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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


For Our Daughters

The documentary For Our Daughters is a cinematic collage of interviews with 17 African American women from different backgrounds with varying opinions and unique perspectives. Together, these women share stories of resilience, wisdom and a deep rooted concern for Black girls and young Black women of today who are faced with the task of growing up Black and Female in a sexist and racially challenged society.

Black women are rarely portrayed in a thoughtful, complex or balanced light. For Our Daughters, at it’s essence, offers that representation. Relationships, money, sexism, racism, color-ism within black community, child molestation, history and identity, social capital, teen pregnancy, STD’s- HIV/AIDS… All of these topics and more are discussed in this documentary.

To read more about the film or to purchase it, click on

Mother and Daughter

Mother and Daughter


Lawsuit alleges NYPD violated civil rights by entering private buildings

Suit filed on behalf of 13 black and Latino New Yorkers says stop-and-frisk extension program has left them living in fear.

March against NYC's Stop and Frisk Law used within residences

The NYPD has been under harsh criticism in the Bronx after the shooting death of teenager Ramarley Graham, who was killed by police in his grandmother's bathroom after officers entered without a warrant. Photograph: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

The New York City police department is facing a federal class action lawsuit over the expansion of its controversial stop-and-frisk program into residential buildings largely populated by African Americans and Latinos.


Rep. Gwen Moore recounts her own rape in defense of the Violence Against Women Act

Rep. Gwen Moore recounts her own rape in defense of Violence Against Women Act

Gwen Moore speaks out

As part of her floor speech pushing to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) on Wednesday, Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) told the story of her own history of being sexually assaulted during her childhood and then raped as a young woman.

“Violence against women is as American as apple pie,” she told colleagues. “I know, not only as a legislator, but from personal experience. Domestic violence has been a thread throughout my personal life, up to and including being a child repeatedly sexually assaulted, up to and including being an adult who’s been raped.”

Read more of the story here.


Alabama Civil Rights Museum Promotes Lesbian Awareness

Founded to teach about human rights and the fight for equality during the days of racial segregation, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is introducing a new topic: Lesbian awareness in the South.

Civil Rights Museum's New Exhibit

The museum opens a new exhibit Friday night featuring photographs of lesbian couples and families living in the Deep South. Some women are depicted arm-in-arm or embracing with their faces fully visible. Others who weren’t comfortable being identified publicly are pictured with their backs to the camera.  Read more about the exhibit here.


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Saving Black Boys


Another perfect college acceptance year at Urban Prep

But critics say school pushes out kids with problems

For the third year in a row, every senior at Urban Prep Academy, the only all-African-American, all-male charter high school in Chicago, has been accepted to college, the school’s leaders said.

Urban Prep Academy students cheer on their classmates during last year's assembly. (Nancy Stone, Chicago Tribune / February 16, 2011)

Urban Prep Academy students cheer on their classmates during last year's assembly. (Nancy Stone, Chicago Tribune / February 16, 2011)

The academy also said that 83 percent of its first graduating class in 2010 has re-enrolled in a second year of college, a rebuttal to critics of the school who have charged that students aren’t always ready for college.,0,4299010.story


Podcast: Third Coast Digest Mark Metcalf interviews Virgil Cameron and Fran Kaplan about ABHM’s Past, Present and Future

The podcast, part of the series “Backstage with Mark Metcalf,” is accompanied by a short story about the museum, photos and links.

Listen to the podcast here:


Trayvon Martin Video Shows No Blood or Bruises on George Zimmerman

The surveillance video, which was obtained exclusively by ABC News, shows Zimmerman arriving in a police cruiser. As he exits the car, his hands are cuffed behind his back. Zimmerman is frisked and then led down a series of hallways, still cuffed. Zimmerman, 28, is wearing a red and black fleece and his face and head are cleanly shaven. He appears well built, hardly the portly young man depicted in a 2005 mug shot that until a two days ago was the single image the media had of Zimmerman.

The initial police report noted that Zimmerman was bleeding from the back of the head and nose, and after medical attention it was decided that he was in good enough condition to travel in a police cruiser to the Sanford, Fla., police station for questioning.

His lawyer later insisted that Zimmerman’s nose had been broken in his scuffle with 17-year-old Martin. In the video an officer is seen pausing to look at the back of Zimmerman’s head, but no abrasions or blood can be seen in the video and he did not check into the emergency room following the police questioning.

See video at:


Duluth racism ads drive some into a rage

One of the stated goals of Duluth’s billboard campaign is to create a community dialogue. In that regard, it got more than it bargained for.

Hundreds of the city’s white residents have complained that the campaign’s kick-off images and messages are offensive. The campaign, they say, blames all racism on whites and implies that white people aren’t smart enough to recognize racism. Meanwhile, the campaign’s defenders and sponsors, including Mayor Don Ness, say they’ve received dozens of hateful messages and e-mails from all over the world, as news of the campaign hit websites that cater to white supremacists and other racists. One message to Ness: “Die, scum, die.”

Ness said Duluth already showed it can have uncomfortable discussions about race relations. Several years ago, despite decades of silence and initial resistance from some city leaders, Duluthians placed a memorial on the downtown street corner where a white mob lynched three black circus workers in 1920, what many have called the darkest moment in the city’s history.

Billboard intended to open racism dialog

A billboard in Duluth MN was intended to open community dialog about racism


Race on ‘Mad Men’: What Could Satisfy Us?

Given past critiques of black roles on-screen, is there anything the writers can do to make us happy?

Since Mad Men is back with us and the year is 1966, it looks as if the handling of race on the show will finally be more up front than it has been before.

However, are we in for three months of indignant editorials about how the Mad Men writers just “don’t get” the black thing? We’ve been primed for it by common complaints that there haven’t been enough black people on the show, period. However, if the complaining continues, one will have to ask: Is there anything the Mad Men people will be able to do right?

I wonder. For example, many would have preferred that Mad Men follow the Drapers’ maid, Carla, home

Carla, the Drapers' maid, on Mad Men

Carla, the Drapers' maid, on Mad Men

and explore her life as a black person during the turbulent 1960s. But we have just seen what happens when white Hollywood makes a film about black maids in the ’60s: The Help. And it would seem that the proper way to feel about The Help is that it was a botched job.