L.A. Riots, Black History Month, and Keeping Your Eyes on the Prize

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My first experience with racism, humorously, did not involve white people. It was actually at a barbecue thrown by a friend of my moms when I was about 7.

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Why Do We Protest?

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It never fails. An unarmed, undangerous person gets slaughtered reasonlessly by those sworn to protect and serve. As hands, heads, and hearts come together for prayer and personal upliftment, a voice from in the distant shouts “But y’all kill each other every day. What’s the big deal?”

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Controversy Corner: Should We Re-Release Ice Cube’s “Death Certificate?”

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Ice Cube’s Death Certificate, released in 1991, has been called the “most racist rap album ever.” It’s filled with threats of racial violence towards White America, preaches Black empowerment, and made the angry voice of rebellious Black youth evident and tangible. Continue reading

TGDC News: 9th Grade Texas History Book Shows Whitewashing of American Slave Trade

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I can’t vouch for the validity of the image posted below, but my research leads me to believe this is an actual clip from a 9th grade history book that originated out of a place called Pearland, TX, not too far from Houston.

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The caption reads:

The Atlantic Slave Trade between the 1500s and 100s brought millions of workers from Africa to the southern United States to work on agricultural plantations.

While this is almost no different than the traditional bending-of-the-truth that occurs throughout one’s primary educational career in America, clearly the underlying tone of slavery has been perforated and reconfigured to serve a purpose outside of education. It’s also important to remember this is just a blurb.

But let’s be clear; American slavery, and all its components, was the most evil, vile, heinous act of deliberate human trafficking to ever occur. People, like you and me, were taken from their homes and forced into inhumane existences in the name of corporate profit and personal greed. Millions lost their lives during the process of an entire race being physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually displaced. The implied context of the term “worker” is false, because workers get paid, not beaten, mutilated, raped, and killed. Admittedly, this singular photo isn’t much to go on, but you can only imagine the gravity of the affixed information.

According to this narrative, I expect the story in the textbook jumps from African Americans deciding to try life outside of their jobs on the plantation to Barack Obama’s inauguration speech.

–Tony Grands

TGDC News: Sandra Bland Mural Spotted In Los Angeles

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Sandra Bland was found dead, hanging in a Hempstead, Texas, jail cell earlier this year. Foul play has been suspected, but as of yet no charges have been filed, even as the department faces public and professional scrutiny over what many consider a murder. The FBI has even gotten involved. Ms. Bland’s unfortunate death has forever propelled her name into the seemingly endless conversation about Black America’s turbulent relationship with the justice system and law enforcement.

In Los Angeles, California — a lifetime away from Waller County — this mural has been quietly rendered to the community at the intersection of 47th street and Western Avenue. Not only is the ominous painting a tribute to Sandra and the controversy and mystery surrounding her death, it’s also a message for its viewer. The caption says, “Keep It Real.”

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Photo credit: Steven Jones

Rest in peace, Sandra.

— Tony Grands