BLACK AMERICA: STOP RIDING FOR CREEPS

  January 15, 2016 I keep trying to avoid wading into the morass of the Cosby debate, but two things keep drawing me back – attitudes around women and male leaders within the African American community. People keep comparing Cosby to Charlie Sheen and Woody Allen. I’ve even seen a meme with George Washington that made me want to pull out my hair. Cosby actually has more in common, though, with Clarence Thomas. Remember him? Before he was t...

Practicing What I Preach: My Black Boy Reads!

Practicing What I Preach: My Black Boy Reads!
I will treasure this image for years to come. My husband and I are standing with our youngest son, Amiri, who took home the trophy for having the most Accelerated Reader points for the entire 3rd grade at this school. It was a triumph for our family and, I pray, a sign of things to come for my son. That trophy, medal, and certificate means that we have, at least momentarily, defined the odds. You see, in the nefarious school-to-prison pipeline, l...

REVERBERATIONS OF AN INCOMPLETE REVOLUTION

It seems that the University of Missouri is now, for a second time in a century, serving as ground-zero for change in higher education in the nation. Nearly 80 years ago, in 1936, Lloyd Gaines sued the state of Missouri after being refused admission to the School of Law at the University of Missouri because of his race. The U.S. Supreme Court famously decided in Gaines’ favor in their 1938 Missouri ex rel. Gaines v. Canada decision ruling that it was a vio

She has issues, but Rachel Dolezal is not the problem

I sincerely believe that Rachel Dolezal has psychological issues. However, at this point, I am less interested in her than the debate about race and identity that she has sparked. (1) Black folks' furor is out of proportion. This is ONE woman. Judging by the level of some of the outrage, you'd think that there was a secret army of white women climbing through our windows at night and stealing our hot combs. We know this chic. You see her at the family r...

Can Live Oak Overcome Its History of Racism?

I grew up in Live Oak, Florida, and go back to visit my family several times a year. My roots in the community run deep. That’s why the racism experienced by the group of high school students and their chaperones at an Econo Lodge in my hometown, a story that has gone viral on social media, is so painful. The account given by the group from Flint, Michigan, who were on a college tour, details being called “n*ggers,” told to stay in their rooms, and expelle...

Throwing Shade: How Black Women Use Humor on Social Media to Deflect Pain

It started as I pondered Black Twitter’s response to Starbucks’ #RaceTogether campaign, a well-intended but clumsy foray into America’s racial morass. The poorly conceptualized initiative spawned a hashtag of its own: #NewStarbucksDrinks. It captured the ridiculousness of discussing serious racial issues—police brutality and marginalization—over a cup of coffee. Hilarity ensued. https://twitter.com/brokeymcpoverty/status/577689333647454208 https://twit

The Fallacy of ‘Black on Black Crime’ Ulterior Motive Revealed [Part 1]

MIAMI — When little Marlon Eason, 10, was shot and killed near his Overtown home while doing what children do, social media lit up with complaints about the black community’s silence and its failure to take to the streets in protest. The ten-year old was chasing a basketball when a bullet struck him in the head, fatally wounding the youngster who attended a charter school blocks away from his home. Just miles away, Richard Hallman, 16, met the same fate-th

The Four Cs @ Nob Hill Elementary School

The Four Cs @ Nob Hill Elementary School
Big thing popping in Broward County! The Broward County Teachers’ Union invited me to Nob Hill Elementary School for a literacy program designed around Junebug and the Gumbo Garden. In the proceeding weeks, nearly 200 4th and 5th graders at the school had been reading the book and I was coming in to discuss it with them.                          

It was a great afternoon at AARLCC! (June 7, 2014)

It was a great afternoon at AARLCC! (June 7, 2014)
The African American Research Library and Cultural Center (AARLCC) in Fort Lauderdale holds a special place in my heart. I can still remember my first visit, just a few years after it opened in 2002. I was blow away by the architecture, especially the incorporation of African symbolism and art. One of the first things I noticed on the horizon was the Adinkra symbols on the exterior as well as the interior of the building. In the years since my first visit,

Career Day @ Collins Elementary School

Career Day @ Collins Elementary School
I had a blast at Collins Elementary for their annual Career Day. Sometimes going into a school as a visitor for a program can be a harrowing experience, but the staff and teachers did a wonderful job of coordinating the event and making all the guests feel welcome. I spoke with 4th and 5th graders about my work as a historian. Now, not many of them raised their hands when I asked them if they liked history, but that gave me the opportunity to discuss w...