the trust of the Black community.
During the week of February 21st, Veronica Morris-Moore did not rest. She was dedicating her body, her energy, and her time to making sure that people make the smart choices for the betterment of Black lives.
Instead of sleeping, Morris-Moore protested against Anita Alvarez, the current state attorney for Chicago who in no way, shape, or form should have control over Black lives because she abuses her power and has no respect for Black people. Morris-Moore rightfully believes that the greatest power that we have seen is action and protest. Her language is poetic and her dedication is inspiring. With Morris-Moore and the efforts of Fearless Leading by the Youth (F.L.Y.), an organization founded to enact change by carrying out political campaigns created by Black youth. Because of their work, there will now be a trauma center on the Southside of Chicago. In this installment of Black Youth Spotlight, we talk with Morris-Moore and gain insight into how her actions has helped save lives on the Southside.
Less than 24 hours after Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders hosted a rally at Chicago State University, all 900 employees of the university received layoff notices. The layoffs appear to be the final blow in the nearly 8 month battle between Chicago State (as well as other predominantly-Black public colleges) and Illinois politicians. But while many have directed their anger over the budget impasse at Springfield, primarily towards Republican governor Bruce Rauner, one thing is certain: Chicago itself did not do enough to save CSU.
You just don’t wake up one morning and start enacting social change. There is a moment when you become racially conscious and from that day on, you cannot shake this political awareness–it sticks with you. Everyone’s path to wokeness is different. No matter the different paths that are taken, young Black people are doing good work, changing what it means to be a Black activist today.
In this edition of our Black Youth Spotlight series, we highlight Blake Simons. He is the Deputy Communications director for the Afrikan Black Coalition, a Black organization in the UC colleges that strives to promote Black culture, awareness, and leadership. Blake believes that the celebration of Black History should not be limited to a single month—it should happen everyday. Right now through the Afrikan Black Coalition, he is spreading his political awareness of what it means to be Black during a time where innocent lives are lost and threatened due to senseless acts of violence.
Romany Malco, an actor, had the opportunity to speak on The Breakfast Club where he spoke about the politics in entertainment.