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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,.
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.
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.
The HARPO chairman, who is celebrating her final year of 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' was the night's last recipient to take the stage.
In her rousing acceptance speech, which brought the crowd to its feet, she thanked her close friend and conference organizer.
"I share this Minerva with my dear friend Maria for embodying and creating and manifesting in her own life the truest meaning of Minerva," she said. "We, all of us, in here all of us speak your name – we speak your name 'Maria Shriver' and we thank you for all of this."
She continued, "We thank you for bringing us all together for bringing us all to this family of women in one space to enlighten us and encourage us to keep on striving to keep on standing to keep on climbing to keep on working to keep on questioning to keep on searching to keep on supporting one another to keep on fighting to keep on hoping to keep on laughing to keep on dreaming to keep on giving to keep on being the best of who we are, and to keep on sharing the best that we have and the best that we have to offer with each other and to keep passing it on."
Winfrey advised the women in the audience to learn how to use their power.
"Every time you get talked about, you turn your head and keep on strutting, and you get a little stronger," Winfrey shared. "What I know for sure is it isn't enough to be powerful, but to know how to use that power" whether within the home, neighborhood, school, workplace and elsewhere.
O'Connor, 80, also engaged the crowd when the first woman to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court, joked, "what you are seeing at the moment is probably the first and last time an unemployed cowgirl will receive a Minerva award."
First Lady Michelle Obama was also present and addressed the sold-out crowd briefly showing her admiration for the strength of military wives and the need to support military families.
"The truth is that there is so much more that each of us can do -– and should do -– right in our own communities," Obama said. "Because it's not enough just to be proud. It's not enough just to feel grateful. It's time for each of us to act. It's time for each of us to be an architect of change for these families in whatever way that we can."