This year, no one is safe when it comes to the ridiculous onslaught of ignorance about to people of color. Whether it was the media, celebrities, or members of our own community, the backwards advice and excuses for the degrading of our people was annoying.
Even if we ignore black women's grinding poverty, the sky-high rates of HIV infection, and the disproportionate incarceration, the fact is nearly half of all black women have been sexually coerced by the age of 18.
Know the balance between deference toward authority and personal dignity. At times, you will have to exercise restraint in the face of humiliating circumstances. At other times, you will be compelled to take a stand. Both options require courage, but the outcome is unpredictable.
In the collections of Philadelphia's Independence Seaport Museum is a large, leather-bound ledger. Old, unassuming, and rare, its now-faded pages document business transactions that took place almost 250 years ago
Self-defense is murder when you're a transgender woman of color. According to an Aug. 22 Facebook post by trans-rights activist Channyn Lynne Parker, Eisha Love defended her life in the midst of an alleged hate crime in late August and now faces a 10-year sentence for attempted murder.
The disadvantages that Black boys bring to their schools aren't corrected in K-12 classrooms, they are furthered. As they get older, they are continually marginalized in their schools and societies.
Ever wondered what it's really like to be a part of New York Fashion Week? Or better yet, to be a model at New York Fashion Week?
While the NFL's handling of domestic abuse cases is being scrutinized, and folk are calling for Goodell's job, the league's inquiry skills concerning other sensitive matters is also worthy of further review.
The messages we convey to students matter. They are deeply embedded long after they leave our classrooms. As we begin this school year, let's make sure we choose the right message.
As we witness the drug and criminal justice policies of the "greatest democracy in the world" lag behind those of an ever expanding list of other countries around the world, more and more are coming down on the right side of history.
The publishing industry can't solve this problem, but the relative lack of children's books by and about people of color nonetheless functions as a kind of "symbolic annihilation."
This school year, don't leave out the pep talk about grades and their futures and blah, blah, blah. But, make sure they understand that your love and pride aren't contingent on anything other than the fact that raising them is the greatest privilege you'll ever have.
Growing up, I learned that African Americans do not publicly discuss or "put our personal business in the street." Depression has traditionally been an unmentionable subject in the African-American community. I have experienced debilitating bouts of depression since I was about 15 years old.
The stark and wildly diverse perceptions that white and black Americans have of the crisis in Ferguson (and on race in general) is crucial evidence that the racial divide in our nation is still considerable.
Minority students typically do not have the opportunity to study a language much less study abroad. They face financial barriers, to be sure, but also cultural ones. For a young person who has never left his or her zip code, much less flown on a plane, going overseas is a daunting consideration.
Ferguson is one of those situations that forces us to reevaluate where we are as a people, as a culture, as a society and what things need to be improved.
I used to be one of those people who didn't understand the threat of climate change. I wondered, "Why should global warming matter to me?" When I learned what a warmer world would look like -- especially for people of color and low-income communities -- I was terrified.
With sensual tales that would make the author of the Kamasutra blush, not only does Zane pen her own books, but she publishes other authors under her own banner, Strebor Books.
One of the world's premiere dance companies, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, will team with Bristol-Myers Squibb pharmaceutical company for a new Worlds AIDS Day initiative.
"Fight HIV Your Way" is a contest designed to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and inspire people affected by the disease to continue their fight.
The 10 first-place winners, who will be announced in July, will be the inspiration for a new dance performed by the troupe. The company's new artistic director Robert Battle, who will take over the role from Judith Jamison July 1, will choose a renowned choreographer to create the piece. It will debut during Ailey's New York City Center season in December 2011and continue to be performed as part of a 2012 national tour.
Jamison announced the contest in conjunction with the start of the season.
"Today, as we open Ailey's New York season celebrating 50 years of Alvin Ailey's inspiring 'Revelations' and announce the launch of the Reyataz "Fight HIV Your Way" contest, the poignancy of this date couldn't be stronger. We lost our founder, Alvin Ailey, to the disease 21 years ago on Dec. 1, 1989," she said.
The beloved company founder got his start on Broadway as a dancer in Truman Capote's 'House of Flowers,' and in the late 1950s, began choreographing work that explored the black experience. After appearing in the acclaimed film 'Carmen Jones,' the Texas native founded his modern dance troupe in 1958 and enlisted big-name dancers such as Katherine Dunham and Ted Shawn and choreographers like George Faison and Talley Beatty.
His most famous dancers were influenced by social protest and the black church, and his popular performances featured Negro spirituals and music from jazz great Duke Ellington.
Ailey died at Lenox Hill Hospital in Harlem at the age of 58 of a terminal blood disorder, which was the result of complications from AIDS.
Jamison added, "Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is proud to be paying homage to the thousands of individuals fighting HIV their way and look forward to unveiling this original collaboration next year."
National Minority AIDS Council and actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, who does HIV awareness through her annual concert 'Diva's Simply Singing' and her one-woman show 'Sometimes I Cry,' is also excited about the contest initiative.
"Dance is a transformational visual art that has the unique power to unite diverse audiences," she said.
"Bristol-Myers Squibb's Reyataz 'Fight HIV Your Way' contest provides people with a channel to express how they fight HIV their way. This year, with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's involvement, the photos and essays will, literally, move and continue to provide courage and strength for others with HIV," the 'Dreamgirls' star added.
People are being asked to submit their stories through a photo and essay to www.fightHIVyourway.com through Feb. 28.