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Social Justice

Endnotes to “The Story of O.J.”

“Light nigga, dark nigga, faux nigga, real nigga. Rich nigga, poor nigga, house nigga, field nigga. Still nigga, Still nigga.” -Jay-Z On June 30, 2017, Jay-Z (Shawn Carter) released his 13th studio album 4:44, arguably the most personal and socially conscious album of his career. Subscribers to his online streaming service, Tidal, are privy to […]

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Social Justice

More Birthdays: Raising Money to End Discriminatory & Abusive Policing

We’ve heard statistics, circulated hash tags, protested, watched body cam videos, watched the nightly news, lashed out on social media, prayed earnestly, cried uncontrollably, prayed some more, vented to loved ones, watched documentaries, read headlines and read the pain on faces after yet another killing of an unarmed civilian. If you’re like me, you often […]

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Social Justice

Are Peace and Violence Against Blacks Two Sides of the Same Coin?

In Charlotte, North Carolina, the shooting death of Keith Lamont Scott by police officer Brentley Vinson has mobilized a series of multi-day protests and riots in response to yet another instance of state-sanctioned violence and the premature death of black people. According to reports, plainclothes officers in the same vicinity as Scott and his SUV […]

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Social Justice

In Defense of Colin Kaepernick

San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, has made my heart happy. Not because of his athletic ability, immeasurable talent or wealth, but because of his unapologetic stance on not standing for the Star-Spangled Banner. An anthem whose third verse declares: No refuge could save the hireling and slave From the terror of flight or the […]

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Social Justice

The Black American Dream and Milwaukee

Milwaukee is my home. I was born and raised there. My family home is in the Sherman Park neighborhood, half a block from the location of the unrest that happened the weekend of August 12th, 2016. My parents still live there. Until recent history, Sherman Park was a bastion of black success, the heavily sought […]

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Awareness Diversity Empowerment Equal Rights Identity Social Justice Stereotypes

Why It’s Not Okay to Call a Human Illegal and How Yoga Helped Me Speak Up

“We came to this country to unite, you need to show them we are here to work hard. That’s it. You show them by example not by arguing or crying.” Those were my fathers words when I was crying after somebody made a racist comment about Mexicans being lazy. I took my father’s advice to […]

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Poetry Police Brutality Social Justice Violence

Strang(er) Fruit

Strange fruit, now covering the streets Juice bleeding black, dripping at my feet Black bodies dropping with each new day Quickly becoming the amerikkkan way Blatant bleaching of the stars & stripes Profiles to fit all stereotypes Cries for justice fall on deaf ears We be the victims of their fears Here is the fruit […]

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Art Awareness Black Lives Matter Black-on-Black Crime Blackness Empowerment Film Masculinity Social Justice Stereotypes Urban Life

Why We Need Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq

It’s not wise to underestimate how movies can shape a young person’s life. Twenty years ago, when I was a teenager, Tales From the Hood played a tremendous role in my growing up. The movie, through an infusion of horror and humor, showed several stories dealing with racism and Black men growing up in urban […]

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Awareness Black Women Mumia Abu-Jamal Social Justice Solidarity Theatre

My Mumia

CAST: Me, Mumia Abu-Jamal Supporter, Mumia Abu-Jamal Supporters, Pedestrian, and Dutch Tourists One and Two (“Dutch Tourists”) MLK, Jr. weekend 2014. 11 am on Friday, January 17th. Philadelphia. A sunny winter day at 4th and Market Streets. On the southeast corner, MUMIA ABU-JAMAL SUPPORTERS hold up large signs as drivers and pedestrians pass by. On […]

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Education Empowerment Identity Multiracialism Social Justice

Transforming Words into Lived Journeys

“Talk is cheap. It is the way we organize and use our lives every day that tells what we believe in.” -César Chávez As I have traveled on my journey, I learned to recognize that life’s crossroads can lead to conflicts that appear irreconcilable. They can feel like insurmountable barriers to be feared or conquered, […]