Tag Archives: Black

The Mike Brown Story: A Young Man Murdered, A Community Terrorized #NMOS14

15 Aug


Father of Mike Brown, 9 Aug 2014

Father of Mike Brown, 9 Aug 2014

On the afternoon of Saturday, August 9th, 2014, 18-year-old Michael Brown was murdered in cold blood by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. The black community of Ferguson rallied in protest, and was met with a fully militarized police force with tanks, riot gear and sniper rifles using tear gas, stun grenades, and smoke bombs to disperse crowds, techniques taken directly from the military arsenal.

Most traditional media sources were silent about the shooting and the violent police response to the peaceful protests. Media outlets that did attempt to cover the story were threatened and tear-gassed, as was a state senator. Journalists and the St Louis Alderman were arrested without cause, and released without charge. Thus, people took to Twitter to provide coverage of the events.

The people’s outrage at these latest acts of terrorism by the state against its own citizens is palpable and justified. Black Americans are disproportionately harassed, intimidated, incarcerated, and murdered at the hands of the police in the United States. Yet when the people show collective anger in response, they are demonized and portrayed one-dimensionally as rioters and looters, which in turn is used to further reinforce racist narratives and justify the use of more force against them.

Vigils were held all over the US tonight to mourn Michael Brown and the many other recent black victims of racist police brutality, including Eric Garner, John Crawford, and Ezell Ford.  Thank you to Feminista Jones who began the #NMOS14 Twitter campaign that was used to organize the vigils, the journalists who shared their accounts of the events, the bloggers who put the Ferguson events in historical and social context, the countless members of the public who used social media to signal-boost coverage of the story as well as of the nationwide vigils, and to members of Anonymous who hacked the city of Ferguson website (and will likely do more than that before this is through).

We salute the residents of Ferguson and St. Louis who in these past few days have shown tremendous courage and stood up to the veritable army that is the St. Louis police force, and we share our outrage, sorrow, and solidarity with all those around the world who have been victimized by state and police violence.

UPDATE: ColorofChange.org is calling for the immediate prosecution and firing of all officers involved in the killing of Michael Brown. Sign the petition here.


We would also like to commemorate today the 1-year anniversary of the Rabaa Massacre in Egypt, in which Egyptian forces committed a crime against humanity by murdering nearly 900 people in what may be one of the worst ever violations of international law. We remember those who were killed, while at the same time we condemn the colonialist and imperialist forces that through their tactic of divide-and-conquer created the foundation for civil unrest in Egypt and throughout the Middle East.

Women We Admire: Audre Lorde

15 Jun
Audre Lorde speaking

Warrior Poet.

WHO SHE IS: Audre Lorde is a Black lesbian feminist poet, essayist and novelist. She was born on February 18, 1924 in Harlem and died on November 17, 1992. Of Caribbean descent, her parents were immigrants from Granada.

WHAT SHE HAS ACCOMPLISHED: She wrote poetry from a young age and continued to do so throughout her life. Her first book of poems was published in 1968, after which she taught writing at New York City Colleges and courses on racism at Lehman College and the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Her precise and poetic reflections, especially regarding women writers, are highly informed by political, artistic and cultural critique, leading some to call her the “Warrior Poet.” She was a cofounder of The Kitchen Table-Women of Color Press and an editor of the lesbian journal Chrysalis. Her work is included widely in women and gender studies programmes around the world.

The Audre Lorde project, a New York City center for gender variant people of color, is named after her.

WHY WE LOVE HER: She is such a femininspiration. See for yourself.

Audre Lorde

none other.

“The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.”

“For women, then, poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence. It forms the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action.

“The white fathers told us, I think therefore I am; and the black mothers in each of us-the poet-whispers in our dreams, I feel therefore I can be free. Poetry coins the language to express and charter this revolutionary awareness and demand, the implementation of that freedom.

“For within structures defined by profit, by linear power, by institutional dehumanization, our feelings were not meant to survive. Kept around as unavoidable adjuncts or pleasant pastimes, feelings were meant to kneel to thought as we were meant to kneel to men. But women have survived. As poets. And there are no new pains. We have felt them all already. We have hidden that fact in the same place where we have hidden our power. They lie in our dreams, and it is our dreams that point the way to freedom.

— Audre Lorde, Woman We Admire.

Happy Pride Month!