Rev. Irene Monroe: During the Civil Rights movement, Bayard Rustin was always the man behind the scene, and a large part of that had to due with the fact that he was gay.
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 [...]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rev. Irene Monroe: While in pre-Hitler Germany all-female orchestras were de rigeur in many avant-garde entertainment clubs, these homosocial all-women’s bands created tremendous outrage during Hitler’s regime. Snow was sent to a concentration camp not only because she was black and in the wrong place at the wrong time, but also because of her “friendships” with German women musicians, implying lesbianism.
Rev. Irene Monroe: A talented pianist and blues singer, and one of the most notorious and successful entertainers during the Harlem Renaissance, Bentley cultivated a large LGBTQ following up until the 1950s. As an African-American woman whose success derived from her raunchy and salacious lyrics to popular tunes, Bentley not only openly sang about sex, but she also openly lived and celebrated her sexual orientation as an out lesbian.
Rev. Irene Monroe: Within the African- American LGBTQ community, Black History Month has always come under criticism. And rightly so! The absence of LGBTQ people of African descent in the month-long celebration is evidence of how race, gender and sexual politics of the dominant culture are reinscribed in black culture as well.
As we celebrate the 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth, the 100th anniversary of the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the inauguration of America’s first black president, and Black History Month, it’s worth pondering the question, “Who won the Civil War?” On November 20, 2002, I wrote in a Nashville [...]
Candidly speaking, the need for a black history month would not exist if the American halls of academe did not use systematic exploitation (past and present) to minimize exposure to African-American history. The city school systems, colleges, universities, and the media are by-products of Eurocentric educational philosophies. These systems were designed to teach African-Americans to [...]
by Sherwood Ross – If African-Americans are overrepresented in the armed forces it is likely because of the military’s practice of “strategically targeting low-income youth and students of color,” the ACLU has found. Result: While African-Americans make up only 16% of the same-age civilian population, in 2006 they represented about 22% of enlisted Army personnel.
One of the funniest comedians I ever heard in my life, Bernie Mac, died this past weekend. He was 50 years old. Overcoming life’s challenges is often not considered funny material. Black life in America is often recalled as sad but true. Bernie Mac had a way of relating our experiences in a way that [...]