A hundred years ago, Martha died. At 1 p.m. on September 1, 1914, the last individual of a wild blue dove whose flocks once numbered billions and blackened the American skies for days fell over dead in her Cincinnati zoo cage.
Honestly, it seems like there is maybe one week of summer we can actually enjoy. I don't care if there is pumpkin spice lattes to be had and school supplies to be bought. Summer doesn't end for weeks. Let's stop rushing through the season.
It was worth the wait for Hillary Clinton to speak out. Clinton skipped the platitudes and echoed the uncomfortable truths that black men are routinely profiled, disproportionately pack America's jails and prisons, and get longer sentences than white males.
I watched the Minaj twerk fest once, and tears welled up. Not for joy. But because I remembered my mother and a whole host of proud black sistahs who fought sooooo hard to be something other than their asses.
If you're young, black and female, your identity might be a liability. Recent studies have proven that online dating can be tainted by racism.
Breastfeeding is our symbol to the world that I will make my best effort to commit to giving my baby the best first food possible, despite my circumstances. And if for some reason if I am unable to, then it was not for lack of trying.
The crime of killing someone is now turned into a battle of narratives where the only other person who could challenge the narrative is dead, and millions of people simply believe that the unarmed black man deserved his fate.
The cumulative and convergent toll of subtle, but discouraging, adult actions in schools and other child-serving systems they come into contact with too often impedes the success of children of color, especially those who are poor, and burdens them with an emotional toll they don't deserve.
While this was a controversy over a comic book character, it really played to a larger discussion on race-relations that continues to take place throughout most, if not all, of America. Why shouldn't a talented actor be considered to play a fictional character regardless of race?
The election of Barack Obama was the Lexington and Concord in the latest great battle of race in America. We are a nation at war with itself. For all of our desire to move beyond the narrow confines of many of the events of our tragic history, we cannot. The president's election gave new life to what had been lying dangerously dormant for the better part of 50 years.
It's impossible to delineate every way race affects us every day, but a cursory examination of major structural racial problems can give us a feeling for how far we still have to go.
"Mommy," he piped up from the back seat in his sweet little voice, "I don't like people who have different skin color than mine." My brain sort of froze, but I stayed on the road as I gulped in discomfort.
Investment types often trot out the cautionary phrase, "past performance does not necessarily predict future results." And for good reason. Clients must understand that their financial tomorrow is no guarantee. Yet when it comes to the question of whether we are doing enough to ensure that we won't outlive our resources in retirement, we can learn a lot from history.
Beverly Hills police and city officials predictably circled the wagon after news broke of the humiliating, embarrassing and potentially dangerous wrongful arrest of noted African-American filmmaker and producer Charles Belk.
Closing the achievement gap for minority students is always the topic of discussion and it seems to me that we have at least a partial solution right in front of us. Implementing year-round schooling will lead to minority students who are more engaged with their academics.
Let's get real, America. Only by acknowledging and dealing with the continued importance of race as a principal underlying cause of our deficiencies can we ever hope to deal with and resolve those defects in our nation.
Only by participating in the political process, building trust and cooperation with people unlike us, and using our smartphone cameras to expose official misconduct can we make America -- to borrow Dr. King's words -- be true to what we said on paper.
While music and art are entertaining, this is not entertainment. This is the residue of what I feel to be a spiritual and physical quest for a freedom that we can all share.
For some actors, stardom comes either on their very first film, which may have been in a blockbuster, or in a lead role. For others, fame comes gradually, after some growing pains and paying their dues in the business.
After appearing in small roles on sitcoms and films, such as 'Jarhead,' 'Stomp The Yard,' and 'This Christmas,' actor Laz Alonso finally got his big break when Spike Lee cast him opposite Michael Ealy and Derek Luke in the war film, 'Miracle at St. Anna.'
While the film didn't do big numbers at the box office, it was enough for Alonso to be seen in a bigger spotlight than his previous gigs.
As opposed to actors who entered the field through comedy or sports, the 36 year-old came through the finance world, when he left his job as an investment banker to take on a new challenge.
"Acting was always a part of my long-term plan, but my short-term plan was to become an investment banker, make a couple million bucks, and then finance my acting career that way," he told BlackVoices.com yesterday. "I won't have to sleep in my car and do all kinds of odd jobs. Once I was in the workforce and I was actually working on Wall Street I realized I wasn't going to be a millionaire in my first two years on Wall Street. That's just a ridiculous way of thinking, but at the time it sounded like a brilliant plan."
"Once I realized that was not going to be the case, instead of going to grad school and getting my MBA, which is what most investment bankers have to do as part of their career path, I chose to pursue art," he continued.
Within two years, former BET host turned movie star's fame would reach farther than he thought when director James Cameron cast him in the 2009 Oscar nominated film 'Avatar,' which ended up being the biggest grossing film of all-time.
After briefly appearing with Queen Latifah in 2010's 'Just Wright,' Alonso's game has reached a new level with an upcoming lead role in 'Jumping the Broom,' co-starring Paula Patton and Angela Bassett.
If that wasn't enough, hej ust completed another lead role on A&E Network's original scripted drama series, 'Breakout Kings,' which premieres March 13 and follows an unconventional partnership between the U.S. Marshals' office and a group of convicts as they work to catch fugitives on the run.
Also cast in the show are Domenick Lombardozzi, Malcolm Goodwin, Jimmi Simpson, Serinda Swan, and Brooke Nevin.
While his roles in films are getting bigger with wider exposure, the Washington D. C native didn't want to let a good opportunity pass by him.
"First and foremost I love this character. When I met with Nick Santora, one of the creators of the show, he really wanted to write him as Clint Eastwood-ish. The one cop in a town full of bad people, but he can get the job done, and that attracted me a tremendous amount. The fact that in order to do good things this guy may have to break a few rules is appealing. This show explored that a little bit. It's not a picture-perfect world that we live in on this show, and we're not a picture-perfect team, we mess up. We don't necessarily like each other the majority of the time. I think it's a really true portrayal of real life, it's not cookie cutter, but we figured it out somehow."
After playing a criminal in 'Fast and Furious,' the role of veteran U.S. Marshals Charlie Duchamp gives Alonso the chance to work on the "right side of the law."
"I would describe my character as the moral core of the group. You've got these guys and girls that are criminals who now have the opportunity to do the right thing but we still encourage them to think like criminals, because it's that very thought process that helps us catch people that are even worse than they are. Then you've got my partner Ray, played by Domenick Lombardozzi, who has a pretty dark past of his own. Even though he's a member of the law, he isn't the most upstanding member of law enforcement. My job is to keep the wheels turning without things falling apart, and with each episode it becomes harder and harder for me to do."
Along with the TV series, Alonso's quite aware of the the balance he has to maintain when it comes time to not only promote this show, but his upcoming film projects.
"Balance is definitely the biggest challenge," he said. "You definitely wear a lot of hats. Now I'm wearing the promotion hat where I'm promoting everything I've been working on.
"You got 'Breakout Kings' that premieres this Sunday on A&E at 10pm. Just a month-and-a-half later, Mother's Day Weekend, I have 'Jumping the Broom,' which is going to be in theaters everywhere. The work doesn't end. This is probably as long hours as being on set shooting, but I love it. I don't consider acting work 'cause I love it so much. There's a saying, 'If you love what you do you'll never work a day in your life again.' I really believe that. Even this part of the business is fun. I get to interact with fans, and I really get to feel that support that's so necessary for actors to get from their fanbase. I get to give back, interact, be acceptable, hear their opinions and respond. We do that a lot with this particular show on A&E ... People who love cop shows and crime shows are going to get more than what they usually get from procedural dramas."