In the state of California, we now spend $62,300 per prison inmate per year while only $9,200 to educate a child in a K-12 school. If that statistic doesn't disturb you, consider this: Since 1984, the state has built 22 state prisons while only one new University of California school.
I'll be the first person in a dogfight to throw down for equal justice and constitutional rights under the law for all people. But I'm afraid this latest example of alleged racism and discrimination by the LAPD plays more as a reenactment of the boy, or in this case, girl who cried wolf.
In the collections of Philadelphia's Independence Seaport Museum is a large, leather-bound ledger. Old, unassuming, and rare, its now-faded pages document business transactions that took place almost 250 years ago
The disadvantages that Black boys bring to their schools aren't corrected in K-12 classrooms, they are furthered. As they get older, they are continually marginalized in their schools and societies.
Self-defense is murder when you're a transgender woman of color. According to an Aug. 22 Facebook post by trans-rights activist Channyn Lynne Parker, Eisha Love defended her life in the midst of an alleged hate crime in late August and now faces a 10-year sentence for attempted murder.
Two predictable things happened the instant Django Unchained star, actress Daniele Watts, an African-American, was detained by an LAPD officer in Studio City, California in response to a lewd public behavior call.
While the NFL's handling of domestic abuse cases is being scrutinized, and folk are calling for Goodell's job, the league's inquiry skills concerning other sensitive matters is also worthy of further review.
The messages we convey to students matter. They are deeply embedded long after they leave our classrooms. As we begin this school year, let's make sure we choose the right message.
The publishing industry can't solve this problem, but the relative lack of children's books by and about people of color nonetheless functions as a kind of "symbolic annihilation."
Ever wondered what it's really like to be a part of New York Fashion Week? Or better yet, to be a model at New York Fashion Week?
Minority students typically do not have the opportunity to study a language much less study abroad. They face financial barriers, to be sure, but also cultural ones. For a young person who has never left his or her zip code, much less flown on a plane, going overseas is a daunting consideration.
Growing up, I learned that African Americans do not publicly discuss or "put our personal business in the street." Depression has traditionally been an unmentionable subject in the African-American community. I have experienced debilitating bouts of depression since I was about 15 years old.
I used to be one of those people who didn't understand the threat of climate change. I wondered, "Why should global warming matter to me?" When I learned what a warmer world would look like -- especially for people of color and low-income communities -- I was terrified.
Nearly 2 years out from Hurricane Sandy, the most destructive and deadly storm to hit New York City, communities across the five boroughs are still recovering. And in the back of everyone's minds, people are wondering "Could a tragedy like Hurricane Sandy happen again?"
This school year, don't leave out the pep talk about grades and their futures and blah, blah, blah. But, make sure they understand that your love and pride aren't contingent on anything other than the fact that raising them is the greatest privilege you'll ever have.
Until now, consumers have been able to use any device and access any content on the Internet on an equal basis. Those protections could all go away, depending on what the FCC decides. What the companies want, it turns out, is no rules at all -- or at least rules so weak and vague that they can't be enforced in any meaningful way.
Yes, the IRS does allow penalty-free withdrawals of a limited amount of IRA funds for first-time homebuyers. However, as enticing as it appears, taking that withdrawal comes with certain caveats that you need to carefully consider.
Institutionalized racism is so deeply embedded in the fabric of our everyday lives that it can rear its ugly head anywhere from an Economist book review that whitesplains slavery to the front offices of the Atlanta Hawks.
In her 2005 memoir, 'Life Is Not a Fairytale,' and her Lifetime television network biopic of the same name, Fantasia let it be known that she's experienced her share of hard times.
The North Carolina-native was raped by a classmate and shortly thereafter became a single mother -- all before dropping out of high school. This left Fantasia a victim of low self-esteem. To say that she shares a few things with 'The Color Purple's' main character would be an understatement.
If you were fortunate enough to witness this one-name musical powerhouse take over the Broadway role of Celie Johnson from Tony Award-winning actress LaChanze, there is no doubt you knew this casting was genius.
The 'American Idol' winner starred in the musical adaptation of Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel from April 2007 to January 2008. And with every emotional song she sang on stage, it became more difficult to gauge if there really was a Grammy Award-nominated singer beneath that dowdy outfit and nappy pigtails.
But on July 1, Fantasia reprised her role in the Washington, D.C., production of the Oprah Winfrey-produced musical.
Though health problems caused the 'American Idol' winner to miss about 50 performances during her nine-month Broadway run, this time around, Fantasia said she's in a different place in her life than her first go 'round.
"It's been a journey," she shared with BV Newswire during the opening-night celebration earlier this week at the Kennedy Center. "In New York, I had a lot of stuff going on...a lot of dead weight, a lot of baggage, and I took that into the role."
"I dealt with all of that, and it helped me to survive a lot of things that I was going through," she continued. "It was a touchy situation, but the story, I can relate."
This made the singer a bit hesitant to return to the stage.
"It's a lot of stuff going on in the world," she said, adding, "I don't want to say that I wanted to come back, but I had to just to touch people's lives."
Another highlight of the Kennedy Center production comes in the form of two very special reunions for Fantasia: her former 'American Idol' competitor LaToya London is playing the role of Nettie and Tony Award- nominated powerhouse Felicia P. Fields, who originated the role of Sophia, which Winfrey made famous in the 1985 Academy Award-nominated film, is also part of the cast.
'It's been really great every time I try to do this show," Fields offered. "It has a metamorphosis with Fantasia coming in. It's been more exciting, and we've searched out new things to do. That's the beauty of live theater."
And like her character, Fields isn't biting her tongue about what motivated her to come back. Like Fantasia, she's hoping that her character's story touches the hearts of theater-goers.
"It's been really great, but the piece is so powerful. I enjoy the message and the opportunity to minister to ladies who have been abused and say, 'Hell no.'"
Director Gary Griffin is back at the show's helm, too. For the musical's original ringmaster, Fantasia's return and the new venue are a perfect match. "We all said when we arrived here that it doesn't feel huge [and] there is something warm and embracing about it," Griffin said. "'The Color Purple' evolved with time, and I would say that Fantasia is two years older, and I think her wisdom, her talent, and her artistry have evolved."
After its Washington, D.C., run ends on Aug. 9 at the Kennedy Center's Opera House, 'Color Purple' will play in Atlanta for two weeks, from Sept. 2 -13, ending its national run in Chicago, from Sept.15-27.
After her three-month commitment to the play, the J Records singer plans to focus on her album, which she told BV Newswire she's taking her time to complete. "While I'm doing 'The Color Purple,' nothing should come between this. It takes a lot of dedication."
As previously reported by BV Buzz, Fantasia is also filming a reality show.The Color Purple musical
Fantasia said Celie's message to her is simple: "Beauty is in the inside. Love your eyes, love your wide nose, big ears and whatever God has given you. She finds that at the end."
And so does the actress who plays her.