Roxanne Gay: On the Death of Sandra Bland and Our Vulnerable Bodies

#sayHerNAME

(Excerpt):
“As a black woman, I feel this tragedy through the marrow of my bones. We all should, regardless of the identities we inhabit……There is a code of conduct in emergency situations — women and children first. The most vulnerable among us should be rescued before all others. In reality, this code of conduct is white women and children first. Black women, black children, they are not afforded the luxury of vulnerability. We have been shown this time and again. We remember McKinney, Tex., and a police officer, David Casebolt, holding a young black girl to the ground. We say the names of the fallen. Tamir Rice. Renisha McBride.Natasha McKenna. Tanisha Anderson. Rekia Boyd. We say their names until our throats run dry and there are still more names to add to the list.”

Repeating Islands

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This Op-Ed piece by Roxanne Gay appeared in The New York Times.

I AM tired of writing about slain black people, particularly when those responsible are police officers, the very people obligated to serve and protect them. I am exhausted. I experience this specific exhaustion with alarming frequency. I am all too aware that I have the luxury of such exhaustion.

One of the greatest lies perpetrated on our culture today is the notion that dash cameras on police cruisers and body cameras on police officers are tools of justice. Video evidence, no matter the source, can document injustice, but rarely does this incontrovertible evidence keep black people safe or prevent future injustices.

Sandra Bland, 28 years old, was pulled over earlier this month in Waller County, Tex., by a state trooper, Brian T. Encinia. She was pulled over for a routine traffic stop. She shouldn’t have been pulled…

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Feds Announce New Tools To Help Black Students Thrive In The Classroom

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Parental Checklist, Student Bill Of Rights Among New Resources To Support Parents And Students

As millions of children prepare to head back to school, the feds announced new tools to help African-American students excel in the classroom.

A new parental checklist is a framework that moms and dads, mentors and teachers can use to improve African-American student performance and help close the so-called “achievement gap” between black students and their white peers.

“Our hope is that these tools support black families,” said David Johns, the executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, “and all caring and concerned individuals who should be engaged in the work of supporting our children, our communities and our country, to ensure that excellence for all is not a goal, but something that is required and a prerequisite for how we do business.”

Using input from advocacy groups like the National Urban…

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Omarion, Terrence J., Morris Chestnut, And Justine Skye Team Up With Verizon To Help End Domestic Violence

Bossip

Over the July 4th weekend, Verizon’s HopeLine program teamed up with celebrities Terrence J, Justine Skye, Omarion and Morris Chestnut to create a powerful PSA at the Essence Music Festival to raise awareness about an important issue that affects our communities, friends, and family members – domestic violence.

The new PSA was designed to empower individuals to take action against domestic violence in one simple way – visit any Verizon store and donate a used wireless phone through their #HopeLine program. Each donated phone helps make an impact by connecting survivors of domestic violence to vital resources and funding domestic violence organizations nationwide.

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Jamaican Roots Revivalist Jah9’s Spiritual, Playful Sides

SALUTE! Sistren
Hail, RASTAFARI!!!!

“Rastafari is the uniting force whenever you see this message come up,” said Jah9 via Skype. “We appreciate that the media is giving us the attention, if that’s how they want to classify it that is fine, as long as we know what we are doing on this mission.”

Repeating Islands

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“Avocado” singer Jah9 brings her roots revivalism to Hartford–Robert Cooper reports for the Hartford Courant.

In just three short years, a young group of Rastafarian artists have managed to dominate the world of reggae music with a back-to-the-foundations sound that has been dubbed a movement — neo-roots or reggae revivalist — by the Jamaican media. One of those artists, Jah9, a poet turned singer, will be making her Connecticut debut in Hartford July 30 at the Infinity Music Hall.

I think people relate to it because it’s a simple story, it’s a love story, and it’s about simplicity.
– Singer/Songwriter Jah9

Jah9 is one of the more prominent of the ever-growing group of so-called neo-roots artists, which also includes Chronixx, Jah Bouks, Jesse Royal, Protoje, Kabaka Pyramid, Hempress Sativa, and Kelissa. Although the Jamaican media has labeled this a new movement, Jah9 has lukewarm feelings about any journalistic tags and…

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When the Young Lords Were Outlaws in New York

Young Lords, Siempre!!!!

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Holland Cotter reviews the exhibition “¡Presente! The Young Lords in New York,” held in three parts at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, El Museo del Barrio and Loisaida Inc., for The New York Times.

On July 26, 1969, a group of young Latinos stood in the band shell in Tompkins Square Park, in the East Village, and made an announcement. They were founding a New York branch of a revolution-minded political party called the Young Lords.

Inspired by the Black Panthers and an earlier street-gang-turned-activist Young Lords group in Chicago, their purpose was to gain social justice for New York’s working-class Latino population, then largely Puerto Rican and treated with contempt by the city government.

Most of the members onstage that day were recent college graduates well versed in leftist political theory. To gain the trust and cooperation of Latino communities — concentrated in the East Village, East…

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