Harriet Tubman always remembered to ask for direction and then listen for the answer. The way was always made clear. What stands between me and that kind of guidance? Remembering to ask.
The triumphs of African-Americans (including women) and those of American women continue to be oddly connected by, among other things, sequential calendar celebrations.
Harlem's LGBT community has continued to play a vital role in the music, art, theater and literature scenes, and though responsible for producing some of the greatest artists and thinkers over the past century, it has remained a mystery to many.
Voter discrimination on the basis of race is a persistent reality in many areas protected by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Real voters are at risk of losing their fundamental right to vote; unfortunately, this is a reality for jurisdictions not covered by Section 5 as well.
Choices mean freedom. Freedom from all that may be worse than being "buried in my grave."
As we celebrate Black History Month, let's remember the history of black people and how most of our ancestors came to this country, and let that history inform the way we talk about a need for immigration reform.
It is my hope that the next generation of athletes will not support a culture of ignorance and discrimination and that gay athletes will feel comfortable being open about their sexuality.
From South Africa to Eritrea to Pakistan, my work has introduced me again and again to fearless mothers, wives, daughters, and sisters who defy the status quo and insist on freedoms inherent in them.
We all have to work hard to remember June Jordan's legacy, because like too many others, her legacy can fall within the cracks of identity politics.
Mom's doctor recommended fish oil pills, bringing her blood pressure numbers down 100 points. Its refreshing to hear even my grandma being more conscious of what she eats. This is the same young lady who scoffed at me when I got to Thanksgiving dinner talking about being a vegetarian!
Do you know the distinct red sandstone of the Smithsonian Castle, with its distinct rusty redstone façade and Romanesque towers, was quarried locally? The Seneca quarry is a largely unknown local history gem.
Motown, and in particular The Supremes, were symbols of breaking racial barriers. The appearances of The Supremes on mainstream variety shows weren't just critical for what it said about the humanity of African Americans, it also said a great deal about the position of black women in society.
Often in America, when discussing prominent black trailblazers who fought the injustices of segregation and racial oppression, we see the same images of a variety of men. I somewhat jokingly call them our superhero black male icons.
To Bayard Rustin, fighting for his equality as a black man, while leaving his identity as a gay man unspoken, would have been an unthinkable betrayal. This Black History Month, we should not forget trailblazers like Rustin.
Black history, as well Hispanic history and others, need to be integrated into our educational system and curricula and taught at all levels. Not just during one month of the year. And not just as a sidebar feature in a textbook.
I first read about Johnson and his orchestral compositions in a liner note to a Gershwin recording. When I tracked down the author, Robert Kimball, he told me the fascinating story of James P.'s life and career.