Showing posts from 2013

Nelson Mandela And How He Changed My Life

It was February 11, 1990, ten days after my sixth birthday. Even at that young age I was aware of politics and justice way beyond my years. I thank my grandmother who was herself deeply involved in equality herself. She having attended Megdar Evers College with Betty Shabazz, Malcolm X's wife years before. On the television in front of me I was watching Nelson Mandela walk out of jail after 27 years. As a young boy I knew that I was watching history and would never see something like it again. This man was important to me even at six years old. Years later it became clear to me why he was.

As Mandela continued his path to the presidency of South Africa and beyond I marveled at what he was able to do. His work on ending apartheid inspired in me the belief that being a servant of the people and aiming to create equality was not only noble but necessary. As I navigated the worlds of predominantly black and brown schools and then predominantly white schools Nelson Mandela's work b…

What Happens to a Dream Deferred: The George Zimmerman Verdict

The 3/5 Compromise was a compromise reached between Southern and Northern states in 1797 that essentially counted every black person as 3/5 of a human being for representation purposes in Congress. It was one of many legal ways that blacks in America knew that they were not valued as whole members of society. How much more egregious and blatant could one be in this regard than by explicitly stating that you are only 3/5 whole. Since the passing of this doctrine there have been many ways, some legal and some not that still upholds the belief that blacks, especially black men are not whole members of society. From the passing of segregation laws, to the lynching of many, to the unfair treatment of blacks in every avenue of American society. It is clear to many that equality is truly an elusive dream. What happens to a dream deferred? We saw partially what that looks like on Saturday night by the ruling in the George Zimmerman trial.

I for one do not blame the jury one bit. In fact I fee…

Marathon Massacre: How a NYC graduate of Boston College feels

I am a Boston College alum. I wear this badge of honor with the same pride I do being a son of Brooklyn. My affiliation with the best college town in the country means a lot. That's not to say that the rivalry, sometimes in fun, sometimes quite serious, between New Yorkers and Bostonians weren't real. But what was even more real was the mutual respect I felt between the two sides. As young people who ventured to Boston for college, it became more than a city where we attended school. It  became a home away from home. We met the people who would become family. We met the professors that would inspire in us change and growth. We met administrators who would irrevocably change who we were and what we wanted in our lives. Boston symbolized not only home, but rebirth. We became the men and women we hoped college would help develop.

The Boston Marathon as a college student was the most awesome day on the calendar. Marathon Monday as it is called was a full day party. As a student at…

Inauguration 2.0: The Moral Argument for Diversity

Advocates for diversity across many areas of the political, social, economic and religious sectors have long been argued the moral necessity for diversity. Equality was vital for the Civil Rights Movement, the Women's Rights Movement and as of late the Immigration and Gay Rights Movements. Moral diversity was on display in its most vivid degree yesterday at  the inauguration of Barack Obama.

On Tuesday January 20, 2009 I was amongst 1.8 million friends and family on the National Mall celebrating the almost unimaginable election of the nation's first black president. It stands in my mind as one of the most seminal moments in my life. Four years later it was time to celebrate the validation of that election, epitomized by the re-election of our nation's 44th President. The profound nature of the moment was no less palpable than it was four years ago.

I decided to stay at home and watch the inauguration with my grandmother and great grandmother. The chance to watch this histo…