This week we've seen heroic acts of courage and activism followed by acts of terror and threats of violence.
The activism that began at University of Missouri and expanded across the country is thrilling. Movements of social justice have always began with youth and so this unity and strategic maneuvering comes as no surprise.
Sadly, what also comes as no surprise are the acts of violence both on and offline--trying to silence those that dare to fight for equality instead of merely accepting the status quo.
Our universities and schools are supposed to be a place for intellectual thriving and openness not ground zero for terrorism and abuse.
What's transpiring right now reminds us that we have so much work left to do and if I never hear the phrase "post racial" again it will be too soon.
Pop Off of the Week: Black Woman Reading vs. Donald Trump
Johari Osayi Idusuyi is the now infamous black woman who was filmed during a Trump rally reading a book. She wasn't just reading any book either but the award winning "Citizen", a book on everyday racism by Claudia Rankin.
"I'm genuinely not interested in him as a person, but if you have the chance to see a presidential candidate, why not?" Idusuyi said. She and a group of friends went to the rally and were ushered to the VIP section right behind Trump in prime view of the cameras because they were black.
She went to the event with an open mind but then started reading her book because she didn't like how Trump handled protesters and also the the terrible things he began to say. She said why not use the opportunity to promote a really great book. She can be seen waving off a man who tries to tell her to book her book away--which is basically how many of us feel when listening to Trump.
Poliwood Round-Up: Trending Topics in the #BlackTwitterVerse This Week
Trend of the Week: #YesSheCan
The White House Council on Women and Girls and the Anna Julia Cooper Center held a summit on women and girls of color. Advancing Equity for Women and Girls of Color: A Research Agenda for the Next Decade. The statistics on the high suspension rate for girls of color, acts of police violence and sexual violence against black transgender women and girls is startling.
As Melissa Harris-Perry said, "this initiative may not receive as much media attention and headlines as other Obama initiatives but this one in particular is steeped in substance, "let's have a healthy dissatisfaction with the shallow", she said.
THREE: The New Binge-worthy Show has Arrived
The Aziz Anasari show, Master of None is now streaming on Netflix and it is giving everyone that watched it life! Not only is the show incredibly funny it is also incredibly representative of a real group of NYC friends. No coffee shops or all white straight casts here. I must also give a shoutout to Aziz for casting Lena Waithe, one of the producers of Dear White People to play a multi-dimensional and hilarious black lesbian (which isn't a stretch because in her real life Lena is equally as dope and brilliant as her character). Pop some popcorn and meet your new fabulous NYC friends!
TWO: Missy is BACK!
In February, when Missy Elliot was brought on stage at the Super Bowl I immediately forgot all about who the headliner was. There has been an obscene dearth of women in rap and the arrival of Missy's new video "WTF: Where They From" was a breath of fresh air. Not only can Missy still bring it she is clearly aging backwards. She remains one of the most fly and entertaining performers around. Welcome back Missy!
ONE: When Will Justice Come?
Imagine your car breaking down on the side of the road. You get out to assess what you need to do next and then you end up shot and killed by a police officer. That's what happened to Cory Jones on a Florida highway on October 18th. Palm Beach Gardens Police Officer Nouman Raja, who left his undercover detail without authorization and was in plain clothes in an unmarked van, went to investigate the situation. Police say that Jones, who was a licensed gun owner brandished his weapon at Raja. Jones' weapon however was never fired and Raja shot 6 times hitting Jones 3 times and killing. Well, after being on administrative leave since the shooting, Raja has been fired from the Palm Beach Police Department.