White supremacy asks us, on the Fourth, to consider ourselves one American people. But this too is an injustice, because it asks many to forget the ways in which the promise of America never applied to them and still remains largely incomplete. Perpetuating the myth of American independence, while it doesn't fully apply to all, cannibalizes the very hope of full emancipation and real equality.
Blacks are expected in a few states to live in the shadows of flag that celebrated and promoted our enslavement under any means necessary.
I was raised to be a strong, black woman who could handle her own emotions -- not ask someone to help me sort them out. How dare I need treatment for feeling worthless and for being bullied when I come from a lineage of ancestors who used strength and endurance as a way to survive?
The fourth of July is upon us, a holiday that signifies a meaningful moment in U.S. history, a date that marks our official independence as a nation. Over time, freedom and independence have come to take on very deep meaning for me as a transracially adopted person.
In the fuzzy arithmetic of their moral equivocation, flag pins matter, firearms matter, border patrols matter, but black and brown lives don't matter unless they can be leveraged for some self-serving political purpose
My protest started by recoloring the Confederate flag black, red and green -- the colors of black nationalism. This was my way of arresting my own anxiety and fear of black erasure, both personal and collective.
Knowing that we are not given the same opportunity to ever fully rest, we must keep faith and hope in an ultimate peace. We must keep faith and hope that things can change.
Right now, too many Americans are working long days for less pay than they deserve. That's partly because we've failed to update overtime regulations for years -- and an exemption meant for highly paid, white collar employees now leaves out workers making as little as $23,660 a year -- no matter how many hours they work.
Much like stubborn weeds growing between breaks in the sidewalk, Detroiters simply will not let their city fall away into disrepair or allow buildings to stay abandoned.
The count of black churches in the South that have been torched is not the six that have been burned since the massacre of nine blacks at Charleston's Emmanuel AME Church, but 37. The church burnings occurred in a period of not two weeks but over 18 months.
The best way to commit to our causes is to understand how they are connected to others. In that way, we realize that our liberations are inseparably linked to the liberation of others. If your advocacy is not rooted in intersectionality, it doesn't take much for others to surmise that you're merely pursuing your privilege, not equality.
President Barack Obama's eulogy for Reverend Clementa Pinckney unified nearly all Americans with a call to equal justice that no preceding generation had any realistic expectation to achieve. It was a moment desperately imagined by the voters who supported him in 2008 and 2012.
There's an important question being left out of the furor over charges that Rachel Dolezal, the former head of the NAACP's Spokane chapter, has been "lying" about her race: How can you lie about something that doesn't have any objective truth to it in the first place?
The film is about growing up and getting over one's circumstances. It humanizes the black male experience growing up in America; as do many of the films that are directed by Famuyiwa.
How much worse is it going to have to get before we take accountability for our racism and actively engage in dismantling it?
The physical endangerment that intense hostility toward a group can produce is particularly unsettling when you consider the breadth of damage it can have on how the targeted group thinks about their safety.
Newsome's action was a reminder to abandon the comfort and relative safety of insipid discontent. If we want more, we have to demand more.
I just can't vibe with one aspect of my existence being uplifted while another piece is reminded of its inhumanity every single day. I can't focus on something like marriage, or living boldly and proudly, when I need to focus on keeping myself and those like me alive.
When you think of all the "black people who are so offended and just like to complain," picture my face. Picture the face of your black friends. Think of the hurt in my heart and the tears I cry when I feel like I can do everything right but still be seen as "inferior" because of my skin color.
New York native Landon Dais joined the cast of BET's 'Harlem Heights' to further his political aspirations. The son of a political activist, Dais says would have run for New York City Council District 9 in Harlem regardless of whether he was on TV.
"I was very weary of joining the reality show," Dais confided. "In today's society, television executives believe the only way to get high ratings is through drama and enhancing the negative about people."
The Morehouse College graduate says his desire to be a positive role model and to "influence one kid to go to college" led to his decision to join the cast of 'Harlem Heights.' And though some Harlemites initially questioned his motives for running for office, "once they saw me walking the streets of Harlem at all times of the night, talking to the youth, they realized I was a legitimate candidate who really cared about the people of Harlem," he chuckles.
For Dais, becoming a quasi-celebrity has helped him win recognition in the community. Though he is second in the polls, he still believes going door to door and meeting people in his community has given him a real shot at winning.
"The young people gravitate towards me, and the older people in the community I Love New Yorksee that I am the only viable candidate who can get the young people to care about the political process. This has caused a lot of older people to support my efforts."
And then, there is Smalls.
This 'I Love New York 2' contestant is running for a New York City Council seat. Given his on-air persona, he's had a tougher time getting the people to take him seriously.
"People may not take me seriously, [but it is] also good because people don't see me as a threat," he told BV Newswire this week. When probed about his educational background, the jovial contender offered: "Let's just say, like Kanye West, I'm a college dropout. I learned that I didn't have to have a political education to run for city council."
In fact, his decision to run for office came after the reunion special for 'I Love Money 2,' another VH1 reality show, in which Smalls (also known as "It") was reunited with his 'I Love New York 2' competition, George 'Tailor Made' Weisgerber.
Weisgerber, who won Miss New York's love on the show, is now Smalls' campaign manager. The two have spent the last several weeks canvassing the district for signatures to get on the ballot.
"Yes, I'm a beautiful speaker. I'm an actor," Smalls explained. "I study the techniques of Malcolm X, following his speeches, and I love it!"
Although Smalls thinks he can win, Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth -- a former White House staffer and 'Apprentice' star -- has some disappointing news: "You need a ton of money and a political mastermind [to win an election], and reality television stars don't have access to capital."
Dais agrees, but if these reality stars can prove the naysayers wrong what a story that will make, or perhaps provide fodder for another reality television show on life after winning
Manigault-Stallworth, who has appeared in over 20 reality television shows, continues to work in politics however; the 'Bitch Switch' author works as a fundraiser and believes her television persona has worked to her advantage, helping her become a "much more effective political operative."
Yet, Donald Trump's most famous reality TV protege will admit that running for, and winning, a political office is difficult. "I have not seen it done well, quite frankly," she added. "Being famous does not always translate into being an effective politician."
Her advice? "They need to hire me to be their campaign manager," she recommended. "I'm the missing key to their success."
The Democratic primary election for New York City Council takes place Sept. 15 for both Dais and Smalls.
Interested parties can find out more about Dais' campaign at www.LandonDais.com. Smalls, on the other hand, wishes for his supporters to check out his YouTube video.