When I first scrolled across the story, it was shocking that this could be happening again, and in this century! Though it was shocking enough to give me pause, I kept scrolling, hoping it was nothing but clickbait. Now, a week later, there is no denying the truth: in mid-November 2017, CNN reported secret footage confirming the sale of African migrants in Libya for as little as $400 per person. These migrants traveled to Libya with hopes to be smuggled into Europe, escaping the poor conditions of their homelands. Instead, they are being held captive without food or water, while badly beaten, sodomized or raped, and being forced to work in sub-human conditions without pay. They are being sold as property into indefinite slavery.
Cuba seemed to be positioned similarly as Americans have poured into the country in the last few years. As I was driven around the streets of Havana in their iconic vintage cars, we passed areas of construction. “A new hotel. It will be beautiful and facing the Malecon too,” my driver explained. The Malecon, considered the family sofa of Old Havana, is a low bearing stone wall that separates the streets from the bay. Every night that I passed by the mile long Malecon, people gathered in large numbers, enjoying a beer, the simplicity of the stars sparkling on the water and music playing in the distance. It was prime real estate for new hotels and more tourist traps, but commercialism tends to drive local traditions away. I let out a heavy sigh, grateful that I had, at least, successfully beat McDonalds to Cuba. But, once I finally return again,
I bet you like that flag, Blue-blooded lover of a guns, Oh how beautifully, it waves for you. Should I keep running this race while tied to a tree? Seeing my peers pass me up never acknowledging their head start. So focused on their privilege, I forgot whats special about me.
“Another round?” Shamelessly, I wanted to visit with Enrique again and of course claim my 3rd glass of his velvety port. ”Guapa. You are having fun?” Call me guapa one more time, I thought mischievously. “Yes! And I’m going dancing with you tonight!” His eyes widened as he smiled. “Bryan me invita!” I explained in my broken Spanish.
[Read page one: Occupying Ferguson… and page two: Conquering Fear] Although I was absolutely willing to put my life on the line, it wasnt time yet. I wasnt ready to die on the front lines of this cause when I felt like I had done so little to move the culture forward. The best weapon
[Read page one: Occupying Ferguson]At that time in 2014, I was tangled deep into the black web of Tumblr. The power of online social justice warriors stretched its arms wide and kicked its feet under the nose of the sleeping giant that has become this country. Organizers posted meetings, discussions, lived feeds, think pieces, poems,
Three years ago, today, I was driving in heavy stop-and-go Atlanta traffic. Per usual, I expected to reach maximum frustration after 90 minutes when I could make the final left turn into the parking lot of my workplace. That Monday, August 10, 2014, V-103's DJ Frank Ski stopped all the music on the station to
In September 2016, singer/ songwriter Solange Knowles published an open letter detailing a series of events that are connected to her experience as a Black woman in America. The style of her letter pays homage to a book I recently picked up, Citizen by Claudia Rankine. It jumps right into the many realities of underlying