Clergy and lay people have played a crucial role in Ferguson. These religious leaders provide a buffer at protests, press for justice for Michael Brown, and witness against systemic racism and inequality.
The idea that America had reached some level of post-racism with the election of Barack Obama was always delusionary. But it was true that great strides had been made in the half-century or so that followed the civil rights movement. Now, because of the persistence of racism and a relaxation of the fight against it, we are moving backwards.
A small cadre of psychological scientists have continued over the years to explore the controversial connection between low intelligence and prejudice, and at this point they have overcome most of the methodological barricades, allowing them to rigorously analyze and answer this important societal question.
Over the last few weeks students have been inundated with news on the events in Ferguson, Missouri. These updates are shaping the ways that youth make sense of media, the police, their lives, and their future. For this reason it is imperative that teachers find a way to bring this issue into the classroom.
For at least the last two decades, the Democratic Party has been defined both by being the party of African-Americans and by an extraordinary timidity when it comes to speaking out about racism. In this regard, the relative silence is not surprising and is unfortunately exactly what is expected.
If you are looking to buy a car, rent an apartment or take out a loan, you need to make sure that your credit score is at it's best. While it takes seven years for most derogatory items on your credit report to be removed, there are a few things you can do to raise your credit score sooner.
If you also believe that most Black families in the United States have talked about Ferguson, what does it say about the rest of us if we have not?
I hate the fact that people pretend that if you're black and keep out of trouble and do the "right" things, you'll be protected. That's a lie! I've never been in trouble, yet I'm almost always afraid of law enforcement. I've seen too many things to feel safe.
It's fine for pundits to yearn for open dialogue and rhetorical leadership from the White House. It's less helpful for them to ignore the unpleasant realities of nasty partisan politics in the age of Obama. It does no good to pretend race baiting hasn't become a badge of honor and a professional path to success for lots of right-wing pundits.
Giving up on talking about race or facts because of the Stanford study would be a sad high-jacking of criminal justice discourse in our country.
Venting is easy and natural in these circumstances; restraint is hard. By rational, reasoned response we can block the next senseless killing and break the age-old pattern that has become ordinary in our country.
It's time for Missouri's right-wingers to leave the nineteenth century behind. It is time for all Missourians -- indeed, time for all Americans -- to start building a more just and equitable world, one free of institutional racism and yawning racial disparities.
Aggressively punitive and extreme drug policies are steeped in racism. Inherent in the response to drug law enforcement is a biased approach and stark double standards in the perceived threat of drug use by marginalized people.
If you spend any time there, two things are apparent: women have a raw deal, yet they -- not the oil or the chrome or the copper, but the used and abused women of Africa -- are its future.
The point is that black American life and white American life stay rigidly separated at absolutely key moments of human communication. Do some people feel they are "better" than some other people? Or maybe it's not that at all. Does it, in fact, cut far deeper?
We know all too well the proximate causes of the rage in Ferguson but there are other much deeper socio-economic causes as well, namely the way the school systems, the economy, and particularly the labor market are structured so as to exclude cruelly so many from the American Dream.
It's almost as if they are saying please don't go away, please stay, because the moment you leave or turn the channel, no one will care anymore. They will go back to struggling in silence and irrelevance.
When 'CSI: NY' actor Hill Harper decided to pen a tome to inspire and uplift young African American men, he was confronted by plenty of naysayers. At his New York book-launch party for 'Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny,' the Harvard-educated author talked about the numerous people who told him young black people don't read. Instead of letting the negative comments dissuade him from writing, Harper stood firm in his belief that he had a message that young people needed to hear.
"I knew I could get an effective message across to our amazing young people. I am happy to know that both of my books have become [New York Times] best sellers, because that indicates to me that statistics and stereotypes can be overcome."
Harper's 2006 debut, inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke's 'Letters to a Young Poet,' includes advice from the likes of his Harvard Law classmate President Barack Obama, as well as rap star Nas and tennis great Venus Williams.
In 2008, Harper's second offering, 'Letters to a Young Sister: DeFINE Your Destiny,' followed. The book, which was designed to inspire young women and is written in letter format, features advice from influential black women like First Lady Michelle Obama, Nikki Giovanni and Ruby Dee.
Now, the 43-year-old, who notes that his biggest struggle in dating has been how much time he spends on the road, is hoping to switch gears and talk about relationships in his new book, 'The Conversation: How Black Men and Women Can Build Trusting Relationships.'
"My last two books, 'Letters to a Young Brother' and 'Letters to a Young Sister,' relied heavily on contributions from well-known men and women who had wisdom to impart to and inspire our youth. 'The Conversation,' however, is different," he clarified.
"The research I did for the book was all about talking to many people from all different walks of life to explore how we are or are not communicating as men and women."
The idea for 'The Conversation,' which includes stories from couples in all stages of relationships -- from new love to 50-year-long marriages -- came from the Iowa native's travels while promoting his previous books.
"While traveling the country on book tours and speaking engagements, I meet all sorts of people. ...Many of them trust me and feel comfortable enough to share their feelings and personal experiences," he said. "It made me want to explore both the reasons for the poor state of our men-women relationships and solutions for making them better."
Considering, as Harper points out, that in 1966, nearly 80 percent of black children were raised in two-parent households. Now that rate is a mere 33 percent; it is a good time for 'The Conversation' to hit bookstores this September.
After the release of 'The Conversation,' Harper hopes to work on a children's book series. But he's quick to remind everyone about how proud he is that his Harvard classmate is now the president of the United States of America.
"I'm so proud of him; I am so proud of us. Let's all of us work as hard as we can in our own communities to create the change that he discussed during the campaign so that we can see real transformation. He can't do it alone, and he is working really hard...so we should do the same."
Harper is certainly doing his part as an author. If 'The Conversation' is as successful as his previous two books, President Obama is certainly equally proud of Harper.Hill Harper Letters'The Conversation' will be released via Gotham Books on Sept. 8.