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Awareness Police Brutality Police State Social Justice Violence

Traumatized Bodies, Desensitized Minds

As more footage of the late Sandra Bland’s final hours of life spirals onto the desks of talking heads and news channel producers, I think it’s important to acknowledge the ability of film to distort and desensitize us to the abuse of another human being. We live in an age and culture where we have […]

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Awareness Death Penalty Forgiveness Social Justice

On My Moral Contention to Capital Punishment

“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” -Romans 12:19 (King James Version)   I don’t believe in capital punishment. The idea of killing someone to as punishment for killing someone else is, frankly, ass-backwards logic. This is my […]

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Black History Blackness Books Racism Reviews Slavery Social Justice

Finding a Place Between the World and Ourselves

I had been anticipating Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book, Between the World and Me for all of three weeks. I must confess, I had not heard he was writing a book and I did not want to know too much of its content before reading it, in the same way that I detest previews and would rather watch […]

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Haiti Interviews Latin America Social Justice

Blood Brothers: Haitians in the Dominican Republic

One could say that the whole mess started in 2013, when the Constitutional Court, the supreme judicial body of the Dominican Republic, immediately rendered some 200,000 of its citizens stateless. “The ruling retroactively stripped Dominicans of Haitian descent of citizenship back to 1929,” says France François, spokesperson for the Washington, D.C.-based Association of Haitian Professionals […]

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Awareness Black Women Feminism Social Justice Solidarity

Black Men and “Distractions”

“Black women as a group have never been fools. We couldn’t afford to be.” –Barbara Smith Black women are facing a drought of allies during a time when black people in the United States are battling a turbulent racist climate. These moments illustrate that things are not so different from the past our parents and […]

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Black History July 4th Slavery Social Justice Speeches

What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?

Delivered July 5, 1852; Corinthian Hall; Rochester, New York Mr. President, Friends and Fellow Citizens: He who could address this audience without a quailing sensation, has stronger nerves than I have. I do not remember ever to have appeared as a speaker before any assembly more shrinkingly, nor with greater distrust of my ability, than I […]

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Black History Charleston Confederate Flag Social Justice

A Necessary Start

The part of Florida I’m from is remarkably more like Mobile than Miami. From Grandma’s house, it’s a short drive to the Alabama border, the gateway to the Heart of Dixie. Riding in the backseat as kid, with Mom driving, I was always amused by the fact that, as we crossed that border, at some […]

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Awareness Queer Issues Sexuality Social Justice Solidarity Travel

Sexuality, Race, & #MyGayPride

I’m not ashamed to admit that I was a homophobic and racist man: not because I’m proud of it, but because I understand that my mindset was a result of systemic marginalization and programming. From the aggressive inner city to the ultra-masculine military, I wasn’t given the best environments to cultivate my understanding of my […]

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Blackness Identity Mental Health Social Justice Solidarity Whiteness

Rachel Dolezal and Defining Blackness

Outside of adoptions, “transracial” isn’t a thing, and race is not a social construct. Let me explain… By now, we’ve all heard of Rachel Dolezal. Yes, she is president of her local NAACP branch. Yes, she was recently outed by her white parents. Yes, she has been deceptive about her racial heritage. But transraciality doesn’t […]

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Awareness Police Brutality Social Justice Solidarity Sports

Take the Shot, LeBron

This past summer, when NBA superstar LeBron James announced that he was returning “home” to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers, he wrote an essay to express why he decided to return “home.” LeBron wrote, “I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. It’s where I walked. It’s where I ran. It’s where I cried. It’s where […]