In our daily interactions with news and pop culture as well as anti-racist movements and protests, Black men become the representation of violence in America. However, Black women seem to fade into the background, as do the women who have raised them, cared for them, and loved them.
Whether it's 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in 2012, or 14-year-old Emmett Till in 1955, racial prejudice still informs access to adequate education, employment opportunities and advancement, well beyond the streets of Ferguson, Missouri.
Whereas we as Americans once took pride in our educational preeminence internationally, we have fallen to 16th place in college degree completion. We have not kept pace internationally because in spite of our national wealth, we have neglected our poor children.
Throughout our nation, this fear of confronting the past makes it more difficult to address and remedy the ongoing existence of urban ghettos, the persistence of the black-white achievement gap, and the continued under-representation of African Americans in higher education.
In those words lies the connection to the movement for Fair Food that prompted me to stop and reflect on the passing of Nelson Mandela in Immokalee. Farm labor poverty must be addressed so that workers can be freed from crippling fear and empowered to stand up for their rights.
The 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was a multiracial movement. And like 50 years ago, today many of the disparities -- wealth, unemployment, and income -- are not only experienced by African Americans, but exist in varied forms among all people of color.