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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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
Hip-Hop diva Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott joins a short list of the genre's pioneers and legends to be honored during the fourth annual 'VH1 Hip Hop Honors,' premiering Oct. 8.
Hosted by comedian Tracy Morgan, the show -- which celebrates the players who broke new ground and pioneered the genre into a true cultural phenomenon -- will be taped at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on Oct. 4.
West coast rap icon Snoop Dogg, old-school hip-hop trio Whodini, original hip-hop super-producer Teddy Riley, and hip-hop-soul music mogul Andre Harrell are among this year's honorees. A special 25th Anniversary tribute of the break-dancing film 'Wild Style' will also take place.
Elliott, who has been lavished with many coveted awards over the past decade (including four Grammy Awards), said that this particular event is "more" than a regular honor.
"Hip-hop is my first love and no one can ever tell me dreams don't come true," she told 'The BV Newswire' yesterday. "Although I'm being honored, I am more honored being part of this music that has such realness, rawness and edge and being around so many who have made records that motivated me to be creative and original and follow my own path in music."
"Run DMC, Salt-N-Pepa, Slick Rick, LL Cool J, MC Lyte, Big Daddy Kane, Erick B & Rakim and [Queen] Latifah are just a few who I honor," she said, naming other honorees who have come before her. "I thank God for allowing me to reach the masses with my music. You'll never know how grateful I am. Through all of my struggles you've made me feel loved and again, I am more than grateful for this incredible honor. I love you all and hip-hop!"
Elliott, whose first incarnation in the music business came in the form of being a member of the Devante Swing-created girl group Sista (think = Mary J. Blige meets Jodeci times four), broke through as a hit-making, behind-the-scenes collaborator of Timbaland's in the mid-1990s. Her contribution to hit projects by Aaliyah and 702 galvanized her into the hip-hop soul arena, making way for her auspicious debut opus 'SupaDupaFly' in 1997. Five albums later, Missy (as she is affectionately known) has been one of the more consistent hip-hop artists over the past decade. As a song-writer, producer and guest cameo-maker, the Portsmouth, Virginia native has been called on by the biggest names in the business, including Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Blige, Lil' Kim, Madonna, Nelly, Michael Jackson, Diddy, Angie Stone, Beyonce, Monica and Fantasia.
And helping Elliott achieve her success along the way was her manager Mona Scott, who calls her "a musical and visual icon second to none."
Upon hearing that VH1 announced the honor, the Violator Management chief proclaimed, "In a genre generally reserved for testosterone driven braggadocio or slinky haired diva-dom, Missy Elliott has forever carved her niche in pop culture and hip-hip history. She is a creative force tirelessly engaged in a quest to bend our ears and challenge our senses - all while daring us to find a new way to bounce. This honor is well deserved and long overdue and I am so proud of my client and my friend."
Scott, one of the most hands on superstar talent managers, revealed that Elliott's latest disc -- her sixth studio album, tentatively titled 'The Countdown' -- is due out in a few months. A new single should drop at radio next month.
AOL VIDEO: Missy 'Misdemeanor' Elliott -- 'She's A B**ch'