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There is a reason Nina Simone’s “To Be Young, Gifted and Black,”  James Brown’s “Say It Loud! (I’m Black and I’m Proud)” and Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway’s “Be Real Black For Me” are treasures in the Black community. They are anthems extolling Black beauty, Black intelligence and Black self-worth. These musical love letters to…

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There was a time when the narratives of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement’s heroes belonged to us, Black people. After Dr. King’s stock went public in 1986, the first year of the national holiday, that all changed. If you want to witness the fruits of White supremacy’s labor, pay close…

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When customers enter the Heritage Café at 1849 East 79th St. in Chicago, they are immediately embraced by the beauty, intelligence, warmth and passion of Black culture: the art on the walls, the books on the shelves, the music in the air, and the conversations between patrons. Proprietors Dion and Colette Tasker Steele have carefully…

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I quote Wole Soyinka, August Wilson or Lorraine Hansberry because I will never accept the false premise and myopic perspective that classic literature only flowed from the pens of Shakespeare and those who looked like him. Authors from every culture, gender, and faith have created classic literature about love, pain, and the frailties of the human condition, but these classics have been ignored because Shakespeare’s acolytes aka junior high and high school literature teachers, continue to choose their Elizabethan God of literature over what is best for their students.

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black power fist

It’s not easy being pro-Black in America. On a daily basis, we are reminded of this nation’s disdain or disregard for our existence. Black folks have had to develop coping skills to maintain our sanity. Here are five rules I suggest for living a happy, productive, pro-Black life: 1) Pro-Black people should never go on…

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While I’m putting the finishing touches on this job description, I’m listening to Isaac Hayes’s Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic. Why? Because it’s one of those joints that oozes Blackness — the kind of Blackness often incomprehensible to White audiences. And trying to explain why one-third of the song is brother Hayes gruntin’, groanin’ and moanin’ over a funky piano,…

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In Nina Simone’s classic Four Women, she serenades her listeners with the external and internal struggles of being a Black woman in a White world. Simone narrates the lonely journey Black women must travel to maintain their spiritual, mental and physical well-being. For centuries, White society has attempted to nurture self-doubt and self-hatred in Black…

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Jim Crow never lied. Jim Crow promised colored folks death, injustice and the complete denial of opportunity and it delivered on its promises. The lies began when African-Americans were told Jim Crow had ended. With the “No Coloreds Allowed” and “Whites Only” signs no longer visible and the White Citizens’ Council meetings no longer publicly…

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At a young age, African Americans are encouraged to speak, dress and think like White Americans, preferably White Christian Americans. This road of assimilation is paved with smiles, rewards and pats on the back. The purpose of these accolades and kind words is to convince African Americans that assimilation leads to safety and success.

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The progressive movements that ended slavery; secured a woman’s right to vote; vanquished Jim Crow; and legalized marriage equality were neither led nor organized by nationally elected politicians. Those victories were made possible by activists, everyday Americans frustrated by immorality and injustice

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Racism is a Caucasian illness that people of color have been saddled with the burden of curing. For centuries, the spread of this disease has been meticulously planned and nurtured in churches, neighborhoods, schools and executive board rooms occupied exclusively by Caucasians. In those monochromatic spaces, there have always been Caucasians who knew the racist…

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Martin Luther King Jr. Day is America’s most important holiday. It is the only holiday in which America is forced to honestly assess its racial history. Dr. King’s life is a microcosm of how America deals with race. Because when you celebrate Dr. King’s fight for freedom and justice, it removes America’s cloak of moral…

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At the time, June 19, 1984, seemed like any other day in Major League Baseball. The Tigers, Angels, Phillies & Padres led their respective divisions. Thirteen games were played that Tuesday in the summer of 1984. What no one in baseball knew was that in New York City the eulogy for baseball in the African…

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  My grandfather, Levi Benjamin Daniels, lived by a strict set of rules that I became aware of on a ninety-degree summer day in Delray Beach, Florida. We were standing outside the local Winn Dixie grocery store when I noticed a man selling watermelon slices for a dollar. A number of people entering and exiting the…

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While the risk of sustaining a concussion and the cost of ensuring player safety may affect football participation, it will not affect its popularity. There is a strong possibility that middle class and more affluent families will direct their sons to other sports. Football could become a sport played mostly by the sons of economically…

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“They can’t treat us like second class citizens, hunt and gun down our Black children in the streets and expect to get our money too! I don’t support anyone who doesn’t support or care about my people.” –Imani Williams From city streets to university campuses, Black Lives Matter is confronting America’s White supremacy with the…

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As a seventh grader at George Washington Carver Middle School, I was more concerned with getting the attention of Rhonda Butler, Audrey Richardson or Pam Wyatt than participating in a class discussion about To Kill a Mockingbird. And like most 12-year-old boys, my idea of getting a girl’s attention equated to being a classroom disruption.…

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Educators are not raceless, genderless instruments conveying knowledge to raceless, genderless pupils; educators bring their culture, personality and life experiences to the classroom every day, as do their pupils. In fact, the most effective educators incorporate all aspects of their humanity into the academic experience and invite their students to do the same. This type…

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“I go to the cemetery twice or three times a week just to feel close to him. I am angry everyday. I am always asking God, ‘Why, why, why, why my son?” –Ebonie Martin, mother of Deonte Hoard The Black mothers’ burden is to live simultaneously with the overwhelming joy of bringing a new life…

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The Sunday mornings of my childhood were filled with the sounds of Mahalia Jackson, Andrae Crouch and The Winans. That soundtrack was the preparation for a day of worship at the Delray Beach Church of God. It was on those uncomfortable wooden pews that I learned about Jesus. I learned that Jesus comforted the poor,…

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