my shero janet mock interviewed tracee ellis ross, star of the new sitcom blackish, on larry king live. the interview covered everything from race to natural hair to big butts, all wrapped in tracee’s effortless humor. interesting tidbit, blackish isn’t meant to convey being “kinda black,” but instead the “isn” black folks deal with.
popular model and blogger danii phae bravely shared images of her alleged abuse by ex-boyfriend j$tash. in a tumblr post, she described him as someone who abused her “verbally, mentally and emotionally.” according to danii he became physically violent on september 15th after she confronted him regarding his infidelity.
my heart goes out to this young sister who is facing such a difficult struggle. her courage is beyond commendable, especially because her popularity gives her every reason to hide her abuse. instead, she’s using the very platform that helped make her famous, the internet, to empower others and “speak up against domestic violence for those who can’t due to the manipulative acts [their] abusers inflict.”
congrats to serena williams who won her 18th grand slam title and third us open trophy yesterday. at 33, i’m inspired by her dedication and strength — achieving goals that others would consider impossible, especially as a woman of color. after her win, beats released this touching commercial featuring poet, emcee and songstress sunni patterson.
“sister we salute you for not giving up on a dream and showing us what it means to be a champion.”
words can’t explain how inspired i was over the weekend at afropunk. the vibe was amazing, hundreds of people of color were in one venue simply loving life, music, culture and each other. the spirit of social activism was in the air as signs were posted that said no to all forms of oppression and people staged a “hands up, don’t shoot” demonstration to protest police brutality. it was undeniably the best experience that i’ve had all summer.
orange is the new black actress uzo aduba won the series’ first acting emmy last night during the creative arts emmy ceremony. she looked stunning as she accepted the best guest actress in a comedy series award for her role as “crazy eyes.”
these thoughts from my partner about the protests occurring since michael brown’s murder reminded me that many folks may want to join the movement to end police brutality, but aren’t clear on the importance of political organizing or the steps to take.
i’m sending encouragement and love to those new to movement building and share the recommendations below on how to capitalize on this critical moment:
1. know the facts. it’s important that we know the facts surrounding not just mike brown’s murder, but also those of countless other black men and women who have fallen victim to the police. for quick references, check colorlines, the root, salon and an amazing article titled “this is why we’re mad about the shooting of mike brown” on jezebel.
2. be critical. what do claims of looting and mike brown stealing cigarellos from a convenience store (that didn’t call the police) have to do with his murder? be a critical consumer of information and notice how those in power will criminalize a victim before taking decisive action to pursue justice.
3. go beyond mainstream media. some of the most comprehensive accounts of what’s happening in ferguson aren’t coming from fox news or cnn, but folks who are on the frontlines and reporting live. these twitter accounts are my favorite sources: @antoniofrench, @felonious_munk, @awkward_duck and @trymainelee.
4. use social media wisely. hashtags are an invaluable resource. by simply clicking #fergusonsolidarity, #ripmikebrown, #mikebrown, #handsup, #dontshoot and countless others people around the world can get the latest news and stay connected. it’s also a channel to display demands to elected officials.
5. plan an action. but first, pay attention to those in ferguson. take the lead of those on the ground in ferguson when planning a solidarity action in your city and determining your demands. i highly recommend checking out the dream defender’s tips on the subject.
6. remember power concedes nothing without a demand. this brings me to my next point: rallies can galvanize the masses and bond those pursuing justice; however, they should not just be chanting sessions. while you have a microphone and people’s attention, state your demands clearly. here’s a list of the initial demands from community members in ferguson that was shared on twitter:
7. brace yourself. if you plan to play a leadership role in a direct action or protest, plan beyond the actual event. those protestors who are inspired to do more will need to know your next steps. don’t lose the momentum.
8. make a financial contribution. reach out to those on the ground in ferguson via your direct connections or social media and find out how you can help fund their movement. there are suggestions going around on twitter if you’d like to learn more.
9. stay woke. there are interlocking systems of oppression facing black and brown communities throughout this country, and your hometown or neighborhood could be the next ferguson, missouri. get involved now with organizations serving youth, pursuing food justice, seeking to end police brutality and other causes to serve as an agent of change.
10. never forget. now that your consciousness has been raised about the plight black people face in american society, never forget. righteous indignation should propel us to pursue social justice by any means necessary. as a voter, consumer and community member, seize your power.
let’s stand in solidarity with the residents of ferguson and force the world to end the system of white supremacy by recognizing the value of black lives.