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Ossie Davis & Ruby Dee: Family Always Came Before Career

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Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee were an iconic power couple who both worked as activists and actors.  Dee was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1923 and began her acting career with her Broadway debut in 1946.  Davis was born in Cogdell, Georgia in 1917, and after serving in World War II, he also began his acting career on Broadway.  The couple married in 1948 and spent much of their lives…

Dr. Umar Johnson on why three chapters were removed from Malcolm’s autobiography

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Dr. Umar Johnson is a 37-year old Doctor of Clinical Psychology, Nationally Certified School Psychologist, Certified K-12 School Principal, activist, orator and political scientist. He practices psychology privately in Pennsylvania and also serves as a special education evaluator. He specializes in working with children who are suicidal, depressed and/or violent. Johnson also trains educators and mental health technicians in a variety of psycho-educational topics that include Attention Deficit Disorder and…

Slave Homes Being Rebuilt At James Madison’s Estate

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The estate of former U.S. President and Founding Father James Madison has received a $10 million gift from philanthropist David Rubenstein to rebuild slave quarters and make other refurbishments on Madison’s Montpelier estate in Virginia.  The slave quarters are being rebuilt next to the mansion on the estate in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains.  They were cleared away approximately 165 years ago, and the site has been left…

Is Gentrification A New Form Of Racial and Economic Segregation?

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April V. Taylor The trend of white, more affluent residents moving into urban neighborhoods that have historically been made up of less affluent people of color, known as gentrification,  is a trend that is on the rise in cities across the country.  The term gentrification was first used to describe this movement of middle class families into former working-class neighborhoods in London in 1964.  While some bill gentrification as a…

Ferguson Activists Tell Country What The Mainstream Media Won’t In #FergusonFireside

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[View the story “#FergusonFireside Tells Country What The Mainstream Media Will Not” on Storify]

Nas’ Emotional Reaction To Picture of Slaveowner Who Owned His Family

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This week’s episode of the PBS series, “Finding Your Roots,” includes some firsts for the show. The rapper Nas will be featured as he traces his ancestory back through slavery. Regarding Nas’ appearance and the historic episode, host Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. points out,  “We introduced Nas to five generations – we’ve never been able to do this before for any African American – five generations of his enslaved…

Mother of 4 Shot Dead Over Road Rage Incident

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Perla Avina, a 30-year-old mother of 4, was shot dead during an apparent road rage altercation.  The shooting happened when Avina was riding in a Toyota Camry with her husband through Oakland’s Brookfield Village neighborhood.  The couple was returning from a shopping trip at Supermercado Mi Tierra.  Avina had a tradition of preparing posole for her family to enjoy the Raiders game together every other week.  Instead of gathering for…

Did Reagan, Bush, and Obama Turn America Into A Militarized Police State?

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April V. Taylor The militarized response of police to protesters in Ferguson, Missouri following the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown at the hands of a police officer was the first time some Americans became aware of just how militarized local police departments have become.  While Americans have long been aware of how police terrorize Black neighborhoods, a lot has changed since the 1965 confrontation between Marquette Frye and…

LeVar Burton Cures 90’s Kids Insomnia With “Go The F$%! To Sleep”

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Every 90’s kid has some memory of LeVar Burton reading books on his iconic PBS show Reading Rainbow, whether the memory was made at home or in the classroom.  The show first aired in June 1983, and Burton became a literary hero to generations as executive producer and host of the show that inspired children to read for more than 30 years.  During a recent charity fundraiser, any 90’s kid…

10 Cruel Things American Cities Do To Keep Homeless From Sleeping, Eating

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April V. Taylor London isn’t the only city taking to extreme measures to prevent homeless people from being able to sleep, eat or care for themselves; many cities in the United States are in on the action too.  The National Alliance to End Homeless estimates that on any given night, there are 610,042 homeless people on the streets of American cities.  Each year, 1.5 million children find themselves homeless in…

Thousands March Against Police Killing, Imprisoning American Citizens on National Day of Action

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[View the story “Thousands March Against Mass Incarceration and Police Brutality” on Storify]

April V. Taylor: Toni Morrison Earned The Right To Choose Her Legacy

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April V. Taylor It seems many people have taken offense to Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison choosing to leave her papers as part of the permanent library collection of Princeton University, where she taught at for nearly two decades.  Those who have taken offense feel as though the papers should have been left to HBCU Howard University, where Morrison graduated from and also taught such influential Black leaders as Stokley Carmichael….

Proof The American Dream Doesn’t Exist For Most Poor People

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April V. Taylor According to the ideology we are sold about the American Dream, America is supposed to be a country of limitless opportunity where any person, no matter what their socioeconomic status, can work hard enough and based on their own individual merit accomplish anything they want to.  According to this ideology, a person gets out of life what they put into it based on their own innate ability,…

Mumia Abu Jamal addresses Ferguson protesters, Talib Kweli, Dead Prez Perform at #HipHop4Justice

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[View the story “Mumia Abu Jamal addresses Ferguson protesters, Talib Kweli, Dead Prez Perform at #HipHop4Justice” on Storify]

White Churches Silent About Blacks Being Killed By Police

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Many places of worship have chosen to speak out about the police brutality perpetrated against Black people and other people of color; however, white churches have been largely absent from the conversation.  Kevin Clay recently blogged about his experiences at his majority-white place of worship.  Clay points out that there are many black people like him who attend churches that are majority-white, and he feels that as faith communities, these…