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.
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.
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.
The BE MODERN MAN rally cry is "ITS OUR NORMAL TO BE EXTRAORDINARY". That is a very powerful statement. It is not our normal to be criminals, it is not our normal to be unemployed, it is not our normal to be below average, however, it is our normal to be extraordinary!
Dear Peace Officer, please hear my plea and the plea of the nation. Will you stop killing me? Will you protect and serve me now? #IAmHumanToo.
White people, no matter how nice, how good, how desirous of honest equality, can only understand so much of something they cannot viscerally experience. I know because I thought I knew... until I discovered how little I actually did.
Sen. Sanders, there is one issue that you must progress greatly on if you wish to become the president that America needs in 2016. That issue is racial justice. Saying that racism exists in your next speech or adding #blacklivesmatter to the end of your next tweet is not enough.
The abusive arrest and subsequent suspicious death of Sandra Bland is, tragically, far from an isolated incident. On the same day that the facts started to emerge about Bland, Kindra Chapman, an 18-year-old African American girl reportedly took her own life in an Alabama prison cell, after being arrested for allegedly stealing a cellphone.
Through deeply personal stories and reflections, Ta-Nehisi Coates's new book "Between the World and Me" provides essential perspective into a critical topic: violence against black people. The book's primary shortcoming is that it fails to offer any real vision or policy solutions.
Sandra Bland's death is a horrific display of how vulnerable black people in this country are at the hands of law enforcement, and how indelicately black lives are publicly scrutinized for character flaws when that vulnerability results in death.
Something seemed wrong about this situation. The officer said, "Give me your keys!" I said, "Why" but she ignored me. I still wasn't sure what was going on, I said, No. "Wrong answer" she replied. She snatched open my car door yelling, "Get the f**k out of the car" as she yanked me from my seat.
I attended yet another prayer vigil for an unarmed African American shot and killed by a police officer. No, I was not in Ferguson, Baltimore, New York, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Charleston or in the state of Florida. I was here in Memphis, Tennessee.
The dash-cam video of Ms. Bland's confrontation with a Texas State Trooper shows the demise of an American woman who posed absolutely no threat to anyone.
Audre Lorde's speech "Lesbian and Literature Panel" highlighted something I'd been considering for some time; the need to continually break my silence and give voice to the issues I am most passionate about: racial injustice and the marginalization of people of color.
and nothing brings death closer to a black woman's door than her/voice./and/nothing takes less time than a warrant for/black/death/on a road in /Texas.
Warwick, who began singing in church as a young girl in East Orange, New Jersey, referred to the famed musical venue -- located in the epicenter of Harlem -- as her "beginning."
"The Apollo Theater strengthened me to no end. It gave me the confidence -- you had to have it when you walked on that stage -- and as was said, when you walk on a stage that was graced by the legends," she shared. "I still have a lot to go. I'm working on it. I'm a legend-ette."
During her teen years, Warwick and sister Dee Dee Warwick formed their own gospel group, The Gospelaires and while visiting the Drinkard Singers (which included Cissy Houston) at the Apollo Theater she was asked to sing backup during a session for saxophonist Sam Taylor. And the rest is history.
Jackson, who was "discovered" at the Apollo when he opened for singer-performer Jackie Wilson, went on to sign with Motown Records.
The list of musicians that have graced the legendary stage reads like a Who's Who in Music: R&B/Soul, Jazz, Hip-Hop, rooted in the African continent and cultivated in the diaspora. Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown, Nat 'King' Cole, The Jackson 5, Sarah Vaughan, Lauryn Hill, Chuck Jackson, and Dionne Warwick are just some of the artists who are solidified Apollo legends.
Its mantra of being the place where "stars are born and legends are made" is true to form.
Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment is on view from February 8 through May 1, 2011 at the Museum of the City of New York.