True to its origins, this year’s Juneteenth combines incremental victory and continued struggle.

A woman wipes away tears after the names of Black people killed by police were read while marching to mark the Juneteenth holiday June 19, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Juneteenth is now an official federal holiday, with legislation creating “Juneteenth National Independence Day” having passed in the House and Senate and signed into law by President Joe Biden. This victory is hard-won, the fruit of decades of activism from people like 94-year-old Opal Lee, who once walked from Fort Worth, Texas, to Washington, D.C., (at 89!) to push for federal recognition.

So finally, the U.S. is getting a national holiday dedicated to the emancipation of our enslaved ancestors. But it’s happening amid a concerted right-wing effort…

Was the summer of 2020 a wake-up call, a reckoning or a revolution?

The summer of 2020 brought with it protest after protest after protest. But to what end? Photo: Getty Images

With six months under our belts in 2021, many have begun to refer to 2020 as the “lost year.” Twenty-twenty was the year that brought us so much — trauma, a reset, inner peace, anxiety. Essentially, it was a basket case of a year. If you are Black, however, it brought with it the persistent reminder that even in the midst of a global pandemic, where a trip to the grocery store could land you in the hospital or worse, being Black in America was still just as deadly as contracting Covid-19. …

Once again racism rears its ugly head when it comes to Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, and their kids

Meghan Markle in 2020. Photo: Getty Images

What’s in a name? Apparently a lot when it comes to royal babies. After Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, announced they were pregnant with a girl during that infamous Oprah interview, speculation began over both the name and the due date.

Earlier this week, royal watchers received their answer. Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor was born on Friday, June 4 at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, weighing in at 7 pounds and 11 ounces, according to an announcement on Harry and Meghan’s Archewell website. A fine name if you ask me, especially considering how the first name is a…

It Has to Be Said

Mo’Nique’s ‘auntie’ comments prop up supremacist standards

Remember Little House on the Prairie and the bonnets the White women wore? Historic head coverings weren’t a problem for real or fictional White women. Why are they a problem for Black women? Image: Getty.

Throughout the decades of my life as a Black woman, I have worn nearly every hairstyle known to humankind. I spent my childhood quivering at the sizzle of a hot comb that transformed my hair into neat plaits or ponytails. From there, it just got more creative with the Jheri curl, Leisure curl, Halle Berry cut, kinky puff, bone-straight shoulder length weave, curly weave, cornrows, Marley-assisted ponytails, and the occasional wig.

I have worn everything except a bonnet out of the house, but I guarantee you that my personal choice of leaving it in the dresser hasn’t saved me from…


Mainstream support for Black Lives Matter has waned. But for Black people, the fight continues — and so does the agony.

A makeshift memorial for George Floyd fills with flowers and candles nearly a year after his brutal killing by Minneapolis police. Photo: Getty Images

It is now a year after the murder of George Floyd, and Black people are still exhausted.

“There’s something called racial battle fatigue, and it is the exhaustion that comes from event after event, assault after assault,” says Thema Bryant-Davis, a professor of psychology at Pepperdine University and the director of the university’s Culture and Trauma Research Center. “Because although this milestone is very significant, there have been many others right before that and after that.”

Death at the hands of police has not stopped. Since May 26, 2020 — the day after former officer Derek Chauvin killed Floyd —…

Academia holds Black women to an arbitrary standard

Nikole Hannah-Jones poses for “Vanity Fair.” Photo: Levi Walton

Nikole Hannah-Jones is a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, MacArthur fellow, legal scholar, and activist. She published the “1619 Project” in the New York Times in 2019, which provided a candid view of American history, starting with the forced arrival of enslaved Africans to Jamestown. Hannah-Jones’ interactive project demonstrates with clarity that slavery was an essential component of America’s founding. That part right there has conservatives throwing shade. To the opposition, Hannah-Jones gave a clear message:

I see my work as forcing us to confront our hypocrisy, forcing us to confront the truth that we would rather ignore.

As a trailblazer searching…

Enough with playing it nice and safe in the fight against anti-Blackness.

Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images

While following the Derek Chauvin trial, I’ve noticed one common theme that also struck me immediately following the gruesome killing of George Floyd — White people speaking out against racism after the fact. It seems that a healthy handful of White folks wait to express their outrage and disgust over racial injustice after a highly publicized or sensationalized tragedy takes place. Often, after a new hashtag begins trending on social media, a variety of tweets and posts speaking out against anti-Blackness and anti-Black violence soon follow. Which, I suppose, is fine, but very few extend far beyond their comfort zone…

Systemic racism persists in policing, and we cannot become complacent

Photo: Caitlin Ochs/Reuters

W hile we cannot call this verdict justice, accountability seems to have come to Minneapolis. This moment feels bittersweet. Of course, it’s good to know that other people agree that George Floyd’s life mattered. Yet America’s policing problem runs much deeper than one case.

Each generation of Black people sees people who look like them killed by police brutality. My brother once told me, “I’m more afraid of them than criminals.” Ever since he became a preteen, police officers have followed him around in stores. We discussed these events — the loss of his innocence in their eyes.

And he…

We need more than one guilty verdict to change America

Angela Harrelson, the aunt of George Floyd, speaks at George Floyd Square after the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial on April 20, 2021, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Over the last two weeks, George Floyd’s family, along with the nation, relived his vicious murder. Frame by heartbreaking, grief-stricken, devastating frame — we watched the life of a man being slowly squeezed from him. The world stood still, watching former police officer Derek Chauvin nonchalantly take the life of another human being in the midst of a once-in-a-generation global health pandemic that had already halted our steps.

Every once in a while, there is an event that is so graphic, so inhumane, that it makes society take pause, asking itself “Who are we? What do we stand for?” and…

It feels foolish to love a nation that despises you in return

Protesters demanding justice for Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man killed by police near Minneapolis, marched through Center City, Philadelphia, on April 13, 2021.

From the Derek Chauvin trial to the killing of Daunte Wright, it is a hard time to be an African American patriot.

My father used to read an entire Perry Mason book every day; Perry Mason is a fictional American criminal defense attorney authored by Erle Stanley Gardner. The series was a chance for my father to escape his reality as a child living in poverty in a rural region in Nigeria. He eventually gained an American green card and worked at a Stop & Go gas station for upward of two years while studying at Los Angeles Community College…


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