Government Surveillance on Civil Rights Groups

A racial justice group called Color of Change recently filed a lawsuit against the US Dept. of Homeland Security after not receiving requested information about the government's surveillance on the Black Lives Matter movement and its activists. Read more to find out the repercussions of this situations and similar events that have occurred due to suspicious surveillance activity by the US government.

https://mic.com/articles/157382/civil-rights-group-sues-the-federal-government-over-the-surveillance-of-black-activists#.PIklubHFn

"All The Difference": The Struggles of Achieving a Higher Education

Krishaun Branch tells his journey to a higher education.

Krishaun Branch tells his journey to a higher education.

The journey to higher education can be a tumultuous one, but it can be significantly more difficult for some individuals. "All The Difference" is a PBS documentary that explores the stories of Krishaun Branch and Robert Henderson, two boys who grew up in very dire circumstances but overcame extreme adversity to make it to college and graduate in four years. 

Click on the title to read more about this interesting and insightful film about the strides these two individuals have made to further their education.

Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/all-the-difference-documentary-young-black-men_us_57eeb89de4b0c2407cddcfca?section=&section=us_black-voices

"We Are America": The Monumental Opening of the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture

The crowd at the opening of the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture.

The crowd at the opening of the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture.

Almost 13 years after Former President George W. Bush signed into law its construction, the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture opened its doors to the public in the nation's capital this past weekend. Thousands came out to view the museum honoring the stories of the African Americans in this country, including several important figures in Black culture. This historic opening occurred over 100 years after the initial concept was put forth by African American Civil War veterans. Click this link to see some incredibly touch pictures from the event. 

Dakota Access Pipeline and the Continued Erasure of Indigenous Rights

Protestors join together in a march against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Protestors join together in a march against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The Dakota Access Pipeline was designed to transport millions of gallons of crude oil from North Dakota to refining facilities in Illinois. This pipeline was approved by the Army Corps of Engineers in July, and as construction has commenced, members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe are fighting back. Why? The pipeline track is set to travel under the reservation's main source of water (which would have disastrous results in the event of a pipe leak) and through recently discovered sacred Sioux lands.  

This article transcribes the discussion between Vox editor Victoria Massie and Grist.com writer Aura Bogado, who specializes in environmental racism and its disproportionate negative effects on POC and indigenous people. The intersection of minority status and environmental justice is very real and ever-present through several minority communities.

Kaepernick: Peaceful "Un-Patriotic" Protestor?

Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, was recently seen sitting while the national anthem played at a preseason game. His defense? Why stand in support of a country that oppressed the people of color that live within its borders? He's received mixed reviews throughout social media. Were his actions powerful or un-patriotic? Read this article and decide for yourself.

Gabby Douglas and the Damning of Black Women

As entertaining and exciting as the 2016 Rio Olympic Game were, they were not without a fair share of discriminatory commentary. Because intersectionality is an ever-present being in society, sexism and racism were factors in the stories highlighted throughout the Games. Unfortunately, some of the most unfair judgement was directed at 2012 All-Around Gymnastics Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas. This article explores the criticism that Ms. Douglas faced (for things as trivial as a hairstyle) and highlights the differences in amounts of ridicule (or lack thereof) that other Olympians received.

Walk Into The Sun With Us: A Love Letter to Black Students

As we enter into this new school year, many of us are still reeling from the unfortunate events that occurred this summer. Our minds are still clouded with the thoughts and prayers for the families of Mr. Alton Sterling, Mr. Philando Castile, and the many other lives that were taken too soon due to rising tension between America's black community and law enforcement officers. 

Understanding this plight, students from the Black Liberation Collective have written a "love letter" to black college students around the country. In this, they provide encouragement for those continuously working towards the cause of social justice and equity, while also reminding us of the steps we must take for necessary self-care. 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/love-letter-black-students_us_57b75625e4b0b51733a36844?section=us_black-voices

Mental Health in the Black Community

Mental health is unfortunately an issue that is still highly stigmatized in the black community. The backgrounds and belief systems in our community often cause us to push aside these very serious conditions and we do not allocate enough of our energies towards fixing them. This articles dives into some of the reasons that our brothers and sisters are less likely to seek and/or receive adequate, appropriate treatment for mental illnesses than our counterparts of other races.

http://mic.com/articles/113030/6-actual-facts-show-why-mental-health-is-an-issue-in-the-black-community#.DCi1RhkB1

The Double Standard and Resulting Confusion from the Conviction of Peter Liang

Peter Liang, an NYPD officer responsible for the fatal 2014 shooting of Akai Gurley, has been convicted and charged with second-degree manslaughter. Hooray for justice, right? Well, the Asian American community is protesting the New York judicial system, seeing as Liang is the first NYPD officer to be convicted in a police-involved shooting in 10 years. Is it a simple coincidence that Liang is a minority? Many are upset that Liang has been charged, while several of his white NYPD counterparts have not been indicted for similar, more "intentional" crimes. The Asian-American community feels that Liang is unfairly being used as a "scapegoat" by the majority white NYPD, in order to appease the ongoing protests surround the lack of convictions in response to police brutality. 

Check out the following articles to hear the different sides of this complicated social justice issue, and the reasons why Liang was ultimately convicted. 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/23/magazine/how-should-asian-americans-feel-about-the-peter-liang-protests.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/12/nyregion/officer-peter-liang-convicted-in-fatal-shooting-of-akai-gurley-in-brooklyn.html?_r=0

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/02/11/nypd-officer-convicted-of-manslaughter-for-2014-shooting-fired-from-department/

 

Smithsonian’s African American History Museum Will Open September 24

The structure of the new National African-American History and Culture Museum!

The structure of the new National African-American History and Culture Museum!

After 4.5 years of planning, the National Museum of African-American History and Culture will open in DC on September 24, 2016. Read the article here to read more details about this exciting unveiling!

Is the Black Millennial Vote guaranteed?

Black millennials have fortunately been the face of a lot of racial progress in our society today. As we become more educated and aware of the world around us, we've taken advantage of various platforms to make our situations and feelings heard. One of the most powerful platforms we can utilize is the voting booths, in which we have a direct way of determining the direction of our country. However, studies show that this generation of young black adults tend to put their faith in more local community activists than the larger, national leaders. Will this mindset show in the upcoming election? Read this article to hear an expert's opinion on the power and presence of the young black vote. 

The Flint Water Crisis: Explained

The Flint Water Crisis is a crippling situation occurring in the city of Flint, Michigan. This city, which is comprised of predominately black citizens, has been devastated by the discovery of extremely high amounts of lead in their water supply. The contamination in the water has led to several health issues for Flint residents, who are fighting to demand assistance from the state's government. Click here to read the timeline of the events that led up to this terrible situation.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/01/21/us/flint-lead-water-timeline.html?_r=0

The End of Class-Action Lawsuits

Pictured is Alan Kaplinsky, one of the lawyers who made class action bans possible.

Several large corporations such as AT&T, Verizon, and American Express, and their legal teams have formed something of a coalition against class-action lawsuits. By adding individual arbitration clauses into consumer and employee contracts, corporations can render individuals effectively powerless in combating corporate misconduct. Learn more about this pivotal but little-known shift in civil liberty legislation by following the link below.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/11/01/business/dealbook/arbitration-everywhere-stacking-the-deck-of-justice.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur&referer=https://t.co/ml4wuTW3Qd&_r=0

Black Lives Matter Isn't a "Hate Group"

In a live discussion with Fox News, professors Cornel West and Marc Lamont Hill dismissed the criticism of Black Lives Matter as a hate group.

http://blavity.com/dr-west-marc-lamont-hill-expertly-dismiss-medias-black-lives-matter-hate-group-narrative/

Bad Feminist

When writer Roxane Gay dubbed herself a "bad feminist," she was making a joke, acknowledging that she couldn't possibly live up to the demands for perfection of the feminist movement. But she's realized that the joke rang hollow. In a thoughtful and provocative talk, she asks us to embrace all flavors of feminism — and make the small choices that, en masse, might lead to actual change.

https://www.ted.com/talks/roxane_gay_confessions_of_a_bad_feminist?language=en

On the Possibility of a Bernie Sanders Presidency

Bernie Sanders is widely admired among millennials who want to see widespread, fundamental changes to America in the realms of politics, economics, social justice, and inequality. VICE spoke with two political science professors to find out what might actually happen if Sanders was elected President of the United States.

http://www.vice.com/read/we-asked-experts-what-would-actually-happen-if-bernie-sanders-were-president-384?utm_source=vicetwitterus

Toni Morrison's Nobel Prize Lecture

Toni Morrison is the author of acclaimed novels such as The Bluest Eye, Sula, and Beloved. Her latest work is titled God Save the Child. She has won both Pulitzer and Nobel Prizes. She is widely regarded as one of the most articulate, insightful, and visceral voices of the black experience in America. The link below leads to the transcript of the lecture Morrison gave after accepting her Nobel Prize in 1993.

http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1993/morrison-lecture.html

Criticisms of the Microagressions Framework

This article in the Atlantic explains some issues that some academics, activists, and social commentators have with the way microaggressions are discussed, explained, and responded to.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/09/why-critics-of-the-microaggressions-framework-are-skeptical/405106/?utm_source=SFTwitter

Nigeria's New President, Muhammadu Buhari

Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa and sends more students to Georgia Tech than any other country on the continent. Take a moment to learn about this very important moment for Nigeria!

http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/31/africa/nigeria-muhammadu-buhari/index.html?sr=fb052915muhammadu1130pVODtopPhoto

How to Raise a Black Son in America

In this bold and heartfelt TED Talk, Smith's presentation is less a lecture and more an put-pouring of concern and emotion, as he shares his critique of the current racial climate's effect on raising black sons.

http://blavity.com/how-to-raise-a-black-son-in-america/?utm_campaign=coschedule&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=Blavity&utm_content=How%20to%20raise%20a%20Black%20son%20in%20America