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When the past is present…

“…The great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do.” James Baldwin


Milwaukee Public Schools are not full of thugs–Facebook campaign by students

Milwaukee Public Schools students are on a crusade to change the image of the district–

MPS students and graduates protest on facebook

MPS students and graduates protest on facebook

one Facebook page at a time. The goal is simple: Change the negative attitudes some people have about the district.

More than 100 MPS students and counting are changing their Facebook profile pictures to indicate that they are not thugs. Some pictures indicate the universities they will be attending in the fall. Other pictures indicate what MPS graduates are majoring in at their respective schools. Still others indicate what the future will bring.


The Lingering Legacy of Lynching and Trayvon Martin

When I learned that 17-year old Trayvon Martin was gunned down by a man who registered his boyish face and casual presence in his gated-community as dangerous, I once again felt the sorrow of mothers and fathers who for generations agonized over how best to protect their children from the horrors of lynching.

Hanging bodies of Abe Smith and Thomas Shipp, lynched in Marion IN 1930

Hanging bodies of Abe Smith and Thomas Shipp, lynched in Marion IN 1930

I am painfully aware that unlike Trayvon, Oscar Grant’s head was not covered by a hoodie when shot in the back by officers on a railway platform in Oakland, California in 2009. Nor was 49-year old James Craig Anderson’s when he was beaten and run over with a truck by a group of white teens in Brandon, Mississippi in 2011. When 14-year old Emmett Till’s mutilated body was dumped in the Tallahatchie River in 1955 and family patriarch, Anthony Crawford, was stabbed, beaten, shot, and hanged in Abbeville, South Carolina in 1916–neither of these victims of lynchings wore hoodies. What these black males have in common with Trayvon is that they were beloved by their families and friends, moving through life with many of the same values and dreams that we all share, yet someone else saw them as less than human.


Public Schools Constrain Blacks, Author Says

Lisa Delpit’s latest book, “Multiplication Is for White People”: Raising Expectations for Other People’s Children, is another installment in the author’s crusade to expose the systemic issues with America’s public education system, and their effects on a growing achievement gap between whites and minorities.

Multiplication is for White People

Multiplication is for White People


Life and Style Skin tone, adoption and black children: Is colorism an issue?

African-American children make up 30 percent of the 500,000 children currently in the American foster care system, despite being only 14 percent of the U.S. population. On top of being over-represented, these youths are less frequently selected for adoption compared to other kids. Could the skin tone of black children play a role in whether they are chosen — especially if the family considering them is black?

Which child would be adopted?

Which child would be adopted?


Stereotypes Hurt Black-Teen Programs

New research shows that people might not be inclined to give to organizations that help African-American youths past elementary school age. According to the study, the stereotypes thrust upon black teens may be working overtime to turn off potential donors to the very projects designed to support these young people.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School found that those negative associations attached to black students (lazy, unreliable, dumb and irresponsible, to name a few) kicked in with more force as the students got older, and charitable support for them decreased at the same time.

Some funders discriminate against programs for black teens

Some funding sources discriminate against programs for black teens


Trayvon Martin, My Son, And The Black Male Code

I thought my son would be much older before I had to tell him about the Black Male Code. He’s only 12, still sleeping with stuffed animals, still afraid of the dark. But after the Trayvon Martin tragedy, I needed to explain to my child that soon people might be afraid of him.A black father with his son


Happy Birthday, Aretha Franklin, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Tony Cade Bambara, and Debi Thomas!

Learn about the lives and accomplishments of these talented American women!

Aretha (singer), Lisa (actor), Toni (writer/activist), and Debi (Olympic skater/surgeon)

Aretha Franklin (singer), Lisa Gay Hamilton (actor/director), Toni Cade Bambara (writer/activist), and Debi Thomas (Olympic skater/surgeon)



Tonight: Premiere of Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. on PBS

Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker, with his fair skin and blue eyes, had long wondered about his heritage. He learned the truth when he appeared on an episode of the new PBS series Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. In Booker’s episode Gates talks him through the findings of his genealogy test. His lineage was traced back to his maternal great-grandfather, who had long been a mysterious figure in the Booker family.

Finding Your Roots airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on PBS, starting on March 25. Booker’s episode, which also features Lewis, premieres on April 1. Check local listings to find it in your area.

Newark's Mayor Cory Booker with Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Newark's Mayor Cory Booker with Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.


Blacks, Abortion in ‘Gates of Hell’

What’s behind the new film about black terrorists who kill off abortion doctors?

Gates of Hell is a feature film set in 2016 that looks back to the year 2014 as it chronicles the crimes of a murderous band of black domestic terrorists known as Zulu 9, who see abortion as a form of black genocide. To combat their enemies, Zulu 9 travel around the nation killing abortion doctors in this alchemy of fear and loathing. The film’s producer is Molotov Mitchell, a 32-year-old white conservative from North Carolina. He describes the venture as a political action thriller aimed at helping to dismantle abortion laws.

Equating abortion with black genocide has long been known as a hot-button issue. “When we saw the trailer, we were appalled,” said Dionne Turner, communications coordinator for SisterSong, Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, an Atlanta-based organization.,1


Today We Celebrate the Life of Dorothy Height, National Leader in the Struggle for Justice

Dorothy Irene Height (March 24, 1912 – April 20, 2010) was an American administrator, educator, and social activist. She was the president of the National Council of Negro Women for forty years.

In 1957, Height was named president of the National Council of Negro Women, a position she held until 1997. During the height of the civil rights movement of the 1960s, Height organized “Wednesdays in Mississippi”, which brought together black and white women from the North and South to create a dialogue of understanding.

American leaders regularly took her counsel, including First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and Height also encouraged President Dwight D. Eisenhower to desegregate schools and President Lyndon B. Johnson to appoint African American women to positions in government. Height was the chairperson of the Executive Committee of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the largest civil rights organization in the USA. She was an honored guest at the inauguration of President Barack Obama on January 20, 2009 and was seated on the stage.

Dr. Dorothy Height, winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor

Dr. Dorothy Height, winner of the Congressional Gold Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and many other national awards