As a father, a son, an uncle, a nephew, a brother, and a college president, I must ask myself, "How do I protect my son in a society where there is something structurally wrong with how young black men are treated by the criminal justice system?
This Monday, the Bill of Rights turned 223. It is an occasion for celebration and reflection. Celebration, because the Bill of Rights has proven a sturdy shield for protecting individual freedom. Reflection, because the Bill of Rights is often misunderstood, even by judges.
The challenge must be to extend your liberalism to uncomfortable depths that not only speak to today's crises, but stand the test of time for equality in future generations.
If all is lost, then there's no reason to try and win. But all is not lost. We have won tremendous victories on civil rights and equality for everyone. We've also suffered setbacks. But we cannot give up. We will not give up. In fact, we shall overcome.
In many ways the anger that caused thousands to take the streets against a criminal justice system that devalues the lives of people of color is the same anger against a political system that prioritizes the banks, the rich and the powerful over families.
As we achieve rights, safety, opportunity, and status, will we forget ourselves? Will we forget where we came from? The #BlackLivesMatter uprising is an incredible moment for us to define who we really are.
The recent mid-term elections marked a blazingly clear reversal of fortune for the Democrat and Republican political agendas. What's less obvious is how the reverberations will affect the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender) movement.
It was the summer of 1968, and I must have looked strange, even by sixties standards, in my gleaming white hard hat with a steel antenna swaying from its crown. I was the only fififield reporter covering Resurrection City.
Initial protests in the aftermath of the grand jury's decision not to indict Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown created awareness about widespread racial discrimination in law enforcement and excessive police violence. Recent protests, however, have taken on a more cynical, counterproductive tone.
In case anybody hasn't noticed, democracy in America is dying now. This isn't an overstatement; it's a fact. Corporate interests dominate our politics so much at this point that our government, for all intents and purposes, is merely its handmaiden. Whatever Wall Street wants, Wall Street gets. Corporatism is the new order of the day.
Throughout his remarkable career, Hayden has been both a prophetic voice and a political strategist, a rare combination. No single figure embodies the spirit of the generation that came of age in the 1960s than Hayden.
The Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases force us to have the tough talks about race, profiling, police use of deadly force, judicial abuse of power and potential changes to our grand jury systems.
Every day in the United States, with just the "click" of a button millions of Americans apply for employment. It's so effortless, in fact, that I can type this piece, pause for one or two seconds and CLICK; I just applied for a job, in literally, a blink.
Wednesday night saw an array of beautiful luminaries including: the still handsome Harry Belafonte, the ever talented Ruben Santiago Hudson, and the magnificent Jessye Norman (to name just a few) came out to see the world premiere of Odetta.
"Today carrying a camera is like carrying a weapon. Who ever might stop you and start interrogating you for taking pictures."
We've come a long way. We have a long way to go. When we talk about history, let's not forget to include current events. Let's not forget that we are the history of the future. That's how we gather important intelligence. Just ask Mayor Edna Branch Jackson.