***************** RELEASING JUNE 19, 2016 ******************
We are pleased to announce our soon-to-be-released multi-contributor anthology, “Why Black Lives Matter (Too)”! Recognizing that the fight for social justice and equality is bigger than any one person and that there is room for diverse talents and expertise of anyone who is committed to freedom, this multi-contributor anthology comprises curated essays written by 50 social justice advocates from across the nation.
Our release date, June 19th, is set to coincide with Juneteenth—also known as Independence Day or Freedom Day—a holiday commemorating the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas in June 1865, and more generally the emancipation of African American slaves throughout the Confederate South.
Book Summary: The Black Lives Matter movement evolved as a protest against police brutality against unarmed Black men. This book extends beyond police brutality to revolutionize the national conversation about racial injustice and inequality and advocate for freedom and justice for all Black Americans. Addressing a range of hot button issues and racial disparities that disproportionately impact the Black community, this is a call to action that will challenge you to confront your long-held values and beliefs about Black lives and confront your own white privilege and fragility as you examine racial justice and equality in a revolutionary way.
All proceeds will benefit The Sentencing Project, a leader in the effort to bring national attention to disturbing trends and inequities in the criminal justice system through the publication of groundbreaking research, aggressive media campaigns and strategic advocacy for policy reform. Our gift to the organization will support their efforts to promote reforms in sentencing policy, address unjust racial disparities and practices, and advocate for alternatives to incarceration.
Stay tuned, and please consider purchasing this book, when available, to support the vital work of The Sentencing Project.
***************** RELEASING JUNE 19, 2016 ******************
By Sevgi Fernandez
“What are you?”
The question that’s been on repeat since I burst into this world
A little caramel girl who would grow up with the weight of two worlds
“What are you?”
I’m LOST between two worlds at war with one another
I’m lost between two worlds that made me, yet neither will claim me
If I listen to you………
I’m too light,
like I’ve blinded u with my high yellow ass
I’m too dark,
like the pit of your soul
I must be uneducated, unemployed, and unloved
I must be stuck up, a sell out and all the above
If I listen to you I,”talk like a white girl”
Yet my “white girl speech” doesn’t erase the melanin in my skin
What are u?
Mexican, Puerto Rican, Hawaiian?
I must be black….no I must be white….no no that’s right,
I’m so tired of the labels
I’m so tired of you trying to find out what I am so you can decide whether I’m worth your respect
What am I?
I’m a mother…a daughter… .a sister….
What am I?
I am done with the labels, the stereotypes, the games
No longer will my self worth be determined by your shame
I am the bridge between two worlds
I am Found, no longer bound by the fear and ignorance that surrounds
No longer will I take the bait to hate myself because u fear what I am and what I will become
I am found
I am found
By Sevgi Fernandez
As I look at the state of our country and the racial divide I can’t say I’m surprised. In fact, although formal segregation hasn’t been at play in many years, racism has never left and it plays out in our schools everyday.
With the majority of students in k-12 public schools being of color and the majority of the teachers in these schools being white, the racial biases the teachers hold are cause for great concern. Aside from parents, one could argue that teachers are the next most influential people in our children’s lives. They lay the foundation for how our young people view education and what they are capable of becoming in the future. They are pivotal in how far reaching our children’s dreams will be.
Institutional racism is a pervasive machine that begins to work on a child’s sense of self worth the moment they begin school. It’s a machine that’s been well oiled and perfected over the years. With knowledge comes power and one need only look at the history of racial oppression in this country to see why the white dominant society would want to create and perpetuate a system that makes getting a quality education equal to that of their own extremely difficult to attain for people of color.
“So while our education system is highly problematic—it is neither fair nor equal—it’s not broken. It does exactly what it was deliberately built to do.” C. Royal
If we look back at the history of education in the U.S., we can clearly see how the systematic approach to keep people of color uneducated began.
Although many slaves and free Africans found ways to self teach and there were whites who aided them in their education, there was a significant amount of time in which there were few schools available to them.
In the 1600-1700’s there was a steady increase in schools and educational options for blacks yet by the early 1800’s leading up to the imancipation proclamation, many southern states outlawed the education of blacks both free and slaves. These laws had steep penalties for anyone caught aiding in the education of blacks as well.
In the interest of keeping this an article and not having it turn into a book, I’m go to skip around a bit. So let’s fast forward to 1954 and Brown vs The Board of Education. On May 17, the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed racial segregation in schools. Did that change things? Yes, absolutely. Unfortunately the statistics aren’t all one would have hoped.
It’s telling that we live in a country where it took a Supreme Court order to desegregate our schools. What’s even more abhorrent is the fact that since over 200 school districts (mostly in the south) were released from this court order, many quickly returned to their segregated ways.
“But while segregation as it is practiced today may be different than it was 60 years ago, it is no less pernicious: in Tuscaloosa and elsewhere, it involves the removal and isolation of poor black and Latino students, in particular, from everyone else. In Tuscaloosa today, nearly one in three black students attends a school that looks as if Brown v. Board of Education never happened.” (N.H. Jones)
The effects of this systematic racism are apparent in the African American community across the country, wherever you look. It’s in the hopelessness of our youth, in the violence within our communities and at the hands of the police. It’s in the educational system that is set up to fail our kids and the healthcare system that is either unattainable or so discriminatory many fear ever seeking out the care they need. Rather than educating and nourishing the minds of our young people of color, the system is feeding the school to prison pipeline .
“Young Black men — across the board — score below their counterparts in other racial and ethnic groups when it comes to graduation rates, literacy rates and college preparedness. And many African American men, in turn, are virtually locked out of employment and are filling up the nation’s prisons in disproportionate numbers.” (J. Daniels)
“Nearly 75 percent of imprisonment spending happens at the state level, where dollars are drawn from a general fund that is meant to pay for a range of public needs, including health care, housing, public assistance, and education.” S. Hawkins
So when people wonder what all the protests are about, what black people are so upset about, just open your eyes!!!! Why are our youth rioting??!!! It’s not just about police brutality, it goes much deeper. Look at the reality these young people face everyday. Poor quality education, teachers who don’t understand them culturally, who don’t believe in them, who tell them what they cannot be.
“When black teachers and white teachers are asked to sum up black high school students’ potential, white teachers are much less likely to see black students as college material. And that’s true even when they’re discussing the same students.” L. Nelson
They face a school system that has been designed for whites to excel. A system that is funneling our children of color into prisons at epic proportions. A curriculum that is culturally irrelevant to a huge percentage of those it’s there to teach. A system that is funneling money into prisons while subsequently starving the programs that could keep our kids out of prison. They are insuring the continuance of the cycles of poverty, illiteracy and hopelessness.
This system is purposeful. There have been plenty of studies that have examined why the system is failing African American children and plenty that have offered solutions, yet here we are.
For example, the “No Child Left Behind” law that instituted mandatory testing with the purpose of accountability, has failed miserably. The number of African American drop outs increased by 10% in its first 10 years. One study shows only 50% of the nations girls of African American, Hispanic, and Native American descent are actually graduating high school. The statistics for boys are much lower. W.B. Harvey
- The curriculum is designed by whites for whites.
- The testing is based on this curriculum and once again was designed by whites for whites.
- Schools are concerned with test scores only, not the child, not the education
- Most of our urban public schools are non-white and subsequently underfunded
- Many African American children are misinterpreted and mislabeled due to racial stereotyping
- These children feel the effects of this stereotyping and begin to feel dumb because they are labeled dumb
If we examine this list, we can see why our African American youth are in the state they are in. I was fortunate to sit on the thesis committee of an incredible educator, Chilufiya Safaa, she summed up what these children are facing with heart piercing accuracy:
“The children act out; they take on the labels of being dumb or trouble. They then become vulnerable to the streets, jail, and death. They start fighting each other rather than fighting against the stereotypes and the system which is oppressing them. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
Wake up folks. We are steadily heading backwards. Racism and segregation are very real and our young and vulnerable are faced with it everyday. We can’t just complain, or close our eyes and pretend it doesn’t exist. It takes critical thinking and community action. What can you commit to do in your community to address these issues and bring about change? If you don’t know here are some places to start:
- Tavis Smiley Reports. EPISODE 5: Too Important to Fail. Fact Sheet: Outcomes for Young, Black Men. Tamika Thompson
- SELF-TAUGHT, African American Education in Slavery and Freedom. HEATHER ANDREA WILLIAMS. CHAPEL HILL: UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS, 2005.
- The Impact of the Brown v. Board of Education Decision on Postsecondary Participation of African Americans. William B. Harvey, Adia M. Harvey and Mark King. The Journal of Negro Education,Vol. 73, No. 3, Special Issue: Brown v. Board of Education at 50 (Summer, 2004), pp. 328-340
- http://m.ourweekly.com/news/2013/oct/03/whats-african-american-literacy-rates/. What’s up with African American literacy rates?Story by David L. Horne, PH.D. 10/3/2013
- Racism in K-12 Public Schools: Education Series July 12, 2011, JessieDaniels,racismhttp://www.racismreview.com/blog/2011/07/12/racism-k-12/
- Racism in the classroom: the “soft bigotry of low expectations” is just regular bigotry. Libby Nelson, August 19, 2015, @libbyanelson firstname.lastname@example.org
- Nikole Hannah-Jones, ProPublica, April 16, 2014, 11 p.m.
- http://m.prospect.org/article/education-vs-incarceration. Steven Hawkins
- http://magazine.good.is/articles/our-education-system-isn-t-broken-it-s-designed-to-create-winners-and-losers. Our Education System Isn’t Broken, It’s Designed to Create Winners and Losers. Camika Royal.
At Webster University in St. Louis, the Association of African-American Collegiates (AAAC) demanded for President Stroble to instate a more diverse campus with a list of 19 demands to support Mizzou and their struggle with racism, as well as to combat it on our own campus–one of those demands was to create a “safe space” […]
Via Buzzfeed. Donna Pinckley photographs interracial couples and writes the negative comments they have been subjected to underneath. posted on Oct. 8, 2015, at 11:51 a.m. Matthew Tucker BuzzFeed Picture Editor, UK Two years ago, photographer Donna Pinckley took a portrait of a young woman with her African-American boyfriend. Afterwards, Donna chatted with the subject’s […]
After Martin Luther King Jr.’s death, he was immediately homogenized by people seeking to co-opt his legacy. King was, however, an icon who thought deeply about the issues that plagued the black community and the role white America had played to bring about those circumstances. Listed below are some of the criticisms King made of white America, may of which still feel relevant today.
1.) White People Never Truly Sought an End to Discrimination
With Selma and the Voting Rights Act one phase of development in the civil rights revolution came to an end. A new phase opened, but few observers realized it or were prepared for its implications. Forthe vast majority of white Americans, the past decade—the first phase—had been a struggle to treat the Negro with a degree of decency, not of equality. White America was ready to demand that the Negro should be spared the lash of brutality and coarse degradation, but it had never been truly committed to helping him out of poverty, exploitation or all forms of discrimination.
2.) White People Will Abandon You
When Negroes looked for the second phase, the realization of equality, they found that many of their white allies had quietly disappeared.
3.) Never Take White People at Their Word
The Negroes of America had taken the President, the press and the pulpit at their word when they spoke in broad terms of freedom and justice. But the absence of brutality and unregenerate evil is not the presence of justice. To stay murder is not the same thing as to ordain brotherhood. The word was broken, and the free-running expectations of the Negro crashed into the stone walls of white resistance.
4.) White People Believe in a Fantasy World
The majority of white Americans sincerely committed to justice for the Negro. They believe that American society is essentially hospitable to fair play and to steady growth toward a middle-class Utopia embodying racial harmony. But unfortunately this is a fantasy of self-deception and comfortable vanity. Overwhelmingly Americais still struggling with irresolution and contradictions.
5.) White People Are Bonded to the Status Quo
As the nation passes from opposing ex-tremist behavior to the deeper and more pervasive elements of equality, white America rearms its bonds to the statusquo. It had contemplated comfortably hugging the shorelinebut now fears that the winds of change are blowing it outto sea.
6.) White People Want Equality for Blacks, So Long as It Doesn’t Cost Them Anything
The practical cost of change for the nation up to this point has been cheap. The limited reforms have been obtained at bargain rates. There are no expenses, and no taxes are required, for Negroes to share lunch counters, libraries, parks, hotels and other facilities with whites.
7.) White People Don’t Even Understand What Equality Means
But most whites in America in 1967, including many persons of goodwill, proceed from a premise that equality is a loose expression for improvement.
8.) White America Really Only Seeks to Hide Inequality, Not Fix It
White America is not even psychologically organized to close the gap—essentially it seeks only to make it less painful and less obvious but in most respects to retain it.
9.) White People Don’t Believe They Have Anything to Learn
Whites, it must frankly be said, are not putting in a similar mass effort to reeducate themselves out of their racial ignorance. It is an aspect of their sense of superiority that the white people of America believe they have so little to learn.
10.) Whites Believe Blacks Have Come Far Enough
He remembers that with each modest advance the white population promptly raises the argument that the Negro has come far enough. Each step forward accents an ever-present tendency to backlash.
All of Martin Luther King’s quotes were taken from Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? (King Legacy)
Rachel E. Anderson The Oxford Eagle Most people are hesitant to challenge tradition. Tysianna “Ty” Marino is not one of those people. Marino, a public policy leadership student from Pascagoula, Mississippi, has always considered herself an activist. From sporting her “I Can’t Breathe” sweatshirt (a reference to the final words Eric Garner said before he […]
This was written by an amazing man who has sacrificed much in his fight against racism. I grateful for his presence.
By Blake Hayner
“Man is stuck with his lack of knowledge about himself until he can learn to look beyond apparent causes.”
“Instead, it’s necessary to identify the conditions that underlie ostensible causes; and these conditions exist only within man’s consciousness itself.”
“There are no causes within the observable world; the observable world is a world of effects.”
Power vs. Force The Hidden Determinates of Human Behavior by David R Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D. Page 27 Paragraph 1.
Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago announces that police officers will be taken off of desk duties and dispersed into city neighborhoods to repress the current escalation of violence; to the point stopping the shootings.
Any #BlackLivesMatters Activist and ally know that this action means more violence directed toward young black men and boys by Chicago Police; simply and directly put more police oppression.
Force is how America has dealt with all their enemies, Communist, Socialists, religious and most importantly Natives and all people of color. While the religious Right and the Atheist Left punch it out in a brawl that has lasted 600 years and counting the world has been fighting each other over scraps of land and precious metals and resources. Chicago is just one of those battlegrounds.
White people like me have typically dealt with these conditions by ignoring the causes and attacking the people that have been impacted by our white privilege with blame and shame. This behavior cannot continue. Giving police cart’ blanch to steamroll communities that have been created by white flight, Red Lining, and discriminatory lending practices by banking institutions run by white men of privilege and law enforcement agencies that care little or nothing about the poor and homeless and more about corporate greed and a broken sense of pride while enforcing a racist drug war policy. Force isn’t working and has never worked because tribalism is stronger than any gun, bomb, or political ideal.
People of color have survived murder, lynchings, rape, destruction, political and social injustices because they unlike me know that as long as we white people use force they will always have the power.
Police have privilege too for they are composed of many colors and different sexes. The police can run a red light, speed, jaywalk, beat up and terrorize anyone they choose even one of their own and get away with it Scott Free. Police have privilege to kill you and makeup any story they want. Police can shoot first and forget about asking your permission they can harass you, incite you, and basically spit on you with no consequences.
I as a citizen can call a cop a pig, I wouldn’t suggest it. I can give him/her my middle finger, again, not a good idea. I can scream, rant and swear at a cop these are my 1st Amendment rights to free speech and police will in most cases kick my ass and arrest me for disorderly conduct.
Of course being white I get a pass on most of these lewd behaviors; I can even shoot at a cop and wound him and get a pass as a white man. But, if you’re a person of color especially a black man or woman or live in a State with a Reservation in it like South Dakota and you are Native American you will be arrested and disappear then pop up in a body bag with no investigation.
This is Police Privilege, the victims of which are the result of police oppression. FORCE! Why do you think we call the institution of law enforcement a Police Force?
My humble opinion: The people who have the power are the ones that continue their lives even after America uses Force. People that find it in their hearts to be love are the true power in the world of Force and violence. These are the Meek, those that will inherit what’s left of the Earth after the idiots with their guns, knives and bombs are gone and dead or just tired with fighting.
Police Oppression will end when we the people have no more use for police, soon to be obsolete like the black and white TV’s law enforcement will stop. Not by force, police crave people that like to use force; by power. Police respect power as they respect being treated like people not animals with fangs and claws.
Police were created by the wealthy to protect their wealth and to gain the illusion of power by forcing people to respect laws, laws designed by the wealthy as standards of morality that according to the rich everyone could respect knowing their place in society. Women, Queers, Indians, Chinese, Irish, Polish, Italians, and most importantly slaves had to know their place, if they stepped out of line the police were there to oppress, punish, lynch, torture, murder all forms of force for their millionaire, white, male, privileged handlers.
Today, nothing has changed except now the wealthy own all our judges, Prosecutors, Juries, lawyers, and all the politicians that are a part of the illusion of law making, justice, enforcement and with the development of private prisons, punishment.
Another form of force the wealthy control is information, the wealthy have for centuries owned and controlled the media which includes all the obvious sources, television, radio, film, print, and soon if not already parts of the internet for thousands of years the wealthy has controlled all the major and minor religions with the power of their little god and their minions, the clergy the wealthy have force fed us everything they want us to think and believe so that they can sell us everything including clean air and water.
With the control of the governments by bribing wealthy people in everywhere and creating worldwide debt in every country the world’s entire population are now slaves to the wealthy billionaires as now they have control over everyone and everything.
These wealthy families are like the Spanish system back in old Mexico where no one was a citizen except 13 families that owned everything. The peasants had nothing, no land, no businesses, no money unless the 13 families agreed to it and of course bribery, favoritism, and ancestry had everything packaged up nice and neatly.
American’s, even though they stole, enslaved, raped, murdered, and abused the land, ownership flourished and the local economies rose. Americans became wealthy while their Mexican counterparts starved.
The industrial revolution came and people’s income increased, education rose, entrepreneurialism created goods and services. There was no income tax so the government was ineffectual to support the growing population of immigrants that flowed into our ports and yet the Military Industrial Complex was born as the government controlled by the wealthy forced Mexico to give up Texas and Americans threw out all the people of color and stole their land; how thoughtful and proud Texans must be.
Later in our history after several more forced incursions into other countries America’s wealthy felt that Jim Crow would have to suffice for the loss of free labor and the exclaves’ became a problem that the wealthy needed more police oppression to force down those uppity Negros.
Ghetto’s thrived thanks impart to abolitionists that promised slaves freedom in the North only to stuff tens of thousands of blacks into shanty towns providing us whites with cheap penny a day laborers. If the Slaves had only known to go south to Florida freedom and equality would have been guaranteed by the Spanish.
Ghetto’s caused problems as the occupants rioted and fought the wealth’s unjust and racist police force. People died, building burned, lives had to be rebuilt and nothing changed.
Now it’s the 21st Century, nothing has changed in the ghetto thanks to the oppression and mass incarceration by a system of force. White people of privilege wait for the crime to get so bad, the death so many and so horrible they sweep in buying up the cheap properties and building another white enclave forcing the invisible to leave. The police though must stay strong because the whites are scared that they will lose everything to the thugs, perpetrators, drug addicts and homeless that were left behind by gentrification. FORCE them out! Force them to change! Force them to be educated, employed, and nonviolent. It’s their fault that they are where they are. Piss on them if they don’t want to change. OH! I don’t want them living in my neighborhood!
Go west with the rest of your kind, not in my backyard. I’m not giving you any of my money you get it by working for it like my grandfather did and my father did and now I am doing, there are no free rides for the likes of you! Privilege, privilege, privilege force, shame, guilt, punish, imprison, felon, worthless, no-account lazy piece of crap.
The Left wing and the right wing are the same bird! The wealthy make the rules and the poor cleanup their messes. Power comes from within! Force is something that is outside of you. I am a white man of privilege that holds my brothers and sister hearts using force to make the organ beat. No more. Now is time for power. Power is Love. Force must die! Oppression must die! Privilege must be destroyed at any cost.
Instead of gentrification, using force to subdue the invisible for white profit why not use the powers of love to bless the ghetto’s and rebuild the people thereby constructing self determination and respect throughout the community of the existing inhabitants the money coming from social equity of the wealthier neighborhoods.
People pitching in to empower the poor and homeless giving them the power to choose what is best for themselves. Free accessible, good housing and healthy food prepared by the fortunate passing their successes to those that ache for another chance to show that they are visible, strong, and important.
Greed is gone, favoritism is disappeared, Force is dead and power is alive in everyone. The police are servants once again no weapons, no anger, no shame, no more white privilege; People Privilege!
“Are these extravagant promises? We think not! Some of them will appear quickly, some slowly they will always appear if we work for them.” Alcoholics Anonymous Page 84 Paragraphs 1.
By Chelcee Johns | August 31, 2015
One protestor holds a sign reading “I support the 3rd international march against the genocide of Black people.” Facebook.com/ReajaOuSeraMorto
Last Monday, over 5,000 Brazilians took to the streets of Salvador da Bahia to protest the deaths of unarmed Black people by police officers. Salvador da Bahi, the center of Afro-Brazilian culture, is feeling many of the pains endured by Blacks in America as Brazilian police have killed an average of six people per day between 2009 and 2013. Much like the U.S., these victims are disproportionately Black.
Over the past five years, Brazilian police have killed close to as many citizens as U.S. police have in the past 30 years. Last week’s protest is part of a larger movement in Brazil, “Reaja ou SeráMorto,” which translates to “React or Die,” and has many of the same concerns as America’s Black Lives Matter movement.
“This country loves our Black culture, our music, our bodies, but hates the fact we still exist as the majority,” one 26-year-old woman participating in the protest told Refinery29. “Salvador is the front line of the war against African people in Brazil. My people built this city — this country — through slavery. We will not be silent. Black lives have value; Africans all over the diaspora want to live.”
The New York Times reported at least 2,212 Brazilians were killed by the police in 2013. This number could be greater, but unfortunately not all states within the country record just how many deaths occur at the hands of police.
“Of course, the sense of outrage would be different if these victims were boys with blond hair and blue eyes who lived in rich areas, but they were not,” Antônio Carlos Costa told the Times after a 10-year-old was killed by police and his mother threatened at gunpoint. Costa is a Presbyterian pastor and works to keep track of how many children under 14 are killed by the police.
One human rights attorney who volunteers with the movement said Brazil has it far worse than America and the numbers attest to this. The Reaja ou Será Morto movement has existed for the past 10 years, but only recently have they taken to the streets to create large protests.
“When the police invade your community, your home, bash in your door, and slaughter a young family member before your eyes, it sets terror and a river of tears, and endless pain, a pain that lives after the dead are buried… We are calling this a genocide,” said one 24-year-old Afro-Brazilian woman at Monday’s protest.
Blacks in Brazil are no longer keeping quiet as police terrorize their communities, even in the face of possible death. A protest of last week’s magnitude isn’t widespread in Brazil due to the fact police often threaten the lives of organizers. Reaja ou Será Morto organizers have received death threats on their phones and social media pages and even unwarranted home visits from police.
But Reaja ou Será Morto is saying the time is now for justice in their country.
“We are not celebrating the dead; people are here celebrating life. The life of our children, to guarantee they will wake up every day and not worry about dying,” another protestor contended.