No Education Justice? No Peace!

Portrait of african girl wearing face mask and writing solution of sums on white board at school. Black schoolgirl solving addition sum on white board during Covid-19 pandemic. School child thinking while doing mathematics problem and wearing surgical mask due to coronavirus.

“I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a […]

To Be A Black Woman in a White Newsroom

On Tuesday, the Attorney General handed down the news many of us feared.  None of the officers involved in the death of Daniel Prude will face charges.  We waited for months hoping the Grand Jury would hand down justice, and yet we’re here again in a very similar place.  I heard the decision while at […]

Adultification Bias and Brutality Against Black Girls Must Stop

Adultification Bias and Brutality Against Black Girls Must Stop Rochester almost got through the entire first month of the new year without an incident of the Rochester Police Department (RPD) using excessive force on a citizen in mental distress. This time the victim of that brutality is a 9-year-old Black girl who based on reports […]

Black vs. POC: A New But Outdated Term

Seamless pattern of many different people profile heads

Black vs. POC: A New But Outdated Term I am not a person of color.  I am Black.  This is a sentence that I have said to countless people– each time with more conviction.  When hearing it, I feel as if my blackness is being lumped into a group without notice.  It feels like a […]

Time to Come Together

Time to Come Together By the time you read this, January 20th, 2021 will have passed, and barring another attempted mass insurrection, we will have a new President of the United States of America. I never held my tongue about how dark a chapter was written over the last four years, and I am glad […]

Ernest Flagler-Mitchell Needs to Resign

close up of letter of resignation with a pen

Ernest Flagler-Mitchell Needs to Resign Two phrases that stuck with me the most from a summer of marches and protests: All Black Lives Matter We throw no one under the bus. I felt these in my heart and soul. It is important to not dismiss anyone in our fight for equality, no matter what. And […]

A First Amendment Primer (Since Some of Y’all Are Confused)

First Amendment of the US Constitution text, with other Constitution text above

A First Amendment Primer (Since Some of Y’all Are Confused) The number of adult humans who don’t understand how the First Amendment works and what censorship truly looks like is sad, astounding, and expected all as the same time. This isn’t a Millennials/Gen Z problem, nor is it a Boomer problem (us Gen Xers are […]

The Pandemic Exposed All the Inequities & We Still Got It Wrong

Black Female Doctor sitting on bed with male doctor behind staring out of the window

The Pandemic Exposed All the Inequities & We Still Got It Wrong March 2020, the shutdown comes to Rochester.   The great equalizer. We are all in the same storm. The memes circulate. Thank you health care workers for being on the front lines, thank you essential workers, we see you, we thank you for […]

A Tale of Two Protests

photo of United States capital building and lawn

A Tale of Two Protests  Yesterday the 6th day of January in the year 2021,  I spent the entire day seeing the United States of America’s hypocrisy on full display domestically in the most explosive fashion I have ever seen. Not happy with the Presidential election results, hordes of Trump supporters descended upon Washington, DC, […]

When The U.S Government Fails, Mutual Aid Workers Step Up: Part I

Diverse volunteers packing donation boxes with canned food in food bank

When The U.S Government Fails, Mutual Aid Workers Step Up Happy New Year!  I know we are all so excited to be getting a fresh slate and looking ahead to better days. I wanted to start off this year by showing thanks to local people and organizations who are helping this community get through tough […]

“Defund the Police” Means “Defund the Police”

up close police lights

“Defund the Police” Means “Defund the Police” “Defund the Police” means “Defund the Police”. Folks don’t need to “rebrand” the phrase. We don’t need to make it palatable for a broader audience. I don’t care what prominent Negro you cite who thinks the phrase is too “harsh”. It means what it means and the creators […]

Do’s and Don’ts for This Unprecedented Pandemic Holiday Season

Hotel guests with protective face masks are keeping social distance in the hotel restaurant

Do’s and Don’ts for This Unprecedented Pandemic Holiday Season  DON’T go to your family’s house if you can help it I know it’s Thanksgiving and we want to share the day with those who mean the most to us. However, we are also in the midst of a pandemic. Normal doesn’t exist anymore. We now […]

Don’t Kill My Vibe: On Letting Folks Have Small Wins

Group of intercultural children in attire of superheroes playing together

Don’t Kill My Vibe: On Letting Folks Have Small Wins  The election is (somewhat) over. It took nearly a week to determine some states, and despite the recounts and the sitting president’s own denial, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be next President and Vice President of the U.S. respectively. Everyone remembers when the Associated […]

Elitist Thinking Will Not Save Poor People

Group of young people learning urban gardening from a mid adult gardening teacher.

Elitist Thinking Will Not Save Poor People Keke Palmer is the latest celebrity to be dragged by Black Twitter.  Palmer recently took to twitter with this message, “Imagine if your EBT card could only work on healthy items…” The tweet crosses a line that makes me (and millions of other Twitter users) uncomfortable. Let’s break […]

What to Expect When Expecting (a Contentious Election)

Sign directing voters to polling place with political signs in the background

What to Expect When Expecting (a Contentious Election) 2020 is the year that is lasting a decade. So it is only fitting that 2020, a year mired in a global pandemic, the exposure of the lethal flaws in our economy and health system, and a summer of unrest over years-long racial injustice, we have a presidential election […]

There’s No Such Thing As Black on Black Crime

There’s No Such Thing As Black on Black Crime In case you didn’t know There’s no such thing as Black on Black crime The “term” and ideology behind “Black on Black crime is inherently racist Most crime is proximal and directly related to poverty and not race Most violent crime across races is intraracial and […]

I Don’t Feel Like Performing

Smiling Sphere Balloon in the middle of grey crowd

it’s all a performance and I don’t feel like performing today The following message was originally sent to students in my Exploring African American Food Culture Through Food: 1619 to Present at St. John Fisher College. It encapsulates my overall feelings over the past few days. Hello Students, I am sending this note as I grapple […]

The Value of Black Teachers

lack man Teacher Helping Pupils Studying At Desks In Classroom Checking Work Smiling

The Value of Black Teachers  I didn’t know until this year how immensely privileged I was during my high school and academic years. In grades K through 8, I was in upstate New York, first in Colonie/Albany, and then in a rural town in Fulton County, with a brief stint in Syracuse. Fulton County had/has […]

The Sexist Flap Over WAP

black and white parental advisory vector graphic

The Sexist Flap Over WAP  After three months of consuming a healthy rotation of quasi-apocalyptic news podcasts, the first half of Public Enemy’s discography, and Rage Against the Machine’s Battle of Los Angeles, I broke the cycle with a summer jam that everyone (over the age of 18) can enjoy: Cardi B and Megan Thee […]