The ProActivist’s Thinking

Two days before Christmas, most people experience anxiety in their shopping for presents. Did I forget anyone? Did I catch the best deals? Did I get the right size or color? When it comes to shopping for or receiving gifts, we tend to be quite proactive and assertive. It’s in the non-holiday parts of our lives that tend to be sluggish, as we wish rather than work or stack up countless dreams deferred. But our lives can be proactive and purposeful once we gain ownership of our lives and stop allowing our friends, television stations, corporations, and others command of … Continue reading The ProActivist’s Thinking

Advice to My Daughters (And Black Youth)

I often reflect upon my own life and experiences to find meaning in them. I’ve worked with Black and Latino youth and their families for most of my life, so naturally, I’ve given much thought to my own youth. Trying to establish identity. Curious about and awkward with young ladies I found attractive Balancing my love for football with my growing political consciousness. Fighting and “snapping” (joking others and getting joked on) as a Black boys rite of passage. Resolving the disparity between what my parents taught me versus the messages/lessons I received from the neighborhood. Contemplating my future career. … Continue reading Advice to My Daughters (And Black Youth)

5 Things I’m Tired of Hearing Black Folk Say

We all have our pet peeves. Some people hate when people pick their teeth or cut their fingernails in public. For others, it’s that annoying Felix Unger-type nasal sound people make when they are congested. Then there’s the people (that don’t realize their cell phone contains a microphone) who speak 100 decibels too loudly in public. These things annoy me as well. My greatest pet peeves however involve certain things Black folk say, things that are either simply not true, or that oversimplify a more complicated reality. One of my goals as a radical intellectual/activist, is to expose our people … Continue reading 5 Things I’m Tired of Hearing Black Folk Say

Activists Must Maintain Balance

There is so much to concern ourselves with in a society characterized by injustice, political compromise, and repression. Naturally, people seeking social justice, political empowerment and “liberation” focus much of our efforts on external factors and situations (employment/graduation rates, racism, sexism, oppressive institutions, discrimination, etc.) Certainly, we cannot meaningfully conquer social ills without identifying and confronting them. Yet we sometimes forget to maintain the balance so necessary to being complete and healthy human beings. My study of the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements helps me understand that while much was done to raise consciousness, identify/expose/confront opposition forces, and build alternative ideas and belief systems, … Continue reading Activists Must Maintain Balance