iOS app Android app

Dr. David J. Leonard
GET UPDATES FROM Dr. David J. Leonard
David J. Leonard is Associate Professor in the Department of Critical Culture, Gender and Race Studies at Washington State University, Pullman. He is the author of the just released After Artest: Race and the War on Hoop (SUNY Press) as well as several other works. Leonard is a regular contributor to NewBlackMan, layupline, Feminist Wire, and Urban Cusp. He is frequent contributor to Ebony, Slam, and Racialicious as well as a past contributor to Loop21, The Nation and The Starting Five. He blogs @No Tsuris.

Entries by Dr. David J. Leonard

Everyone But Us

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2014 | 11:49 PM

Co-authored by Jlove Calderon

The announcement that the St. Louis Grand Jury's decision would not indict Darren Wilson was about much more than his potential prosecution; yes, it was yet another reminder of America's creed, where justice for African Americans remains a dream deferred and where politically, culturally, and...

Read Post

12 Things White People Can Actually Do After the Ferguson Decision

(12) Comments | Posted November 25, 2014 | 11:21 PM

By Joseph Osmundson and David J. Leonard

In the wake of the decision in Ferguson, and the killing of Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Ohio and Akai Gurley in New York, righteous anger is boiling over on the streets, on social media and within our everyday lives....

Read Post

Black Beyond a Reasonable Doubt: The Case of DeSean Jackson

(1) Comments | Posted April 11, 2014 | 2:54 PM

DeSean Jackson was fired and few inside and outside the sports world were troubled by the decision from the Philadelphia Eagles. Despite ample success -- 82 catches, 1,332 yards received, and nine touchdowns -- and NO trouble off the field, the Eagles released Jackson. In a nation that prides itself...

Read Post

When White Happens: Gentrification, Drug Dealing, and the American Dream

(5) Comments | Posted March 17, 2014 | 8:22 PM

Co-authored with JLove Calderon

Intended to be a celebration of Black History Month, Spike Lee reminded an audience at Pratt Institute that February was not simply about speeches and celebration but demanding justice and accountability, spotlighting white privilege and persistent forms of violence. Asked about the "other side...

Read Post

Paving a Path to Peace and Freedom: In Support of the American Studies Association

(6) Comments | Posted January 6, 2014 | 3:26 PM

"Repugnant"; "Morally bankrupt"; "Orwellian anti-Semitism"; "politically correct' assault"; "Jihadist professors" ; "Wrong in principle, politically impotent, intellectually dishonest and morally obtuse."

This is just a few of the names the American Studies Association (ASA) have been called...

Read Post

Connecting the Dots: From Chelsea Manning to Cece McDonald; From NSA to Stop and Frisk

(4) Comments | Posted August 29, 2013 | 12:02 PM

Co-authored with Suey Park

In a recent piece for The Grio, Dr. James Braxton Peterson asked, "where is the liberal outrage on stop-n-frisk?" He juxtaposes the level of rhetorical denunciation and activist action in regards to Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency, Chelsea Manning and surveillance with the...

Read Post

Peeking Behind the Kitchen Door: The Struggle for Food Justice in America's Restaurant Industry

(1) Comments | Posted April 26, 2013 | 6:59 PM

Last month, Michelle Obama visited a Springfield, Mo., Walmart to celebrate and highlight its efforts to help Americans eat healthier. Mrs. Obama announced, "For years, the conventional wisdom said healthy products just didn't sell... Thanks to Walmart and so many other great American businesses, we're proving that conventional wisdom wrong."...

Read Post

Michael Bloomberg and the Benevolent White Daddy Syndrome

(0) Comments | Posted April 23, 2013 | 9:21 AM

Hypocrisy is nothing new for America's politicians. It is one of the few postures that remains bipartisan.

This is certainly evident as Michael Bloomberg pushes forward his assault on big sodas alongside his assault on constitutional rights and human dignity with his harmful stop and frisk policy. "For someone...

Read Post

Remixing Science: Raquel Cepeda's Bird of Paradise

(0) Comments | Posted March 5, 2013 | 1:55 PM

Raquel Cepeda is hip-hop. Her work, her experiences, and her voice encapsulate the history and aesthetics of the hip-hop generation. Cepeda, a leading journalist whose work has appeared in People, the Associated Press, The Village Voice, MTV News,, has shaped the conversation about hip-hop for decades. Her film,

Read Post

We Must Continue to Say Her Name: Kasandra Michelle Perkins

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2012 | 2:25 PM

In the aftermath of the tragic murder of Kasandra Michelle Perkins, and the subsequent suicide of Jovan Belcher, much of the media and social media chatter have focused on Belcher. Indeed, Kasandra Michelle Perkins has been an afterthought in public conversations focused on questions regarding the Chiefs' ability to play,...

Read Post

Revealing the Stigma Against Tattooed Athletes

(6) Comments | Posted December 5, 2012 | 1:30 PM

Dear Mr. Whitley:

I recently decided to take a break from public writing; I needed to catch my breath, to catch up on life, work, and recharge. Yet, after reading your most recent piece about Colin Kaepernick, I found myself unable to shake my anger; your words had...

Read Post

When Sorry Isn't Enough: Blackface and the Duke Problem

(20) Comments | Posted November 21, 2012 | 3:41 PM

This past month students at Duke University attended a Halloween party at the home of Duke lacrosse coach, Kerstin Kimel. At this party for the Women's Lacrosse team, a group decided to come as Our Gang/The Little Rascals, which, not surprisingly, included Buckwheat. With one player donning blackface, this became...

Read Post

Ain't Your Father's Southern Strategy: Whiteness as Mass Appeal

(2) Comments | Posted November 6, 2012 | 9:01 AM

The 2012 election, like every election before it, has been defined by race. This is America, and race always matters. Death, taxes, and race. While 2008-2012 has prompted more explicit racial assault on then candidate and ultimately President Obama, race, racism, and white supremacy defines the history of American politics....

Read Post

An Open Letter to White America, Particularly White Youth

(11) Comments | Posted October 24, 2012 | 12:37 PM

This is not the first time I have written an open letter to you, and clearly my previous letters have not had the necessary impact. Despite history lesson after history lesson, from a myriad of people, certain sh*t continues. Despite reminders that Blackface is never funny, the "N-Word" should never...

Read Post

Freeloading Muppets: Mitt Romney, the Conservative Right and Its Foreclosure on Sesame Street

(7) Comments | Posted October 11, 2012 | 10:27 AM

During last week's presidential debate, which was lackluster to say the least, Mitt Romney finally unveiled some specifics as it relates to his economic plan to slash the deficit, taxes, and spending -- the "no reason to hope, the future will be grim" plan. He announced his desire to defund...

Read Post

Just Win? The USTA and its Epic Failure

(3) Comments | Posted September 28, 2012 | 5:35 PM

Dear Patrick McEnroe and members of the USTA

I am writing to express my anger and disgust as to how you and the UTSA have treated Taylor Townsend. Despite being the world's #1 junior girl's tennis player, and the future of American tennis, you decided to shut her out, to...

Read Post

'Can't We All Just Get Along?' Learning to Become an Ally of Change and Justice

(7) Comments | Posted September 17, 2012 | 10:51 PM

College students by the tens of thousands are heading back to campus in the coming weeks. Because of entrenched segregation and limited intra-racial friendships as well as the persistence of Eurocentric American curriculum, the vast majority of white entrants will arrive without much knowledge or understanding about the histories of...

Read Post

Got Solutions? Beyond Denial and Toward Transformation (Part 2)

(13) Comments | Posted September 7, 2012 | 9:40 AM

As I noted in part 1, white denial about racism and demands for solutions (for the racial injustices often dismissed) go hand in hand. As Mark Anthony Neal brilliantly reminded people in a Facebook status update: "The very essence of 'privilege' is when you enter into a space and are...

Read Post

So You Want to Talk Solutions? White Denial and the Change Question (Part 1)

(75) Comments | Posted September 5, 2012 | 6:51 PM

One of the common responses to discussions about racism and other forms of injustice is the demand for solutions. The commonplace entry into public and private discussions about racism, the efforts to take over comment sections, to silence those who work to highlight inequality with responses like "what's the solution"...

Read Post

White Denial and a Culture of Stereotypes

(6) Comments | Posted August 30, 2012 | 9:25 AM

In the last installments I have tried to focus readers' attention on both white denial and the propensity to deploy the experiences of the black middle-class as evidence of a post-racial America. Despite focusing on persistent wealth gaps, examples of institutional racism, and the ongoing consequences of systemic racism, some...

Read Post