Categories
Awareness Whiteness

The Time I Scared a Security Guard by Being an Old White Guy

The other day I was walking through a big hotel in San Diego, on my way to give a keynote speech for a corporate event. I was the only person at the conference without an ID badge and I wondered how hard it would be to talk my way past security. I figured it would […]

Categories
Awareness Blackness Colombia Identity Latin America

Black Like Me

Once upon a time, I lived in Colombia. And one day, I posted this as my Facebook status: Acabo de caminar del gimnasio. Hoy es un día brillante de sol tropical. Y bajo de ese sol iluminante, se me dió cuenta que yo era el único negro/moreno/mulato en la calle que no era obrero, vigilante, […]

Categories
Awareness Black Teens Education

The New 300

The 300MENri Leadership Academy is a venture sponsored by #300MENri, a community-based men’s group in Providence, Rhode Island, as part of the group’s promotion of positive male development. As members of the community, we at #300MENri felt as though many of us had been neglecting our role in raising our boys and in demanding greatness […]

Categories
Awareness Black Family Fatherhood

Foundational Love

Back in the days of cassette tapes, my love for underground and varied hip hop sounds crossed paths with a song titled “The Foundation” by one of my favorite artists of the time: Xzibit. The word foundation has two primary definitions: the first being the lowest load bearing part of a structure; the second, an underlying […]

Categories
Awareness Blackness Identity

Running from Blackness

Identity can be a complex beast to understand. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, to Haitian parents, and grew up in a system that only ever spoke about the African-American experience: coming from Africa on slave ships, landing in the South, gaining freedom, and participating in the Civil Rights Movement. My story has a […]

Categories
Awareness Blackness Music Reviews

On Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly

Kendrick Lamar didn’t make an album. Or at least not in the traditional sense. To Pimp a Butterfly isn’t an album you’re going to want to just throw on. Its shuffle play value is low. This is an album you revisit. It’s an album you sit with. It’s an album you study. Kendrick didn’t make […]

Categories
Awareness Baltimore Mental Health Police Brutality

The Pain of Awareness

Over the last few weeks, I’ve spent a great deal of time and words capturing what has been going on around Baltimore. Whether it’s a discussion on the politics surrounding the death of Freddie Gray, the race of the officers, the comments made by the mayor or the shot of hope provided by the state […]

Categories
Awareness Disability Identity

Changing Society’s Perspective on Disability

Before I even knew who I was, my life changed forever. As an infant, I was injured in a car accident caused by a drunken driver. But even though I was paralyzed and grew up with a spinal cord injury, I didn’t let my disability slow me down. I learned how to do everything from […]

Categories
Awareness Coming-of-Age Identity Segregation

Together, We Are Better

My mother and father grew up in segregation. Mickey and Miami have fooled people into thinking otherwise, but Florida is and always was a Southern state. My father was born during the Baby Boom and lived in a shotgun house on the brother side of Jacksonville, the youngest of four siblings. His older brother, Julian, made […]

Categories
Awareness Identity Mental Health Self-Care

Brothers, Do You Love Yourselves?

Fat faggot was what they called me from eighth through twelfth grades. It had been just plain faggot before then. And sissy and sweet thang and Oreo and mutt and sometimes halfbreed and once or twice even cracker. But it was fat faggot that stayed. It stayed after I had graduated high school and lost […]