George Floyd (c. 1974-2020) was an unarmed Black man in the US killed by police this week, on May 25th, in Minneapolis. It has led to the worst riots since 2015, when Baltimore burned after Freddie Gray was killed by police. Now Minneapolis burns. Protests have spread across the country to Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, Chicago, Memphis, New York and elsewhere.
This comes in the wake of the killings of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery making the news.
The arrest: Floyd was arrested after Cup Foods called police saying that he tried to pay with a fake $20. A crime, but not a a violent or life-threatening one. Floyd was a restaurant security guard who had been thrown out of work by the Pandemic of 2020.
Derek Chauvin, a White police officer, had his knee on Floyd’s neck for at least eight minutes – after Floyd had been handcuffed!
The Rev. Joseph E. Lowery fought to end segregation, lived to see the election of the country’s first black president and echoed the call for “justice to roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream” in America.
For more than four decades after the death of his friend and civil rights icon, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the fiery Alabama preacher was on the front line of the battle for equality, with an unforgettable delivery that rivaled King’s — and was often more unpredictable. Lowery had a knack for cutting to the core of the country’s conscience with commentary steeped in scripture, refusing to back down whether the audience was a Jim Crow racist or a U.S. president.
“We ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back; when brown can stick around; when yellow will be mellow; when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right,” Lowery prayed at President Barack Obama’s inaugural benediction in 2009.
Lowery, 98, died Friday at home in Atlanta, surrounded by family members, they said in a statement.
“Tonight, the great Reverend Joseph E. Lowery transitioned from earth to eternity,” The King Center in Atlanta remembered Lowery in a Friday night tweet. “He was a champion for civil rights, a challenger of injustice, a dear friend to the King family.”
Lowery led the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for two decades — restoring the organization’s financial stability and pressuring businesses not to trade with South Africa’s apartheid-era regime — before retiring in 1997.
Considered the dean of civil rights veterans, he lived to celebrate a November 2008 milestone that few of his movement colleagues thought they would ever witness — the election of an African-American president.
At an emotional victory celebration for President-elect Barack Obama in Atlanta, Lowery said, “America tonight is in the process of being born again.”
I’m relieved to see inter ethnic relationships between people of Color. I’m tired of the hegemonic interracial/interethnic relationships between white and POC. A lot of such relationships are fraught with difficulties, subconscious racism, prejudices, fetishism, or just plain exploitative and short lived. I think relationships and families between two ethnic groups of Color are just more sincere and grounded. This is not to distract from Black love. Black love is still great. Relationships between different ethnicity of Color are beautiful as well.
The Beauty (and Struggle) of Black and Brown Relationships in Los Angeles
Alfredo Gama and Audrey Edwards : “Black and Brown people often see each other as competition, but we are fighting for the crumbs that white supremacy leaves us with. We need to be aware that there are forces out there that are trying to divide us.” Image by Walter Thompson-Hernández
Melanin(a) is an environmental portrait series dedicated to the beauty and struggle of black and brown relationships in Los Angeles. In one of the most divisive moments in the history of the United States, I ask: How are black and brown couples making sense of the current political and racial climate? How does the increased normalization of violence on the black and brown body throughout Los Angeles impact intimacy? And what does a black and brown future look like in the age of Trump? By exploring these narratives through visual ethnography, Melanin(a) aims to build on the existing work of artists and activists who have and continue to create platforms for the preservation of black and brown lives in Los Angeles and beyond.
Hilario, Aide, and Sebastian: “Hatred will be more prevalent in our society.”
Lexx Valdez and Halline Overby: “We have our own issues as black and brown people but there’s also a togetherness that we both share. And we have to look for each other. We have to band together more than what we did before and really look out for each other’s families beyond our relationship right now.”
Aaron and Norma: “We are very pro-brown and pro-black.”
David Trujeque and Norma Fuentes: “It’s important for us a mixed couple to stick together right now because as a group we can send messages and tell people that this is the way it could be. We have to have each other’s back. I feel like its important for us to stick together right now and that’s powerful.”
Soleil Boyd and Jose Hernandez: “I’m very aware of anti-black racism. I read about it, I study it, and I experience it but I couldn’t believe what Trump was saying. I didn’t believe it. Jose was offended and he was hurt, but I couldn’t even comprehend what was being said and I thought that there was so much about his life that I didn’t understand and it opened up lines of communication about race for us.”
Cecilia Whalen and Cleveland Whalen: “When Trump got elected, it was like stepping back in time. And I’m not naïve about the racial tension that is out there. I just think that people were keeping it under wraps for so long and now that the leader of the country is going to say it then somehow everyone who feels like that is going to be active. It is going to push us back very far.”
Erin Whalen and Garrett Kynard: “Black and brown love is a perpetual affirmation of our lives as queer men of color in this era. It means having a home to process what we go through as black and brown men. It also means partnering with our families to help them go through what is happening in the Trump era because they are scared about the hate and oppression that we go through.”
Jamie Trujeque and Stacey Trujeque: “Black and brown love has risen out of the depths of struggle, pain and perseverance.”
Claudia Lira and Shaye Ogbonna: “Black and brown love is knowing that we will be raising a thoughtful, kind daughter and will probably be Trump’s worse nightmare.”
Deb Vargas and Erica Edwards: “Trump means that we can’t be indifferent anymore. We have to dream and we have to be ready in ways that we haven’t before and we have to be willing to do the work. For black and brown love, it means doing the work in a very real way and not seeing our histories as distinct and not to collapse them but to be humble and vulnerable enough to cross histories and boundaries in a trump world that would want us to be separate.”
Kaelyn Rodriguez and Daniel Chavez: “Trump is a threat and he is a danger and it means that we have to get ready and be ready and we have to be more intentional about racial coalitions. Right now it’s just about being able to come together because he represents a real danger to our lives.”
Cristina Arredondo and Sherman Ratliff: “Trump is empowering racist people who were hiding in the shadows. And we’re not just looking out for each other anymore. It’s about both of our families. I worry about my parents because they don’t speak English. I worry about his mom when she goes to work. And I worry about eventually being a family and having kids within these next four years.”
Raheem Dawson and Christy Dawson: “It can be really disorienting and it can almost seem like an insurmountable task to survive as a black and brown couple through this, but if you step away from that for a moment and really focus on your person and your relationship there is still ways to see the light and I look at her and the world is an alright place.”
Koatzin Cruz and Chaz-Ashley Cruz: “Our bodies will be at stake now that Trump has become president. And being together right now is a political resistance because whether by law or by social status, black and brown love has always been undermined and historically not valued. Resistance is no longer just about words.”
Walter Thompson-Hernández is a Los Angeles-based multimedia journalist and current doctoral student at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His stories and research have been featured by NPR, CNN, BBC, Fusion, Los Angeles Times, Remezcla, and UNIVISION.
Mr. Knipp doesn’t get it. Blackface performance is still racist, esp. when he performs them in a hateful, demeaning way. Mr. Knipp insults Black women that is far worse than Imus, barring Trump. But, then again, academia, media pundits, Hollywood executives and producers, and politicians gain mileage on producing hateful, degrading stereotypes of Black women. Clarence Thomas and his honchos degrade Black women, esp. during the 1991 Thomas/Hill saga, Bill Clinton puts down Sister Souljah during his 1992 campaign for the White House. Jeb Bush told mainly Black women who were on welfare to find husbands. The late suspected white supremacist Senator Robert Bennett of Utah suggest that a Black woman with an out of wedlock child would ruin the Bush presidency back in 1999. Mr. Knipp is no different from these people above.
I’m glad people are seeing who Shirley Q. Liquor really is and are protesting that degraded stereotype of Black women.
Shirley Q. Liquor is a fat black woman played for laughs by Charles Knipp, a gay white man. He performs his one-man show mainly in gay bars throughout the American South. He is also on radio and the Internet.
Shirley Q. Liquor has has 19 children, speaks bad English, drinks malt liquor, drives a Cadillac and lives off government benefits. She has daughters with names like Chlamydia and Kmartina.
It is all a stereotype about black women: the welfare queen. It pictures black women as having little intelligence, money or willingness to work hard.
Knipp is doing what is known as blackface. Since the early 1800s whites have been painting their faces black and playing black people for laughs. I thought this stuff died out in the 1960s along with Jim Crow. Apparently not.
Protesters were able to shut down some performances in New…
Ahmaud “Maud” Arbery (1994-2020) was an unarmed Black American jogger gunned down by two White men, Gregory McMichael and his son Travis, on February 23rd 2020 in Satilla Shores, Georgia. They were not arrested till May 7th, over two months later, two days after a video of the shooting went viral on the Internet.
Arbery was a high school football star. At 25 he still ran regularly to keep in shape. His father says he often jogged through Satilla Shores, a White suburb of Brunswick, Georgia, on the coast between Savannah and Jacksonville.
Calls to the police: On February 23rd at least two people reported Arbery to the police. One said, “There’s a black male running down the street”. Another said he was examining a house that was under construction. Neither said how he was life-threatening or breaking the law.
What the McMichaels say: Arbery “fit the description” of a…
This is so evil. I am saddened once again, a young Black man in the prime of his youth was taken down by racists in Georgia and in America. I’m not surprised about Georgia because of the hate activities taken by race soldiers such as that father and son. That state also have an indifferent governor who have a very cavalier and racist attitude toward the Black population. Blacks composed 30% of Georgia’s population. I have relatives, cousins, and friends living in that state. I hope God watches over my family because of the climate we’re currently live in.
As for Ahmaud Arbery, may prayers go to his family, friends, and acquaintances. May God keep them in His care.
Black Enterprise Founder and Publisher Earl G. Graves, Sr., the quintessential entrepreneur who created a vehicle of information and advocacy that has inspired four generations of African Americans to build wealth through entrepreneurship, career advancement and money management, has died. According to his son, Black Enterprise CEO Earl “Butch” Graves Jr., he passed away quietly at 9:22 p.m. on April 6, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. Graves was 85.
Driven by that mission, Graves became a trailblazing entrepreneur in his own right, building Black Enterprise from a single-magazine publishing company 50 years ago, to a diversified multimedia business spreading the message of financial empowerment to more than 6 million African Americans through print, digital, broadcast and live-event platforms. As such, Black Enterprise was one of two companies that would appear on the BE 100s—the publication’s annual rankings of the nation’s largest black-owned businesses—each of its 47 years. At one point, Graves would operate two companies on the list, including Pepsi-Cola of Washington, DC, one of the nation’s largest soft-drink distributors owned by African Americans.
Graves’ influence and reach also extended into the mainstream of corporate America. One of the few African Americans to serve on the boards of major corporations such as American Airlines, Daimler Chrysler, Rohm & Hass and Federated Department Stores (Macy’s), he was a staunch advocate for African American inclusion in the C-Suite and corporate governance. Graves was also a tireless champion of major corporations doing business with black-owned companies.
Beyond business, Graves was a force in politics, civil rights, and philanthropy. In fact, he played a pivotal role in galvanizing support for the election of the first African American president of the United States, Barack Obama, through his endorsement in Black Enterprise and service as a surrogate campaigning on his behalf. Before that, Graves also championed the historic presidential bids of Rev. Jesse Jackson. Moreover, his fight for racial justice and economic parity earned him the NAACP Spingarn Medal, the organization’s highest honor, in 1999.
Reverend Joseph Lowery, great Civil Rights leader, has died. He was 98 years old.
According to NPR, he was well known affectionately as the “Dean” of the Civil Rights Movement, Lowery was a part of pivotal moments in the nation’s history – from early civil rights struggles to the inauguration of the country’s first black president. Even in his 90s, Lowery’s fervor never dimmed.
At an appearance on the national mall in 2013, at the age of 91, he led the crowd in the chant “Fired Up? Ready to go?” The event marked 50 years since the 1963 March on Washington, which Lowery attended as a contemporary of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. At that 50th anniversary appearance, he warned that hard-fought gains were under attack.
“We ain’t going back,” he said. “We’ve come too far, marched too long, prayed too hard, wept too bitterly, bled too profusely and died too young, to let anybody turn back the clock on our journey to justice.”
During his lifetime, he has seen so many changes in American history that impacted millions of Americans, especially Blacks.