Black by Popular Demand – Activist by Choice

Tag: #BlackLivesMatter

SandraBland

Failure to Comply

As featured on Medium. On July 10th, Sandra Bland was pulled over by an officer for failure to signal a lane change. By the end of the hour, she would be arrested. By the end of the day, she would be in jail. By next week, she would be found dead in her own cell… Read More ›

Bernie Sanders

You Can’t Break What Ain’t Fixed

As featured on Medium To liberal white Americans, Bernie Sanders represents the salvation of the American Dream. In a time of staggering inequality, the only independent Senator in America — and quite possibly the only self-identified socialist — feels like a dream candidate. His pedigree standing up to powerful interests is perhaps the most impressive of any American politician,… Read More ›

MLK2

All This Has Happened Before, And All This Will Happen Again

As featured on Medium On August 9th 2014, Michael Brown was shot by a police officer, sparking a national conflagration which has been burning brightly since, casting light on the anti-black violence endemic to American white supremacy. His name was emblazoned into the minds of black Americans of all walks, but particularly young black Americans,… Read More ›

sandra

The Soul-Crushing Nature of Systemic Racism

In the news that we’ve seen as of late, you could stand there, surrender to the cops, and still be killed. Those are the chilling words of Sandra Bland. Upon her death, many leaped to defend her legacy against the verdict of suicide, asking: Why would a young woman with a new job and so… Read More ›

cagle

Out with the Old, in with the New

  Normally, I write about the troubling: the regressive, the oppressive, and the status quo. But in the last week, another force has prevailed: progress. On the one hand, in South Carolina, the shooting of nine African-Americans in a traditional black church by a white supremacist left Americans in shock. However, this was far from… Read More ›

Ye

Unapologetically Black – Kanye West as Philosopher, Prophet, and God of Self-Love

Kanye West “ain’t even supposed to be here”, and he knows it, even if it was Jay-Z who said it. Like most successful black Americans, his story begins in adversity. One of his early hits, “Through The Wire”, was recorded through his recently shattered jaw — still wired shut — just two weeks after the responsible car crash. It… Read More ›

A Boston Tea Party for Black America

Wherever black Americans congregate to protest racism, from Ferguson to New York to Baltimore, one series of criticisms crops up again and again: There is no need for protests to turn “violent”. The rioters are preventing peace from returning! Why would they destroy their own neighborhoods? These critiques are rooted in a fundamentally misguided notion… Read More ›

blacklivesmatter-cover

Surprised by racism? You shouldn’t be.

The scene is all-too-familiar; I am united with friends around some game or movie or conversation of ultimately trivial import when a lull creeps in. The energy drops, and everybody leans back, silent and contemplative. After a moment, somebody – invariably white – pinches a joint between two fingers and raises his arms in a… Read More ›

Cops-1

The Subtle Racism of “Post-Racial” Activism

My bus is all but parked, its frame quivering and growling as the engine idles. I look up from my book at the packed seats around me: an array of glowing white faces in the dark of night. Two white faces talk across the aisle a few rows in front of me, one pale to… Read More ›

15thamendemnt

When Not All Lives Matter

Many people, when confronted with ideas like feminism or “Black Lives Matter” will respond as though offended. “Shouldn’t we,” they will say, a slight smirk on their lips, “instead of calling it feminism, call it humanism? After all, all people face issues in their life.” The sentiment is very easily articulated, and seems so simple… Read More ›