Think you have a pretty good idea of what's going on in Ferguson, Missouri? You may not, even if you've been watching a lot of cable news. Especially if you've been watching a lot of cable news. If the media's job is to give viewers and readers an accurate and full idea of what's really going on, we have to acknowledge that there is a long way to go. Of course, Ferguson is not an isolated case. But it is a chance for those of us in the media to expand our understanding of our role in covering the news. At HuffPost we are certainly covering the violence and the underlying racial tensions, but we are also committed to telling the "untold story" (as our splash put it on Tuesday) -- of compassion, ingenuity, kindness, trust, collaboration and community.
I have no doubt that the standoff in Ferguson -- the demand for change -- goes this deep. I also have no doubt that tear gas won't pacify the protesters and replace their anger with fear of authority. Neither will all the military hardware the Defense Department can supply.
The nation's focus on the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri confers yet another opportunity for deeper racial understanding, but like other (too many other) teachable moments arising from the tragic loss of young black life, the opportunity is fleeting and frail.
The politics of respectability in the black community may not only hinder us from acting and engaging in the constructive protest, lobbying and collective action needed to create a more just society, as it has with respect to the Ferguson protests, but it may also prevent us from simply being and living freely.
Even a slacker can be debt-free. Here's how.
Tank Burt is no stranger to the intimacy of the unsaid. As a director she's been honing her craft with shorts like Skateboard, Skateboard, a coming-of-age story told virtually without dialogue, and now she's made her feature debut as an actress.
Improving policing in departments with entrenched cultures has proven a challenging endeavor. Departmental culture plays a defining role in how police officers conduct their work, and it flows from the top, or, as they say, rots from the head.
Long before Brown's parents had to think about burying him, Brown felt the weight of the social death black men experience that readies too many of us for our actual deaths.
The central tenet of reproductive justice is that every woman has the right to have children, not have children, and to parent the children we have in safe and healthy environments.
For decades, American civil rights advocates have connected the dots between the domestic fight for civil rights and the international struggle for human rights.
I am still trying to deconstruct why the Ferguson community's outpouring of grief, loss and anger was met with such an impersonal, aggressive and unrelenting show of militarized police use of force uncharacteristic of peacetime policing.
No one who cares about the death of Michael Brown, or the scourge of police brutality, can ever choose not to vote, again. Period. Not only did people die so that you could vote, people die because you do not vote.
I need to know that you are not merely worried about this most tragic of worst case scenarios befalling my son; I need to know that you are out there changing the ethos that puts it in place. That you see this as something that unites us as mothers, friends and human beings.
Rather than spending dollars on drones and other questionable, expensive military equipment, it is time that local law enforcement officials shift those resources toward training on how to more effectively engage their local communities, especially young people of color.
A possible interpretation of the theme song and the show being is that you have to be grateful for the good times (the positives) in order to see your way through the remaining challenges.
There needs to be an organized national movement that proposes and lobbies for policy changes in law enforcements that need it and then in the state legislatures, Governor's Mansions, and Congress. Let the deaths of Martin, Garner, Bell, Grant, and countless others not be in vain.
The U.S. criminal justice system is built on the premise that one size does not fit when meting out justice. An individualized sentencing practice is key to a fair and just sentence.
In the past, if you needed a loan for your car, home improvements or to consolidate your credit cards, you would need to get dressed up and head down to the bank to beg for money. The Internet has made things a little easier.
By Karu F. Daniels, AOL Black Voices
Donald Lawrence has a lot to smile about.
The gospel music maestro, one of gospel music's most beloved artists, claims four of the top five singles on this week's 'Billboard's Hot Gospel Songs chart, They are: (No. 4) 'Let Go' by DeWayne Woods; (No. 3) 'Blessed and Highly Favored' by The Clark Sisters; (No. 2) 'Faithful is our God' by Hezekiah Walker and Love Fellowship Crusade; and the No. 1 track 'Encourage Yourself' by his own group, Tri City Singers.
This major feat marks a new precedence in the gospel music business and for Lawrence -- a bona fide hit-maker who once served as vocal coach of 1990s super-group EnVogue, and the musical director for R&B veteran Stephanie Mills.
"It has always been my dream to create music that speaks to the hearts of people," the 15-time Stellar Award winner told The BV Newswire. "I've been so blessed to be able to work with some of greatest singers in the world, which has helped fulfill this dream. To know that right now radio/industry has embraced my work as an artist, a producer, a songwriter and an executive-through these songs - is an incredibly awesome feeling."
There's plenty more from where that comes.
He's reportedly in talks to score the film adaptation of 'Mama I Want to Sing,' and has also been tapped for Stevie Wonder's upcoming inspirational project.
Jazzy Jordan, the Senior Vice President/General Manager of Zomba Gospel, which boasts three of the top four singles called Lawrence's artistry "masterful" and "unmatched."
"Because of Donald's gifted ear, DeWayne Woods has one of the top songs in the country and it is only his first album. Donald Lawrence is definitely a talent to celebrate."
Lawrence, who has recorded for gospel imprints GospoCentric, EMI Gospel and major labels Island and Reprise over the past 15 years, is one of the most esteemed producers in the business. He has collaborated with an array of powerhouse vocalists in the field, namely Karen Clark Sheard, Kim Burrell, Ann Nesby and Vanessa Bell Armstrong.
Even the men in the gospel game have been blessed by his craftsmanship.
Gospel pioneer Walter Hawkins and platinum-selling sensation Donnie McClurkin recorded with Lawrence for their respective projects.
Walker, an internationally renowned Grammy Award winning musical wunderkind himself, claims him as one of his "favorites."
"His ear is fresh for gospel music today. I consider him a genius in his own right not only because of his productions but because of his education in the music industry."
Lawrence is a National Trustee of National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and is also a national spokesperson for WorldVision. He founded Quiet Water Entertainment, home to Woods and The Murrills in 2001. Quiet Water is distributed through Zomba Gospel, a division of Zomba Label Group.