Lisa Durden has blazed a trail in news with her intelligent, straight-talking commentary. Raised in Newark, New Jersey and a proud graduate of Seton Hall University with a degree in journalism, Durden is a subject matter expert on many issues that include social justice, politics, women’s issues, education and race. Durden also hosts “The Lisa Durden Show,” which can be seen on Newark, NJ Cablevision, channel 19, at 6 p.m. each Tuesday; Manhattan Neighborhood Networks, channel 56, at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, and online.
What has motivated you in today’s cultural climate?
Social media today has increased my profile and the need for information to be disseminated to our community. The issues that affect us are many such as Black Lives matter and the attack on the organization. As well as issues
As a Black woman, what obstacles have you faced on your road to success?
This would be a long answer. But essentially it boils down to opportunity. I attended Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ where I majored in Journalism. But it was not automatic success. I had to build up the name brand of who Lisa Durden is and what she has to say.
Are conservatives afraid of Black Lives Matter? If yes, why do you think this is a case?
Yes. They are afraid of Black Lives Matter and they are trying to label the group as a hate group. But Bill O’Reilly and Elisabeth Hasselback, I’m ready to take you on. The way individuals are trying to portray Black Lives Matter is part of the same racism that has confronted our people for the last 400 years in this country.
Even for Ben Carson to say that a Muslim should never be President is an outrage. He’s saying to little children [ages] 7 and 8 that they can never achieve the highest office in the land because of their religion. What kind of foolishness is that? For a man who is a doctor, raised by a single mom and has had a book and film done on his life it is a shame to see these thoughts coming from his mouth.
What do you think will be the potential impact of Min. Louis Farrakhan’s “justice or Else” rally?
I think the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March will make an outstanding statement regarding Black unity and confronting the issues that still face our community. People talks about Min. Farrakhan and misrepresent his call to action. He did not create the situation. He did not gun down 9 people in church, nor is he responsible for the police brutality against Black people like Sandra Bland. But now here we are demanding action.
Do you feel that some people find the “or Else” a threat? Why is that?
Hell yeah. It’s a threat!! Minister Louis Farrakhan wants “them” to know it’s a threat!! He’s saying that this movement rally called “Justice Or Else” is about bringing the nation’s attention to the injustices perpetrated upon black people in this country based on race, and if nothing is done about it, he is promising to take action!! And action is exactly what has been missing!! I’m loving the “or Else” part. He’s making it very clear that this 10.10.15 rally in Washington DC on the 20th anniversary of Million Man march is not about talking, it’s about making deliberate moves!!
Not selling lip service! But be real clear, NO, the “or else” does not mean he will insight violence!! Minister Louis Farrakhan is not, nor has he ever been violent!! But, it is about STOPPING the violence that our people are facing at the hands of cops and monsters like Dylan Roof, when no one else seems to think our lives matter. So I’m loving the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, now I’m gonna add my new fav to the list, hashtag #JusticeOrElse!!
The social and economic condition of Black America is diverse. We are given images of rich rappers, athletes and celebrities who have made it. But we continue to see poverty, violence and social ailments that have plagued our community for decades. Why is Black imagery still so askew morally, financially and politically?
Once again this is due to racism. They always give us one example of success to follow, but there can only be one Oprah or a Tyler Perry. The vast number of people have to continue to struggle confronted with the remaining vestiges of slavery and white privilege. I have never received my 40 acres and a mule and I sure could use it right now to make a change not only for myself but for our people as a whole. We have had to suffer unfairly and these conflicting images serve as an example that we confront every day.
What book is currently on your nightstand?
I am reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, a book that Oprah Winfrey talked about on her program. I am intrigued by the main characters struggle and the places that he is taken to as his life is changed. I’m a lot like that I’m constantly trying to better myself through positive change.
What are three things Black people should do to maintain cultural awareness?
Be consistent- Stand by your beliefs and be steadfast
Read– We must constantly improve our understanding of our situation and what we have to confront.
Take Action-It does not matter if you can’t be at every march but contribute to the struggle. Whether it means taking food to an event to make sure people are fed are speaking out on social media Blacks folk must take an action.
What final words do you have for our readers?
Live and take action on your dreams while you’re young and cute. If you have a dream you must follow it in order to be successful. Whether it is to be a professional dancer or a lawyer the time to do this is when you’re young and cute.