And Malcolm X stands for self-empowerment. He is proof that anyone, even those who have fallen far, can free himself. You just have to work harder. That's why his spirit is very much still alive in the whole wide world even 50 years after his death.
The demands for justice in Ferguson, coupled with the recent speeches by New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton and FBI Director James Comey, are indeed reasons to keep hope alive!
In the basement of St. Louis' Saint John's United Church of Christ at the end of the Labor Day weekend, Yates recounted almost a month's worth of harrowing encounters with a militarized police force to a room of Black Lives Matter freedom riders. She woefully explained that as the days bled into one another, she began "marking days by police tactics."
These are women with family-friendly brands. They have made their livings online by being noncontroversial and avoiding the icky parts of life -- the icky parts that I love to dive into head first. But there they were, chiming in and telling me of their own fears and worry, thus mitigating my own ache.
The beautiful 18-year old Disney starlet Zendaya looked absolutely ravishing at the Acadamy Awards in her satin ivory Vivienne Westwood gown and her elegant dreadlocked hairstyle. But Giuliana Rancic of E! Fashion Police did not agree.
Though it has a shorter legacy than the U.S.' month set aside to honor the achievements of people from the African Diaspora, those in the U.K. also use various mediums to educate the public on the African-Caribbean community.
On the one hand, many would argue that with the first black president in office, it is Martin's dream that has been realized. Yet, on the other hand, with endless wars abroad, increasing police brutality at home, and a society more divided than ever, it is safe to say that Malcolm's critique of -- and challenge to -- America has never been more urgent.
I was truly disappointed to see that a woman could go out of her way to say something so ignorant about another woman. I would hope that a woman who has been given a platform where she can speak her mind would want to use that platform to empower women not tear them down.
As we end Black History Month, let's celebrate our accomplishments and add to that list an 18-year-old girl who had the confidence and courage to address insensitive, stereotypical remark of ignorance head on.
if black children were reminded, for more than 28 days, that kids like them grew up and achieved their goals in the face of adversity and discrimination, these children would experience the same encouragement any white child feels when looking at the histories of their studies.
In the midst of these projected possibilities, one thing is certain: the power of Hip Hop is immense and unwavering. But, how the art form is used from this point forward will determine the type of power we truly want to have.
There is no evidence that the FBI, other intelligence agencies, or the NYPD had a direct hand in Malcolm's murder. But it can't be totally separated from the well-documented, savage war that the FBI waged against black organizations and black leaders, including Martin Luther King Jr., during the 1960s.
There are aspects of ourselves that we are encouraged never to reveal; but I'm not a unicorn. I'm a man. I'm a black man. I'm a black male teacher. I'm a good, queer, black male teacher who is not quite as good when I feel it must be kept a secret.
Now, perhaps more than ever before, black people are joining forces and standing up for their rights and recognition. Yet, there is still disharmony within that same united front when it comes to accepting our transgender brothers and sisters.
Locks are an unapologetically black hairstyle, from their origins to the growing process. And while natural black hair has been put down for hundreds of years in the United States, Zendaya Coleman was showcasing pride.
Now, I like hip-hop, but I don't love it. I mean, I like hip-hop lite. I don't remember how I ended up with a Russell Simmons audiobook, but it was divine. Surprisingly, Simmons spoke about his journey into yoga and meditation.
Just like Seinfeld's comedic line, "Not that there's anything wrong with that," when referring to homosexual behavior, "Is it racist," has become the new tagline to uncomfortable words ushered between people.
A multi-cultural group of retired and former police officers met with Rep. Jackson Lee of Texas to share and discuss their varied personal experiences with regard to institutionalized racism and the unnecessary state-sponsored murders of all Americans.
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.