I was not prepared to see what I saw when I did my usual evening scroll on Twitter last night. I wish my social media romp did not include a clip of an officer flipping, choking and throwing a female high school student across a classroom before arresting her. The officer identified as Ben Fields, ordered 18 year old female student to stand up and leave the room. When she refused, Officer Fields stood over her desk and tells her, “either you’re coming with me or I’ll make you.” Then without hesitation, he grabs her, flips her over, and slams her onto the ground before tossing her across the room in front of a class full of other students and cuffing her.
While the majority of mainstream media remains hell bent on crucifying the citizens of Baltimore in the wake of the riots that ensued after the death of 25 year old Freddie Gray, TIME Magazine is focusing on the root of the issues plagueing Baltimore, and many other cities across the country. In the issue to hit stands May 11th, the historical mag dives head first into the decades of systematic racism that became, in the words of President Obama “a slow-rolling crisis”.
Scornful men bring a city into a snare: but wise men turn away wrath. -Proverbs 28:9
Depending on where you are in the world or what media outlets you frequent, you either think the city of Baltimore is full of fed up individuals seeking change or a bunch of savage animals taking advantage of a terrible situation. Unruly riots AND peaceful protests have ensued In the wake of the death of 25 year old Freddie Gray who died on April 19th as a result of injuries he sustained while in police custody. The citizens of Baltimore can now add their portrayal in mainstream media to their reasons to be outraged. It is very clear that there are people taking the opportunity to loot, destroy property and act out in violence. However, according to local media, those people are the minority.
#BlackLivesMatter isn’t just a hashtag as most recently evidenced by the murder of Walter Scott by police officer Michael Slager which was caught on tape. The apparent mistreatment and violation of blacks by law enforcement is no longer something that can be ignored by mass media. Time Magazine has addressed “Black Lives Matter” and the murder of Walter Scott on the cover of this week’s issue. In the article “In The Line of Fire” they describe the killing of blacks by those who are meant to protect as catalyptic.
Today marks the 50th Anniversary of “Blood Sunday”, the day that the first march from Selma to Montgomery took place and demonstrators were attacked by police with tear gas and billy clubs. The fact that there is any semblance between March 7, 1965 and March 7, 2015 is more than unsettling. The 1965 marches were in support of voter rights and resulted in the Voter Rights Act of 1965. After so much sacrifice and loss to gain voter rights, how very disturbing it is that in 2015 those very rights are again in jeopardy.
With a history of covering issues in the African American community since the 1970’s, it’s no surprise that ESSENCE magazine is making history again at the climax of what some are calling the “new civil rights movement”. Vanessa K. DeLuca, Editor-in-Chief of the ground breaking magazine, shared the February 2015 cover with an open letter detailing the process behind the creation of the very first cover to not boast a photo and the significance of it’s subject matter.
In the wake of protests across the country and marches for justice this past weekend in both Washington, DC and New York, Americans as well as supporters abroad are hoping for a change in the current racial climate in the United States. During the New York screening of Selma, a film about the events surrounding the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches, Oprah shared her thoughts on the controversial subject with The Grio.
It looks like Ray Rice won this round. The running back was suspended for two games in July after he assaulted his then girlfriend, Janay Rice, in Spring of this year. However, after footage of the assault leaked in September, the NFL suspended him indefinitely. The NFL Player’s Association appealed the second punishment on behalf of Rice, citing double jeopardy. The NFL countered the appeal stating that the video footage was new evidence.
After months of waiting in angst, the decision of the grand jury on whether or not police officer Darren Wilson would be indicted in the shooting death of Michael Brown was rendered. Last night St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch announced that Wilson would not be indicted. During the press conference McCullough, who came off as being in defense of Wilson, inappropriately lashed out at media and the internet, blaming both for the unrest in Ferguson. He can’t think that his speech, the drawn out process and the delivery of the decision didn’t play a role in the unavoidable tension. It almost seems as though the choice to deliver the decision at night , hours after announcing that it would be made “soon”,
Dozens of films about the civil rights movement of the 1950’s and 60’s have made it to the cinema. Movies centered around the stories of key figures like Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, Nelson Mandela, and The Black Panther Party have been viewed in theaters nationwide. However, a film centered on the man who many consider to be the patriarch of the movement, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., has never made it to the big screen…until now. Selma, directed by Ava DuVerney and written by DuVerney and Paul Webb, is the story of
Activist Cornel West was among the 49 people arrested during yesterday’s protests in Ferguson, Missouri in honor of “Ferguson October”, a culmination of activism and protests in response to the killing of Mike Brown back in August.
West and others were arrested for disturbing the peace and trying to push through a police line while demanding the arrest of Darren Wilson, the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown. According to
The Love & Hip Hop franchise produced by mogul Mona Scott-Young has traveled from New York to Atlanta and now to Hollywood pulling in millions of viewers since it’s inception in 2011. But for as many viewers as it has, it also has its detractors. Some people despise the show, VH1 and Mona-Scott Young because of what they feel are negative depictions of African-Americans. Although the show’s cast made a choice to be a part of the series, some feel that they are being exploited by Mona and VH1 to basically play themselves on TV. In a recent interview with Arise 360, Mona defends the franchise and explains why she thinks the series is more appealing than some would like to admit. Check out a few excerpts below.
Yesterday TMZ released footage of what we all knew happened in the elevator between former Baltimore Raven’s player Ray Rice and his then fiancee, Janay Palmer, back in February. Although the couple later married and took equal blame in the elevator incident that initially caused Ray Rice to be suspended for 2 games, new video shows Rice striking Janay after a quarrel that left her unconscious.
The NFL, who says yesterday was their first time seeing footage of the actual physical abuse, suspended Rice indefinitely after the Baltimore Ravens released him. Whether that is true is what is being questioned by many. Did the NFL really not see the additional
In the midst of the imposed curfew and more unsettling activity in Ferguson stemming from shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, the preliminary autopsy of the teenager’s body was released as well as the name of the officer who killed him. The officer who has been identified as Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown a total of six times according to the autopsy performed by former chief medical examiner for the City of New York, Dr. Michael M. Baden. Dr. Baden, who flew in yesterday to conduct a separate autopsy at the request of Brown’s family says that two of the shots were to Brown’s head, one of which entered the top of his skull and was likely the final and fatal shot. The other four shots were in the victim’s right arm. Attorney Generals Eric H. Holder, Jr. confirmed that the Justice Department would conduct it’s own autopsy in addition to the ones conducted by local officials and the family due to “the extraordinary circumstances involved in this case and at the request of the Brown family.”
This is the photo that has been circling social media this morning. It comes in the wake of another unwarranted killing of a young unarmed black person. 18 year old Michael Brown was shot and killed in St. Louis, MO by police this past Saturday.
Police are said to still be investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting but during a news conference on Sunday, it was reported that Michael was shot and killed after he assaulted a police officer and a struggle ensued over the officer’s gun in his squad car. First of all, this is COMPLETELY different than the eye witness accounts of Michael being unarmed with his hands up when he was