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Scrap Papers: Black Excellence

Photo courtesy of Book for Keeps

By Karima E. Rustin

Malcolm Mitchell, a 24-year-old rookie wide receiver for the New England Patriots, assisted New England in coming back from a 28-3 deficit to win the Super Bowl against the Atlanta Falcons, and take home the Vince Lombardi Trophy. While his teammates are reveling in their shared victory, Malcolm achieved another victory most people don’t know about. A victory he is more proud of than a Super Bowl ring.

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The Pickaninnies March on Washington

By Lydia Holt

 

NEW YORK

Perhaps it was a subconscious act of self preservation, but in the months and weeks leading up to the 2016 presidential election, I had convinced myself that America would elect Hillary Clinton as our 45th president--that we had no other viable option. If her opponent were elected it would be disastrous and to maintain my sanity, I firmly believed that we would come through the election with a capable and sane president. When I woke up to the reality of our now 45th, I damn near had a panic attack. Continue reading...

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Sunday
May072017

Remembering Bree Newsome on South Carolina’s Confederate Memorial Day

Daily Mirror UKDuring the late nineties and into the early aughts, several southern states declared April Confederate History Month. These official commemorations strike me as examples of white people feeling so threatened by the shifting demographics of our country that they feel moved to valorize the racist and traitorous actions of the Confederate states. As a black woman from Texas, you’ll never find me waxing nostalgic for the Ol’ South, but when South Carolina celebrates Confederate Memorial Day on May 10th, I will be remembering Brittany “Bree” Newsome. On June 27, 2015, Newsome, you may recall, removed the Confederate flag from the South Carolina statehouse grounds. Read more.

Sunday
Apr302017

Celebrating Confederate History

By Marlin D. Paschal


As Confederate History Month draws to an end, I am pondering how much I should really care. Should it bother me that six state governments formally recognize and honor the history of the Confederate States of America? Should I care whether statues of folks like Lee, Jackson, and Jefferson Davis still adorn public spaces throughout the south? Should I look down on my fellow citizens who see this month as a tribute to their ancestors who fought and died in the Civil War?

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Sunday
Apr092017

Why I Will March

 By Anastasia Rowland-Seymour

...It takes a lot to pull me away from my work of educating and taking care of patients. As my friends will tell you, something really has to be amiss for me to revisit my younger revolutionary days. I am appalled by the sheer number of alternative facts that are being bantered about as if they were real, and upon which our futures are being decided. read more...

Sunday
Apr022017

All People for Racial Equity… Adventures in Organizing

By Phillip Rowland-Seymour

 

Last summer my wife, two kids, and two eighteen-year-old cats relocated from Baltimore, MD to a suburb of Cleveland, OH. In the last three months, we lost our cats. I'd like to think that our Persian and Siamese cats, brown and white, were waiting until we were settled, to transition from the earth - they waited until we reached this racially harmonious suburb. In the last fifty years, the suburb has received notoriety for its history of racial tolerance (not objecting to the presence of anyone based on their race, at a minimum) and a need for racial equality (an equal regard to people of all races, at its best). Recently, a group of neighborhood residents have been meeting to help move beyond racial tolerance and racial equality, to promote racial equity (acknowledging the unconscious bias and historical inequalities) and support opportunity for all. I am a proud member of this group. We are social justice warriors. read more...

Sunday
Apr022017

Yes! It's National Poetry Month!

By Nichole Rustin-Paschal


Let’s dive in with poetry for middle grade readers. Each selection warrants repeated readings, as poetry typically does, to ruminate over the themes, the exquisite language, and the outstanding visuals.

Carole Boston Weatherford, poet, and her son, illustrator Jeffery Boston Weatherford, collaborated on the 2016 book, You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen. You can hold the book in one hand, its petite size belying the vastness of the themes captured within. The work pulls you into the 1940s and the historical experience of young black men and women eager to make their mark during an era of upheaval and change.            

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