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Diversify art: The importance of Black artists and Black-owned galleries

While art may be the last on some people’s minds in these turbulent times, it’s also art that might just be what keeps people sane through it all.

This isn’t about your typical mainstream art, but instead the forms of art that have been put to the sidelines over the years, if not decades or even centuries.

Here are some Black artists and black-owned galleries you should be keeping your eyes on, and why they’re so important.

The things not all history books will tell you

The history of Black art in America can technically be traced back to the slave trade, but it’s only recently that Black art and artists as a whole have begun to enter mainstream society. Even so, there still seems to be a lack of widespread information about famous Black artists as opposed to the more “traditional” artistic canon.

Two major events that arguably contributed to the rise of modern Black art, however, include the Harlem Renaissance from 1918-1937, as well as the Black Arts Movement in the 1960s.

Awe-inspiring Artists

Movements like the Harlem Renaissance and the Black Arts Movement have paved the way for artists such as Charles White and Jeff Donaldson, who emerged in the 1960s, but what’s also important to consider is that many more Black artists have continued to emerge since then.

This includes artists such as Deborah Willis, Renee Cox, Mark Bradford, and Lorna Simpson. The latter was also the first Black woman to present art at Venice Biennale, a famous contemporary art exhibit in Italy. Bradford also recently presented there as well back in 2017.

Despite the achievements of these creators, there still seems to be a lack of attention to Black artists. Even those who are famous in the mainstream art world still appear to be less widely-known in comparison to artists such as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Cindy Sherman.

The question is: why? And what can people do to support these marginalized artists?

Time to share the spotlight

It seems because the roots of African-American art are rooted in times when Black people were more marginalized than they are now, it’s set a precedent that persists even to today. Because Black American art originated outside of the American art canon, it was forced to develop outside of it for decades if not centuries. 

While the representation of Black artists has certainly improved in the modern era, there still seems to be a lack of attention to them as well as Black-owned galleries even today.

The key to fixing this issue though is simple. By consuming art made by Black artists, supporting black-owned galleries, and sharing their works, we can start to draw attention to these marginalized artists.

The artists or galleries you wish to support don’t even need to be famous. Spreading word about local creators or galleries is just as vital.

This is especially important in the context of the Black Lives Matter movement, but it shouldn’t stop there. Giving underrepresented creators, no matter what race or ethnicity, doesn’t just help them in breaking out into the mainstream art scene.

If you’re looking for venues to support, here are some Black-owned galleries you can help in these difficult times.

The beautiful thing about art and the creative community surrounding it is how it inspires other people. Diversifying the contemporary art scene will not just create a more enriched variety of artwork, but perhaps it may even inspire a new and more diverse generation of future artists.

No Kaitlin Bennett, Pride Month is not canceled because of BLM

Pride Month and the Black Lives Matter movement are not mutually exclusive.

Contrary to the ever-hateful Kaitlin Bennett’s opinion, the #BLM protests do not cancel out the calls for awareness and equality by the LGBTQ+ community. In fact, the solidarity between the two movements has been a glimmer of hope and love in otherwise harrowing times.

Bennett, otherwise known as “gun girl,” referencing her senior pictures in which she posed with an AR-10 rifle on her college campus, is known for posting right-wing opinions on her social media. Near the beginning of June, Kaitlin Bennett celebrated the ‘cancellation’ of Pride Month on Twitter.

She remarks that the only good thing about the Black Lives Matter movement is that Pride has essentially been canceled. Commenters wrote hateful remarks towards the LGBTQ+ community, fueled by Kaitlin Bennet’s words.

Kaitlin Bennett could not have been more wrong when she assumed that the Black Lives Matter movement meant that Pride Month wouldn’t be celebrated.

The first pride parade happened as an act of solidarity towards trans women who advocated for LGBTQ+ rights in the ’60s during the Stonewall uprising. One woman, Marsha P. Johnson, was prominent in the uprising after a police raid occurred at Stonewall Inn, which to this day, remains a gay bar in New York City.

Marsha P. Johnson, a black drag queen, was the face of the Stonewall movement and is known for her advocacy for gay rights. There is now a Marsha P. Johnson Institute which provides support for people who are black and trans.

Marsha P. Johnson during the Stonewall Uprising

Pride started because police had been violent with people of color in a gay bar. Celebrating Pride, albeit virtually, during the Black Lives Matter protests are two massive movements coming full circle. They are deeply connected at their roots and we won’t let Kaitlin Bennett tell us otherwise.

Both movements are calling for change, and it says something about the systemic issues of the country that we’re still fighting for the same rights that we were in the ’60s.

There are worldwide virtual events scheduled to celebrate Pride Month in the middle of the pandemic. Using Pride to celebrate not only a month dedicated to the LGBTQ+ community but also to make sure that Black lives are being fought for, shows the love and respect that is shared between the two movements.


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Further confirming that Black Lives Matter and Pride share history and goals, both communities face high rates of police brutality and violence. Black transgender people face even higher rates of state and community violence and have been killed, misgendered, and deadnamed in media reports.

In support of black transgender people lost to such violence, on Sunday, June 14th, thousands of people gathered in front of the Brooklyn Museum in New York. The protestors all wore white shirts and mourned the loss of black trans people who have been killed in the past couple of months.

The Black Lives Matter movement and the LGBTQ+ Pride month support each other. Together they fight against prejudices and hate directed at them for things that they cannot control.

Violence and inequity is something that both groups experience. The world is supposed to be full of opportunities, but instead, it is mired in systemic oppression.


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🤔 makes you think #blacklivesmatter

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By adding awareness for trans lives into the Black Lives Matter movement, the chants and calls for justice quickly became “All Black Lives Matter.”

“Black trans lives matter,” the crowd of thousands roared.

The Black Lives Matters protests are already a historical movement, and the willingness to recognize and call for justice for trans lives too shows the humanity in those calling for justice for black people.

Picture by Christopher Cruz

Having a virtual Pride Month because of the pandemic is something that is deemed necessary to keep everyone safe. But the sweeping crowds of the Black Lives Matter movement acknowledging Pride Month and the need to protect trans lives gives an in-person effort to the cause.

The benevolence for their fellow humans shows the ability of protestors to do something the police have refused to: show a touch of humanity.

Precautions are still being taken during protests for Black Lives Matter. People in the crowds are encouraged to wear masks, use hand sanitizer, and are told to stay home if they aren’t feeling well. At many protests, there are also people offering snacks and water to those taking part in the marches and demonstrations.

Pride Month marches on, as will the Black Lives Matter movement, no matter how long it takes for the powers in place to listen. While these movements are different, they bring us back to the uprising of Stonewall and how people of color and the LGBTQ+ community are brought together by their similar fights for justice.

How music artists protesting police brutality are showing support

We often look to our favorite artists for inspiration and guidance during difficult times.

While we acknowledge being a music artist does not mean you’re required to be a leader in all things activism, there are many artists that have used their platform to speak out against police brutality and racism.

Many artists receive backlash from their own fans and still many others are pressured by their record label to not get involved with “sensitive” subjects. Summer Walker is one of the latest to speak on this hypocrisy. So we’ve decided to highlight a few artists to follow for #BLM content and anti-police brutality resources.


Noname is known by many for her revolutionary and deeply knowledgeable politics. Her book club has always highlighted men and women writers of color as well as essential ideologies that reconstruct our sense of building positive community.

Some might consider her politics “extreme” but in reality, her perspective is one that is historically pro-Black. She also does not shy away from making sure that narratives that are not mainstream get her full attention and support.

If you’re looking for a good consistent resource for well thought out liberation information, Noname and her network got you with the political education.

Noname also got you with the hot takes and the hot ideas. Run that shit up.

Cardi B

Cardi B has always been dropping the truth on historical and institutionalized racism. She always speaks out against police brutality. She’s been active politically, and you all heard about her coronavirus videos.

Her content can be entertaining but if you stay passed the funny moments you’ll learn a lot. She’s always down for a sophisticated conversation on history and government.

Lately, she’s been discussing police brutality through topics like why protests are important and the value of voting.

She also calls out those who twist her message or try to claim she hasn’t always been for the cause.

The Weeknd

Abel has not stayed silent during all this either. He’s been sharing important #BLM knowledge on his socials, and he’s been involved in important initiatives for the cause.

The Weeknd signed an open letter along with other artists calling for the Defunding of the police and increased funding for social programs like healthcare and education.

He has also donated up to $500k to several racial equity organizations such as  Black Lives Matter and The Colin Kaepernick Know Your Rights Camp Legal Defense Initiative and National Bail Out fund.

He even called for the music industry which makes so much off of Black musicians and artists to donate and stand with the cause.

Billie Eilish

Being Black is not a prerequisite for caring for Black causes. The artist who has often been used as an example of how Black culture can influence white audiences and art, has offered up her huge platform to support #BLM.

For the past 6 days, since the George Floyd protests began, Billie Eilish has been posting content meant to educate and mobilize around the cause of anti-police brutality, including calling out the hypocrisy of #AllLivesMatter arguments.

Tory Lanez

The king of Quarantine Radio has always been vocal about the injustices inflicted upon the Black community. This time is no different.

He is a constant voice on the protests and offers up ideas to help the cause. He even addressed the role of looting and positioned the idea of having businesses clearly show their support in order to avoid it.

He’s also been protesting and marching with the people, putting action behind his words.


Sometimes actions speak louder than words. SAINt Jhn took his 100k video budget for his song Roses with Future plus some of his own money and is donating it to Bail Funds for protestors and across Black businesses.

SAINt Jhn is also regularly sharing commentary on police brutality and videos of police attacking peaceful protesters. He also emphasizes the importance of self-educating to have the greatest and most positive impact.

Beyond that, SAINt JHN is offering up his time, money, and art to help the cause.

Killer Mike

We all know Michael Render AKA Killer Mike as an amazing pro-Black political organizer and mobilizer of political participation. He’s always doing the work when it’s in the mainstream news and when it’s largely forgotten.

His continuous self-education and passion for Black advancement also takes into account groups that intersect with Blackness or have proximity to Blackness.

Some of his views may be controversial on the surface such as his pro-gun stance however his arguments are well-thought-out. We should uphold his voice in general as a credible one in the movement for Black liberation.

He is of course one half of the rap duo Run The Jewels, where he and his partner El-P regularly rap about social issues, and their latest album RTJ4 is no exception.

During this time, Killer Mike continues to be a leader and voice, being that correspondent on so many talk shows and news segments.

RIP George Floyd: We’ll never forget the impact you left on the world

A year ago today was Goerge Floyd’s funeral. As the community lays a father to rest, we must look at how his life and death have impacted our world. RIP George Floyd.

The life of George Floyd was love for others

Before we look at George Floyd’s impact, we’d like to take the time to honor his memory. George Perry Floyd was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and raised in Cuney Homes in the Third Ward of Houston, Texas.

Floyd attended Yates High School where he played on the basketball team and helped lead the football team to the Texas state championships.

During his younger years, Floyd told a fellow classmate and friend, Jonathan Veal, “I want to touch the world.” He was likely talking about playing for the NFL or NBA. 1993 was the year he graduated high school and went on to be the first of his siblings to go to college. He had achieved an athletic scholarship.

Floyd returned home early, however, without a degree. He would lose several years of his life to arrests. After prison, George Floyd saw the birth of his daughter Gianna Floyd and dedicated his life to helping others.

He became more involved with his church. And later he signed up for a Christian program that provides drug rehabilitation and job placement in Minnesota. He decided to move to Minneapolis for a fresh start, with a new job.

In 2017, he worked as a security guard at a homeless shelter and transitional housing facility called the Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center. He also took a job as a bouncer at Conga Latin Bistro, a restaurant and dance club.

His coworkers at the homeless shelter knew him as a genuine, thoughtful, and caring man who walked them to their cars at night. Floyd’s peers Conga Latin Bistro remember him as humble and humorous. His roommates remember him as pious and thoughtful, often praying with them.

After Officer Chauvin murdered George Floyd while other officers watched and stood lookout, his death sparked protests first in the city of Minneapolis, then across the U.S. and later the world.

#BLM and calls for justice

The protests reignited the Black Lives Matter movement and helped bring charges against the officers that murdered Floyd. The protests also displayed the police brutality that Black and Brown people face regularly.

They also highlighted how police in riot gear respond with violence to peaceful protests. Several videos and reports have circulated showing clear intent on violence towards otherwise peaceful protests.

There is an ongoing fight to bring the police who are responsible for these violent acts to justice. Just today, thanks to video evidence from a nearby protestor, the NYPD officer who shoved a woman putting her in the hospital has been charged with assault.

Dismantling an unjust system

These calls for justice are simultaneous with calls for new ideas that radically change the corrupt system. The protests brought ideas like defunding of police and demilitarization to the mainstream conversation on policing.

The police departments are overprepared with riot gear and military-grade equipment. This contrasts with the lack of resources for the medical community dealing with an ongoing pandemic. Visuals of this emphasize the deep priority issues that state and local governments have.

The introduction of ideas that have lived under the label of “radical” for decades are being more accepted. Calls for the defunding police include redirecting those funds to positive social programs for the community.

#DefundThePolice has seen some positive response with Minneapolis City Council members beginning the process of dismantling the Minneapolis Police department. New York plans to cut NYPD’s $6 billion funding. Other cities and states are looking to follow suit.

Police brutality is a global threat

Floyd’s death became the cry heard around the world, with oppressed peoples like Paris, France’s North and West African populations fighting against their own systems police brutality and Guadalajara, Mexico’s people rejecting the corrupt and cartel backed police.

As 6-year-old Gianna Floyd aptly said, “Daddy Changed the World.”

Police brutality and its’ role in state-sanctioned violence is not just an American concept. It’s one that runs deep in many countries. the world understands deeply Floyd’s death and the outrage that followed.

RIP George Floyd

As the world mourns George Floyd, it mourns the countless deaths of Black and Brown people at the hands of police. To honor him today and in the future, we must continue the fight for justice.

Are we surprised fashion labels are being exposed for racism?

I Just Find It Funny How…

Many fashion brands have been attuned to the current ethnic issues that have been boiling America’s blood causing nationwide and worldwide protests. With that, recently, a lot of fashion brands are also aware of their part in being silent about the inequalities faced by Black people and people of color.

We See You

Photo: via Diet Prada

Brands like Reformation and L’Oreal took to social media and expressed their solidarity with protesters posting empathizing quotes and images. But many of those same companies have had underlying racist issues.

Photo: via Diet Prada

Instagram account Diet Prada has collectively displayed the contradictions behind some of these fashion brand names. Using their social media accounts to share their thoughts and feelings in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, a sense of pander appeared evident.

Photo: via Diet Prada

We may have forgotten that the fashion industry has excluded black people and people of color for decades. Things may be different in facade today and issues may have subsided. But isolated incidents seemingly reveal a history of micro-aggressions and a larger more systemic neglect, ignorant behavior, and rhetoric of the hardships black people and people of color have faced.

Feeling Left Out

Historically black people have been left out of the conversation in partaking in fashion directly or indirectly. And fashion brands have tarnished their reputations from time to time trying to create awe-moments that and up being derogatory.

Photo: via Diet Prada

Black people are already forced to have to look to a lot of these brands to seek or maintain employment, and that we tend to shop at their stores which often lack diversity in staff and the brand image, just to point out. Let’s be clear, fashion brands priors to this decade were reluctant to sew streetwear into their fabric, not wanting to be associated with the urban cultural market…


Dolls Kill gets flamed for tone-deaf post. When will brands learn?

With the death of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor fresh on the public’s mind, many are raising their voices. The message is clear: end police brutality on people of color.

However, the message may not have been so clear for Dolls Kill founder Shoddy Lynn.

Reposted by brand ambassador Aieshia Memphis (@aieshia_dickey_memphis on IG), Lynn’s recent IG post has rightfully landed the brand in hot water.


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#BLACKOUTFOREVER✊🏽 @dollskill @shoddylynn #boycocottthisbusiness As a brand ambassador I had dreams of working with this company because I loved the fashions that they represented. But now seeing the response from the owner of this company has made me rethink that as a business decision and as a patron. I will always choose not to do business with and will encourage anyone to not shop at this business. WE #boycott anyone that does not stand for #equalrights and justice for all! Lets fight through #dollskill #commerce #boycottdollskill #dontshopthere #blackfestivalgirls #blackflowarts #blackflowartistsofig #blackflowartist #blackflowartists #blackartists #blackaerialist #blackaerialists #standagainstracism #freedomofspeech #brandambassador #protestinginjustice #findanotherwaytoprotest #stopgivingyourmoneyaway #brandambassadorcommunity #blackouttuesday

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Judging by the caption of Lynn’s photo, it looks like she doesn’t know which side to support.

With a history of racism and rape culture promoted through this brand, this is only the most recent in a pattern of behavior. With tensions so high, this may just be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for the brand.

You’re cancelled

With #boycottdollskill on the rise, many are taking to Instagram and Twitter with their own examples.

The criticism Dolls Kill has received over the years is nothing new, though.

For a long time, the brand had the power and influence enough to ignore the critics, but that time may be gone. With unprofessional customer service responses, little diversity in models, design theft, and more, their time is near.

In response to the massive backlash, Dolls Kill decided to post three black squares on their Instagram for #blackouttuesday.

The response has been far from positive. Long time patrons of the brand saw right through this attempt at “woke” advertising, putting them on blast in the comments. And rightfully so.


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We fucked up. We should have been quicker + louder and this is what we r doing about it.

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When trying to save face the first time didn’t work, they tried it AGAIN with a little modification. The response is still resounding bullshit. In their second attempt at PR spin, they seem to miss the point again on people’s anger.

Their assertion that they “should have been quicker” to respond to criticism shows how little they cared before it hit their bottom line: cash.

This attempt was see-through to their audience, who again sounded off in the comments. If you want more examples of their contempt for their customers, #boycottdollskill will give you plenty.

Put your dollars where they won’t breed more ignorance.

Look out for this article on PAGE magazine.

#TheTakeBack: The march for stolen lives & looted dreams

Justice League NYC, its parent organization, The Gathering for JusticeUntil Freedom, The Arc of Justice, and other organizations will be hosting a march and rally tomorrow, Saturday, June 6.

The meet up is at 10:00 am EST at the Frederick Douglass statue on 110th Street and Central Park West. The march will step off at 11:00 am EST. The rally will begin at 2:00 pm EST in Washington Square Park.

This benefit effort calls on Mayor Bill de Blasio to cut the NYPD’s $6 million dollar budget and invest in youth and community programs.

Those who march will also be demanding Governor Cuomo to repeal 50-A, the law that allows the NYPD to conceal misconduct records from the public.

For a detailed list of all the demands, check out #TheTakeBackDemands.

The Gathering for Justice’s mission is to end child incarceration and abolish the racial disparities that the justice system upholds.

Along with its child organization, Justice League NYC, the nonprofit incorporates Kingian nonviolence as a “social application for systemic change and civic engagement.”

Known as an intersectional social justice organization, Until Freedom roots itself in the leadership of many groups of color. The organization addresses systemic and racial injustices and suggests those closest to pain are closest to change.

Until Freedom dubs itself a clearinghouse for many groups of people like advocates, students, and community organizers.

The Arc of Justice is also a social justice organization that is known for using peaceful methods to combat inequality. They also identify, advocate, and speak for those without a voice.

Some of the issues The Arc of Justice fights for are gender equity, global migration as a human right, and tech justice.


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More work to do… @nycmayorsoffice @nycmayor @nypdshea @nypd

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Special performers will attend the rally such as Jackie Cruz, Mysonne the General, and many more.

Some of the event partners include Youth Over Guns, MPower Change, Grassroots Law Project, and Alliance for Quality Education.

Silence is deafening: #TheShowMustBePaused is a boycott

Not A “Blackout”

This weekend a social media activist movement arose, amid a national, and international protest for the anti-racism for Black Lives Matter which was founded in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer here in the United States.

Black Lives Matter is a global effort to build power to justice, healing, and freedom to Black people around the globe. Their mission is to eradicate white nationalism and the white supremacist mindset and intervene in violence against Black people and communities everywhere.

boycott paused
Black Lives Matter website header

The Plan

Tuesday, June 2nd, #TheShowMustBePaused initiative was implemented as an intentional disruption to normal business operations in observance of the racism and inequality that has existed in America from it’s earliest of days, transcending to today; “from the boardroom to the boulevard.”

Although TheShowMustBePaused is a considerable boycott to industry, this movement has been polarizing some and has created some confusion with the associated hashtag, #BlackOutTuesday.

Founders of #TheShowMustBePaused, Jamila Thomas of Atlantic records and Brianna Agyemang of Platoon, announced this effort in solidarity with Black citizens who have suffered inequalities, and those who have been murdered by police, most recently, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and the many others.

As Black women in the multi-million dollar music industry, they have taken the day to seize in conducting any business as usual of any kind, from checking emails to releasing or recording any music, as a part of their mission “to hold the industry at large, including major corporations and their partners who benefit from the efforts, struggles and successes of Black people accountable.”


They used this time to heal and reflect through a conversation about the actions that need to be taken to support the Black community, millions of people began to post black tiles on their Instagram page to commemorate #TheShowMustBePaused.


As the black tile represented a moment of silence for those who posted it, others saw the effort as a distraction to the issue of #BlackLivesMatter…

Read the rest of this article on PAGE Magazine.

John Boyega on the racist tone-deaf discussion on George Floyd’s murder

Police brutality against POC in the U.S. is globally infamous especially with the advent of social media. People from all over the world are watching as police continue to kill young Black men and women.

Actor John Boyega is no different, but he’s taken it a step further and used his platform to express what we are feeling: frustration and anger.

Boyega’s response to the ongoing crisis of police brutality was in no doubt exacerbated by the killing of the late George Floyd on Monday, May 25. Officers were responding to a “forgery in process” when they killed George Floyd.

The Killing of George Floyd


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George Floyd, a Houston native, moved to Minnesota “to be his best self,” as one friend put it. He worked security at a restaurant, where he developed a reputation as someone who had your back and was there for you when you were down. “Knowing my brother is to love my brother,” Philonise Floyd, George’s brother, told CNN’s Don Lemon Tuesday. “He’s a gentle giant, he don’t hurt anybody.” Floyd, 46, was killed Monday, his last moments caught on video. While being arrested, Floyd was held down by a Minneapolis police officer’s knee. The video shows Floyd pleading that he is in pain and can’t breathe. Then, his eyes shut and the pleas stop. He was pronounced dead shortly after. That officer and three others involved in the incident have been fired. (📸: Courtesy Ben Crump Law Firm)

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Floyd allegedly tried to use a $20 bill that staff at Cup Foods suspected was fake, Floyd left the store peacefully when the staff wasn’t willing to take the bill. Staff called 911 according to their procedures when dealing with potential fraud.

Floyd was still outside the store with police arrived, and according to video evidence, the store owner and his surveillance video and several other witnesses, he was complying with police. Nine minutes later George Floyd was on the ground with officer Chauvin‘s knee on his neck and several other officers watching.

Witnesses implored the officer to stop because Floyd could not breathe and his nose was bleeding. Officer Chauvin killed George Floyd on the scene with asphyxiation.

Officers Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, Tou Thau, J Alexander Kueng were fired after the release of the video. Chauvin has been subject to at least 10 complaints involving shootings and excessive force.

Tou Thau, the officer who stood watch as Chauvin killed Floyd, had previously settled out of court in 2017 for the use of excessive force among other incidents and complaints.

The Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis released a statement stating “Now is not the time to rush to judgment and immediately condemn our officers. ”

According to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, FBI and Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension are looking into the incident.

Protests Erupt for the Justice of Floyd

Since the death of George Floyd, several protests have broken out in Minneapolis. The protests seem to have begun on Wednesday with people gathering peacefully at the Third Precinct Headquarters until officers in an attempt to disperse the crowds started using flash-bang grenades and tear gas.

Later, mass looting all across South Minneapolis erupted. Officers continued to use tear gas and rubber bullets on looters and protestors alike.

George Floyd’s murder also spurred protests in Memphis and Los Angeles.

Central Park Karen

The same morning of Floyd’s death, twelve hundred miles away we can witness another video detailing the racism of everyday America. This video shows Amy Cooper acting as what’s known as a “Karen,” calling the cops on a Black bird watcher after he asked her to put her dog on a leash as per the appropriate rules of that section of Central Park.

The white woman is unhappy with bird watcher Christian Cooper (no relation) video recording the interaction. She darts towards Cooper dragging her dog by the collar, visibly distressing the animal. Christain calmly asks her not to come closer to him.

Amy Cooper then threatens Christian with calling the police and makes it a point to inform him that she will be telling them that “an African-American man” is threatening her and her dog. At this point, Amy is visibly jerking and choking her dog with its collar.

Amy goes on to call the police and in a terrifyingly Rose in a Get Out way switches her voice and tone to embody the performance of life-threatened white woman we’ve all come to eerily recognize.

When the police arrive on the scene, neither Amy Cooper nor Christian Cooper are present, but the video of the incident has since gone viral. Amy Cooper’s employers have fired her and she released her dog to the animal shelter pending an investigation on the incident.

The space in which the incident occurred makes you remember the unjust incarceration of the Central Park 5. The popular Netflix original “When They See Us” documents the story of 5 young Black boys who were falsely accused and charged with the sexual assault of a white woman jogger in that very same park.

Boyega’s Frustration is also our own…

John Boyega Hates Racists

This is the tweet that sparked a longer conversation filled with POC frustration and white murder-apologists. Twitter first began their dispute on whether Boyega meant white racists or all racists, a truly banal discussion in light of what’s been happening in the United States since it’s conception.


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i #RUNWithMaud 💔⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ The killing of former high school athlete Ahmaud Arbery jogging while Black occurred in a Georgia suburb on February 23. The shooters are former investigator with the district attorney’s office Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son, Travis McMichael, 34. ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ According to the police report and video recently released, the father and son followed and blocked Arbery’s path and shot him under the excuse that they believed him to be a suspect of recent neighborhood burglaries. (We will not being showing said video). ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ LINK TO SIGN THE PETITION IN BIO.⁣ ⁣ Prosecutor George E. Barnhill, who had the case for a few weeks told the police that the pursuers had acted within the scope of Georgia’s citizen’s arrest statute. Arbery was 25 he would have turned 26 tomorrow.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ He was not carrying a weapon and according to the recently released video can be seen stopped by a truck and grappling with one of the men who was holding a shotgun as several shots are fired at him. The shooters are claiming self defense. ⁣⁣ ⁣ Neither of the shooters have been arrested and after the video calls for their prosecution have swelled on social media, with users actively calling officials to bring justice for Arbery.

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Nevertheless, Boyega set the record straight emphasizing that he is referring to white on Black racism in this instance. Responses from predominantly white Twitter users erupted with either disgust with Boyega’s clarification or an attempt at derailing his point by emphasizing the existence of racism elsewhere.

The tweet went viral with the age-old irrelevant arguments from police violence apologists and POC confusion on how a simple statement such as hating racists could have any opposition.

John Boyega continued to take no shit from BS arguments against the ‘hatred of white racism’ (still crazy that I just wrote that phrase.) Responding with clear explanations on the irrelevance or inappropriateness of the arguments on the discussion he’s having and also with simple outright rejection of rude and simply racist rhetoric.


Later, John Boyega went to IG live to clearly express his frustrations with the twitter nonsense and redirect the conversation to what matters: Black lives. He began by giving general advice on how to deal with misinformation and interacting with those derailing the conversation at hand.

“It’s very very important that at this time that we ignore ignorance. […] That we ignore people who come through and try to make these situations what they’re not…”

He made it clear that this was NOT an apology video. And debunked some incorrect assumptions on his beliefs.

“I’m not even apologizing, first of all, you lot better fucking believe that, but there’s no way that I have the opinion that there’s no other form of racism. Of course, there are other forms of racism BUT, a Black man was just murdered in cold blood, in the streets state-side AGAIN. While stating that he can’t breathe.”

In response to many claiming he’s not qualified to speak on what happened to George Floyd or any violence against Black people in the US, he reaffirmed his stance on the matter.

“I’m here as a Black man with a great opportunity that you lot know that I’m grateful for but at the same time I’m not here to be playing no games when it comes to that racial shit. I am FOR my people. And that’s it. Period. ”

The rest of the IG Live covered Boyega’s commitment to always block users who say anything racist on his social media. He reiterates that he is not the guy to just let racists run amuck simply because they might be fans of his work.

“And if you’re a fan of me and you support my work and you’re racist and you’re arguing with what I was saying F*ck Off, you f*cking dickheads. Yeah? So it’s straight up like that, that’s how it’s gonna go. And for my whole career as an actor I’m gonna let you guys know this, I’m not the guy.”

He also goes on to explain that while other forms of racism exist in the world, this is not the time to be shining a light on it.

It’s Black people’s time to talk about the very real life and death issue of police brutality and racially motivated state violence. Boyega is not alone in his frustration and it’s good to know we’re not either.

Post updated June 3, 2020.

What does Black Leadership look like in the age of #BLM?

Many time periods and movements in the United States and globally have shown us how Black people lead. Some of the most notable are Harriet Tubman, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Rosa Parks.

Today, we have leaders like Barack Obama and the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement–Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and Patrisse Cullors.

Other Black activists exist, but they are not necessarily labeled as leaders of the protests against racism. So the question becomes, what exactly makes a person a leader or what constitutes leadership?

The Beginning of Black Leadership

douglass gif (With images) | Frederick douglass

The Reconstruction period, which spanned from 1865 to 1877, allowed Black men and women to adopt roles of leadership. They were able to hold public office and seek legislative changes for equality and the privilege to vote.

Some of these roles were Assistant Secretary of State, Speaker of House, and State Commissioner. These officeholders led in their departments but they were likely not recognized as largely as the Black Panthers were.

Let’s take a look at the Civil Rights Movement which took place in the 1950s and 1960s. For starters, the movement was a result of the injustices African Americans were facing in the United States. It was a fight for racial equality.

Black activists like Martin Luther King, Jr., the Little Rock Nine, Malcolm X, and many more were known to be at the forefront of this movement.

Martin Luther King, Jr. is probably the one that most people think of initially. His work during the Civil Rights Movement helped achieve “more genuine progress toward racial equality in America than the previous 350 years had produced,” according to The King Center.

He led movements and initiatives including the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the March on Washington, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and many more. His “I Have a Dream” speech was what ultimately sealed the deal for his image. It secured his status as a leader of social change and helped inspire the country to act on racial equality. Though unfortunately, we are still seeing issues of racial inequality today.

Leaders like Malcolm X shared a similar vision to that of MLK’s. Malcolm’s ideology shifted more towards Black people doing anything necessary to protect themselves against the aggression of white people. For most of his life, MLK’s views were on the peaceful protest side, until before his assassination.

His rhetoric began to emphasize and incorporate immediate action similar to Malcolm X’s approach. This draws the same question of the appropriate approach to civil unrest when it comes to the protests and riots that are happening today, in light of #GeorgeFloyd’s death.

Today’s Riots and Protests

The on-camera murder of George Floyd sparked a major outrage over the past week and protestors have taken different routes. Some are peacefully protesting, while others had the same intention but were violently confronted by members of the New York City Police Department and pepper-sprayed.

Others are simply looting businesses like Target and some even looting and destroying those owned and operated by Black families.

Looting has been a part of civil unrest for decades in the United States. The Civil Rights Movement saw six days of rioting and looting after the assassination of MLK Jr.

The riots ended on the 6th day with the successful passing of the Civil Rights Act along with many other legislative changes. So it’s not prudent to state that riots, the destruction of property and looting has no place in movements.

Destroying Black-owned or brown-owned property and businesses is the problem. Those businesses’ destruction only hurts our community and has no positive impact on our goals of being heard by the powers that be. So if you end up looting don’t loot that corner bodega or Black barbershop. 

The anger is also not the problem–it’s the direction. There comes a time where we have to realize that we are angry and want justice for Black lives, but we are also hurting these local businesses by shamelessly looting them.

This is where the importance of having a leader(s) comes in. A leader(s) will help grieving communities organize and direct them to effective methods of protesting and fighting for racial equality. However, how effective will just one leader be?

The Decentralization of Leadership

The decentralization of leadership here in the U.S. is a task that many will have to take on. Having one leader for the fight for Black racial equality may not work. Forces are stronger when they all come together.

If we go back to the conversation about MLK’s leadership, we see that he was a prominent figure in the Civil Rights Movement. People like Rosa Parks and her support towards MLK helped elevate Black voices.

The #BlackLivesMatter movement is one of the ways people can support the lives of Black people in countless ways. Some ways to lead are signing petitions to defund police states and calling your local elected officials.

While we may not have an official leader for this movement, we all eventually become one with proper research and information. The lack of information (or misinformation) is what drives us in a different direction like the looting of small, Black-owned businesses.

Although Barack Obama is no longer in office, he is still a leader for Black and brown communities. I mean, most members of these communities still refer to him as “my president”. This goes to show that he is still a representative figure of African Americans and other groups of color.

It’s obvious that there are communities of people that do not value Black lives. We all need to become leaders in our circles–with the proper research and education, of course.