I've greatly enjoyed my time, but I no longer wish to put my body at risk for the sake of entertainment. I think about the rest of my life and I want to live it with much quality. And physically, I am grateful that I can walk away feeling as good as I did when I stepped into it.
The uproar over high-stakes testing associated with Common Core in New York State and complaints that children are being tested on things they were not taught, has obscured the deepening of racial, ethnic and class divisions in education in New York and the United States.
I've read and heard so many accusations against the LGBT community by the religious right that I've now come to the conclusion that these folks are just sloppy with what they say. Seriously, it's as if they don't care that eventually someone will demonstrate how incoherent their claims are.
Google "coming of age movies" and you will find that the stories our culture says define coming of age are those like The Sandlot or Superbad. For boys of color there are far fewer, but some: Cooley High. Boyz in the Hood. School Daze. Try Googling "coming of age movies for girls" and you'll find a lot less.
Years from now we will know that we stood on the right side of history.
So then this new idea came along. Since we can't get rid of it, since we can't let it go -- let's embrace it. Let's reinvent it. Let's endear it. Well folks, we've had our little experiment and let me just tell you, it's failed miserably. Yes miserably.
When I saw 12 Years a Slave, I found myself squirming in my seat. I was seated between two white men, one my friend and the other a stranger. Now that all the Oscar fanfare is over, I'd like to call attention to Lupita Nyong'o.
Facing the horror of slavery is a tough nut to crack not simply because it entails facing an inconvenient truth about past racial dehumanization, but because it entails facing the real truth that slavery still corrodes in big and little ways American life.
Imprinted within our psyches is the notion that success is something that should be visible. Until recently, it has had a rather distinct look to it.
With the "My Brother's Keeper" initiative, President Obama is leveraging the power and influence of his presidency to address barriers to success facing boys and young men of color. It is a vital step in the continuous journey to help America heal from the legacy that limited opportunities for centuries.
This week thousands of parents and students marched to save their schools and fight for the right of every child to receive a quality education. The march was in response to the mayor's newly announced charter school co-location policy.
Last week, President Obama unveiled his My Brothers Keeper initiative one day after the anniversary of the murder of Trayvon Martin and as the nation still grapples with the hung jury on the murder charge in the Michael Dunn case,.
On its face, sure, the President's initiative seems small. In fact the $150 million that has already been invested in the program could probably go a long way to improving circumstances for male youth of color in Chicago alone. But it is a step in the right direction.
Seventeen-year-old Theresa Tran is one of this year's winners of the Children's Defense Fund-Ohio's Beat the Odds® scholarships after overcoming tough odds including physical disability, the death of a beloved sibling, and a father who suddenly abandoned the family.
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.