Land of the Free…Stuff?

IMG_9806By: CJ Bowers, @_CJBowers

These days, we are surrounded by sound bites of the latest speeches coming from presidential candidates on their campaign trail. Within those sound bites lie harsh realities, met with a “promising” future for our country. Recently, GOP Presidential candidate Jeb Bush received criticism for a comment made as it relates to African-American voters being swayed by the promise of “free stuff”. In a town hall meeting of likely voters in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, he attempted to explain how his platform was more hopeful, and less divisive than his liberal counterparts.

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Women, too sing America

By: Melanie Avery @melaniegreenteaheadshot

 Soaring women too can rise out of the ashes like the Phoenixes they are.

On Saturday, September 19, 2015 the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation was honored to host the President of the United States and First Lady Michelle Obama at the 45th Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) Phoenix Awards Dinner.   This year’s theme centered on civil rights and justice.  Civil rights leaders who were living received awards as well as those who we honored posthumously.  There were beautiful performances by talented artists and a star-studded list of dignitaries adorned the crowd.

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A Decade After the Storm: The Pain, the Progress, and the need for so much more

By: Marchaeus Bacon, @mbacon1906

I remember Hurricane Katrina just as if she happened yesterday as opposed to hitting Southeast Louisiana August of 2005.  Considering that I was born and raised in the New Orleans Metropolitan region I have been accustomed to hurricane seasons all of my life.  However, when my father said we need to go, I started looking at this Marc4hurricane a little bit differently.  Something about a storm coming your way as a category five gives you a new respect and perspective on the work of God.

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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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Fair Housing, Still an important stabilizer in our community today.

By: Marchaeus Bacon, @mbacon1906Marc4

 I tend to be constantly immersed in the news, but I would have to admit that this is one news story that completely got by me. The fact that the Supreme Court was going to hear a case concerning Fair Housing yet again. Most people know it as the Fair Housing Act of 1968 signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson which stopped, federally at least, the discrimination of people of color in this country after the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and 1965 Voting Rights Act. the goal of the law was to stop discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It also gave the Department of Housing and Urban Development the tools needed to remedy years of discrimination and enforce the law (The Atlantic: U.S. Supreme Court considers the case of Inclusive housing.)

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The Movement Matters

By: Chris Bowers, @_CJBowers

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We are 16 months away from another presidential election; however, the campaign season is nearly in full swing. With over 20 candidates vying to become the next leader of the free world, their words matter as much as our vote matters. Both African-Americans and young adults have been known to make an impact in previous elections. There’s no reason why that will change anytime soon.

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America’s Greatest Mental Illness

Thursday, June 18, 2015 is a day Charleston and the nation will never forget. While hosting bible study, Reverend Clementa Pinckney and eight parishioners were gruesomely murdered at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.  As the facts of the case are still presenting themselves, one assertion that has been made is that the shooter, Mr. Dylan Roof, was “mentally ill”. The truth is that the culprit was indeed a mentally ill man. The mental illness that he suffers from is racism. There is no logical or scientific explanation that can justify a sane human being horrifically and mercilessly taking the life of another human being simply because he or she disfavored another’s racial background.

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On Charleston…a petition for a remedy of apathy

To those who lost their lives we offer our hymns, prayers, and sincere condolences. To those who survived, we pray their comfort by the Savior in wrapping their heads around being left behind?  To those who live in counties and cities all across the nation: I have a literal question. How many more of these types of incidents whether racial, gun violence related, or acts of terrorism? How many more violent acts will we observe on CNN, MSNBC, or in our neighborhoods before we speak up, act up, and live up to the charge of protecting our communities? How many more times will Rev. Al, Dr. Dyson, and Dr. West spar over best ways to address these issues? How many more cogent, thoughtful obituaries will we hear from US leaders speaking from hallowed pulpits before we see change? I’m still waiting for the world to change.

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Dear Sister Rachel Dolezal

After watching your interview recently on the Today Show; I wanted to reach out to you in sisterly love; not sisterly love because you identify as “black”, but sisterly love; woman to woman; as an African woman. There were many things that you stated which caused me to have follow up questions for you; such as your “self –identification came through the black experience”. Since you stated there was a “complexity of identity”, I had to stop to define identity.  In this context, we can imply that identity is being used to describe the characteristics of your individuality. The quality of your individuality ultimately has the power to set you apart from others because of your uniqueness; instead you conformed to black culture. For a people who were stolen away from their own land and sold to a foreign land, for the women who were raped on the plantation; later birthing children and having them ripped from their arms; these black experiences causes complexity of identity.

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