Last Monday I was arrested in Ferguson, Missouri, along with dozens of other clergy, seminarians, and people of many faith traditions. As a white, middle-aged, married, mother of three and a rule-abiding Presbyterian, this was a new experience for me.
Fellow graduates of historically black colleges and universities, we can and must come to the aid of our institutions while there is still time to make a difference. Fiscal insolvency and the loss of accreditation are two insurmountable challenges from which I have not known any institution to recover. What follows are some concrete steps we can and must take to support HBCUs.
Even though there are a few ways you can try and accelerate the process, it takes time to build credit. Credit cards can be one of the best ways to do so, and if you commit to using them properly, it can be worth the time you spend strategizing.
I've never been very good at saving. I'm a spender -- shoes, trips, nights out, you name it. It's a fact that became especially apparent to me when I found myself saddled with $10,000 of credit card debt after graduating from college.
If scholars and adherents of Vodou are to be believed, consistent portrayals of 'voodoo' practitioners as barbaric, violent and most of all as African-American, not only influences public perception of our religion, but perception of African-Americans.
This is political gamesmanship of the lowest order, playing on media and public fears over a legitimate and terrifying health crisis, to again belittle Obama. And with the stakes sky high in the 2014 midterm elections, the dirty political pool by the GOP was totally predictable.
Dr. Gloria I. Joseph has a treasure trove of memories of the renowned Audre Lorde, her late partner. Joseph's long-awaited new book, The Wind Is Spirit: The Life, Love and Legacy of Audre Lorde, gives us a rare glimpse of Lorde, as told by people who knew Lorde or whose work was greatly impacted by her.
Back in 2009, I traced the then-new First Lady's family tree back four or five generations on all branches, but of all the ancestors I uncovered, it was a great-great-great-grandmother named Melvina Shields McGruder who captured my attention.
While it is true that, by far, the overwhelming percentage of black people in the South were doomed to spend their entire lives in slavery prior to the Civil War, it is also true that a small percentage lived as free citizens. And some were even able to prosper.
Vice President Joe Biden got the tongues furiously wagging again after a recent meeting with black ministers in South Carolina.
Being black or brown isn't the problem. Neither is my childhood dream of having a house full of black and brown babies. The problem is white supremacy. I don't mean the still-dangerous KKK or Aryan Brotherhood. The white supremacy I'm talking about is much quieter.
Bleak numbers surround the national high school dropout rate. Many of society's other problems -- like unemployment, poverty and overcrowded prisons -- can all be linked back to the individual decision to quit high school.
Here was a woman, a black woman no less, making tremendous strides in business in a time before women even had the right to vote.
The leadership dilemma for HBCU presidents is that of broadening access while also advancing high academic standards and strengthening outcomes. The data suggest that this will be a steep climb for most HBCUs.
So exactly how does one go from being a back-up singer for Mary J. Blige and Diddy to presiding over the hit TV judge show Paternity Court? If you're Lauren Lake, it starts with your upbringing.
During the Weekend of Resistance, activists joined many actions planned by the youth organizers. On Friday, October 10, despite an intense rainstorm, hundreds marched in Clayton, Missouri demanding that the county prosecutor step down.
Every student desires professors that understand and respect them, and minority students only want the same: Instructors who are trained to deal with cultural issues when they arise.
It's been said many times that having a low credit score can hurt your finances. In addition to the recognizable consequences, there are a few lesser known, but still hazardous, effects bad credit can have on you.
For Brooklyn-born Tionna Smalls, playing matchmaker to TLC singer Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas hasn't been much different from doling out advice to lesser-known women.
Smalls has been professionally giving her two cents to anyone who will listen for some three years now, and her new VH1 show is simply providing a different forum.
"I wrote an independent book called 'Girl Get Your Mind Right,' and I got an advice column at Gawker.com, but I don't consider myself an advice columnist," she told BV Newswire this week.
Smalls encountered a great deal of criticism for what she describes as not being "proper" enough while at Gawker, which eventually led to her column being pulled by the Web site's creator and managing editor, Nick Denton.
"People said I was faking it for the white people," she revealed. "Before I got that column, I went nine months without one check, so the first time I got a check I was not thinking about the ins and outs of the business [but], would I have done it the same way again? No, I would use less Ebonics."
She says people at Gawker became jealous of her popularity and that Denton canceled her column abruptly because he said the site wasn't "going in that direction anymore."
But where one door shuts, another one opens.
The Discovery Channel signed Smalls to a development deal and though it didn't pan out, VH1 called her last year to help find the Grammy Award winning former chart-topper a man.
"What people are going to like about 'What Chilli Wants' is [how] Chilli and I have different personalities and the difficulty is finding a guy that meets her standards," Smalls said. "A lot of times she is not over a lot of things with stuff in the past, but I can't judge her. That's what it is."
But things between the two women have been heating up – and not in a good way – in a very public forum. Smalls took to Twitter last week and indirectly lashed out at Chilli.
She wrote, "I may be nobody, but seriously, you're nobody either but a glimpse from Christmas past."
Smalls added, "You and I both know who made you relevant then dissed and dismissed your ass. I didn't eff nobody in the game to get to where I'm at."
When questioned about whether she was beefing with Chilli, she let loose: "Me and Chilli, we have two different personalities and sometimes in this business, older people feel like you should know your role. But what they don't understand [is] I am not going to change my attitude for nobody."
"I got over a few things over the past few weeks,' Smalls confessed. "I was not her friend before the show. I got to know her and she got to know me. People are making it a bigger deal than what it is."
And though she is staying mum about what exactly set her off to lash out at the person she's been advising on love, it definitely seems like their working relationship is over.
"I spoke to her after the show," she said. "That's it, and we aren't besties. We did our job for the show. This is what it was. I had to find her a man and she had to listen."
Ultimately, Smalls hopes that women with huge lists of what they want from a man understand that there will be some things that are more important than others.
"He could have a big ding-ding, but no job," she stated.
She also urges women who find a man they love to maintain a hobby.
"A lot of times, women get a man and lose their whole self. You got to keep yourself and a hobby. That's the main thing women need to do."
Smalls said she won't be playing professional matchmaker anytime soon.
"People are writing [me saying] they will pay me to hook them up," she laughed. "I'm not a matchmaker. I'm just trying to tell her real advice, but [maybe it is] something I should look into. They think I'm the black Patti [Stanger] now. "
In addition to building a new Web site, TionnaSmallsOnline.com, she's opening a "diva store" called Lovey's in Brooklyn, which will be filled with her signature hats, jewelry and bags.
Smalls is behind the scenes working on a few television ventures and plans to re-release her book 'Girl, Get Your Mind Right' with a major publisher later this year.