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Jim Crow – All Growed Up

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Picture it. The year is 1918. The country’s been at war for a little over a year.  Black soldiers are drafted to fight for the freedom of some other people in another country, meanwhile, they are stuck doing the most menial jobs (even the ones who enlist degree’d up are shoveling the shit), and their bosses, all white, get to call them niggers all day, and its nothing they can do about it. Then back at home, in America, the patriotic, good white women and men of the south and putting up record numbers of confederate statues to commemorate the losers of the Civil War (According to a report published by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the erection of confederate monuments coincides with two periods of extreme violence against Blacks – between 1900 and 1920 during the enactment of Jim Crow and between 1950 and 1965 during the civil rights movement.).

Then over in the peachy-keen state of Georgia, in the first week of May, 11 black people, one being Mary Turner, were lynched by an angry white mob. Mary Turn, 19 years old and nearly nine months pregnant, publicly admonished the white mob that lynched her innocent husband. She was subsequently dragged from her home and then framed by mainstream media as leading the plot to murder white farmer Hampton Smith. All of the papers told of how Smith’s watch was found in her home; none of them talk about how the mob dragged her from her home, lynched her, riddled her body with bullets, cut her baby from her belly…the black newspapers report it. So much of history has been digitized, and it’s so easy to look at these actual records. It is so easy to be informed. Free thinking is what you do after you smoke a joint, informed is what you are after you actually read.

Meanwhile, black people, the NAACP specifically, are trying real, real hard to keep Birth of a Nation off the movie screen because they understand how even the presumption that a black man would defile a white woman is the only provocation angry mobs need to justify their terrorism. There is a reason why thousands of black people are leaving the south in droves, trying to make new homes in the north or the west, where, prayerfully, they might have just a moment’s peace. The NAACP, bless their hearts, were keeping records of the violence experienced by blacks, primarily in the south, but not exclusively. You can actually read the NAACP’s records for yourself. Find out history from the niggas who were actually there, making it. All of the NAACP’s records are available at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. They have a cute little finding aid, you just put in the keywords and boom, information literally at your finger tip.

Then on top of all of that, Jim Crow said you can sit nowhere, you can’t go nowhere, you can’t read nowhere, you can’t work nowhere, you can’t live nowhere, you can’t get coffee there, and you can’t get chicken and waffles there, and you definitely can’t golf there, and you can’t sit on this corner, and you can’t even hardly go in your got damn house depending on where your light bill is sent too.

Red Summer of 1919 | Photo: Equal Justice Initiative

Then the next summer, black soldiers are home and they are fired up because they know, America knows, that they done played their part, they went to war, they did their jobs, they helped y’all win, and they didn’t even fuss real hard about it, they put their head down and they got it done. And you know what, it’s coming up on a year and they realize, nothing has changed, so they start signing up for the NAACP because got damn it, they want the rights they got damn fought for. They tired of this shit. No sooner did the NAACP membership go up when angry white mobs across the country, like 25 cities and towns, just started killing people. So many black men and women died that summer/fall, they call it the Red Summer of 1919.

And now I have to ask – who would choose that? Like for real, who would choose that? But if that’s what you define as choice, then that is what they did, they choose to endure ALL OF THAT so you could climb your black ass on TV and say whatever you want. They did all of that for you too.

Anyway, I feel how hard it is living in 2018 but at least I got the Internet and Infinity Wars and Bob’s Burger and Love and Hip Hop and in a few days, Black Panther whenever I want it, to distract me. Can you imagine going through all of this with nothing to distract you?

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For The Culture

LeBron James Opened an $8 Million School?!

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TIME

LeBron James just opened an $8 million public school called I Promise, where kids will have access to free bikes, free meals, free uniforms, free transportation within 2 miles, and much more! The school is for at-risk students in Akron, Ohio who are usually overlooked.

Twitter loved this news. A few even called for LeBron to replace Betsy Devos, the current Secretary of Education.

While many celebrated the opening of this school, many also rightfully noted that no one person should have access to that much money or be in control of the lives of that many students. This led to many discussing socialism and what this type of school could look like if not funded by a private citizen.

 

What are your thoughts on the school? This is overall a great thing, but do you think celebrities, or any rich person, should be able to hoard enough money to do this on their own?

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Huffington Post’s ‘Black Voices’ Gets Called Out For Having White Writers

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Lara Witt-Twitter

Lara Witt—editor of the feminist publication, Wear Your Voice Magazine—pointed out on Twitter that majority of the writers for the Huffington Post’s Black Voices editorial are…white.

The editor for Black Voices, Taryn Finley, is a Black woman, a Delta, and a Howard University graduate. How is it that the company felt comfortable enough hiring what seems like a token Black person to run the site, but did not feel the need to pay other Black writers to be a contributor? Black Voices claims to be sharing “our news” and “our voices,” but this cannot be true when it is non-Black people who are writing the stories. No matter how much Taryn edits for them, the stories are still not ours.

We have seen time and time again how white people will slap the word “Black” on a source of entertainment and feel justified in keeping their voices centered in that space. We’ve seen it with Viacom through BET and now we see it through Black Voices, which is owned and, apparently, operated by white people. If Huffington Post wants to fix this, they need to hire Black writers. There is nothing else to it.

 

Thoughts?

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A Black President Before A Black Photographer: Vogue, This Ain’t It

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126 years and Vogue has never had a black cover photographer… The United States of America and all of its racism elected a Black president before Vogue allowed a Black photographer to shoot for their cover.

I’m not sure if this is even something we should celebrate. Congratulations to Beyoncé for getting on the cover of the September issue of US Vogue and reportedly having “unprecedented access” to create whatever she wants apparently. But had it not been for this, when would Vogue have decided it was time for a Black photographer?

The United States of America and all of its racism elected a black president before Vogue allowed a black photographer for their cover. Click To Tweet

Come to find out this may be Anna Wintour’s last cover as CEO, according to Huffington Post. Beyoncé has hired Tyler Mitchell, a 23-year-old from Atlanta, GA. He will be the first Black photographer to shoot a cover in Vogue’s 126-year history. The photographer and filmmaker has worked with several known brands from Mercedes Benz to Marc Jacobs and Givenchy. This is an amazing opportunity for Mitchell and I’m confident that he will shake the f*ck out of the table in September.

To learn that he will be the first is a proud and sad moment for me. When first hearing the news and the details, I was ecstatic and wanted to know what Bey would be cooking up for the girls this fall, but then I sat in my bed and read some of the titles again and “first Black” and “126 years” kept coming up. I sent a quick text to Taryn Myers—an editor and writer for KingofReads.com—and told her how I felt. It didn’t come to her at first, but the wheels started to turn and she shared something important: “Vogue has been one of the primary messengers about what beauty, wealth, fashion and culture is right?” So to know that they’ve been pushing what is beauty for many years, even in this supposedly “progressive” state we’re in now, and we’re just now getting a Black photographer cover in 2018 speaks volumes.

“The First Black” I expect when we’re talking about government, since America has been ran and founded by white men. I shouldn’t be surprised since most of the publications are ran by those who are for Black and Brown people when capitalism calls them to it. These companies don’t truly care about us because and I don’t think they all of the sudden got it or it hit them. The beautiful Beverly Ann Johnson was the first Black woman to appear on the cover of Vogue in 1974 and even she probably wasn’t allowed to hire a Black photographer.

Nonetheless, Beyoncé and Tyler will create some Black magic for the September cover and Vogue will think that they have done something “progressive” to help them sleep in their white sheets at night not realizing that given tardiness is about as damaging as white sheets with two holes in it.

 

 

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