Being a “Grown man or woman” is a badge of honor that does not come automatically with age. We all know people who are mature (or not) for their age, based on their experiences and personal qualities. Have you given thought to the things that distinguish good or authentic men and women in your life? I have. In my humble opinion, to qualify as a “Real” man or woman, you must (at some time or another): 1. Have the experience of paying bills with your own money and/or contributing to running a household. 2. Have had your heart broken and … Continue reading What Makes a (“Real”) Man or Woman?
Dear Nubia and Zakiya: First and foremost, I love you both and have done my best to demonstrate that in various ways. I have also fallen short in some ways. But I want you to know that much of my … Continue reading Advice for my Daughters
As we know, there are fraudulent, compromised and conflicted people in our community who deem themselves “conscious” or “progressive.” They often demonstrate poor or inadequate analysis, pontificate about problems without offering solutions, offer solutions/theories without implementing them, develop ill-conceived or … Continue reading Want to Help Black People? Here’s How
Many Black activists, organizers and leaders have heard of “Cointelpro,” or the Counterintelligence Program created by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. We make reference to this program whenever we discuss how the government assassinated Black leaders, created tension among and … Continue reading How to Stop the Government from Sabotaging our Liberation Movements
Today – January 15, 2016 – marks the 87th birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King. Today through his holiday on Monday, we will reflect on his message, mission and moral mandate. Much of what transpires on his holiday is predictable: … Continue reading Dr. King: Beyond the Myths and Propaganda
In an earlier essay addressing the issue of Black miseducation, I argued that – in addition to identifying, recruiting and training conscious Black teachers – we must use a multifaceted approach: 1.Build independent African-centered schools and home schools, 2.challenge and reform traditional public schools, and 3.create independent alternative after school programs to supplement the limited education provided in most traditional public and private schools. Pouring our energy into these efforts simultaneously is perhaps the only way to accomodate the educational needs of our 7.7 million school-aged children and youth. Any one approach is insufficient. This essay essentially asks Black activists, … Continue reading Black Empowerment Series: A Call to Create Liberation Schools in the Black Community
Most hardcore Hip Hop fans are familiar with Biggie Smalls’ popular song, the “10 Crack Commandments.” If you are not, please view the clip below (in the privacy of your home). As you might guess by the song title, Biggie shares his tips for selling “Crack” cocaine successfully – and displays wit and lyrical dexterity while doing so. I involved myself in several activities growing up: Chess, poetry, sandlot and high school football, fighting, Hip Hop emceeing, admiring and trying to meet young ladies, basketball and reading Black History. I never sold or used drugs, so my firsthand knowledge of … Continue reading The “Ten Crack Commandments” Revisited
“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge” —Isaac Asimov Opinions, opinions, opinions… Everyone has at least one, but simply having one doesn’t make it valid or wise. Ideas, unlike people, are not created equal! I often think about opinions – my own and those of others. Why? Likely due to my belief that opinions are essentially ideas (or thoughts about them) and ideas govern and shape the entire world. Ideas for me are not simply … Continue reading The First Black Commandment: THINK and LEARN!
Last year, I wrote a previous essay identifying issues the Black conscious community needs to resolve. One of the issues I highlighted was the inappropriate way we conduct formal debates in our communities. Because this is such an important and continuing issue, I’m dedicating this entire essay to the topic. I will begin with an excerpt from that article: We waste precious time debating issues that have already been resolved, or once resolved, push us no closer to meeting an important objective. Unless we’re trying to challenge patriarchy, what is the sense of debating if the Black woman is God? … Continue reading Thoughts on Black Consciousness Debates
Today (January 1) is not just New Year’s Day, a time for getting drunk, attending lavish parties, or reviewing top news or music videos of the preceding year. For those who celebrate or acknowledge Kwanzaa, today is also” Imani,” the last principle of the Nguzo Saba and therefore the final day of the Kwanzaa celebration. Imani is a Swahili word meaning “Faith,” and is described as follows: “To believe, with all our heart, in our Creator, our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.” Naturally, this description provides us with an overarching … Continue reading Where is Your FAITH, Black People?