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BLKWRAP: Can Blackness Be Carefree?

by Danielle Moodie-Mills /

Summertime is upon us and with the season change comes the carefree nature that warm weather provides, namely longer days, rooftop happy hours, proms and pools. There is just something about summer that brings out the child in us—schools out, so let the party begin, that is unless you’re black.

Unfortunately, it seems that for our safety, the entire black community is operating on high alert, so much so, that along with standing, walking and talking while black—going to pool parties are strictly off limits. Thanks McKinney PD.

Pop Off of the Week: Roland Martin vs. The National Organization for Women (NOW)

“When a 14-year old black girl is brutalized by a police officer where was NOW, the nation’s largest feminist organization?”

This was the question talk show host Roland Martin asked on Tuesday’s NewsOne Now. The host even went so far as to go through their social media account on the day in question, where a McKinney police officer was recorded waving his gun and throwing a young bikini clad black girl to the ground. What did his search yield? A throwback photo from 1909, when the NAACP met to discuss racial justice. While I appreciate their interest in history, maybe focusing on the issues of TODAY would serve them better.

Power Move of the Week:

NOW may still be relishing the racial justice fights of yesteryear; but the Ms. Foundation for Women stepped up to the plate and hit the ball out of the park with their powerful statement on Monday by President and CEO Teresa C. Younger:

“We must end apartheid in the criminal justice system. The ongoing abuse of power and violence perpetrated by police is a stain on the soul of this nation. If the lives of people of color really do matter, then we must implement nationwide reforms to eradicate the scourge of racism from every level of the criminal justice system.”

Ms. Foundation Women Of Vision Gala: 2014
Teresa Younger, CEO of the Ms. Foundation, attends the Ms. Foundation Women Of Vision Gala 2014 on May 1, 2014 in New York City.Astrid Stawiarz

Poliwood Round-Up: Trending Topics in the Black Twitterverse This Week

Trend of the Week: #RachelDolezal

Why would a white woman pretend to black? These are the questions being asked with regard to Rachel Dolezal, an African Studies professor and NAACP Chair in Spokane. For over a decade Dolezal has been lying about her ethnicity even going so far to contact the police on multiple occasions claiming to be the victim of hate crimes. While Twitter maybe having a ball with the memes, many more don’t think it’s funny to claim oppression and strife when that is not your lived experience.

Check out Rachel’s now infamous interview.

And the skewering that carried us through our Friday.

THREE: BEY Vegan!

In an announcement on Good Morning America that left fans steaming (and not their veggies) Beyoncé went on the morning show to discuss how she maintains her flawless curves—veganism.

Many thought the singer was going to be dropping a new single or perhaps tour dates, but alas that was not the case. Instead she shared her belief that a plant-based diet will help the rest of us attain her bootylicious figure and youthful glow. I wonder if the sale of Kale spiked afterwards?

Image: Beyoncé wearing Kale sweatshirt
Screengrab of Beyoncé's Kale sweatshirt from her 7/11 video.Beyoncé via YouTube

TWO: Free Like a Butterfly

Kendrick Lamar’s latest album "To Pimp a Butterfly" hasn’t just been called the new black manifesto; but it’s also being taught at High Tech High School in North Bergen, New Jersey. After teacher Brian Mooney’s essay went viral on why he was teaching the album in connection to Toni Morrison’s novel "The Bluest Eye," Kendrick asked his manager to reach out to the teacher so he could visit the school and the rest is Hip Hop history. This is surely a lesson that these kids and (hopefully other Hip Hop artists) won’t ever forget.

ONE: The Murder of Innocence

Kalief Browder was 16-years old when NYPD stopped him on the street and accused him of stealing a backpack. When he told him he didn’t steal it they took him downtown. Browder would spend the next three years in Rikers Island, being abused by guards and inmates alike, because his parents were unable to afford the $10K bail. Without ever seeing a day in court for three years and some 400 days in solitary confinement he was released and over the weekend the now 22-year old took his own life. Our judicial system and its lack of justice for black and brown people is what killed Browder’s spirit, innocence and childhood well before he took his own life. How many more will we allow to perish?

Image: Flowers rest on top of pictures of Browder in New York
Flowers rest on top of pictures of Kalief Browder in New York June 11, 2015. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday vowed to push reforms at the city's troubled Rikers Island prison complex after the reported weekend suicide of the 22-year-old Browder who had been held there for three years without being convicted of a crime. LUCAS JACKSON / Reuters
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