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Black Voices

Hollywood: One Shade of White

Thai Nguyen | Posted 03.06.2015 | Black Voices
Thai Nguyen

So, what the big deal? It matters because what happens on the big screen never stays on the big screen; media may be intended for entertainment, but it's also education.

Coming Home: Selma, Int'l Women's Day, LGBT Rights and Unitarian Universalism

Janet Mason | Posted 03.06.2015 | Religion
Janet Mason

In reflecting on what Selma meant to me personally (as a white child, watching the Civil Rights movement from the safety of my living room -- as a child who would grow up to be a feminist and a lesbian), I realized that I grew up in an era that taught me that injustice is intolerable.

Online Resources Help Black Families Of Caribbean Heritage Trace Their Roots

Anne Thornley-Brown | Posted 03.16.2015 | Black Voices
Anne Thornley-Brown

It can be challenging for black families of Caribbean heritage to trace their family trees beyond a few generations. Now, thanks to a number of online resources, that journey has become easier and the world of genealogy is opening up for Caribbean families and African American, black Canadian and black British families of Caribbean heritage.

An Anniversary of Our Evolving Standards of Decency

Diann Rust-Tierney | Posted 03.05.2015 | Crime
Diann Rust-Tierney

More often than I would like, I have used this space to decry our shortcomings because we retain and still use capital punishment. This past Sunday, however, marked the 10th anniversary of a high point in our shared history.

On the Anniversary of Selma, a Call to Action

Tefere Gebre | Posted 03.05.2015 | Black Voices
Tefere Gebre

We cannot stay complacent or silent in the face of restrictive voting laws. The best way for us to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Selma is to recreate the energy that forced Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act in the first place.

'Rape Trumps Race': Is Bill Cosby's Image Tarnished in Black History?

Jewel Allison | Posted 03.04.2015 | Black Voices
Jewel Allison

As Black History Month comes and goes, television shows that foster black pride also come and go. I understand that many black men attached their self worth and their manhood to the character Bill Cosby made famous. In retrospect, I do not believe we need to look at television to give us our self worth.

The Old Man, The Impresario and the Making of a Circus Icon

Johnathan Lee Iverson | Posted 03.04.2015 | Black Voices
Johnathan Lee Iverson

Much like the great Sammy Davis, Jr., the unicycle ensemble from the South Bronx beat the naysayers and racists, as well as the pitfalls of their neighborhood with their talent. They achieved this while breaking down barriers and leaving a smooth trail of unicycle tracks for others, like myself, to follow.

Black Equality Doesn't End in February

Carmen Berkley | Posted 03.03.2015 | Black Voices
Carmen Berkley

Black History Month is more than just acknowledgement in a newspaper or a special program at the kids' school. It's an opportunity to reflect on how far Black people in the United States have come in their struggle for justice and equal rights.

Prophet of Respect: Why Malcolm X Still Matters 50 Years After His Assassination

Cherno Jobatey | Posted 02.28.2015 | Black Voices
Cherno Jobatey

And Malcolm X stands for self-empowerment. He is proof that anyone, even those who have fallen far, can free himself. You just have to work harder. That's why his spirit is very much still alive in the whole wide world even 50 years after his death.

The Small, Scared Animal Within

Diriye Osman | Posted 02.27.2015 | Gay Voices
Diriye Osman

I have always been a loner. Even as a child, when my family and friends were off attending parties I would be sequestered in my room, sketchpad in hand, stereo by my side, listening to seductive R&B. Solitude was something I took for granted.

Halle Berry Always Has 'A Hard Time Getting Roles'

The Huffington Post | Leigh Blickley | Posted 02.27.2015 | Entertainment

Halle Berry is still the only black woman to win an Oscar for Best Actress, and she's not happy about it. "I’m disappointed," she told the Guard...

Freedom at Last From Discriminatory Lending: A Fairer Future With Technology

Jason van den Brand | Posted 02.26.2015 | Money
Jason van den Brand

Changing the way one applies for a loan doesn't simply mean stating for 28 pages that a borrower will not be discriminated against, or that we should depend solely on federal and state regulations to curb financial intuitions' racist lending practices.

#ThisIsLuv: A Black Bisexual Manifesto

Crystal Fleming | Posted 03.09.2015 | Black Voices
Crystal Fleming

The erasure of bisexual people is particularly problematic for African-Americans, who already face the strain of racism. Bi black people exist at the intersections of many forms of oppression, and this difficult positionality makes it complicated for us to find love.

Building Bridges: From 'Selma' to the Dinner Table

Fay Johnson | Posted 02.24.2015 | San Francisco
Fay Johnson

Though our country has progressed in institutionalizing particular laws and rights surrounding the issue of race discrimination, there is still much work to be done. The culture that we create now has the ability to influence both the government and perhaps even more immediately relevant, the lives of those around us.

Oscars 2015: Like It or Not, Movies Are Defining Our Culture

Kim Keating | Posted 02.23.2015 | Black Voices
Kim Keating

The Academy Awards were created to recognize cinematic achievements in film. However, when the voters are primarily white men, it is not surprising that people of color are not given the recognition they deserve.

Giving Culture to Our Kids: Reflections During Black History Month

Hulya Aksu | Posted 02.21.2015 | Black Voices
Hulya Aksu

I know after my husband and I pass, our kids will be less Turkish than they were when we were alive. And in turn their kids will be less Turkish, and so there's a chance our legacy and history will disappear within just two lifetimes. What was built over thousands of years will be erased in two generations.

No ESEA Bill Is Better Than One That Fails to Protect the Poorest Children

Marian Wright Edelman | Posted 02.20.2015 | Politics
Marian Wright Edelman

For fifty years Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) has been the primary source of federal funding targeted to schools to serve poor children. Sadly, from the beginning states didn't keep their end of the bargain.

No Longer Silent: Chronicling Queer African Lives

Diriye Osman | Posted 03.19.2015 | Gay Voices
Diriye Osman

Fairytales For Lost Children is a book that was born out of silence. This is interesting to me because there is such a playful use of syntax in this book. The characters reach for ways to express themselves and end up creating their own language.

The Achievement Gap vs. The Justice Gap: Race vs. Redemption

Kanene Holder | Posted 02.23.2015 | Education
Kanene Holder

The achievement gap will never close until we as a society, especially educators, tackle the justice gap head-on.

A Salute to the African American Playwright August Wilson

Regina Fraser and Pat Johnson | Posted 02.19.2015 | Black Voices
Regina Fraser and Pat Johnson

This film is a beautiful legacy. It sheds light on a very gifted man who, like many creative people, was raised under difficult circumstances in an underserved area of Pittsburgh. All of his plays were "doors" into the black experience, and from many eras of the American story.

Walter Naegle Talks About His Relationship With Bayard Rustin and Equality (AUDIO)

Charlotte Robinson | Posted 02.20.2015 | Gay Voices
Charlotte Robinson

In celebration of Black History Month, I talked with Walter Naegle, who was pioneer civil rights activist Bayard Rustin's partner for the last decade of Rustin's life.

On Being '-American'

Janesh Rahlan | Posted 04.18.2015 | Politics
Janesh Rahlan

There is no one parameter that qualifies somebody as American or even a set of qualities that comprise a monolith of American culture. While Jindal's comments are directly aimed at Indian-Americans, they're insulting to all immigrants and the general creation of this country.

An Apology to My Fellow Black Woman

Nancy Laws | Posted 04.16.2015 | Black Voices
Nancy Laws

My husband, whom I married at the age of 22 was my first African-American friend and the first black man outside of our close knit African community that I dated. Not only was he nothing like what I thought he may have been--neither were his mother and sister.

The Chapel Hill Shooting: Why Our Lives Depend on Closing the Global Achievement Gap

Katie Mgongolwa | Posted 04.14.2015 | Education
Katie Mgongolwa

Who is teaching kids problem-solving, or entrepreneurism, or how to collaborate and appreciate diversity? Tests don't really assess that.

A Brooklyn Clown Is Living His Dream

Johnathan Lee Iverson | Posted 04.13.2015 | Black Voices
Johnathan Lee Iverson

Every clown has a story about when they knew they wanted to be a clown. Perhaps it was that first trip to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, or an insatiable desire to affect others through laughter.