When the subject of a “Black agenda” comes up, it’s often presented as an ask rather than an explicit demand. Asking politicians what’s their agenda for Black America is totally different from proposing an agenda and asking politicians how do they plan to get it done. I recently visited the Museum of Civil & Human Rights in Atlanta, and there was something that stuck out the most. At the March on Washington exhibit, their demands were specific and immediate. Here’s a highlight of them:Continue reading
“…we tend to turn to the publications we trust more when news become more difficult to trust. And if those are the publications that we trust, it should look like the people whose trust we are asking for.” -Tressie McMillan Cottom on the Daily Show
The history of Black media has been rooted in the need for trust between the communicator and the reader. The Freedom’s Journal was a newspaper produced by free Black men, becoming a declaration against slavery. During this period, Black people were not only facing slavery but were also in search of a path forward after freedom. Distrust in the coverage of Black people by white-owned media during this period pushed two free Black men to create their own form of communication. Now, Black people are facing familiar and unique challenges via population shifts, climate change and workforce automation. Simultaneously, Black-owned and operated news platforms are becoming scarce. Where do our stories fit into these changing narratives? And who should we trust to tell these stories?Continue reading
Since the news of Aretha Franklin passing on to Glory, I’ve been listening to a lot of her music. I don’t know what it is about musicians passing away that immediately gets me to listen to their records nonstop, like it’s the last time I’ll ever hear it again. I know it sounds selfish, but it’s probably because I’ll never get a chance to hear that artist’s musical gifts again on a new joint. So, listening to a captured version of that person’s gifts from the past makes me cherish the time I had experiencing their gift.
Democrats are in a pickle, to say the least. It is an election year, and there’s much debate, particularly surrounding red state Democrats. Will they, or won’t they? Will they appeal to their base? Or do they believe their base will be with them no matter what? Should they show some concession to those who are not in their “base”? After all, they represent all of their constituents not just the ones that voted for them. All of this debate centered around the judicial branch of government—the part of the government that should be politically neutral. But we know that these lifetime appointments have a substantial impact, especially for Black people. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall represented that impact.
Let me tell you a story. The barbershop is the place where ideas swarm, from the hotep-ian and bizarre work of Tariq Pee-Peed to the great philosophical work of Big Neitzsche (no Larry Hover). Ideas vary from the purely foolish to the very necessary. Normally, I try my best to keep my opinions to myself, especially while in the chair. (You never know what the outcome will be. You can end up on with a 1999 Boosie fade or in a fist fight.) So, after waiting for Bibby, my barber, to get my fade tight, he tries to spark conversation. “It’s Martin Luther King weekend. You have any plans for the weekend,” he asked. “Nah, I’m resting.” He then yelled, “Martin Luther King is a BIIIIITTTTCCCHHH!” The remaining hairs on my neck rose as I tried to stay calm. “How the fizzuck are you in living the birthplace of Martin Luther King disrespecting the man’s legacy while you benefit from it?” He went on talking about how George Soros wrote MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech and how he set his people up by leading them into a “burning house,” a misconstrued interpretation of Dr. King’s last days. I left without giving a tip. And I spent the whole night contemplating. Should I continue to patronize his business? If I tried a new barber, I’d probably end up in the same circumstance. But worse—with a jacked-up fade.
Dear Tom Steyer,
I see your billion-dollar ads for impeachment, and I’m intrigued. What’s your motive? I know that you’re a smart business man and an environmental activist. Sure, there are other billionaires whose motives range from pure to illumanatic. And avoiding the George Soros conspiracy theories, you’ve taken a front-facing approach with a crystal-clear motive – impeachment. But why?
We live in a world of fabricated-fake outrage that is only appeased with more fabricated news or conciliatory prizes. The current president can tweet just about anything. Pocahontas is kneeling while burning a flag. Roy Moore isn’t as bad as R. Kelly. Tiffany Trump is my favorite child. All tall tales that suck us into Trump’s vortex of lies and deceit. And if we’re not distracted by a tweet, we’re distracted by the ongoing Russian investigation wishing, hoping, praying and conducting a séance, summoning the ancestors for any sign of impeachment. Yet, as always Black people find ourselves playing defense instead of offence with a strong strategy. And what are we left with? Temporary progress.
Full disclosure. I probably should read at least one Ta Nehisi Coates book. To the best of my knowledge, my first introduction to him was through Very Smart Brothers, as they delicately “dissected” him for being pretentiously loquacious in his writings. And like Panama Jackson, I have no desire to pay my money to read about something I already know.
Still nigga. Black people and capitalism has always and will probably forever have a tainted relationship. Our existence in America is the foundation for what makes capitalism great and what makes it a sin. Our ancestors were brought to this land because of free labor and production. It was the same motivation for why Africans sold us. As humans became barter for trade, this was the beginning of capitalism. (A painful history many of us want to ignore.) However, the color of our skin wasn’t the motivation for why our African owners chose to sale us as human capital. Race became an issue to justify and separate people of European descent from Black people and to further dehumanize us. Capitalism didn’t start racism. It fueled racism. But can capitalism end racism?
In case, you’ve been living under a rock. Atlanta is had a bit of a traffic nightmare. On March 30, I was riding home, and took the exit to I-85 N. Right, when I was about to pass the exit for Buford Hwy, traffic came to a halt. What appeared to be smoke coming from a car quickly blew into a whole fire causing the bridge to collapse. First, I thanked God that the cars ahead of me were at a halt, stumping my courage to pass through the smoke. Second, I was curious about what was the cause of the fire.