Fearing for your life every time you walk outside, every time you get behind the wheel, every time you see a police officer, every time you breathe, is exhausting. Living in a world in which your blackness and woman-ness makes you less than human -- a hypersexual, angry or subservient caricature, the constant target of catcalling, rape and assault -- is exhausting.
In order to truly make our communities safer, we must make sure that people who have served their time are able to fully and productively engage in our society -- whether through education or employment or some other constructive means.
My professor's perception was rooted in a common false meme that has followed black America since slavery -- the idea that we lack financial acumen, don't know how to build businesses, need to be told what to do with our finances, and are overly reliant on government handouts.
Wouldn't it be great to celebrate black people, just for being black? Nothing is more positive than flipping the script. Where there is oppression, we will uplift. And where there is hate, we'll inject love.
"He that is greatest among you shall be your servant." The late Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa, modeled servant leadership in action. His leadership focused on the importance of community-building and empowering others to lead social change.
During our weekend together, joy sat right next to pain, our celebration of life right next to our grieving of death. I left feeling affirmed and hopeful.
People of color are dying in custody on a regular basis in this country, but the clearest outrage is being directed against a lion dying at the hands of a hunter in Zimbabwe.
America has always relied on black forgiveness to absolve itself of white guilt. The Charleston massacre was no different. By choosing to highlight the forgiveness of the black faith community, they shifted the burden of responsibility onto the oppressed in a classic display of deflection.
The scarring of war and poverty and racism that Malcolm X spoke of continues. It's time that students learn about the long history of activism that has challenged these deadly triplets.
When I visited Christian Love Baptist Church in Irvington, N.J. on July 19 and heard Johnson speak, six years after her son's death, it wasn't a dramatization of events it was real life. A mother poured her heart out to a congregation, which understood her pain.
While access to culturally diverse providers is low, the cost of mental health treatment remains high, which serves as an additional impediment to bridging the gap between the onset of symptoms and accessing professional care.
When I went to South Africa in 2010 to lead a creative writing club for teenage girls, I made sure to emphasize that word: club. I had never taught writing before, didn't have a teaching assistantship as I earned an MFA in nonfiction. I would not be correcting their grammar, nor assigning homework. Besides, how could I persuade girls to spend their Saturday afternoons in a writing class?
I am sorry for having even an ounce of doubt because I did not want the legacy of America's dad being black to deteriorate. I apologize for being so obsessed with that legacy that it blinded me to any wrongdoing.
No one I knew ever trusted the police. We never believed that they were there to protect and serve us. This became abundantly clear when I was 14 years old.
Getting behind the wheel, Bland had three strikes against her. She was black, female and fearless, a combination that is antithetical to all the vaunted white-centered narratives of driving and freedom in the U.S.
While police brutality affects people of all races and backgrounds in the U.S., it's important to note that black citizens face a unique experience within America's criminal justice system, just as they've faced a unique state of affairs for centuries in the United States.
Dear fellow white feminists, we need to talk about Sandra Bland. More specifically, we need to talk about why we aren't talking about Sandra Bland.
Since seeing the Sandra Bland video, I've been asking myself what I would've done if I were in her shoes. In my mind, I hear my momma telling me, "That's why I always tell you not to talk back to authority."
The extraordinary writer, filmmaker, and professor is on a mission to reach all people -- many of whom may have never been introduced to the power of words, the power of literature.
Harvey's lawyer, Bobbie Edmonds, released a statement in response, saying they were "appalled and aware of the videos and other fabricated documents."
According to Edmonds, the videos "contained false, misleading, derogatory, disparaging, malicious, explicit and slanderous information," which led them to be "saddened" that Mary "has resorted to such devious and selfish behavior, with a reckless disregard for their minor son, her adult son and Mr. Harvey's other children."
He asserted that there are "court orders and permanent injunctions which prohibit either party from discussing and releasing information [about the marriage and divorce] on the Internet and to the media."
"We are taking the necessary legal steps to rectify this matter to the full extent of the law," he assured, "and we will be seeking contempt and sanctions against her for such reprehensible and callous disregard for the court orders.
"Mr. Harvey cannot personally respond to these assertions, documents and videos due to the existing court gag orders," the attorney concluded.
But the burgeoning media darling took to the radio airwaves this morning (Jan. 24) during a segment on his nationally syndicated radio program, 'The Steve Harvey Show,' to clear up any misconceptions. The show shared the taping exclusively with BlackVoices.com:
"I know the truth," declared Harvey to his listening audience. "But the matter is, the part that's hurtful in this is my wife and children had to be drugged [sic] into this. If you're going to be vindictive go ahead and aim it at me, but my son is coming in the room crying. And that's also her son. So why would you do this?
"And I don't even understand the purpose of it," he continued. "I mean, I got you mad 12 years ago, that's what we're doing now? And here's the thing that my father always taught me. He said, 'Son there's three sides to every story. It's their side, it's your side, and it's the truth.' And the truth 'gon come out. Because see, once you go public then you allow people to start asking some other types of questions.
"So, I'm just more concerned about my son, who I happen to have total custody of, rights to all education and everything. He's with us on the ship today. And he doesn't deserve to have to answer questions like this from his friends. And it's just being inconsiderate of your own child.
"A lot of it is lies, but ... a lot of celebrities get dogged out and pitched about and then there's no repercussions behind the person who's doing the pitching," Harvey lamented on the airwaves.
"Here's my job as a father to my son, I have taught him to be respectful of his mother and women overall. That's what I've taught him. What he can't do is see me going out making particular accusations and rants. It is still his mother and I'm his father," he continued. "And it's my job to raise him the right way. If I have custody of the child, which you have to wonder how that happened, then my job is to teach him by example. And he's crying through this whole thing because his friends called and his sister found it on the Internet at the same time. And it's just horrible. But it is what it is, I'm good. I appreciate all the support ... the people that's going to hate you they're just looking for something to hate you for anyway. You could do me all you want, I don't care what you say about me. But my wife and kids are off limits, I tell people all the time."
The multimedia personality went on to express his thoughts on his ex-wife's motives for bringing the accusations to light. "I mean it's simple, she's just keeping a promise that they made. 'I'm going to divorce you and I'm going to ruin you,'" he stated, referring to what some spurned spouses say during a divorce. "That's the promise that was made. ... But, Wynton's with us and he's doing well. If you want to pray for us then pray for Wynton. But things will be dealt with in the proper fashion this time. This time it'll get dealt with in the proper fashion."