Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Attorney Michele Roberts Elected First Woman Head of NBA Players Association

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Via ESPN: Washington, D.C., attorney Michele Roberts has been voted in as the new executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, making her the first woman to head up a major North American sports union.

At the close of a chaotic Monday filled with meetings, conference calls, presentations and an array of emotions, NBPA executive committee members and team player representatives cast 32 votes in favor of Roberts as the successor to the ousted Billy Hunter, six more than she needed for election.

Chris Paul, shown driving against Russell Westbrook in a May playoff game, said newly elected union chief Michele Roberts was "very relatable to a lot of our players. I think that's what really hit home."

Mansplaining, Black Women and Media: The Not So Curious Case of Stephen A. Smith

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by Sil Lai Abrams

This past Friday, veteran sports commentator Stephen A. Smith sparked a firestorm of controversy around statements he made on ESPN’s “First Take” on domestic violence. In his discussion with Skip Bayliss around the two-game suspension the NFL gave Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice last week for knocking out and dragging his then fiancee’ (and now wife), Janay Palmer, out of an elevator, Smith attempted to say something insightful on the prevention of domestic violence.

NYPD Puts Pregnant Woman in Chokehold for Grilling on Sidewalk

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NYPD were caught on film putting a seven-months-pregnant woman in a chokehold following a scuffle over illegal grilling in Brooklyn.

Photos released Monday show a cope leading Rosan Miller, 27, away from a home with his arm around her neck.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Tara Walker Sworn in as Jersey City's First Black Woman Firefighter

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

I'm Listening: What My Mixed Race Daughter is Teaching Me About Ethnicity

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by Omilaju Miranda

Before I got pregnant, I thought I knew exactly what my child’s ethnic identity would be. I had the obvious answers in my head that meshed perfectly with my perspective on Mixed identity. I knew if my child was brown or “high yellow” with cottony hair, he or she would be a black kid with a white father, and if my child’s phenotype obviously showed his or her racial backgrounds, then I would raise my child as mixed. I was not prepared for a child who so often looks non-anglo white to strangers and many in our close circle (people see the English/Irish white features of her father then assume because of her curls that she’s ½ Italian, ½ Jewish, ½ Puerto Rican, ½ Lebanese….almost any ethnicity except the ½ African American that she is). The mirror and people who actually look at her facial structure assure me that she is almost my twin in a different skin. However, I was not prepared for the way common place situations with strangers and those I know, in which I am mistaken for the nanny, the aunt, or told, “She don’t look a thing like you,” “She looks just like her daddy doesn’t she?” “I don’t see any black in her,” or “She’s white. You’re not going to let her say she’s black are you?” impact the quickness with which I respond to my daughter’s simple questions like, “Why am I white and you’re chocolate milk?”

Thoughts from One of Those Black People

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Hi, my name is Randie Henderson and I am “one of those black people” but I often find myself wondering “why am I doing this?” I also find myself praying and trying to understand why God did not give me a passion for dolphins, trees, or cars, but instead gave me a passion for justice, education, and resistance—in short, people. This passion is hard, difficult, and personal. I literally internalize every failure, every turned head, and every apathetic shrug from black people who believe I am out of my mind. In exhaustion I try to explain that I do not know how to love them or myself silently and because of this, I do not know how to passively address racism, sexism, and other forms of oppression and terrorism that directly affect me and them daily.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Historian Darlene Clark Hine to Be Honored by White House

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Northwestern University history professor Darlene Clark Hine will receive a National Humanities Medal for outstanding achievements in history Monday at the White House.

President Barack Obama is scheduled to present the award, which recognizes work in history, cultural studies, filmmaking, cultural commentary and historic preservation, to Hine and nine other recipients.

Why This Black Woman Stands with Palestine

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For the past several weeks, the headlines have been about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and social media has been in a fervor. Friends become enemies and make vile accusations at one another over political disagreements. People are passionate about the conflict, and Americans should be. America has given 3 billion dollars in aid each year.  Some people will talk about the conflict to no-end in private, but won't post on social-networks for fear of alienating friends or peers.

On Being Divisive

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In the days since I published this piece, I've come to realize that I made a grievous error in neglecting the potential harm my words could bring to Mr. Garner's family and friends, and to them I offer an apology.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

How My Miscarriage Gave Me My Greatest Blessing

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by Nancy Arroyo Ruffin

She smells of hope and new beginnings. Buried in my arms, her tiny hands hang limply against her side as she rests her perfect little face on my shoulders. Rocking her to sleep, I nestle my nose in the folds of her neck until the softness of her skin greets me like fresh linen on a summer day. Our breathing becomes a synchronized melody; our heartbeats become one. I can't believe that in six days my baby will be 2 years old. There was a time when I prayed for moments like this, a time when she seemed like an unattainable dream; something that I yearned for.