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.
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.
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.
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.
To date, no black reality television star has scored a win in any political race.
But that hasn't stopped a few from trying to capitalize -- politically -- on what is widely believed to be their 15 minutes of fame.
Since starring on the first season of MTV's 'Real World,' former Vibe magazine writer Kevin Powell has had two unsuccessful runs for New York's 10th Congressional District seat. Powell remains undeterred and has plans to run a third time in 2010.
Meanwhile, 'Apprentice' winner and Rhodes Scholar Dr. Randal Pinkett is rumored to be on incumbent New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine's short list for Lieutenant Governor. Pinkett, an MIT and Rutgers University graduate, would be the first African American to run statewide as a major-party candidate in the history of New Jersey.
Now, two very different reality television stars --(l-r) Landon Dais and Kwame Smalls --are vying for New York City Council seats.
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.