Magic Johnson’s Major Health Milestone

By: Sharon JenkinsSjemkinsThumb

Congratulations Magic!

The August issue of Identities Mic led with this, “Magic Johnson Just Hit a Milestone Many Thought Was Impossible 24 Years Ago.”  On August 14, Earvin‘Magic’ Johnson turned 56 years old.

Thank God, Magic is still with us!

With the click of a mouse, I was transported back to that heart-stopping moment on November 7, 1991 when the sports world and a disheartened black America were riveted to this breaking news event.

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A Reflection on Ferguson’s Shame

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I’ve reviewed the detailed report by the U. S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that was released on March 4, 2015.

It’s not just the facts of the encounter between 18-year-old Michael Brown and 28-year-old Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson that are disturbing.  As the report states, DOJ investigators found that during their 90-second encounter, Officer Wilson acted within the law to protect himself when he thought his life was endangered by Brown.

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Conservatives’ War on Obamacare Continues Unabated


It’s Black History Month and as you’re reading these words, more than  7 million Americans have purchased health insurance, in recent weeks, as the deadline to sign up for health care under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was set to expire on Sunday, February 15.

Several Presidents, both Republican and Democrat, have tried to enact national, affordable health care insurance.  Our nation’s first African American President got it done.

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Black Voices Weigh in on the President’s State of the Union Address


Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

“…But tonight, we turn the page. Tonight, after a breakthrough year for America, our economy is growing and creating jobs at the fastest pace since 1999.  Our employment rate is now lower than it was before the financial crisis. More of our kids are graduating than ever before.  More of our people are insured than ever before.  And we are as free from the grip of foreign oil as we’ve been in almost 30 years.

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Two Faith Leaders on Youth Violence and Solutions – Part 2 of 2

“America’s schools were not designed to do what we’re

asking them to do…there has to be a collaborative effort between church,

schools and community. Kids need something different…Our kairos moment is now.” — Rev. Dr. Velma Union

 Thoughtful words from a scholar and faith leader who has spent much of her life in Los Angeles as a pastor, counselor and businesswoman.  Her views on how to intervene and improve young people’s lives are rooted in more than 20 years of living and working in a metropolitan environment that, despite its celebrity status, has its share of gun-related violence.

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Is Ferguson, Missouri Today’s Selma?

Since the death of Michael Brown by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson on August 19, another African American man, Kajieme Powell, was killed by Ferguson police only days later. This time the alleged crime was stealing juice and pastries from a convenience store. Powell, described by police officers and witnesses as brandishing a knife and behaving erratically, was shot by police and died at the scene. Powell was not holding a firearm and yet his behavior was enough to make two police officers, with loaded guns, believe their lives were threatened.

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Speaking Truth to Power in a Time of Tragedy

As a junior in college, I changed my major from business to journalism because of my love of writing.  That love of writing became a professional passion because of the transcendent words of a powerful black woman who many scholars credit with creating the field of investigative journalism.

Ida B. Wells-Barnett was described as a petite woman who towered over her peers in light of her courage, her reporting and her comfort in speaking truth to power.

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Gun Violence: Millennials Deserve Peace

 “I don’t feel like, as a resident in an apartment complex, you should be paying basically for your grave site,” he said. “You shouldn’t be paying to be killed or murdered in your own house.”

Brave words from 19-year-old Ravon Jordan who, last July, found the courage, to address the Fayetteville, North Carolina City Council on behalf of his best friend, Shaniqua Simmons.  Simmons and her boyfriend were gunned down in a local apartment complex, the Cambridge Arms.  Their deaths marked the second double homicide at the 694-unit complex since January, 2014.   Jordan’s view was that the complex should be shut down.

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