Why? (The King of Love is Dead)

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the most tragic assassination of the 20th century, we present a “guest blog” from the high priestess of soul, Nina Simone, who pronounced the last word on this event, written and performed on April 7, 1968, 3 days after the murder. Please listen to the whole thing. (apologies for the tasteless ad). “They’re shooting us down one by one, don’t forget that, because they are. Killing us one by one.”

Reparations Redux

In order to understand the need for reparations, we need to understand that racism is historic, systemic, and structural, woven in the social fabric of the United States. It’s not about who was alive in slavery times or even who benefitted from centuries of oppression and discrimination. Its essence is embodied in the following statistic: the median wealth (not income) of white households is 13 times that of Black households, $141,000 to $11,000 (2013 figures). A difference of $130,000 per household. While useful, the destruction of Confederate monuments or even the stopping of police murder of Black people will not end racism. The only […]

The Chi

  The Chi is the best show on television for a long time, maybe ever. Lena Waithe has created a masterpiece of a Chicago Black community drama that rivals and perhaps exceeds both The Wire and Do the Right Thing. I don’t want to give it a full review until I’ve seen all of it, but I want to emphasize one of the key points the story is making. We all know that at least in some cases, the street violence in the Black community is orchestrated by the police, who snitch on their own snitchers to keep the cycle […]

Transform the Schools from Instruments of Oppression to Vehicles for Liberation

I went into teaching 42 years ago because my leftist political friends said we needed to develop a parent-teacher alliance in order to build a revolutionary movement. Much has changed since then. We still need a revolution, but the nature of our vision has radically changed. My vision, anyway, is that people simply organize to take over from the bottom up. The schools would be a good place to start. So the parent-teacher alliance is still a good idea, and in some small and medium-sized ways I’ve tried to foster this alliance over the years But I think we need […]