This past weekend, on the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March, thousands of people gathered in the nation’s capital once again to join forces, hearts, minds, and above all else, to demand justice in a country where many people of color face injustices on the regular. This wasn’t a violent protest, this protest didn’t result in dead bodies, property damage or anything of the like. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Positive people of color in abundance–a sea of brown as far as far as the eye could see. Yet, the media coverage was scarce. Why is that?
This week, Janelle Monae and newcomer Jidenna led a march protesting police brutality in Philly. Now, Monáe and her Wondaland Records crew have released “Hell You Talmbout”, a powerful protest song, featuring the entire Wondaland roster (Monáe, Jidenna, Roman GianArthur, Deep Cotton, St. Beauty, and George 2.0).
The Power of the Hashtag–
“You don’t do shit but TWEET,” one angry social media user wrote, accusing Deray McKesson of being all bark and no bite. By now, most of us know Deray as a young, passionate activist who shares his experiences on the front lines of the movement via Twitter, daily. Over the course of a year, Deray has managed to become somewhat of a Twitter (and real life) celebrity, acquiring over 200,000 followers and counting (Beyonce’s one of them).
If you don’t know Deray, you may not be following the news close enough. He basically lives on CNN. The young activist, a former school administrator, quit his job and set out to stand up against injustice at the hands of the state nationwide. Named one of Fortune’s “World’s Greatest Leaders”, Deray McKesson has made an indelible mark on history and continues to do so through his tireless work. But today, when I opened my eyes and logged on to Twitter, I was surprised to find that Montel Williams, of all people was up in the middle of the night, sending nasty tweets to Deray for no damn reason.
John Legend has gained much respect over the years for his artistry. The award winning singer/song writer never disappoints when it comes to his music. Recently, Legend has used his platform to speak out against police brutality, and has been very vocal about racial tensions in America. Now, stepping in to an Executive Producer role, Johnny boy is taking things a step further with a new film that will be airing on HBO on May 18th.
I don’t know about you guys, but I’m tired of the Black men and women in our community becoming hashtags. I’m reaaaally sick of us having to scream justice for Mike, justice for Trayvon, justice for Tamir, justice for Marissa every time we turn around. We need a break. I’m tired.
The age old debate about whether or not Black people should day the “N Word” has resurfaced once again. This time, it’s been dug up by none other than CNN’s Don Lemon. Lemon, who’s had his Black card revoked a very long time ago, thought it would be good to spark this debate on national TV once again. Last night, Lemon, conservative Ben Ferguson, Marc Lamont Hill, Morehouse professor/political commentator, and Atlanta rapper Trinidad James got together to talk about the issue one mo GIN’.
Starbucks is the most popular global coffeehouse chain in the world. There are millions of people who can’t even start their day without stopping at a Starbucks on the way to their 9-5. But it looks like customers may be getting more than they paid for (which is hard to imagine) when they step into their local Starbucks this week. They may be asked to engage in a really uncomfortable conversation about race, and THAT is something I think most customers could actually live without.
When unarmed teen Mike Brown was gunned down by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Mo., there was an international outcry demanding justice for Mike, and people like him. After the unjustified fatal shootings of Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, etc etc, people everywhere were looking for a way to express their hurt, to express their pain, and to show their solidarity. Ray Mills and his good friend Londrelle Hall found a particularly unique and admirable way to channel their feelings about the death of Mike Brown. These two Atlanta natives and founders of “Run For Justice” made the decision to run from Atlanta, GA to Ferguson, Mo., until they reached the destination where Mike Brown had been slain.
In light of the recent findings by the Department of Justice, deeming the Ferguson Police Department corrupt, as well as the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday”, which many know as the March on Selma, I thought it appropriate to talk to one of our generation’s Freedom Fighters. Though, during our interview, he didn’t give me the impression that he thought of himself in that way, in my mind, and in the minds of many others, he has certainly made a major contribution to our nation’s history, and our continued struggle for equality and social justice.
Check out my interview with Ray Mills below: