I need to know that you are not merely worried about this most tragic of worst case scenarios befalling my son; I need to know that you are out there changing the ethos that puts it in place. That you see this as something that unites us as mothers, friends and human beings.
Over the years, the startling consistency of the manner in which I am addressed while he is ignored has become a quasi joke between us.
No one who cares about the death of Michael Brown, or the scourge of police brutality, can ever choose not to vote, again. Period. Not only did people die so that you could vote, people die because you do not vote.
The central tenet of reproductive justice is that every woman has the right to have children, not have children, and to parent the children we have in safe and healthy environments.
Rather than spending dollars on drones and other questionable, expensive military equipment, it is time that local law enforcement officials shift those resources toward training on how to more effectively engage their local communities, especially young people of color.
Ferguson was not just an event in which police overreacted to heated demonstrations; it's a symptom of a generalized hatred of democracy in this country -- the hatred of the truly bold idea that politics should be the work of everyday people and that power should not be concentrated in the hands of a few.
I created these political cartoons to express my feelings about the current situation in Ferguson, MO. I am a native of St. Louis, by way of East St. Louis, Illinois, a community that mirrors Ferguson in it's racial and socio-economic climate.
In the past, if you needed a loan for your car, home improvements or to consolidate your credit cards, you would need to get dressed up and head down to the bank to beg for money. The Internet has made things a little easier.
There needs to be an organized national movement that proposes and lobbies for policy changes in law enforcements that need it and then in the state legislatures, Governor's Mansions, and Congress. Let the deaths of Martin, Garner, Bell, Grant, and countless others not be in vain.
Kevin Sorbo's rant about Ferguson and... American history in general (I can't say "African American" anymore, according to Sorbo) doesn't really deserve a response.
The news accounts in recent weeks are tragically similar, from Los Angeles to Staten Island to Ferguson. Unarmed black men killed by police. But four years before anyone knew where Ferguson was located on a map, there was the fatal shooting of Danroy Henry Jr., known to his friends and family as "DJ."
When my sons got their driver's licenses, I wasn't worried about the high cost of auto insurance or what car was best for them. I was terrified of what they would experience driving while black. It was time for "The Lesson" on how to survive when stopped by police.
The U.S. criminal justice system is built on the premise that one size does not fit when meting out justice. An individualized sentencing practice is key to a fair and just sentence.
For all those who loved "Big Mike," and all the other unnamed youth who have died to "justifiable" or "legal interventions" by law officers and know that Ferguson deserves change: be inspired -- register and vote for justice and for the fulfilled promise of peace.
In August 1964, mourners sang "We Shall Overcome" at the memorial services and funerals for Andrew Goodman James Chaney and Michael Schwerner, three civil rights workers murdered in Mississippi. Fifty years later, it is still being sung at services and protests in Ferguson, Missouri.
I hope every Black leader, parent, grandparent and preacher will mount a united and irresistible voice to end the structural exclusion of millions of children from the education and other opportunities required to keep them from dead-end lives.
In addition to concerns in Ferguson about lost learning time educators have a more urgent worry: making sure students who typically rely on school meals don't go hungry.
I am praying today, with my hands raised high, for a nation in which black boys are not feared, a nation in which they also need not fear for their safety.
There's an increasing number of black actors landing choice roles on daytime soaps. And they're not serving anyone, playing anyone's best friend or struggling in secondary roles.
From the Hubbard family on ABC's 'All My Children,' the Evans clan on 'One Life to Live' and the Winters family on 'The Young and the Restless,' the actors have primary parts and are showcasing their skills.
Take Julia Pace Mitchell, who plays the feisty Sofia Dupre on 'Y&R,' the former right-hand woman to billionaire Tucker McCall and fiancée of Malcolm Winters.
In the few months that Mitchell has been on the show, she's shown toughness and vulnerability. Her performance has garnered an NAACP Image Award nomination for outstanding actress in a daytime drama series. And we are rooting for her.
As the daughter of actress Judy Pace and actor Don Mitchell, and stepdaughter of baseball great Curt Flood, the Los Angeles resident definitely has the genes to make it in this tough business.
"I've always been an actor," Mitchell told BlackVoices.com earlier this week. "That's been my trade. I was in the theater in New York. I've done Broadway, lots of regional theater and then my first feature that got a lot of talk was 'Notorious' where I played Jan. I was Biggie's baby mom. I've always pursued my love for the arts. I've been dancing on the table since I was little. That kind of thing."
Between filming 'Faster' with Dwayne Johnson and doing theater in Los Angeles, Mitchell found herself a steady gig where audiences can see her blossoming skills. BV recently caught up with Mitchell. Excerpts from the interview are below.
It's very rare to see a casting call for a black actress to be on a soap opera. How did you land the gig?
Julia Pace Mitchell: Honestly, I was just as surprised when I got the audition because a lot of times, from my type, you don't even get the opportunity to audition for soaps. So at first I was like, "Really? Okay." Then I went in, and I kept getting called back, and it kind of clicked for me on the third time that I might really have a chance to book this job. I was so grateful that CBS opened a door for me to be able to represent a different kind of woman on the soap. They have, I think, five or six actors under contract right now.
Prior to your casting, were you a fan of the show?
JPM: Oh, I was. My sister was an even bigger fan. She was like, "Oh, my God!" She was telling me the whole Neil and Malcolm back story, so she talked me through it. I'm a really big fan now.
How would you describe Sofia?
JPM: I would say that she's actually been changing just in the seven months that she's been on the air. I hate to use the word "bossy," but I definitely think that she's bossy. She's a big boss. She's running things in her relationship and in her business life. She recently got fired from the company, but I think she might be trying to get her way back into her job through her relationship with Tucker. I'll describe her as sensitive. A lot of black women on television get to play one note a lot. Either you're sassy and bossy and that's it. But you get to see Sofia's soft side with her fiancée.
You get to act with some veterans who have been in the game for more than 20 years. What's the joy of learning from Stephen Nichols, Kristoff St. John and Darius McCrary?
JPM: The one thing that I can say about Kristoff is that he will be acting so silly and playing around right before the take and as soon as it's time to shoot, he just drops into his character so fast and is so professional that he's like a completely different person. His personality is very different than Neil's and it's just really great to see him transform. I've been soaking it all up. It's really an honor to be a part of it and bring what I bring to the group.
Besides this group of guys, 'Y&R' has also brought other new blacks on the show with the casting of Angell Conwell and Evan Parke.
JPM: Yeah, and the funny thing is that Evan and I met just the other day in the dressing room. I hadn't seen them at all because we live on two different sides of Genoa City. Hopefully our stories will start to intertwine a little bit, but I can't give too much away. Angell is just beautiful.
Your story line is starting to grow, which is great because in a short period of time you've been given a lot to do.
JPM: Things have heated up a little bit between Sofia, Malcolm and Neil. Me and Malcolm are on the outs, and that's all I'll say.
Your parents are well known for the work they've done. What kind of influence did they have on?
JPM: My mother has been super-supportive. My sister has been super-supportive. Basically it's just a business. It's like the family business. It's not a hobby. This is what we do for a living. So the level of respect for it. I'm not really a partier or hanging out too late when I know I have to shoot the next day. I take it just like my job, and I've always had that respect for it. Even my stepfather, he played professional baseball – Curt Flood. He looked at his job in the same way. He said, "I have to put on my costume." That was his baseball uniform. It was about the business of playing baseball. So, everyone is an entertainer.
Looking at your background, I see that you are one hard working woman! How do you find the time to do films and theater?
JPM: This year I have decided not to go on the road. It's the first time since I was 16 that I've been still, and that I've been in one place for this long. I haven't done any other projects in a while. I'm doing the show and my play that I wrote, 'The Hills Above the Hood'. I decided I'm just going to chill out and focus on 'Y & R' for as long as they'll have me. If anybody wants to let CBS know they're happy about having all of us brown people on, they can go to CBS.com and send letters and tell them because I really do think that they listen to the fans.
Congratulations on your recent nomination. Are you excited about the Image Awards ?
JPM: I am so excited. I'm very excited that I get to meet all the other nominees. I don't know what I'm going to wear. It's like every young actress's dream to get to put on the beautiful dress and just be recognized for the work.
What do you tell your actor friends who are still looking for work and may want to consider doing soaps after seeing the success you've had so far?
JPM: I'd say the average things, like get an agent, send in your head shot and resume. For any person, I would say study your craft. When I was auditioning, I started watching the shows on YouTube.com. When you're audition for 'The Young and the Restless' it's different than when you audition for 'CSI.' TV shows have styles, and you have to kind of learn the style that you're going in for.