The New Jim Crow: Our Role in Incarceration Nation

Michelle Alexander

Diane Lefer: Judge Gray referred to Senator Jim Webb of Virginia who, in looking at the entire criminal justice system in which we hold the world record for the number of people incarcerated, concluded either we are the most evil people in the world or we are doing something seriously wrong.

Black Women Jobless Rate

black woman applicant

Carl Bloice: Unemployment is up. Joblessness has increased for African Americans. Black women are being hit especially hard. The question now is whether the people running the country really care? And if they do, why are they avoiding the subject?

My Passover Odyssey

Ruth Broyde Sharon

Ruth Broyde Sharone: Perhaps the most memorable Seder I filmed, however, which ultimately had a profound influence on my life and my career, was led by a Black Pastor, Charles C. Queen, for 600 African Americans. “The Israelites were getting out of Egypt,” he intoned. “They were going to be free people!”

Ray-Ray, Boo, Chico, Pookie and Today’s Political Economy

black construction worker

Carl Bloice: ‘The president and his aides know that the G.O.P. approach to the budget is wrongheaded and destructive,” New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote March 11. “But they’ve stopped making the case for an alternative approach; instead, they’ve positioned themselves as know-nothings lite, accepting the notion that spending must be slashed immediately – just not as much as Republicans want.

Like Black Church, St. Patrick’s Day Parades Are Anti-Gay

irishneednot-apply

Rev. Irene Monroe: St. Patrick’s Day has rolled around again, and like previous March 17th celebrations nationwide, its LGBTQ communities are not invited. As a contentious and protracted argument for now over two decades, parade officials have a difficult time grasping the notion that being Irish and gay is also part of their heritage.

Cops Are Missing the Bad Guys While Profiling the Black Guys

Joe Morgan

David Love: Reading 12 Angry Men: True Stories of Being a Black Man in America Today made me angry, not because the subject matter was brand new to me, but because it was far too familiar – not only as a black man, but also as a human rights advocate who worked with police brutality victims and their families back in the 1990s, and decided to go to law school as a result.

To Be Atheist, Feminist, and Black

Black Woman

Sikivu Hutchinson: Sadly, there is still a fair amount of ignorance and bigotry toward black non-believers in African American communities due to the stereotype that atheists are immoral, rudderless, and not authentically black.

Womanist and Saying Who We Are

Pat Parker

Rev. Irene Monroe: The secular use of “womanist” is by African-American women who have either left the Black Church because of its gender bias and homophobia, or who do not come from the Black Church religious experience. These women use the term to identify a culturally specific form of women-centered politics and theory.

Finally, Black Civil Rights Movement is Dying

Rev. Irene Monroe: For many African Americans of younger generations, who are now the beneficiaries of the racial gains from the Movement, feeling the Movement’s’ slow death is like a welcoming boulder gradually being lifted from their shoulders, especially for those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer.

“My Daddy Is a Presbyterian Preacher”

Berry Craig: My town — and many more like it across the South and in border states like Kentucky — was deeply divided by the color bar. I didn’t see it because it didn’t affect me. Before meeting Cecil Horton, black people were invisible to me, as in the title of Ralph Ellison’s famous novel.

Should Kwanzaa Stay in Black Neighborhoods?

Kwanzaa

Rev. Irene Monroe: This Kwanzaa holiday, I’ll head out to the neighborhood store to purchase my red, black and green candles for the kinara, because I know that the strength of the U.S. economy is found in its multicultural small community owned businesses that reflect our nation’s diversity. And in so doing, I would also be honoring the fourth principle of Kwanzaa which is cooperative economics.

Black America Still Sees AIDS as a Gay Disease

Roslyn2

Irene Monroe: If black America were its own country, standing on its own like Haiti or Nigeria, black Americans would rate 16th with the epidemic in the world. And the epidemic is heavily concentrated in urban enclaves like Detroit, New York, Newark, Washington, D.C and the Deep South.

Color Blindness

interracial

Steve Hochstadt: Our nation also has far to go. Claiming that we are color blind, that whites no longer have privileges in America, that we need no longer worry about preventing discrimination is nonsense. One need only have observed the reception of our first black President to know how important skin color still is in America.