Monthly Archives: January 2017

What Obama Meant to Black Millennials

The Howard University Gospel Choir performs for former President Barack Obama at the Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House on March 30th, 2016 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)

The first time I saw him, he was the rookie senator from Illinois — a mix of cleverness and cool. He was slated to address the 2007 College Democrats of America Convention, which took place in Columbia, South Carolina, where, conveniently, I lived. More convenient still, a friend of mine was one of the event’s organizers, so I also had the luck of joining a small group of people, plucked from the hundreds in attendance who met the senator before he went onstage. It was over in a few seconds. But that was all my 17-year-old self needed. For the next year and a half, the only thing I wanted was for this man who shared my skin to be my next president.

Read the full article in Pacific Standard.

Conflicted U.S. capital prepares to host Trump’s inauguration

Rob Cortis calls it the “Trump Unity Bridge” - a bulky, metal 45-foot structure welded to two wheels and bedecked with red, white and blue signs echoing President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign themes.

He has towed it more than 20,000 miles (32,000 km) across the country. But as he arrived in Washington on the eve of Trump’s inauguration on Friday as America’s 45th president, he struggled to navigate the city’s crowded potholed streets.

“I’ve been on dirt roads that are smoother,” said Cortis, who lives in Michigan.

Read the full article on Reuters.

How the LGBT Community Can Fight Back Against Trump

After every major LGBT rights group in America campaigned in support of Donald Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton, it came as little surprise that Trump won just 14 percent of the LGBT vote on November 8. Yet, one of Trump’s most vocal and controversial cheerleaders has been a gay man, political provocateur and Breibart News writer Milo Yiannopolous. Yiannopolous—who has penned columns such as “Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy” and “The Conservative Father’s Guide to Cutting Off Activist Children”—repeatedly made headlines last year for his inflammatory rhetoric. At his gays-for-Trump event at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last summer, Yiannopolous argued the Democratic Party was “nannying us about transgender pronouns” while “pander[ing] to an ideology that wants me dead”—his take on Islam as an anti-gay religion. He declared Trump “the most pro-gay candidate in American electoral history,” arguing Trump would be great for gay people.

Read the full article on Mother Jones.

‘Insecure’ tackles open relationships, some may want to explore

This past Sunday, HBO’s Insecure explored a taboo topic in the Black community: open and nonmongamous relationships. Molly, played by Yvonne Orji, was quite surprised, like most of us, when her high school friend, Dro, revealed the he and his wife, Candice, were in an open marriage. For Dro, “It’s a lot of pressure to be all things to one person.…

Why I Won’t Cry Over or Celebrate the Dylann Roof Death Sentence

On Tuesday a unanimous jury sentenced Dylann Roof, a 22-year-old white supremacist who killed nine churchgoers in Charleston, S.C., to death. This sentence made Roof the first person in United States history to be given the death penalty in federal court for a hate crime. It only took three hours of deliberation for the jury of nine whites and three blacks to return their verdict condemning Roof to death for his attack on the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

As an active opponent of the death penalty, I was left silent after hearing this sentence: It is state-sanctioned violence that I can neither cry over nor celebrate.

In an odd way, Roof's sentence leaves me conflicted. On the one hand, I am relieved that such a sickening crime was punished to the total extent of the current written and applied law—rather than undermined by white supremacy as it has been many times before. We are called to revisit the innumerable instances when black people were underserved and life was devalued. It is part of the many reasons the Netflix documentary Making a Murderer frustrated many black people, who are the main individuals on the receiving end of wrongful convictions and death penalty sentences.

Read the full article on The Root.

Southern Exposure

Marvell L. Terry II remembers the August 2007 phone call “just like it was yesterday.” He was a 22-year-old University of Memphis student working part-time at a local bank. “The call” came during lunch hour at his favorite Chinese restaurant near Graceland, Elvis Presley’s mansion. “We need you to return to the doctor’s office,” the nurse told him. “Right away.”

Terry had been ill for several months—he had even fainted on campus—but didn’t know why. “I went to the doctor’s office. The nurse asked me, ‘Are you having sex?’ and of course my answer was, ‘No!’” recalls Terry, who is now 31 years old and the HIV and AIDS project manager of the Human Rights Campaign.

Read the full article on POZ.

Reclaiming My Body During the Month of My Rapist’s Birth

January is usually a time of celebration. It’s a time when people can revisit goals from the previous year, create new ones, craft vision boards and determine our course for the year, all while anticipating some unexpected hurdles along the way.

I, too, can always appreciate how important celebrating the new year is—a time with family, friends and loved ones, or even a time to sit in silence, contemplating what’s next. However, I’m also left with the unenviable task of remembering that, 19 years ago, I was raped by a male family member—and that, unfortunately, January is his birth month. That leaves me straddling the nearly impossible line between celebrating victories and remembering defeats; for me, in an odd way, both are necessary this year.

Read the full article on The Root.