We now all have the chance to examine the evidence -- released last night -- in the grand jury's decision not to indict white police officer Darren Wilson, who fired multiple bullets into Michael Brown. But the verdict on America's criminal justice system is already in for many Americans: guilty, for treating young black men differently than young white men.
Dear Justin Simien, thank you for your film Dear White People. Oh sure, it was a bit critical of race relations. But it was smart, funny and energetic. The movie could have been even more trenchant. But it didn't exactly tiptoe through the minefield either.
If you've ever experienced a sense of euphoria after paying off your credit card in full or purchasing a piece of furniture that finally completes your living room, you know that our relationship to money isn't just a purely economical one. There's a big psychological component, too.
Revealed was a layer of understanding for why Nas is loved and respected so much. The creativity, awareness and intelligence that flowed out of him, at such a young age, while growing up in his environment with limited resources, is definitely nothing short of genius.
Deep down, whether I want to admit or not, I know the truth. The racism that James Baldwin knew and ultimately made him leave the country isn't really gone. It's just changed its form.
Dear Dr. Cosby, I grew up in the 1970s and 1980s and am one of your children. Of course, not one of your biological children, but rather one of the millions of kids who were Black, Brown, urban, middle class or any number of diverse upbringings who were deeply influenced by your shows and your comedy.
Some of us will spend the most time we've ever spent all year round in our kitchens basting, chopping, stirring and hoping that it all turns out well. I thought I'd whip up some dos and don'ts for both hosts and guests.
As we entered the 21st century, America continued to grapple with the issue of why race is still an important element in our society. Events in Ferguson, MO, remind America that we slowly need to confront the issue of race, and it becomes quite clear that race still matters in America.
Last week The New York Times published "The Case for Black With a Capital B," an op-ed by Professor Lori L. Tharps. I congratulate her for opening a conversation that is long overdue, a conversation that goes to the heart of how a large group of Americans with the most difficult of histories has struggled to express itself and gain greater agency in American society.
My brother and I accepted our mother's version of the affair that produced our sister with few questions, even though Lydia looks completely different from the rest of us. Mom is a long-legged Latina, but my brother and I take after our father. We're both tall blonds. Lydia is petite and cinnamon-coffee dark with tightly curled blue-black hair.
Growing up in the inner city of Philadelphia, being raised in a single parent home didn't make you stand out. In fact, before my parents divorced, I was an anomaly among my friends: their fathers didn't live at home with them.
The only thing left to do is to unite and use the power of our voices to make a difference. Instead of using violence, use your voice to stand up for injustice in the world. Form collaborative partnerships within the community that can truly make a difference.
History is repeating itself. Whatever happens now has already occurred in different spaces, times, and to different peoples. I liken the experiences of black people in America to that of the Israelites.
The tragedy of Michael Brown's death, unarmed and shot by a member of the Ferguson police, is now followed by the tragic failure of the local courts to force the policeman to stand trial. This cannot stand without a measure of accountability. And on that score look no further than the prosecutor's office.
The convenient spectacle of "violence in the streets" obscures the perpetuation of "structural violence" everywhere.
There is no script for what to do with our students in situations like these, but I do believe that more than anything else, they need to feel loved and cared for. I ask that, regardless of how you are feeling, we all work hard to maintain safe spaces in our school and show each of our students how much we love them and care for them and that we want to keep them safe.
To understand this moment, we have to understand that Ferguson is yet another unraveled thread in the closely woven fabric of racism that has cloaked this country for 500 years.
As a white woman, I am not constantly required to evaluate what an interaction with a police officer could mean for me. I am not required to consider that it could be a potentially life-threatening situation. In fact, I am taught that they are here to protect me. Michael Brown did not have that same luxury.
Since making a splash ten years ago in the hit Showtime series 'Soul Food,' Boris Kodjoe has made a conscious effort to shake his sex symbol status and be taken seriously as an actor.
Though the 37 year-old German-born hunk still has his fair share of magazine covers, including this month's issues of Essence and Men's Fitness, respectively, with his new star role on NBC's new 'Undercovers' he's hoping that people are finally recognizing his talent as an actor.
"It's flattering, but its nothing I can take credit for," he explained to BlackVoices.com during a break in shooting this week.
"Over the past few years, it's been more of a hindrance in that I had to really work ten times as hard to establish myself and prove to people that I'm more than that," he continued. "Sometimes, I think the sex symbol thing is overshadowing the fact that I've worked my butt off. I can't worry about how people perceive me."
Kodjoe said being on Broadway in the Debbie Allen-directed 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof' boosted his credibility, adding that it was "an important stepping stone in that direction."
His new role as Steven Bloom, a former spy who comes out of retirement to solve a case, has been the perfect challenge for the former fashion model.
In addition to performing all of his own stunts, he gets to try out action, comedy, drama and a bit of romance -- something he said "keeps it exciting every day."
"Steven Bloom is probably closer to me as a person than a lot of the other characters I've played. He's a very worldly person, an athlete, he wasn't as far-fetched as other characters I played," Kodjoe said.
The father of two, who is married to his 'Soul Food' co-star Nicole Ari Parker, also revealed that 'Lost' creator J. J. Abrams did not seek out a black couple to play the shows leads.
"It was cast colorblind, it just happened to work out that way."
"J.J. just told me I was the guy for the part and that was really refreshing and traditionally that's not the case in TV and film," he added. "The world is multicultural and diverse but it hasn't been [shown that way on TV and film] in the past but it definitely is an important show because it shows that's what the world looks like."
And, although there's been speculation about whether 'Undercovers' can make it through the fall television season without finding itself on the chopping block, like the recently cancelled ABC show 'My Generation' and FOX's 'Lone Star,' Kodjoe isn't worried.
"I can't consume myself with the ratings because I'm not in control of it," he said. "We have a great show and we have to build our audience with a show that doesn't have an instant following like a 'CSI' sequel or' Law & Order' sequel."
"The network loves the show so hopefully they are going to give us a shot," he shared. "Our [debut] numbers at 9 million viewers [were] absolutely something to be proud of."
When he's not trapping the bad guy on the small screen, he's busy promoting his custom-made, yet reasonably priced clothing line, Alfa. And, he's very into being a father and husband.
"My wife and my kids are the most important thing for me in life," he beamed. "As long as I'm true to my family that is where my happiness and joy lies in life. Everything else will fall into place automatically," he shared.
'Undercovers' airs Wednesdays at 8 pm. on NBC.