Tuesday, January 09, 2007

A Word by Any Other Name....

Bigots use it, rappers flip it, and like an infectious disease, the word "nigger" has spread all over the land.

Debate over whether it should be used or not is sure to rise to pitched levels when Johnson Publications announces in its February issues that it will no longer print the word in the pages of Ebony and Jet magazines.

Doesn't matter whether you sing it in rap lyrics or use it as a term of endearment, you don't have to click any further than here or here to understand that modern-day usuage will never erase the horrific, painful history of the word.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

"Change, Change, Change"

If you can't find the humor in it, growing older will amount to nothing more than a long, ugly slide into hot flashes, brittle bones and St. John's Wort. Read how I have embraced middle age (and my midriff bulge) here and how we women of a certain age are affirmed here .

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Celebrating "Tyrone"

The foul-mouthed MC, the selfish athlete, the irresponsible baby daddy. Negative images of black masculinity are ingrained into pop culture and constantly reinforced by the media.

Natalie Hopkinson and Natalie Y. Moore try to debunk some of those myths in their book, Deconstructing Tyrone, which I discuss in today's column.

If you're like me, you know more Everyday Tyrones then the aforementioned stereotypes. If that's the case, click here to celebrate Tyrone, the kind of black men we know and love.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Unexcused Absence

That doesn't refer to me, though I have been gone for a while. I'm talking about the truancy epidemic among high school students that is sweeping the country.

Around 50 percent of kids drop of out school nationally, and that number is higher among black and Latino students. Lots of reasons for this, none of them simple, which makes solutions even more difficult. I try to address the dilemma in this week's column.
Meanwhile, here's a link to some useful information.

What do you think? We need some answers.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Black History Is America's History

The proposed Washington D.C. memorial to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is just one of the reasons why everybody should know African American history.

While Dr. King gets his due in history books, other deserving African Americans do not. From the dawn of civilization in Africa and the wonder of the pyramids; across to an America built on the backs of African slaves; on to the civil rights movement, in which African American struggle won social justice for all people, black history is American history, and it should be taught comprehensively.

A group of proud and determined students in Philadelphia bravely stood up to the status quo in 1967 and demanded that African American history be a course offering. They'd be proud to know that today, it's a graduation requirement.

I celebrate the 39th anniversary of Philly's black student movement in this week's column. Knowledge is power. For all people.

Friday, November 10, 2006

R.I.P. Big "G"

There will never be another like him. Eddie Levert's legacy was supposed to be Gerald, but life has a way of being cruel sometimes.

Leave your remembrances here.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Religion For Sale

Ted Haggard's recent fall from grace says less about his own morality and more about the wholesale way in which organized religion has been co-opted by the Christian Right.

This uncompromising intolerance has seeped into the African American church, traditionally a place of inclusiveness.

Spirited, the book of essays written by African American gays and lesbians mentioned in this week's column, is available from its publisher, RedBone Press.

At least T.D. Jakes and William H. Gray III didn't fall for the Hurricane Katrina's political disapprobation. In other words, the okey-doke.