We need to put abortion back into its context, which is the lives and bodies of women, but also the lives of men, and families, and the children those women already have or will have.
I've never been very good at saving. I'm a spender -- shoes, trips, nights out, you name it. It's a fact that became especially apparent to me when I found myself saddled with $10,000 of credit card debt after graduating from college.
Everywhere from pop culture to the hood, men are either consciously or subconsciously telling black women they aren't "wanted."
Last Monday I was arrested in Ferguson, Missouri, along with dozens of other clergy, seminarians, and people of many faith traditions. As a white, middle-aged, married, mother of three and a rule-abiding Presbyterian, this was a new experience for me.
This is political gamesmanship of the lowest order, playing on media and public fears over a legitimate and terrifying health crisis, to again belittle Obama. And with the stakes sky high in the 2014 midterm elections, the dirty political pool by the GOP was totally predictable.
Fellow graduates of historically black colleges and universities, we can and must come to the aid of our institutions while there is still time to make a difference. Fiscal insolvency and the loss of accreditation are two insurmountable challenges from which I have not known any institution to recover. What follows are some concrete steps we can and must take to support HBCUs.
If scholars and adherents of Vodou are to be believed, consistent portrayals of 'voodoo' practitioners as barbaric, violent and most of all as African-American, not only influences public perception of our religion, but perception of African-Americans.
Dr. Gloria I. Joseph has a treasure trove of memories of the renowned Audre Lorde, her late partner. Joseph's long-awaited new book, The Wind Is Spirit: The Life, Love and Legacy of Audre Lorde, gives us a rare glimpse of Lorde, as told by people who knew Lorde or whose work was greatly impacted by her.
Back in 2009, I traced the then-new First Lady's family tree back four or five generations on all branches, but of all the ancestors I uncovered, it was a great-great-great-grandmother named Melvina Shields McGruder who captured my attention.
The reality is that most black colleges have not accepted sexual identity diversity as an issue with which they need to be concerned. A number of reasons have been suggested -- among these, a level of social and religious conservatism within the black community.
While it is true that, by far, the overwhelming percentage of black people in the South were doomed to spend their entire lives in slavery prior to the Civil War, it is also true that a small percentage lived as free citizens. And some were even able to prosper.
The leadership dilemma for HBCU presidents is that of broadening access while also advancing high academic standards and strengthening outcomes. The data suggest that this will be a steep climb for most HBCUs.
Bleak numbers surround the national high school dropout rate. Many of society's other problems -- like unemployment, poverty and overcrowded prisons -- can all be linked back to the individual decision to quit high school.
It is my hope that all black students make it a priority to address these type of issues on our campuses. Do not compromise your beliefs or your black experience for the pretense of neutrality.
As I begin to look forward to what awaits me in the Motherland, my Facebook timeline and social media accounts are filled with ignorance and caution about any and everything African.
Being black or brown isn't the problem. Neither is my childhood dream of having a house full of black and brown babies. The problem is white supremacy. I don't mean the still-dangerous KKK or Aryan Brotherhood. The white supremacy I'm talking about is much quieter.
So exactly how does one go from being a back-up singer for Mary J. Blige and Diddy to presiding over the hit TV judge show Paternity Court? If you're Lauren Lake, it starts with your upbringing.
Even though there are a few ways you can try and accelerate the process, it takes time to build credit. Credit cards can be one of the best ways to do so, and if you commit to using them properly, it can be worth the time you spend strategizing.
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.