I've greatly enjoyed my time, but I no longer wish to put my body at risk for the sake of entertainment. I think about the rest of my life and I want to live it with much quality. And physically, I am grateful that I can walk away feeling as good as I did when I stepped into it.
The uproar over high-stakes testing associated with Common Core in New York State and complaints that children are being tested on things they were not taught, has obscured the deepening of racial, ethnic and class divisions in education in New York and the United States.
I've read and heard so many accusations against the LGBT community by the religious right that I've now come to the conclusion that these folks are just sloppy with what they say. Seriously, it's as if they don't care that eventually someone will demonstrate how incoherent their claims are.
Google "coming of age movies" and you will find that the stories our culture says define coming of age are those like The Sandlot or Superbad. For boys of color there are far fewer, but some: Cooley High. Boyz in the Hood. School Daze. Try Googling "coming of age movies for girls" and you'll find a lot less.
Years from now we will know that we stood on the right side of history.
So then this new idea came along. Since we can't get rid of it, since we can't let it go -- let's embrace it. Let's reinvent it. Let's endear it. Well folks, we've had our little experiment and let me just tell you, it's failed miserably. Yes miserably.
Facing the horror of slavery is a tough nut to crack not simply because it entails facing an inconvenient truth about past racial dehumanization, but because it entails facing the real truth that slavery still corrodes in big and little ways American life.
When I saw 12 Years a Slave, I found myself squirming in my seat. I was seated between two white men, one my friend and the other a stranger. Now that all the Oscar fanfare is over, I'd like to call attention to Lupita Nyong'o.
Imprinted within our psyches is the notion that success is something that should be visible. Until recently, it has had a rather distinct look to it.
With the "My Brother's Keeper" initiative, President Obama is leveraging the power and influence of his presidency to address barriers to success facing boys and young men of color. It is a vital step in the continuous journey to help America heal from the legacy that limited opportunities for centuries.
Last week, President Obama unveiled his My Brothers Keeper initiative one day after the anniversary of the murder of Trayvon Martin and as the nation still grapples with the hung jury on the murder charge in the Michael Dunn case,.
This week thousands of parents and students marched to save their schools and fight for the right of every child to receive a quality education. The march was in response to the mayor's newly announced charter school co-location policy.
On its face, sure, the President's initiative seems small. In fact the $150 million that has already been invested in the program could probably go a long way to improving circumstances for male youth of color in Chicago alone. But it is a step in the right direction.
Seventeen-year-old Theresa Tran is one of this year's winners of the Children's Defense Fund-Ohio's Beat the Odds® scholarships after overcoming tough odds including physical disability, the death of a beloved sibling, and a father who suddenly abandoned the family.
Since her brother, Michael Jackson's untimely death on June 25th, Janet Jackson has been virtually quiet about his passing. In a candid interview with ABC's Robin Roberts, which aired last night, Janet opened up about what she misses most about Michael, who she thinks is responsible for this death, and how she's coping with the loss her big brother.
In a testament to Michael's influence on her as a performer, Janet credited him for helping her to attain sass as a young performer. "He was like a director in a sense. We were very close. He helped me with all of that."
In a poignant moment in the interview, Roberts asked Janet whether Michael was in denial over his drug use, to which she replied, "I wish he could answer this question for you and not me."
When asked who she thinks is responsible for her brother's death, Janet replied that she felt Dr. Conrad Murray was to blame. "I think he is responsible. The truth always prevails."
Murray, Michael's personal physician admitted to administering the potent anesthetic drug Propofol to the music icon, but denied any wrongdoing. He has yet to be charged in Jackson's death and the manslaughter investigation remains ongoing.
On how she's coping with her big brother's death:
"A day doesn't go by that I don't think about him. I feel like my phone's going to ring, and I'm going to hear 'Donk, it's me'."
In addition to talking about Michael's passing, Janet talked growing up as a Jehovah's Witness, life as a performer, her relationships with Jermaine Dupri, Rene Elizondo, and James DeBarge, whom she called "her first love," her battles with weight, and plans for the future.
On her relationship with Jermaine Dupri:
Though she admitted that the two are no longer dating, she stated, "I adore him. We're still very good friends to this day."
On whether she's single:
"I am single. I've just been into my work."
On her struggles with weight:
"There were times when I was teased when I was younger. And it affected me a great deal."
On the future:
"I'd love to have a family. I'm in a different space. There's a lot that's going on. Alot that makes you think."
Check out a clip from Janet's interview with ABC at BV's Daily Drama,