I need to know that you are not merely worried about this most tragic of worst case scenarios befalling my son; I need to know that you are out there changing the ethos that puts it in place. That you see this as something that unites us as mothers, friends and human beings.
Over the years, the startling consistency of the manner in which I am addressed while he is ignored has become a quasi joke between us.
No one who cares about the death of Michael Brown, or the scourge of police brutality, can ever choose not to vote, again. Period. Not only did people die so that you could vote, people die because you do not vote.
The central tenet of reproductive justice is that every woman has the right to have children, not have children, and to parent the children we have in safe and healthy environments.
Rather than spending dollars on drones and other questionable, expensive military equipment, it is time that local law enforcement officials shift those resources toward training on how to more effectively engage their local communities, especially young people of color.
Ferguson was not just an event in which police overreacted to heated demonstrations; it's a symptom of a generalized hatred of democracy in this country -- the hatred of the truly bold idea that politics should be the work of everyday people and that power should not be concentrated in the hands of a few.
I created these political cartoons to express my feelings about the current situation in Ferguson, MO. I am a native of St. Louis, by way of East St. Louis, Illinois, a community that mirrors Ferguson in it's racial and socio-economic climate.
When my sons got their driver's licenses, I wasn't worried about the high cost of auto insurance or what car was best for them. I was terrified of what they would experience driving while black. It was time for "The Lesson" on how to survive when stopped by police.
In the past, if you needed a loan for your car, home improvements or to consolidate your credit cards, you would need to get dressed up and head down to the bank to beg for money. The Internet has made things a little easier.
The news accounts in recent weeks are tragically similar, from Los Angeles to Staten Island to Ferguson. Unarmed black men killed by police. But four years before anyone knew where Ferguson was located on a map, there was the fatal shooting of Danroy Henry Jr., known to his friends and family as "DJ."
There needs to be an organized national movement that proposes and lobbies for policy changes in law enforcements that need it and then in the state legislatures, Governor's Mansions, and Congress. Let the deaths of Martin, Garner, Bell, Grant, and countless others not be in vain.
Kevin Sorbo's rant about Ferguson and... American history in general (I can't say "African American" anymore, according to Sorbo) doesn't really deserve a response.
I hope every Black leader, parent, grandparent and preacher will mount a united and irresistible voice to end the structural exclusion of millions of children from the education and other opportunities required to keep them from dead-end lives.
In August 1964, mourners sang "We Shall Overcome" at the memorial services and funerals for Andrew Goodman James Chaney and Michael Schwerner, three civil rights workers murdered in Mississippi. Fifty years later, it is still being sung at services and protests in Ferguson, Missouri.
The U.S. criminal justice system is built on the premise that one size does not fit when meting out justice. An individualized sentencing practice is key to a fair and just sentence.
For all those who loved "Big Mike," and all the other unnamed youth who have died to "justifiable" or "legal interventions" by law officers and know that Ferguson deserves change: be inspired -- register and vote for justice and for the fulfilled promise of peace.
In addition to concerns in Ferguson about lost learning time educators have a more urgent worry: making sure students who typically rely on school meals don't go hungry.
I am praying today, with my hands raised high, for a nation in which black boys are not feared, a nation in which they also need not fear for their safety.
Fourteen years ago, a then-15 year-old Monica Denise Arnold burst on the music scene in 1995 with her 'Miss Thang' debut – making history as the youngest singer to ever have two consecutive chart-topping hits on the Billboard Hot R&B Singles chart.
And since then, she's had her fair share of ups and downs.
Today, her personal and professional life are on display with a new BET reality show, titled 'Monica: Still Standing.' The mother of two sat down with the BV Newswire to chat about where she is in her life and how she was talked into putting her life on display for the world.
"As artists, the media glorifies what happens to us, but they don't tell the kids how we made it through," the Atlanta native said "This show altogether was a blessing...it will encourage the kids to keep pushing through trials and tribulations."
The 'Don't Take It Personal' singer said that she never thought about having a reality television show, but is "excited and grateful" for the opportunity to tell her story and reach people.
And although she and Keyshia Cole are friends and even recorded a song together, Monica clarified that 'Still Standing' will differ from 'Keyshia Cole: The Way It is.'
"Keyshia is a really dear friend of mine and we have a lot of similarities and we also have a lot of differences too, which makes our shows independently great," she said.
She rattled off a few of the key contrasts between their BET programs, "My family comes from the country in Newnan, GA and are all extremely close. My first cousin manages me. I have two children,"
Separate from the personal differences between the two entertainers, it is clear that the timing of Monica's new docu-drama series comes on the heels of the Grammy Award-winner's musical comeback of sorts. Her last album, 2006's 'The Makings of Me' included the hip-hop friendly 'Everytime Da Beat Drop,' which remains her least successful single to date.
Now with her upcoming fifth album, which is due in stores this Dec., the 29 year-old is hoping to return to her R&B roots.
"People want to hear music of substance from me and they still want to hear me sing, that was the only error in that particular album. I still appreciate the million people who bought that CD. It didn't do what the other CDs did, but it was a good learning experience," she noted. "Now, what I do is, if I don't feel it, then I don't record it."
Her J Records release, also titled 'Still Standing,' includes a song produced by Polow Da Don and featuring T-Pain, which she described as a track "about a guy and girl that were in a relationship and now that they are apart are critiquing the other person's mate." Included on the album is also a ballad called 'Here I Am,' that Monica says is "more true to who I am." She's also hoping to release a song with her fiancée and the father of her two sons, 'Umma Do Me' rapper Rocko.
Ultimately, Monica said wants the world to know that she's survived the difficulties of the music business and hardships in relationships, but she is here to stay.
"'Still Standing' is two words that if you put them together signify strength and I wanted that to be the basis of the show. I don't want them to feel sorry for me or like I'm the victim. I would like for them to see what I have learned as I've grown. I understand the mistakes I've made and I've moved on and that's where my strength comes from."
"All I can do is focus on being Monica the person and Monica the artist, and conveying that through my music."
'Monica: Still Standing' airs Tuesdays at 10 PM on BET.