A Reflection on “The New Jim Crow” and the Myth of Racial Progress

Michelle Alexander, author of the New Jim Crow

About “The New Jim Crow” As writer, legal scholar, civil rights litigator and activist Michelle Alexander stated in “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” progress towards racial equity is not linear. Her 2010 bestseller came across my radar two years ago in an undergraduate class on mass incarceration in America. […]

Black Entertainment History, Part IV

Why Black entertainment history? It is my favorite writing time of the year. I get to write about African and African American history for Black History Month. I hope that this teaches and encourages readers to seek out more information than just my few twenty-eight highlights. Black history is everyone’s history. In the Western Hemisphere, our […]

A Rare Sight To See: A Black Executive Chef in America

When you walk into Locals Only on East Ave. and Alexander in Rochester the first thing you notice is the chefs creating brunch delicacies behind the counter. The restaurant is open with big windows, a second floor, and a full bar. The man running that kitchen is Kelvin “KD” Jackson.  Who is KD Jackson? Jackson […]

Black Entertainment History, Part III

Why Black entertainment history? It is my favorite writing time of the year. I get to write about African and African American history for Black History Month. I hope that this teaches and encourages readers to seek out more information than just my few twenty-eight highlights. Black history is everyone’s history. In the Western Hemisphere, our […]

White Validation Won’t Protect You From Racism, So Be Unapologetically Black

2022 Has Been A Lot Between the bitter cold, the rage of Omicron, school closures, and the mayhem of covid testing it was an endless cacophony of bad news. Adding insult to injury has been the high-profile deaths of many notable celebrities and iconic cultural figures. Particularly difficult to process were the death of legends […]

Black Entertainment History, Part II

Why Black entertainment history? It is my favorite writing time of the year. I get to write about African and African American history for Black History Month. I hope that this teaches and encourages readers to seek out more information than just my few twenty-eight highlights. Black history is everyone’s history. In the Western Hemisphere, our […]

Black LGBTQ Activists, History Erased

George Orwell once said, “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understandings of their history.” As a social worker, I am often thinking about how the context of culture and society is framing our perceptions of self. Some of the identities I hold today were not even in […]

Black Entertainment History, Part I

Woman stands in front of Apollo Theater, part of Black entertainment history

Why Black entertainment history? It is my favorite writing time of the year. I get to write about African and African American history for Black History Month. I hope that this teaches and encourages readers to seek out more information than just my few twenty-eight highlights. Black history is everyone’s history. In the Western Hemisphere, […]

Being Black on the Border

The U.S-Mexico border is a war zone.  Thousands in tent camps. No running water or health services. A 24/7 threat of murder and kidnapping. It’s hard for me to try and describe in a few words what I saw – how atrocious the conditions for migrants are in Tijuana, Mexico. Unfortunately, they get even worse […]

5th Annual Black History Month Campaign

Dear Community, This year marks our fifth consecutive Black History Month digital education campaign. Every February since 2018 (2018, 2019, 2020, 2021) we have highlighted the achievements and oft erased contributions of Black Americans and peoples across the African diaspora here on 540Blog. I am continually fascinated by the relevance and vitality of this campaign […]

Dear White Led Organizations Stop Performing Blackface On MLK Day

“I’m boycotting MLK Day this year” I uttered these words just a few days ago while talking with a friend on their last day at a predominately white institution in our area. My friend recounted her hurt and dismay at how the organization treated her after announcing her resignation. My friend identifies as an Afro-Latina […]

School Integration “Saved” Me But At What Cost

I was part of the great “school integration experiment” As I follow the current proposals for school closures, placing police in schools, teacher shortages and other tragedies surrounding Rochester City School District (RCSD) I cannot help but think about my past connection with the district. And the choices my parents made for me to have […]

Anti-Black Racism Is As American As Apple Pie

The dehumanization of the Black body in life and death is as “American as apple pie,” the saying goes. In life or death the Black body is not human so there will always be justification on why WE and OUR lives are worth less and worthless. Nothing new here. White supremacy will always find a […]

Black Pioneers in Medicine IV

This is the final week of my Black Pioneers in Medicine series. I hope you notice that a lot of these pioneers are still alive, and they are making history in the 21st and 20th Centuries. Also, notice how many more degrees many of them attained, just to be recognized as experts in their fields. […]

Black Pioneers in Medicine III

Black History Month is every month for me. The last twelve months have been tumultuous. A global pandemic has kept most of us indoors to our own devices, which usually is never a good prospect, “idle hands” and all. When things looked the bleakest, multiple vaccines were developed, and distribution is steady. The medical industry […]

Black Pioneers in Medicine II

Black History Month is here. The last twelve months have been tumultuous. A global pandemic has kept most of us indoors to our own devices, which usually is never a good prospect, “idle hands” and all. When things looked the bleakest, multiple vaccines were developed, and distribution is steady. The medical industry can accomplish great […]

Pioneer’s In Black Medicine I

Black History Month is here. The last twelve months have been tumultuous. A global pandemic has kept most of us indoors to our own devices, which usually is never a good prospect, “idle hands” and all. When things looked the bleakest, multiple vaccines were developed, and distribution is steady. The medical industry can accomplish great […]

5 Black Trans Femmes That Should Be Honored During Black History Month

Happy Black History Month!  This month is normally reserved for straight, cis- black people. Every year in school we learned about Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. Trans black folks are often left out of the conversation. Even among other black people, they aren’t brought up or revered for their fearlessness and achievements.  I […]

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 […]

A Recap of Our 3rd Annual Black History Month Blog Campaign

A 540Monthly Membership ensures that 540WMain is able to create and curate educational content and lifestyle lifestyle programming informed by social justice and anti-racism strategies. If you love 540WMain consider becoming a 540Monthly Member today. Help 540WMain reach its goal of 100 monthly members. Click here Dear Community, We made it! 29 days days of […]