The racial state formed as a result of the institution of slavery, as predicated on white supremacist beliefs illustrated in segregation after 1896, has been transformed into a structural crisis faced by urban black communities today.
Regardless of how you may feel about some of the recent issues we face, please don't let them tear us apart as people. We have to put our humanity first because we are all in this together.
With increasing frequency, when people in my friendship circle discover that I am a retired HBCU chancellor, they want to know three things. First, since white colleges and universities no longer have racially restrictive admission policies, are HBCUs still necessary?
The controversy surrounding the Washington football team name is in some ways a bellwether. Americans do not know enough about our shared history even to be properly offended at the lack of an inclusive narrative that illuminates the history of this continent in all of its complexity.
The decision by Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby to charge six officers for the death of Freddie Gray, while important, is not the end of the process toward justice. Rather, it is just the beginning step.
I hate to think people actually believe those stereotypes, but it's likely some do. Or maybe they simply don't stop to think about how hurtful and damaging those kinds of images can be.
How do we eliminate the bias against black skin which seems to be so inextricably linked to issues of discrimination that have a real impact on the progress of African-Americans? Economic investment, legal reform and improvements in education are certainly needed. But, I also believe that positive multicultural media is part of the solution.
'Why?' It's the most useful one word sentence in the English language. It's how we begin the search for causes, for understanding, for truth. We have to figure out why something happened before we can figure out how to make change going forward.
During my childhood I was aware that I was different in color from the majority of people around me, but my father and mother emphasized brainpower, not color. Color was what you were, but not using your brain was a choice.
Being out past curfew was against the law for slaves in the colonies. Should slaves have respected the law and brought about change through legal means?
Like most people, I condemn violent protests, including what took place in Baltimore. However, the violence ought to be seen as occurring within the institutional context that has bred it.
I love the black men in my life. They are my brothers, my nephews, my cousins, my best friends. When they hurt, I hurt. We hurt. And once again, we find ourselves deeply hurting from a socially-constructed wound of perpetual, centuries-long injustices.
Police, at this point in my children's lives, continue to represent and practice safety, assistance, respect and justice. But I know the day is coming when my children will stop being adorable little kids who garner high-fives and smiles and compliments from adults.
Conservatives believe that if blacks and Latinos simply work hard, get a good education and earn a good income, historical racial wealth gaps will disappear. The problem is that this sentiment ignores the ways that race continues to affect Americans today.
The fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao has been hyped as the "Fight of the Century," and it is the largest purse ever offered, but it can't compare to the clash between the two undefeated champions who stepped into the ring at a time of tremendous turmoil in 1971.
Across the country, conservatives in particular have debated fiercely whether to pursue voter suppression to remain competitive in an increasingly diverse electorate.