current events

a little link love 8.6.14

Renisha Mc Bride1. it’s an age-old strategy that defense attorneys attempt to criminalize the victim of a crime. however, in the murders of unarmed black people this strategy has been a ploy to categorize the victims based upon prevailing stereotypes.  clothing, loud music, marijuana, alcohol and “menacing behavior” were all made relevant in the murders of tryavon martin, jordan davis, darius simmons and now renisha mcbride.  syreeta mcfadden writes for the guardian that “renisha mcbride’s killer wants the jury to think that she was the real criminal.” in her piece, she highlights research around implicit bias and society’s perceptions of blackness that make me wonder if justice will ever be served for the senseless murders by black people by whites.

2. as an nfl player, you get a longer suspension for smoking pot than uppercutting your spouse. shocking i know, but ray rice received a mere slap on the wrist after news emerged that he knocked out his wife in an atlantic city elevator. when sportscaster stephen a. smith seemed to condone rice’s actions by stating the need for women to be held accountable for provoking men, domestic violence advocates around the world rolled over in their graves. professor earl smith writes for the huffington post that the problem is a sports industry and society that has allowed a harmful definition of masculinity to run amok.

3. it’s refreshing to see sociopolitical commentary wrapped in humor and comedian aamer rahman is one of the best. you might remember his standup routine critiquing imperialism went viral last year, and he continues to be a conscious entertainer ridiculing NATO, israel, western governments and american pop icons during sold-out shows.  check him out in an interview with ceasefire.

goodbye 2013

2013 was amazing. cliche, i know, but i can’t think of a time in my life when i’ve been happier.  between a new job, living in a great city, an amazing family and friends and falling in (and out) of love, i’ve grown more during the past 12 months than the past few years combined.  thank you to my readers, especially those who have followed since 2011 — your support keeps me motivated to share my random thoughts on life. here’s a review of 2013 captured by politics and fashion:

1. thanks to michael idiokitas for his bomb photography skills and asking me to pose for his forthcoming streetstyle book.


a little link love

encounter120409_2501. questlove’s piece entitled trayvon martin and i ain’t shit is a heartfelt and sobering look at what it’s like to be a black man in america.  in the piece he describes an incident on the elevator of his swank new york building where a white woman refused to tell him what floor she lived on — questlove was politely offering to push the button for her, but soon realized that she was afraid to let a black man know where she lived.  in his piece, he describes the burden of possessing a large-framed-male-black body when living in a country that has demonized your very existence.

2.  ebony writer jamilah lemieux applauds questlove’s writing and tears to shreds a piece written by white feminist kim foster who claims questlove’s encounter in the elevator wasn’t about racism, but the white woman’s fear of being assaulted by a man (sans-race).  thank goodness jamilah took this nonsense to task, schooling foster and other white feminists on intersectionality and the privilege that brings one to insert her victim-centered narrative into a discussion about racial profiling and the murder of an innocent child.  white feminists often need to be told “this ain’t about you!” and then be forced to have several seats.

3. why didn’t i know about the amazingly talented writer zadie smith?  after reading her interview for the london evening standard, i was moved by her progressive socio-political analysis and ridiculous beauty.  she bad.


4. harry belafonte is an actor and civil rights icon who, during a time of overt hatred, used his celebrity status to shed light on civil rights abuses and support humanitarian causes.  among many acts of resistance, he financed the freedom rides and helped to organize the march on washington.  his story should be mandatory reading for every brown and black celebrity to learn how to give back and empower your community.  evidently, jay z (he recently fired his hyphen) has not taken to heart belafonte’s lessons, and in response to the elder’s criticism that he and others were not doing enough for social justice causes, jay stated:

“I’m offended by that because first of all, and this is going to sound arrogant, but my presence is charity. Just who I am. Just like Obama’s is. Obama provides hope. Whether he does anything, the hope that he provides for a nation, and outside of America is enough.”

wow. and here i thought charity could be described as a commitment to ending inequality and a dedication to social responsibility.  who knew that simply waking up in the morning, placing my feet on the ground, rocking tom ford and hopping in my new bugatti constitutes an exercise in making the world a better place?  damn, somebody should have hipped mother theresa.

exhale on aspire

if you’re bored with the view, soap operas and daytime tv in general, check out exhale — a talk show featuring a bevy of  sisters with strong opinions on magic johnson’s aspire network.  the cast features your favorite awkward black girl, issa rae, as well as angela burt-murray, rene syler, malinda williams and erin jackson.  the trailer looks super cute (or maybe it’s just issa rae’s wardrobe) and the first show airs on june 27th.

farewell brother hugo

Venezuela Chavez_Garc (5)today venezuelan president hugo chavez will be laid to rest.  i shed tears after learning the socialist leader lost his battle with cancer on tuesday, march 5, 2012.  after nationalizing venezuela’s oil supply and speaking openly against western imperialism, chavez was hated by many leaders in the west.  however, he was adored by the masses of poor venezuelans due to his massive social and economic programs aimed at lifting the most disenfranchised out of poverty.  progressive leaders throughout latin america will feel the effects of chavez’s death–its as if the underdogs lost their star quarterback.


rest in power brother hugo.  you served your people well.

*images via the associated press

my president is (still) black

barack obama made history this week when he was re-elected as the president of the united states of america.  i could go on a political tirade and talk about my disdain for mainstream politics, america’s imperialist foreign policies, and the ongoing structural racism in this country, but i won’t.  i’ll take a moment to celebrate the iconography of a black family in the white house.  little black kids deserve to believe the glass ceiling can be shattered.

a little link love

hey lovelies!  i’ve been busy this week working on my very first appeal (instagram photos to follow) and have horribly neglected politics and fashion.  however, forever the consumer of intellectual and visual stimulation, i’ve curated some of my favorite links from the week.  enjoy!


big k.r.i.t.’s newest album, live from the underground, drops june 5th.  check out npr for a free listen to the entire album.  i’m a sucker for a man with a southern drawl, especially when it’s wrapped in conscious lyrics over melodic beats (think outkast, 8 ball & mjg, ugk).


1.  yes to the white tee! who knew white tees weren’t just for d-boys? head over to song of style for more pictures of the white t-shirt reinvented.

2.  man repeller far from repels.  her denim vest worn 3 ways inspired me to plan a major excursion to the thrift store.

3.  solange knowles wore a m-fing skort.  proof that this woman could make a garbage bag look dope.


1.  ever heard of the working families party?  this political party is using grassroots organizing to get progressive candidates elected around the country.  time to break up this 2 party oligarchy.

2.  what are you wearing on the plane?  if it’s a pro-choice shirt, then you might get kicked off american airlines.

3.  it was a tale of two carloses.  two texas men named carlos who resembled one another, one put to death for a murder the other committed.  remind me again why the death penalty is “fair”?  i’m listening…