POLICE BRUTALITY AGAIN… ***WARNING VIDEO CONTAINS FOUL LANGUAGE***

I typically don’t post videos with foul language on this site but… this is one of those instances that I want to show the raw, bitter, real truth as to what happens to individuals, typically black men still here in America.  The police are sure to say that there is something that we don’t see on the video.  Surely you can see from what the man is saying even before the main confrontation… he is minding his own business.  Is that a crime?  “This is what we have to go through in Cincinnati, harassment”  29-year-old Charles Harrell said. “You can’t be a black man and enjoy your morning, because the police are going to harass you in Cincinnati, Ohio.”  Filming his trip, Harrell recorded his interaction with police officer Baron Osterman, who can be seen trailing behind Harrell on a bicycle. Sharing that the police officer asked if he “had a problem,” Harrell noted that this was a normal occurrence in his hometown.

This is senseless and I am so happy that cellphone cameras are now available so that we can see firsthand the injustice that is done in this country.  This really makes me angry and I think that something needs to be done with the overzealous cops.  I’m not going to let this ruin my day but this makes no sense whatsoever!

 

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BLACK HISTORY MONTH REVISITED

This is one of those must watch videos. Meet 106 year old Virginia McLaurin. Mrs. McLaurin was born in 1910 when William Taft was president.  She was married at the tender age of 14 and widowed at 17.  She has lived through 18 American presidents.

Two years ago in 2014, McLaurin received an award in her hometown, Washington, D.C. for volunteering. She spends that time with students who have mental disabilities. When she was given the award, she indicated to a reporter that her one wish was to meet the President of The United States. It took two years but she was invited to The White House this year for Black History Month.

McLaurin was so elated to see President Obama and The First Lady that she broke out in a dance.  This is truly a Black History Moment.

“I always tell people, live the best they know how,” she said. “Don’t steal. Don’t cheat.”

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: LANGSTON HUGHES

The above poem is by Langston Hughes (February 1, 1902 – May 22, 1967). Hughes was a poet, playwright, novelist, and a social activist. He has a number of poems that are extremely outstanding including Ballad of the Landlord.
Listed below are just a few of the quotes he is known for:

1. What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up Like a raisin in the sun?… Or does it explode?

2. Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.

3. I have discovered in life that there are ways of getting almost anywhere you want to go, if you really want to go.

MEMORABLE MLK, JR QUOTES

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a leader who, like Mahatma Gandhi before him, and Nelson Mandela after him, showed us the way from weakness and division to strength in unity.

He challenged and inspired us to reach deeper within ourselves, despite ourselves, for our best, which sometimes is, simply, better than yesterday. His power endures because it’s rooted in the courage to hold hope and faith in each others potential: “knowing” we can do it… we can be better every day, each in our own way.

On this, the U.S. holiday celebrating his life and legacy, I present you with ten of his extraordinary thoughts on leadership:
•”A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.”

•”I am not interested in power for power’s sake, but I’m interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good.”

•”All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.”

•”Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

•”The time is always right to do the right thing.”

•”We must use time creatively.”

•”Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

•”The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.”

•”Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.”

•”The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”

THE DRUM MAJOR’S DAUGHTER: BERNICE KING

This is a video where Martin Luther King Jr.’s youngest child reflects on tragedy, fear and hope as she sits in the CNN Red Chair.   This video was originally published on youtube.com on August 23, 2013.

SHAUN KING – THE NEW RACHAEL DOLEZAL?

Do you remember the name Rachael Dolezal? She is the woman who was president of the Seattle, Washington NAACP. She garnered national attention when her biological parents told the world that she was white and not black as she had been pretending.

Let us fast forward to recent news and Shaun King. King has been a very noticeable face of the Black Lives Matter development since the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. King has been accused of not being black as he has claimed. After this information made the news, CNN’s Don Lemon reported that a “family member” had given information that King’s parents are both white. Is this déjà vu?shaunkingbaby                                     Shaun King as a baby (on the right)

The report mentioned a birth certificate obtained from the Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics that lists King’s father as Jeffery Wayne King, who is also white. King has fired back at these accusations by saying that he is in fact biracial. He has also defended his Oprah Scholarship to attend Morehouse College, a historically black school. He indicates that he did not lie about his race to obtain the scholarship.shaunking sophomore

Shaun King as a sophomore in high school

 

King recently addressed this entire situation by issuing the following statement:

I refuse to speak in detail about the nature of my mother’s past, or her sexual partners, and I am gravely embarrassed to even be saying this now, but I have been told for most of my life that the white man on my birth certificate is not my biological father and that my actual biological father is a light-skinned black man. My mother and I have discussed her affair. She was a young woman in a bad relationship and I have no judgment. This has been my lived reality for nearly 30 of my 35 years on earth. I am not ashamed of it, or of who I am—never that—but I was advised by my pastor nearly 20 years ago that this was not a mess of my doing and it was not my responsibility to fix it. All of my siblings and I have different parents. I’m actually not even sure how many siblings I have.

What do you think about this interesting story?  Why does race matter so much?  Is race the issue here?  When will all of this madness stop?                                          

                                           Shaun King’s wife and kids

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CHURCH MASSACRE IN CHARLESTON,SC

The senseless murder of nine black men and women, who were at a bible study, by a white male with white supremacist ties has sparked outrage around the country.  This horrific incident took place two days ago in Charleston, SC.  An arrest has been made but the name of the suspect will not be entertained on this site.  I am posting two songs in memory of the victims.  The songs are:  “His Eye Is On The Sparrow” by Lauryn Hill & Tanya Blount and “One Sweet Day” by Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men.

The names of the victims are listed below:

State Sen. Clementa Pinckney, 41, pastor of the Emanuel African Methodist Church, Cynthia Hurd, 54; Tywanza Sanders, 26; Sharonda Singleton, 45; Myra Thompson, 59; Ethel Lance, 70; Susie Jackson, 87; the Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr., 74; and DePayne Doctor, 49.

RACHAEL DOLEZAL RESIGNS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=b6_qKL1jROY

This lady did the right thing!  It is great that she has taken on the cause of Civil Rights, there is no question about that.  The question is:  Why the deception?  At this point, her continued presence would definitely be an unnecessary distraction for this organization.

Conversation about Dolezal as NAACP President has taken on a life of its’ own and has now gone international.

Her resignation in part reads as follows:

“It is with complete allegiance to the cause of racial and social justice and the NAACP that I step aside from the Presidency and pass the baton to my Vice President, Naima Quarles-Burnley”…….

“And yet, the dialogue has unexpectedly shifted internationally to my personal identity in the context of defining race and ethnicity”…..

On Friday, the NAACP had issued a statement of support of Dolezal.  Their statement indicated that they stand behind her advocacy record and that a person’s race does not qualify him or her from taking leadership roles within the organization.

RACHAEL DOLEZAL: UH OH… SHE LIED!!!

Rachael Dolezal

I think that the big problem for a lot of people is that she lied…

Rachael Dolezal is facing a boatload of questions because of a lie that she has apparently been telling for years.  And now she has been exposed by……. her parents.  For those that don’t know the story, Dolezal has made her way to become president of the NAACP in Spokane, Washington. Her  biological parents have claimed that she has been misrepresenting herself as a black woman when her heritage is in fact white.

I have spoken with a number of people who have differing views as to whether she should be able to keep her job.  The overwhelming consensus is that she lied and should be removed from the position because of it.

I read an interesting article on this issue by Alicia Walters on THE GUARDIAN.  I am posting the full article below for you to peruse at your leisure:

Rachel Dolezal is, after this week, a symbol to many African Americans of the separation of blackness from black people; to me, she is an example of how American society simultaneously devalues the individuality of black women and us as a community to the point that the performance of black womanhood is preferred over the people. If blackness can simply be worn or performed, then every white woman with a weave and a cause, every white girl with a snap and a little attitude, can supplant the lived experiences of what it is to become a black woman: the journey of discrimination, the camaraderie of sisterhood, discovering the deep sense of responsibility and weight of the world, and ultimately finding the inner strength and acceptance that can only be built through struggle.

Rachel Dolezal may have perfected her performance of black womanhood, and she may be connected to black communities and feel an affinity with the styles and cultural innovations of black people. But the black identity cannot be put on like a pair of shoes. Our external differences from the white majority might be how others categorize us as black, but it’s the thread of our diverse lived experiences that make us black women.

Dolezal’s specious claims to black ancestry and faux black identity could not have been sustained and she would not have been able to pass if black womanhood were seen and understood as more than skin – or weave – deep. Wearing black womanhood was apparently even enough for Dolezal’s “fellow” black leaders in Spokane, Washington, who turned a blind eye to what the wider world now recognizes as her all-but laughable claims of racial identity, whether out of fear of rocking the boat or plain Northwestern niceness. Her charade could have only been maintained in a town (and within a society) with simplistic, stereotypical conceptions of blackness – that blackness is a shade on the range on olive to dark chocolate, a set of idioms delivered in a cadence from which American English derives its slang, and any number of bodily characteristics or mannerisms familiar across the globe, among others. And yet, while black Americans have long embraced a diverse array of lineages as kin, simply looking the part and faking the rest doesn’t cut it.

Whenever I tell people that I grew up in Spokane – a city in which only 2% of the population was black – I usually neutralize their confusion with a joke about how I was one of about seven black people, and five of us made it out. You see, black people aren’t supposed to live is small towns in the Pacific Northwest of this country; blackness has been defined as an “urban” identity. But while the majority of black people in the United States do still live in the southern states, and concentrations of black folks outside the south tend to be around metorpolitan areas, neither fact accounts for the constant migration of black people toward economic opportunities, including to places like Spokane. Their migration to Spokane in particular may just have been the inspiration for the establishment of the original headquarters of the Aryan Nations 37 miles [60km] away.

I was born in the middle of Spokane’s first (and only) black mayor’s tenure: a celebrated leader who black people worked hard to elect, and example of “acceptable” black leadership, Mayor Jim Chase once told the local paper that he “never knew much discrimination in Spokane.” While that was perhaps true for him, it was not my family’s experience, nor the experience of the black people who lived through segregation through the 1970s in Spokane. Though segregation was no longer enshrined in law in the 1980s when I was growing up, black folks still lived almost exclusively on the east side of town and in the historical neighborhoods built for railroad laborers. My Midwestern white mother and black Puerto Rican father had moved to Spokane for college and defied the unspoken segregation by starting their family in a working class north side neighborhood away from the black enclave, but hoping for the best. My father left the picture shortly after I was born and my mother navigated the discrimination we faced in school and throughout town – I became familiar with the meaning of “nigger” quite early in life.

As one of just two black girls in my elementary school, my kinky-ish hair, brown skin, and athletic build were uncommon and, before natural hair was considered cute, little white girls would shame me about about the size of my “poofy hair”. Throughout elementary school, in the confines of my bedroom, I put champagne-colored slips over my head to mimic the straight blonde hair I thought I needed to fit in, and gently swayed it back and forth and dreamt of belonging – but I knew black girls could never be white. When I was 10, my father, to the surprise and disgust of my mother, took me to the JC Penney salon in Seattle (300 miles [482km] away) to chemically straighten my hair and get my eyebrows and upper lip waxed. The first black man in my life, and he taught me that being a black woman meant trying to conform to white standards of beauty.

But when I was 14, I gave up the relaxers and transitioned into rocking my natural kinky-ish afro. It instilled a new kind of confidence in me: I could not hang my head and wear this beautiful crown. My mother had not raised me to be an invisible, go-along-to-get-along gal, and, though I still harbored jealousy of my white peers with their incessant hair flipping, I decided to stand out instead of try and fail to fit in. I wore bright, creative clothing; I embraced my love of dance, of song, of sports, of speaking truthfully about race with little care for whether people attributed any of it to my blackness or to me. To be able to get to a place where I could be myself, I felt powerful: I wanted to do and be everything and, as I learned more about the history of the Atlantic slave trade, African diaspora, and white privilege, I wanted to tell these white people about themselves.

Realizing that I was hyper-visible and yet never truly seen, I started a club called Helping Overcome Prejudice Everywhere (Hope) with my brother. Each semester, my Spanish teacher would let me take over her class to lead my classmates through workshops on white privilege; it eventually became an established leadership course.

On the surface, I was successful, but I also longed for the recognition of fellow black people, including my few black male peers for whom I was seemingly nonexistent: all of them, including my brothers, were busy chasing the hair-flippers. We may have been teammates in track or they might’ve been my brother’s friends, but the boys who I thought would be my best chance at external validation as an attractive woman left me wanting.

In Spokane in general, I rarely saw black men coupled with black women; more than a few men in our small black community had white wives and girlfriends, while the black women always seemed to be single. Naive, I imagined that, on the tightly-knit east side, there were churches full of black women who were coupled with and loved by black men. But on the streets of Spokane, in the public spaces at festivals, in restaurants, and wherever else I looked, black and white men alike were always more interested in white women than women who looked like me; what I took from those years were that black women were far from desirable partners.

To be a black young woman in Spokane was, for me, to be rejected, isolated and left to find my own way. Becoming the black woman I am today was not about learning a performance, it was not about certain clothing or my hair texture; it came from first being a black girl, from the trauma of rejection and isolation and its transformation into a kind of self-taught solitary pride, from learning to preserve my own sense of true self.

Dolezal managed to put on an identity – that of a black woman – in a way that renders invisible the experiences that actually forged for us our identities as black women. She presented to the world the trappings of black womanhood without the burden of having to have lived them for most of her life. She represented us and gained status in both black and white communities as one of us, even though she could have worn her whiteness and talked to white people about their racism – something sorely needed in a town like Spokane.

Had she really understood the history of black women in America, Dolezal would have recognized that she is perpetuating a fetish for black women’s bodies that devalues actual black women while celebrating our parts when attached to the right (white) form. But she was not alone in this act of playing black and benefiting from it. Since black womanhood is apparently all in the look, our society would rather have white, former Disney pop stars twerk, talentless celebrities with enlarged backsides and their equally talentless siblings with swollen lips than celebrate the black woman’s form with the person who carries it. Black women learn that we are not desirable, that we are invisible, and yet we are imitated by the world’s Dolezals and in our popular culture. Little black girls like me could never have passed for white – and would’ve been ridiculed if we tried – but anyone with the right accessories can now seemingly claim to be black women when it suits them.

Spokane was, for once, perhaps just ahead of the curve: we might be moments away from declaring that simply wearing Black Woman is enough to be a black woman … or even preferable to it.

SERENA WINS 20TH MAJOR AT FRENCH OPEN

Williams says No. 20 was about as tough as any of her majors

Hours before American Pharoah ran his way into history with the Triple Crown, Serena Williams inched her way closer to history with her third time win of the French Open.  This was William’s 20th career major win and three major wins away from overtaking Steffi Graff as the best women’s tennis player in the open era.

Serena has had to fight off many opponents to get to this point in her storied career.

”It’s hard. I need to sit down and, like, rank them,” Williams told a small group of reporters Saturday evening after becoming the third player in tennis history to get No. 20. ”This is up there, because I was not at my best.”

She had even considered pulling out of this tournament due to an illness that left her coughing and throwing up during matches.  Williams had to come from behind (2-0) in the third set before taking the last six games.  In four of her other matches, she lost the 1st set before battling back to make it to the finals at Roland Garros.

”Down a break. Down a break. Down a break. Down a break. And I just kept coming back and I kept fighting,” Williams said, reflecting on her circuitous route through the draw. ”I just kept thinking, ‘I’m not going to give up. I’m not going to stop. I’m just going to do the best I can.’ And it just really kind of goes to show that old adage of ‘never give up.”’

If you’ve ever watcher her play, you know that she is a force to be reckoned with for many years to come.  For all intents and purposed, I believe, she is in fact the best women’s tennis player ever.  Only time will tell but from the looks of things, it won’t be much more time before we will know for sure.