From Stephon Clark to Voter Suppression, the Attack on Black America Intensifies

It's hard to watch. Guns aimed at the dark. Loud yells. Loud salvo. Night drizzle in the tactical lights. Cops mistook his cell phone for a gun. I know already, he's dead. I finished watching the video of Stephon Clark's murder. Days later, White House Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders labeled it a "local matter."

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We Need The Revolutionary Black God That James Cone Saw

In the fires of a burning city, James Cone saw the face of God. He was a young theologian transfixed by newsreels of the 1967 Detroit uprising. For five days, Black people fought soldiers as buildings burned in the night. Two years later, his Black Theology & Black Power hit bookstores; God, he said was on the side of the protesters. Cone died last month. Although mourned by many, his legacy is in question. Millennials have left behind the church in the internet age. What role does Cone’s theology have now? What can we do with a faith that once linked us to our ancestors?

Carnivalism: The Shadow of Hierarchy

Puerto Rico still had no power. Weeks after Hurricane Maria battered the island, streetlights were like dead iron flowers and the avenues, draped in shadows. I came to find family and report for my newspaper. Parking near Borinquen Plaza, I got out and saw boys popping wheelies on bikes. Couples drank on benches. A crowd cheered on old men, who played dominoes. I was a little embarrassed and said, “Why aren’t you suffering more?” The air was prickly, almost electric with freedom. Like a carnival. The next day, I drove around the island, interviewing people and found immense suffering. In the mountains, families starved, the old and sick were desperate. People had died. Yet everyone I talked with always admitted the same guilty secret. They loved the renewed connection. Family. Friends. Even the land. It all was powerfully present.

Talk at Horizons 2017: “Black Masks, Rainbow Bodies: Race and Psychedelics”

Psychedelics is a "white thing". It is a common idea. Many people of color view "tripping" as an effete practice of the privileged that the oppressed cannot afford. The sentiment is mirrored by the near invisibility of race as a topic in official, often all white, psychedelic conferences. Against white silence and black suspicion, more youth of color, some affluent and integrated are experimenting with psychotropics. Using literature, history and personal testimony, we can map how psychedelics have been interpreted by Black America.

Black Masks, Rainbow Bodies

"Black Masks, Rainbow Bodies: Race and Psychedelics" Psychedelics is a "white thing". It is a common idea. Many people of color view "tripping" as an effete practice of the privileged that the oppressed cannot afford. The sentiment is mirrored by the near invisibility of race as a topic in official, often all white, psychedelic conferences. Against white silence and black suspicion, more youth of color, some affluent and integrated are experimenting with psychotropics. Using literature, history and personal testimony, we can map how psychedelics have been interpreted by Black America.

Trapped in a Burning House: A Review of “I Am Not Your Negro”

"It's not a question of what happens to the Negro," Baldwin said in an early [episode] of "The Dick Cavett Show." Eyebrows arched, he looked at Cavett, "The real question is what's going to happen to this country." The film cuts to cops arresting Black Lives Matters activists. Peck edits Baldwin speaking in the past, alongside today's protests throughout I Am Not Your Negro. It drives the overall theme that our nation is again at a turning point. The US will rise or fall to the degree it heeds Baldwin's warning. The film commands: Look beyond the self-serving stereotypes of Black people or collapse from the weight of your hypocrisy.