A hundred years ago, Martha died. At 1 p.m. on September 1, 1914, the last individual of a wild blue dove whose flocks once numbered billions and blackened the American skies for days fell over dead in her Cincinnati zoo cage.
Honestly, it seems like there is maybe one week of summer we can actually enjoy. I don't care if there is pumpkin spice lattes to be had and school supplies to be bought. Summer doesn't end for weeks. Let's stop rushing through the season.
It was worth the wait for Hillary Clinton to speak out. Clinton skipped the platitudes and echoed the uncomfortable truths that black men are routinely profiled, disproportionately pack America's jails and prisons, and get longer sentences than white males.
I watched the Minaj twerk fest once, and tears welled up. Not for joy. But because I remembered my mother and a whole host of proud black sistahs who fought sooooo hard to be something other than their asses.
If you're young, black and female, your identity might be a liability. Recent studies have proven that online dating can be tainted by racism.
Breastfeeding is our symbol to the world that I will make my best effort to commit to giving my baby the best first food possible, despite my circumstances. And if for some reason if I am unable to, then it was not for lack of trying.
The cumulative and convergent toll of subtle, but discouraging, adult actions in schools and other child-serving systems they come into contact with too often impedes the success of children of color, especially those who are poor, and burdens them with an emotional toll they don't deserve.
The crime of killing someone is now turned into a battle of narratives where the only other person who could challenge the narrative is dead, and millions of people simply believe that the unarmed black man deserved his fate.
"Mommy," he piped up from the back seat in his sweet little voice, "I don't like people who have different skin color than mine." My brain sort of froze, but I stayed on the road as I gulped in discomfort.
It's impossible to delineate every way race affects us every day, but a cursory examination of major structural racial problems can give us a feeling for how far we still have to go.
While this was a controversy over a comic book character, it really played to a larger discussion on race-relations that continues to take place throughout most, if not all, of America. Why shouldn't a talented actor be considered to play a fictional character regardless of race?
The election of Barack Obama was the Lexington and Concord in the latest great battle of race in America. We are a nation at war with itself. For all of our desire to move beyond the narrow confines of many of the events of our tragic history, we cannot. The president's election gave new life to what had been lying dangerously dormant for the better part of 50 years.
Investment types often trot out the cautionary phrase, "past performance does not necessarily predict future results." And for good reason. Clients must understand that their financial tomorrow is no guarantee. Yet when it comes to the question of whether we are doing enough to ensure that we won't outlive our resources in retirement, we can learn a lot from history.
Beverly Hills police and city officials predictably circled the wagon after news broke of the humiliating, embarrassing and potentially dangerous wrongful arrest of noted African-American filmmaker and producer Charles Belk.
Closing the achievement gap for minority students is always the topic of discussion and it seems to me that we have at least a partial solution right in front of us. Implementing year-round schooling will lead to minority students who are more engaged with their academics.
Let's get real, America. Only by acknowledging and dealing with the continued importance of race as a principal underlying cause of our deficiencies can we ever hope to deal with and resolve those defects in our nation.
Only by participating in the political process, building trust and cooperation with people unlike us, and using our smartphone cameras to expose official misconduct can we make America -- to borrow Dr. King's words -- be true to what we said on paper.
While music and art are entertaining, this is not entertainment. This is the residue of what I feel to be a spiritual and physical quest for a freedom that we can all share.
By Karu F. Daniels, AOL Black Voices
The ambitious series barely made it through the full run of its only season before being yanked off the air. And just as news surfaced of the network folding into what is now known as The CW, it was announced that Williams has been cast in 'Ugly Betty,' an auspicious ABC primetime series revolving around the fashion industry.
Produced by Salma Hayek --another powerful Hollywood Latina-- and featuring rising star America Ferrera ('Real Women Have Curves') in the title role, the one-hour comedy is based on a famous Latin American soap opera ('Betty La Fea'), and has the feel of a lighter, more maleable version of the best-selling book turned box-office hit 'The Devil Wears Prada.'
Williams, in all of her splendid glory, portrays Wilhemina Slater -- the reigning ice queen of the fictional top selling fashion magazine 'Mode' -- on the series, which has been an instant hit for the network.
"When you work, show up and you got a job to do, you're all pretty insulated from it," she said referring to all the buzz surrounding the show. "I don't realize it until I get out there ... and when I'm in the airport, it's a lot of people who are really enjoying the show."
"It's great to be able to do something that I love, and have people tune in and watch, and love it," she added.
Williams, one of the most versatile entertainers of her generation -- garnering acclaim in film, television, music and theater, has a penchant for turning tragedy into triumph.
When you look up the word "resilient" in the dictionary, her photo should show up -- because her career path has epitomized that.
As a pageant queen, she reached the pinnacle of her field when she made history as the first black Miss America in 1983. Because of a nude photo scandal, the Chappaqua, New York native relinquished her crown in 1984 amidst media frenzy.
This all seems like ancient history now, but it is important to note that a lesser-willed individual would've faded into obscurity (like many Miss Americas before and after her).
"It's a matter of being a survivor and not being a flash in the pan, or a one hit wonder," Williams told The BV Newswire. "There's a reason why people have longevity and it's more than one thing. It's community, family, being professional, being good and what you do and loving what you do, and I'm just happy to keep doing it."
And speaking of pageants, the topic of the whole "Donald Trump vs. Rosie O'Donnell Miss USA Scandal" comes up. News media outlets have been in overdrive with the Tara Conner fodder over the past few weeks.
Like me, Williams wonders whether or not it was really worthy of all the hub-bub. "I don't know as much as you might know, but what is the scandal?"
"It's a different organization," she said, referring to Miss America. "One is involved with talent and scholarship money for school and USA I think is kind of just a beauty pageant that goes to Miss Universe. So it's a different set of standards."
"I think it was a lot of hoo-ha," she quipped.
Giving up the Miss America glory isn't the only disappointing dilemma the 'Soul Food' actress had to endure in public. Her second marriage to basketball star Rick Fox ended when he filed for divorce in 2004. As a newly single mother of four children, Williams said that she maintains "good relationships" with both of her former husbands. (She was married to her then-manager Ramon Hervey, II from 1987-1997.)
"We talk everyday, we share meals, we go to church together," she revealed. "It's almost like some things have changed and some things will never change. And our family and our kids together will never go away and will keep us bonded."
"Life is way too short to be filled with resentment and regret and everyday that you are consumed with that, you lose a day of your life. So why?"
Great way to deal -- especially at the start of a new year.
"Certainly, healing is a big process but you have to do it and you have to feel it in order to get to the other side," she continued. "So I'm happy to feel fantastic and grounded and have great relationships."
Is she keeping hope alive about love and marriage for a third go round?
"I don't even know," she answered about the possibility of another whirlwind romance. "You know the best things happen when you least expect it. I'm just living my life, commuting every weekend and at this point, I barely have time for myself let alone a relationship."
On the music front, the Grammy Award nominated singer told of plans her forthcoming recording project; a Brazilian-inspired project pairing her with music legend Sergio Mendes, whom she spent time with during his annual New Year's Eve concert celebration.
"It's going to be a bit of jazz, a bit of Latin, kind of an earthy departure," she said. "I always loved [Brazil], always loved the music, the melody lines always made me feel relaxed and connected and it's the music that I listen to unwind."
Williams currently graces the cover of the January issue of 'Essence' magazine, as part of its "Ageless Beauties" edition. This is her fifth time gracing the cover of the best-selling Black women's' magazine. Because she works at her craft and has mastered her connectivity with audiences --be it in Max Factor commercials or hawking ProActiv acne solution during late night infomercials.
Or just continuing being the beauty she is and emanating her light.
"If you are honest with people, they'll respect you. And they will hold you in high regard," she said. "If you try to BS somebody and skirt around the issue, that's when they come in for the kill. And at this point in my life, at 43 years old, there's nothing that I haven't said, that haven't been said and nothing I've never heard before."