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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
Hip-hop royalty is returning to Broadway.
Following in the same vein as Russell Simmons' Tony Award-winning turn with 'Def Jam on Broadway' and Sean 'Diddy' Combs' big splash in Kenny Leon's revival of 'A Raisin in the Sun,' ShaFelawn "Jay-Z" Carter and Will Smith and wife Jada Pinkett Smith are taking on the Great White Way.
Contract talks have been going on for weeks between the hip-hop and Hollywood A-listers and the 'Fela!' creative team, and today, Richard Kornberg, Billy Zavelson and Tommy Wesley officially announced that the trio has joined the production team of the musical, which chronicles the life of African musician and political activist Fela Anikulapo Kuti.
The glitzy partnership will hopefully bring in the same star power that Oprah Winfrey's name did for 'The Color Purple' in 2005.
Late last year, The Roots drummer Ahmir '?uestlove' Thompson appealed to 200 of his entertainment industry colleagues via e-mail blast to attend the sold-out limited run of the off-Broadway musical
"It's uncut. It's true to the vision. It's amazing! There is no option. I expect death to be the only reason why you did not see this production," he wrote in his letter.
He closed the plea with: "Get off your ass and see this now."
Now that the show is headed to Broadway, it has been given an $11 million makeover and is set to open at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on Nov. 23.
Beloved Tony Award winner Lillias White joined the cast as Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, the late Afrobeat legend's mother.
And when Sahr Ngaujah -- who mastered the complex lead role when the show debuted off-Broadway, last year -- isn't working his magic on the masses, Kevin Mambo (right), a two-time Daytime Emmy Award winner takes over the role.
Thompson, whose reach has only expanded since The Roots became the house band for Jimmy Fallon's late-night television show, continued to make an impassioned plea for more of his celebrity friends to invest in and support the show, and it seems his calls have been answered.
The addition of Jay-Z and the Smiths could boost ticket sales, which have been reportedly low thus far.
"My job is to be the mouthpiece that can at least catch the ear of a power player for Hollywood and the industry," Thompson, who is also a producer on 'Fela!,' said.
Getting Carter, with whom he has collaborated with, to give 'Fela!' a chance wasn't too difficult a task, thanks to the interests of the Brooklyn MC's superstar wife.
"This play really hit Beyonce in the gut, which in turn really hit [Jay-Z] in the gut, and he was excited about it."
Alicia Keys was also confirmed to have seen 'Fela!' at Thompson's urging.
Similarly, hip-hop star K'naan, who says "Broadway will never be the same now," after having an early look at the show encouraged Mos Def -- who starred in the critically acclaimed play 'Topdog/Underdog' -- and Nas to check it out.
The show's lead producer, Stephen Hendel, said that "these prominent celebrities are also approaching us because they want to be involved in bringing something important and new to the culture."
As previously reported, Tony Award-winning choreographer Bill T. Jones serves as the show's creative force.