Reflections on Black History Month

march on washington

Carol Lutness: This is not just a struggle for the African American. It is a struggle for all but the very few. Never was there a greater crisis than we all face now economically, politically and environmentally.

What Good Is Black History Month?

obama tuskegee airmen

Sharon Kyle: I have this gnawing sense that with the exception of official national holidays, the only time our nation honors people with a special day or month is when they are members of an exploited group.

A Mother and Son Talk About Race in America

mother and son holding hands

Mom: Why do you think Martin Luther King made all those speeches? He would have accomplished nothing by not talking about race and the situation they were in. Son: Because 50 some-odd years ago the issue was awareness. Mom: The issue is still awareness, trust me.

America: The World’s Greatest Purveyor of Violence Today

american gun violence

February is Black History Month, and a perfect time to reflect on the nonviolence and antiwar stance of Dr. Martin Luther King. Recently, my colleague, Mark Thompson, reminded me of an important Dr. King quote when I appeared on his radio show to discuss the Tucson shooting. It was a speech the slain civil rights […]

Vodou’s Acceptance of Gays

Erzulie Dantor

Rev. Irene Monroe: Misconstrued by racist images, of zombies rising from graves, jungle drums, orgiastic ceremonies ritualizing malevolent powers of black magic, and engaging in cannibalism, by today’s popular culture images courtesy of Hollywood’s and New Orleans’ tourism industries, Vodou is a persecuted religion.

Honoring Black Women’s Roles in Our Health

Janette Robinson Flint: Black Women for Wellness is delighted with the inclusion of Harriet Tubman as she is a leading icon of the Civil War and with African American history but also because it offers an opportunity to add dimension her life and work.

The Other Down Low: Sagging

Gardena Councilman Steve Bradford and Carson Councilman Mike Gipson

Jasmyne Cannick: Don’t expect an end to sagging by Black men in or out of prison coming anytime soon. Heavily influenced by mass media, what started off as a signal for other prisoners that one was gay, is now a part of pop culture.

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.

21st Century Racism on UC San Diego’s Campus

Noose

Anthony Samad: For the past five weeks, one of the ugliest episodes of racism in recent years (before the Tea Partiers started spittin’ on people and calling Congress people “Nig**rs” and “Fag**ts” at the Congressional health care vote last weekend) has been playing out on a campus of one of the nation’s largest publicly funded university systems.

Women’s History and a Woman’s Subtle Power

allgor

Catherine Allgor: The Obama presidency has given rise to much soul-searching about who we are as a nation and how we should behave toward each other, within our borders and around the world. Perhaps this is the time we should consider the alternatives Dolley Madison offered us at the dawn of the national experiment. In the early days of the nation, few of Dolley’s contemporaries could resist her invitations. At this particular turning point in our modern nationhood, neither should we.

Mau Mau, Marx and Coca Cola: 18th Annual Pan African Film & Arts Festival

Nate Parker (who played a leading role in The Great Debators) alongside actress Lela Rochon (Waiting to Exhale), and Dr. Ben Chavis, Co-Founder, President of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN).

Ed Rampell: Probably the most controversial film screened this year at PAFF was the Australian doc Stolen, which, according to co-director Daniel Fallshaw, started out as a documentary about the plight of people in refugee camps as a result of the West Sahara liberation movement against Morocco led by the Polisario. But, he said, in the process of filming Fallshaw and co-director Violeta Ayala purportedly stumbled upon something quite unsettling: the existence of slavery in these resettlement centers, with some Blacks owned by Arabs in the camps.

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