What to say to a dying man or woman: Weighing Life, Loss, and Love

Much thought has been placed onto the black bodies that populate death row, who proceed each day knowing when they will die. These so called criminals are thought to bear the ultimate punishment for grisly crimes, despite being the victims of the greatest crime to affect civilization–racism.

I have thought extensively about what to say to someone in death row, but also about what to say to those on an informal death row. Those beaten down by life so severely they find it easier to stay down. Those haunted by poor choices that were not really choices but chosen for the oppressed by the oppressor.  Those whom a bad day turned into a bad month, which turned into a bad year, which translated into a life troubled by means determined far before their birth.  black face

Oppression is like a cancer. Early diagnosis increases the opportunity of recovery, whereas a late diagnosis often leaves one with only weeks to live. Those not diagnosed at all will experience a death that seems quick to the external gaze, but is long and torturous to the internal sufferer.

What do you say to this dying man or woman?

What words can you find that aren’t a selfish plea for life to appease your conscious and the sentiments you’ve been nurtured to perceive as human? What can you say to lift a bird who does not want to fly?

black-boy-mirror-500x330How can we extinguish an external force that breeds an internal problem? How do you try to get someone to smile on the outside when the blood running through their veins is iced over with heartache? How do you save someone from a blaze they started with the sticks of their own oppression?

How can you love he or she who can’t love life, or love you, because they don’t want to live? How can you convince a body limp with defeat to float when they refuse to swim?
OB-in-mirror1-610x405In times of despair, we have laid on death’s doorsteps. We all have not knocked on it’s door.

I’ve shopped, watched prime time television, read, fell in love, complained, cried, and even gotten degrees while others have pounded on death’s door pleading for entry–waiting and waiting to no avail. Until they do, and we’re all sorry and bruised and yet ignorantly dissonant to how our own behavior was the background to a collective tragedy conveniently forgotten in moments of personal bliss.

6361753721567377941131426678_beautyBut how can we extinguish an external epidemic that causes black bodies to bleed internally? How do you hold a mirror to a black face and try to get its heart, withered by an oppressive ideology, to love what it sees? How do you try to get someone to smile on the outside when the blood running through their veins is iced over with heartache? How do you save someone from a blaze they started with the sticks handed to them in a dire state of disenfranchisement? How do you wish for  life on the same stars others wish for death? GLOBELM7

How can you convince a body limp with defeat to float since they refuse to swim?

What do we say to our dying brethren?

Most do not say anything at all. Instead most issue him or her the same silence that the world showed them. Except our collective dismissal is typically not in cruelty but of cruelty. We not know what to say so we say nothing, just as so many don’t know what to do, so they do nothing.

In hindsight, it becomes obvious that to do or say nothing is the worst thing to possibly do, yet we continue to do it in the same rhythm as those on death row proceed to the death chamber as if passing through a revolving door.

In mulling over the desolate dark body, I see the abducted black bodies that hopped off slave ships and swam to what many attribute to their deaths—but I suppose they saw it as swimming to life—away from the living death that lie ahead.

To strive for death is to strive for predictability, to exhibit control over a life seized by mental and physical colonialism.

Some will say that we are all dying, walking, some faster than others, to our plot in the ground. While this perspective is understandable, I see things a little differently.

Death is a construct implemented to make sense of something that does not make sense until an individual’s moment of transition. Collectively, we are on a journey to life. Life is never ending and death is a bridge that carries the soul from one experience to another.

hugging-empathy-007n considering the broken spirit that often encompasses the black body, it seems the best thing we can do is live. To not forget their names when things have turned around for us. To remember their smiles and struggles should you graduate from overt racism but become encompassed with a more covert wrath. To feel the coldness of their despair in the heat of your life.

To the black man or woman on an informal or formal death row—know your spirit is un-killable. For, what is truly living can never die, and as a collective we are alive.

We should have done better. We should have called more, loved more, and listened more. It seems there are always those in need of more care, more love, and more time but we are seduced into thinking we have the shortest stick of all.

We will all fight the urge to be sad when we hear the news, not because we couldn’t or didn’t see it coming but because we are trained to cry over a dead body, not consider its journey. But sadness is selfish, and life is non-stop.

If we cry, let it be because the death of our own kinfolk, touched us far more than their lives did. If we cry, let it be because our brethren in their transitioned state, resonate more deeply than when they sat beside us on the train or at a family reunion.

May their memory be catalogued in our minds, and welcomed in our dreams.

So what do I say to a dying man or woman?

I say, I see you in the sun and feel you in the breeze, and I promise to smile when I see your silhouette among the stars. C_PC0014959

Black Power ❤

Author’s Note: I know this piece may seem vague to some. This vagueness is intentional to encompass a collective emotion. I am hopeful that this piece speaks to someone. ❤


Contemplating Kaepernick and Lukewarm Activism

I would like to begin by saying that I do believe people should stand and place their hands over their heart during the pledge of allegiance and national anthem. That is, if those people are white.

If you are white, America presents opportunity. If you’re black, America proves opportunistic. To stand for the pledge of allegiance or national anthem as a person of African ancestry, is to fall for cultural poisoning implemented by whites to dominate not include the black body.

Teaching black children to sing, stand, or place their hands over their hearts for the Pledge of Allegiance or the Star Spangled Banner, is an accepted means of racial terrorism that teaches students to be patriots to a country who enslaves and murders them in past and present settings.

This topic resurfaces in the current contemporary setting due to NFL player Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the National Anthem.  ck

I purposely eschewed discussing Kaepernick for two reasons: to await the outcome, and to see see if his activism would fold under pressure. The outcome of both were highly predictable.

Despite initial silence from his overseers, Kaepenick eventually faced backlash. His overseers. who were not insulted by the actions themselves, rejected Kaepernick at the slave auction due to the traction garnered by his actions. White overseers, also known as team owners and coaches, seek good slaves that prove models to those who watch this sport as a form of escapism and look to NFL players as lives they live vicariously.

The overseers desire players that induce blacks to indulge in self-destructive behavior. For example,  if fans live vicariously though most players, they are marrying out of their race, spending their money frivolously, and branding their bodies with tattoos.

colin_kaepernick_jan_rtr_imgIf the masses were to live vicariously through Kaepernick however, perhaps more people would contemplate singing this country’s praises only to walk or drive home in fear of being killed by the police. Perhaps more kids would refuse to sing the anthem at school, and more white collar employees would sit out on the anthem at work functions. To the overseers, it would only be a matter of time before the masses began to contemplate the plantation veiled as a football field. The overseers also understand that Kaepernick’s actions lack depth of a Medgar Evans, Dr. King, Malcolm X, or a Fred Hampton, so Kaepernick lives. The white slave masters however, will attempt to kill Kaepernick’s career–which is what we are seeing now.

Kaepernick’s eventual folding to secure a job was also predictable, as few are willing to  reject the system in its entirety. Those who maybe have a high-paying job, conventionally nice house, or who even function as beautiful/handsome, nice, smart, etc under this system will often perceive this system as only partially terrible. This too is a facet of oppression, as failing to see the system for what it truly is, will only impair the fight for justice.

635562644991488792-2015-01-07-Marshawn-LynchImpaired vision also displaces Kaepernick as the first young man to perform such an action. Marshawn Lynch of the Oakland Raiders has seemingly never acknowledged the national anthem, only recently has he received any traction for said behavior. Unlike Kaepernick, Lynch has refused to speak publicly on his actions–leaving his actions open to interpretation.

Interpretation of course is crucial to decoding conscious behavior. In analyzing this interpretation, Lynch’s actions are pro-black whereas Kaepernick’s actions are sheerly anti-white. Anti-white behavior unlike pro-blackness feeds the white ego bruised as a casualty of pro black behavior and thought.

It is this analysis or interpretation of Kaepernick’s actions that beg the question as to whether Kaepernick’s praise is misplaced. For shouldn’t a true revolutionary not only welcome adversity from his or her oppressors, but regard said adversity as a testament to his excellence? So while I will not discount Kaepernick’s bravery, I do not think it is very fair to say that he is truly brave. Bravery would not have agreed to stand for a contract, as this reveals that while Kaepernick seemed to kneel with the black collective, he was standing alongside his oppressors all along.

Kaepernick’s actions, due to the traction imbued, endured a predictable consequence-his expulsion from the plantation. Yet, instead of seeing this expulsion as a sense of freedom, the masses have united to return a freed slave to the plantation.

Thus, while it warmed my heart to see blacks supporting one another, these demonstration also feel counterproductive. The truth is, if Kaepernick were truly kneeling for American injustice, he would also seek release from his contractual placement on the NFL plantation. Kaepernick’s desire to maintain his placement on this plantation, illustrates his actions as lacking the necessary depth to be anything more than reactionary.

Perhaps more importantly, Kapernick’s desire to keep his job reveals his values. Thus, stand-with-kaepernickwhile brave in action, Kaepernick is a slave to western material—unwilling to be morally rich if it compromises actual riches. It is a primary attribute of the oppressed to cling to seemingly having something, without realizing that we have nothing if what we have can be taken away. Material consummates the journey of those seeking to be successful, whereas the intangible consummates the journey of those wishing to be great. Dr. Cornell West, renowned scholar and outspoken cultural critic, makes a prevalent distinction between success and greatness— a distinction overlooked by far to many on an expedition to whiteness. It is this distinction that betrays Kaepernick as wanting to be paid, not prolific. With this being said, Kaepernick is not a hero, but a human who did some good.

Moreover, I like Kaepernick, and I appreciate the conversation ignited by his actions. Regardless of how anyone may feel about Kaepernick, his gesture prompted many to contemplate, even if just for a moment, the patriotic acts performed by blacks to an undeserving country. There are many within the black collective who sing the National Anthem and recite the Pledge of Allegiance, then proclaim to be pro-black. These actions are of course cognitively dissonant, but so is appearing agitated by social injustice yet wishing to remain stock on a plantation. ImSgNWjliqRIlsg-800x450-noPad

Moreover, while I “like” Kaepernick, I love black people and his good is not good enough to reflect the greatness of his African origins.

Conclusively, contemplating Kaepernick betrays four prevalent points,

  • That actions need not possess intellectual or moral depth to upset the white collective.
  • That despite our past and present extremities, blacks remain obsessed with finding a means to celebrate without proper vetting.
  • That the black collective is still desperately seeking a hero for something few are willing to live or die in pursuit of—hope.
  • Finally, that to stand with Kaepernick is to stand in conjunction with a pseudo revolutionary,  and lukewarm is far more harmful than any extremity, because it encapsulates a little bit of both worlds.

In hindsight, even the act of kneeling is “lukewarm” as it is a hybrid of both standing and sitting. Thus, in contemplating Kaepernick it is imperative to note his symbolism. Kaepernick represents the lukewarm activist, who sees that something is wrong so takes a partial stance that he or she eventually abandons in wake of personal conflict. Many dismissed rapper Snoop Dog when he said that he felt Kaepernick could not play football and be an activist at the same time–but the black man was on to something.

Furthermore, to stand with Kaepernick, or any lukewarm activist, is actually a decision to stand alone…

Black people beware.

Black Power.

Eclipsing our Way Into Oblivion: The Collective Consequence of Looking Anywhere but Within

The eclipse is the sole time in past or present settings that the white world celebrates darkness superseding lightness. An eclipse is regarded as science and revered as a testament to the vastness of our universe, whereas any facet of black pride is regarded as a threat to humanity and an insult to this “great” nation. 

For this reason, I personally could not care less about the eclipse.  TSE2012-C3DiamondRing-RickFienberg

It is particularly fascinating that the symbolism–darkness obscuring light–is seemingly lost in what white science labels a natural phenomenon. What is not lost is the function of the “phenomenon.” Namely, the eclipse functions to seduce the masses to “look up” once again. 

To black community this should should sound familiar. 

Be it  god, a singer, actor, or athlete, the black community is continually seduced to look up and not within. So while this phenomenon could very well be interpreted as a symbolic affirmation of the strength within “darkness,” it surfaces as yet another means of deflection. 

01_0While everyone is looking up, or at a computer or television screen to follow the eclipse, Dick Gregory, a man who spent over five decades loving black people and ensuring that our plights were not lost in the tangy sauce of white supremacy, has been eliminated as a cause worth coverage. The man has not even been laid to rest, but has already been buried by whites who didn’t care to report his transition in the first place. 

While the masses become entranced in the eclipse, another black person has been harassed or murdered by the police. Others have been denied an education, while some lay overheated and homeless–ousted by a world who only seeks to take from blacks. 

It is also prevalent to acknowledge that the attention and marvel garnered by the 2017 eclipse functions to silently convey the world as beautiful despite the grisly white evil that continues to infest the black body and mind. 

So as you look up at the sky, or gaze upon the eclipse from some form of screen, just know that the answers are not up, down or anywhere in between. The answers, the truth, the beginning and end, are all within. 

Black Power. 

Impeaching Trump: An Empty Gesture

Since his inauguration, there has been extensive chatter surrounding impeaching Donald Trump. This conversation frequents many conversations between blacks, and amongst whites in a desperate pursuit to appear liberal in comparison to the American conservative. To the conscious gaze, the white liberal and conservative are indistinguishable and rightfully so. For this reason, the conscious gaze understands that impeaching Trump, much like the liberal label, is all show and no substance.


Impeaching Trump, or speaking of his impeachment is a pseudo vow for change, but in reality merely expresses a preference for covert oppression. To illustrate this point, it is imperative to note that many of those wishing for Trump’s impeachment were and are supporters of Hilary Clinton. Admittedly, Clinton is not as bad as Trump. She’s worse.  Clinton is worse that Trump because she pretends to like blacks as much as she loves the benefits from our cyclical disenfranchisement.

This fact reveals that many mistake suppressed prejudice for change, and overlook a need to alter the foundation of a country that still treats blacks as subhuman.

This is a similar scenario to what was seen in abolition campaigns centuries prior to Trump’s presidency. Abolitionists worked for the formal end of slavery, not an abolishment of the policies that enabled slavery in the first place. What abolitionists requested was a change in approach, and this is what they received in the Emancipation Proclamation. This proclamation did exactly what it promised to do “proclaim” without action. In short, the emancipation proclaimation did nothing but dissolve informal slavery for a covert implementation of the very same thing. -1x-1

Those who oppose Trump are often those who oppose the treatment of blacks in third-world counties but eschew blacks in similar impoverished positions miles away from their homes in American. Those hoping for Trump’s impeachment also often overlook those subject to less overt economic enslavement as entertainers, athletes, lawyers, doctors, or financiers.

So if there is an impeachment to take place, let this impeachment be of the laws that enslave not free us. Let this impeachment be of a police system that imbues the systemic perception of blacks as animals in need of shackles and beatings by soldiers of white supremacy.

Interracial-Love-300x199Impeach the ideology that allows black women to lay with white men who they fail to see as of the same creed as Donald Trump. Let us impeach the ideology of black men who seek the refuge of a non-black woman, mistaking her lack of melanin as an upgrade and not a reflection of their sullied mindset.

Impeach the imbalanced school system that puts precincts in the black community and new, well-funded schools in the white areas.

Impeach the white media that attacks the subconscious of our collective, forcing blacks to internalize a fictive inferiority.

Impeach all forms of black escapism from alcohol to the church, and force blacks to not only believe in themselves but to believe in blackness. For there is no need to believe in the extraordinary if a collective truly believes they are the extraordinary.  church_backgroundjpg_original_4530

Impeach a healthcare system that has done nothing but demand more money for inferior service.

Impeach the constitution and Declaration of Independence as they are testaments to the systemic disenfranchisement of black people that continues to dominate this country.

Impeach the non black businesses that dominate the black community.

Impeach the debt that befalls the black community as a fraction of our reparations.

Impeach the Obama legacy that ignores the black bodies murdered without consequence. With this claim, I feel compelled to add that if anyone should have been impeached it’s President Obama. The black collective put him in office and he put us in the ground, and on the gallows– our collective legs blowing in the wind with each not guilty verdict.

In short, impeaching Trump does nothing to dissolve racism. All this does is illustrate the collective ideology as targeting the wrong person to avoid addressing the true issue. When I look at Trump, I see the same face and complexion of those who made it so my last name is Saunders. His presence is unsettling, but necessary in maintaining the stance necessary to combat the systemic hypnosis of collective amnesia. Flag

Trump is a conspicuous portrait of America, and she isn’t free and brave, but a land enslaved by cowards. Trump keeps the masses alert and aware. Yes, calling for his impeachment does betray most as misunderstanding his symbolism. But at the very least the smoke rising from Trump’s antics, have exposed that there is actually a fire.

Trump has also exposed those who have pretended that racial tensions dissolved in the 1960s as oblivious to a plagued mindset that has only festered over time.

Furthermore, while I would love to see Trump dethroned, itt seems he is what it took to wake up the general population to the origins of North America. Trump’s impeachment, upon becoming a reality does nothing for the race relations of this country besides sweep these prevalent concerns under a heavy rug known to some as the American flag.

Furthermore, as a collective, it is much more worthwhile to impeach self-hatred as an antidote to white supremacy, than to place our efforts into someone who benefits from this malevolent system whether the President of the not-so-united states or spectator at a ball game.

The Plight for Pro-Blackness in an Anti-Black World Part I

I recently read an article regarding the most recent example of white terrorism cast onto black bodies– the vicious car-ramming in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Before beginning my analysis, I want to take a moment and grieve any member of the black collective, or anyone standing for a black cause, who was injured by the calculated efforts of an individual who represents a collective sullied by centuries of evil.

Commander in chief Donald Trump also had a few words in response to the attack:

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides,”

The statement surfaced because clearly as the leader of the free world, Trump had to say something. But the ambiguity of his statement prompts the casual gaze to inquire whether Trump is referencing the protestors or the twenty-year old murderer. To most, blacks are complainers who play the “race card” inciting contention throughout the masses. These are the same individuals who not only defend slavery, but consider it necessary to the advancement of “this great nation.”

The word “display” is also rather significant, as visibility appears to be the condemned behavior—with regards to whites of course.

Trump’s words proved lucrative to many journalists who used his statement as yet another means to paint the Commander in Chief as a scapegoat of white evil. To many, both black and white, Trump has awaken a new fervor, or hate. To the conscious gaze, Trump is merely exposing an already gaping and infected wound to a familiar virus. Trump is not any different than the white men referenced in late black journalist Ida B Well’s Southern Horrors who torched, stabbed, mutilated, shot, and bludgeoned black men, women and children for fictive crimes. In aligning Trump with past evil, it is essential to note that whites in general are also contemporary manifestations of the monsters who created southern, northern, western, and midwestern horrors.

As Kwame Ture says in Black Power:

This is not to say that every single white American consciously oppresses black people. He does not need to. Institutional racism has been maintained deliberately by the power structure and through indifference, inertia and lack of courage on the part of white masses as well as petty officials. (p. 22)

He continues:

“One way or another, most whites participates in economic colonialism.”

Every white person, or person who believes him or herself to be white, performs a similar act to the white man who drove his car into black bodies this weekend, or the whites who have heinously murdered blacks centuries ago. Whether it is in gentrifying a neighborhood, or enjoying the bountiful privileges afforded by the blood, sweat, and tears of abducted Africans—whites remain economic colonialists.

An elevated black, or free African if you may, stated a powerful phrase over the weekend that I must repeat. He eloquently stated that whites are “collectively irredeemable.” While a masterful use of language, this phrase brilliantly transcends the individual, a common act that allows each act of white malice to function in solitude. In viewing these acts as individuals, the white collective remains unscathed by the burdens of their deeds. Also, this collective amnesia enables whites to eventually emerge as white saviors, “rescuing” blacks from the tyranny of Trump right back into our historically disenfranchised place, somehow veiled as something new.

It is seeing white evil as something new and not as a historical pattern that results in the misplaced efforts of black people. While I can appreciate the acts of anyone who feels strongly enough about something to get up, go out and do something about it, I must say that anti-white demonstrations are misguided and a misuse of valuable energy and thought. We live in an anti-black world, so anti white demonstrations whether explicit or implicit should be anticipated. Countering these acts is not about showing up and showing out. All this betrays is a need for white acceptance, a need for white validation.

The remedy for anti-blackness is pro-blackness. Blackness has never existed in a manner similar to whiteness. I mean that blacks have never needed to destroy to thrive, to create inferiority to construct a false superiority. Blackness is a pillar, whereas whiteness needs a pedestal. With this said, rather than crashing white supremacist events, why not create pro- black events that unite blacks?

Blacks taking part in anti-white actions simply provide a means for whites to inflict evil onto black bodies. It also suggests that whiteness is essential to blackness, a fact that is utterly untrue. It is whiteness that relies on the fictive deficiency of blackness to exist. Blacks do not need whites. We did not need whites to build the sphinx or the pyramids. We didn’t need whites to come up with our own language, currency or method of embalming. We are the beginning, middle, and end—whiteness is simply an overextended interlude preying on the causalities of a war they initiated.

As a community we must prioritize celebrating our ancestors, and raising our children to run towards blackness not away from it. There is no much pro-blackness work that needs to be done, that anti-white behavior should not even be a fleeting thought.

However, it is imperative to note that even in acts of collective appreciation the black collective must anticipate deadly acts from our oppressors. It is essential that participants are not only willing to live with the consequences of combating white supremacy, but be willing to die for what they believe in. I know this sounds morbid to many who see death as an unnecessary compromise, but as a collective we put too much emphasis on living a meaningless or oppressed life, and not enough on fighting for justice by any means necessary.

To be pro-black is to love yourself by any means necessary. Whiteness is not the center of the black universe. To believe any such thing is to possess the mind of the oppressed. In this same chord, it is imperative to note that the tragic death of a white female demonstrator will not function to deflect from blacks as victims. This illustrates that any form of intentional anti-white behavior will inevitably be anti-black. I say this to say that a pro-black demonstration would have attracted a vastly different crowd. Identifying overtly bad behavior is not a challenge for most, but acknowledging their own role a corrupt system or country is beyond the scope of most within the white collective.

So while the death of this young woman is certainly sad, it is perhaps even more sad that the issues of blackness are once again usurped by another attempt to paint feminism or white women as the antidote to racism.

Blacks fading to the background for an act that has plagued their mothers, fathers, grandparents, children and loved ones is another act of racial terrorism.

Some may read this and consider my analysis cold hearted. To this I ask what how they would compartmentalize the killer? The killer, a man who will probably pay for his actions solely because his actions qualify as a crime solely because he inflicted harm onto a white, rather than a black body.

As part of the pro-black initiative that anchors this post, my assertions are about how this young lady’s death will function and has functioned to discount black disenfranchisement. Soon, many will place her along sacrificial lambs like Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Lennon Lacy, Reneisha McBride, Sandra Bland, and the countless black bodies murdered in the coldness of the anti-black climate of North America. So just as many black communities have underwent gentrification, our sacrificial lambs are undergoing a similar process, as will our heroes in due time.

May the events in Virginia over the weekend, and the racist media coverage and commentary inspire the blacks to fight the battle without our collective as a means to combat external forces.

Cheers to the phrase “black is power” eventually emerging from a hollow phrase to a collective realization.

Remembering the late Jonathan P. Jackson

Many lament today in commemoration of Jonathan Jackson, the younger sibling of Soledad Brother George Jackson. To many today marks his death. But to truly commemorate today and the life of a young man transitioned too soon, it is imperative to acknowledge that Jackson lived more in his seventeen years than most  do a lifetime.

Jonathan had the privilege of having a strong conscious figure mold him and save him from succumbing to the traps of white supremacy. To some Jonathan’s older brother George let his younger brother to the flames of black rage and youthful carelessness. But to the conscious gaze, George let his brother to freedom. A freedom Jonathan lusted for as an adolescent, when most lust for sex and material goods.He didn’t seek money, fame, or women, he sought justice.

To some, Jackson brutalized the environment in the Marin County Courthouse on this day forty-seven years ago, but in actuality Jackson was a young man brutalized in every way possible by the pervasiveness of white supremacy. He sought to right the wrongs that sullied the black experience. He sought to emerge from the silence and invisibility that engulfs those born black and subjected to the daily violence of poverty and cyclical disenfranchisement.  He sought to be heard, and he was.

Some wait for their respect. Others mistake it for fear or courtesy. While most die waiting for it. But others like Jonathan Jackson, take their respect. On the day of this transition Jackson took what so many beg, wait, and plead for and initiated the change he wanted to see.

He didn’t wait on a white savior, or a symbol to alter his oppressed state. He sought to be his own hero, and ended up becoming a hero for all black people.

This young man’s story sends a inextinguishable fire through the collective heart of the black community.  Jonathan, as a symbol of young black excellence, illustrates the potential we have as blacks to lead our children to consciousness.

How different would our world be, if more of our black children were conscious and culturally cognizant?

If we possess a fearlessness so will our children. Jackson’s end may have been tragic, but perhaps it is even more tragic for our young people to navigate their lives blind to their own power.

Jackson as a symbolic of the potential of black our youth provokes the following question:

How many more of our children will be murdered, raped, lynched, harvested or issued any kind of cyclical disenfranchisement because we are afraid?

May the late Jonathan Jackson inspire those you take a stand in your life, in your community, and in the plight blacks face throughout the world. May he inspire you to stand a little taller, and to take a few gallant strides towards freedom.

In the words of Jackson’s older brother the late George Jackson:

Man-child, black man-child with submachine gun in hand, he was free for a while. I guess that’s more than most of us can expect.

Jonathan, thank you for your sacrifice and the imprint you’ve left on souls of so many black folks.

Today, we won’t cry  because you’re gone, instead we’ll shed tears of happiness because you lived.

All that day and all that night there sat an awful gladness in my heart,–nay, blame me not if I see the world thus darkly through the Veil,–and my soul whispers ever to me saying, “Not dead, not dead, but escaped; not bond, but free.”W.E.B. Dubois

Rest In Power, Black King. See you at the Mountaintop, and tell George I say hey.  🙂

The Hell in Healthcare

Healthcare is a topic that dominates much of contemporary conversation. The Obama administration appeared particularly instrumental in generating more opinions on the topic from the black community and other demographics “othered” by ethnicity, sexual orientation, or socio-economic status. Notably, Obamacare, in execution and name, implies that Obama cared about his constituency—an ideal countered by the actuality of the healthcare bill. A man whose symbolism superficially uplifted the black collective, former president Obama illustrates how symbolism often distorts the message, in satiating the need for the oppressed to believe in something seemingly larger than themselves.

In discussions of healthcare, it is obvious that for many, maintaining Obamacare is important to because it bears the name “Obama.” For many, to destroy Obamacare is to destroy the former President’s legacy. Regardless of what side you are on, healthcare maintains a prevalent place in colloquial and professional settings. Having come of age in a world where healthcare underwent extensive changes, I do not remember a world where healthcare was a requirement. As the offspring of two city workers, healthcare wasn’t something my family and I worried about. We visited the doctor regularly for physicals and had dentist and eye check ups yearly. I was even covered until I was twenty-six years old for medical and dental. Health, seemed caring. There was no hassle about money or fees.

As an adult, I now view my “coverage” differently. I now see that my fictive comfort was merely “massa” ensuring that his (or her) plantation workers remained of value. I now see that my “care” was merely upkeep to ensure that one day I would be fit to join the plantation.

Those not bearing the pseudo security of prominent plantation jobs, have reduced “care.” Instead, their capitalistic employers ensure that black wages return to the itchy palms of white supremacy.

Moreover, to the black collective, health seems anything but caring. To the insured healthcare embeds a hidden meaning, to the uninsured healthcare instead accompanies hidden fees, not to mention the extensive insurance check offices conduct prior to your visit to ensure they receive compensation for even the most menial tasks. As a facet ol capitalism, healthcare fails to care about anything  besides the power of money

Healthcare is a white supremacist battle of greed, in which the black body is a casualty bludgeoned by sky-high premiums nearly impossible to afford on a part-time salary or minimum wage job. The middle-waged individual or working poor, functions to benefit capitalistic America in one of two ways. Either you pay an unfair premium for minimal service and hidden fees, or incur a charge on your taxes. This capitalistic world functions to penalize the black not seeking government assistance or the financial gluttony of white wealth. Supporting Obamacare is supporting a practice counterproductive to the well- being and advancement of African people.

Thus, conversations regarding healthcare remain misplaced for the most part. Namely, black loyalty seems quite misplaced, as the burden of having to pay a high premium or be fined during tax season, throws salt in the would of the economic disparity that hovers over our collective. Obamacare, therefore should be repealed as it benefits the insurance companies, not the insured. Obamacare “cares” about the insurance collective, not the individual and certainly not about black bodies.

Realistically, healthcare has always been within arms reach to the wealthy, whose visits to the physician are replaced by doctor visits that promote vanity not vitality. We live in a capitalistic society, so money as the gateway to superior healthcare does not sound outlandish—but does discount the concept of health “care.” Is health truly caring if solely capitalistic?

The answer is surely no. Given that most black people are not wealthy, this means that access to quality health care is out of reach for most. But given that color dictates quality of life, economics, and everything else on a global scale, healthcare is a minor worry of the black collective.

I say this to say that conversations surrounding healthcare overlooks the issue at hand. Everyone should not be required to have healthcare. To put the care back in healthcare, healthcare should be provided.  But, being a black person, healthcare whether bearing a physical cost or seemingly costless, will never be without fault or threat to the black body.

Historically blacks were given healthcare that was overtly free but covertly costly in pain, and sacrifice. Thus, the concerns of healthcare with regard to blacks, is not solely based on cost. Given the extent of black exploitation at the hands of whites, blacks can only receive proper care from conscious blacks who desire to maintain quality of life for the black collective.

Furthermore, healthcare remains a white conversation, and another racist act in the white plight for continued domination.

This domination cultivates a “hell” in healthcare for blacks. Despite it’s first four letters suggesting healing, this term depicts how the coerced language of abducted Africans sounds one way but means another for those subjugated to maintain white supremacy. As blacks, our health or care will “heal” the global epidemic of racism, because to whites black health or care will never be a global concern unless it benefits the white collective. It is because of this that I can’t help but see former-president Obama’s healthcare initiative as an act of deflection. Former President Obama, as a beacon of hope to many, enlists support from his mere affiliation to the act.  In focusing on premiums and tax penalties, the black collective shifts away from the medical mishaps that dominate our past and present. From Fanny Lou Hamer’s involuntary hysterectomy, to the countless black bodies in the contemporary setting diagnosed, mutilated, murdered, or coerced into surgery in which they are robbed of cells, body parts and body organs—the black body illustrates the “hell” not “care” of healthcare.

Rather, healthcare illustrates the black body as insurance. Insurance that the current Republican Party will use in a similar manner to which the Lincoln administration used slavery. Although many attribute Lincoln to “freeing” the slave, he formally ended the institution to reinforce his own initiatives and displaced blacks into an informal slavery once the message finally reached them two years later. Similarly, the current Republican administration  attempted to eliminate the Obamacare for what will surely be a similar manifestation of capitalistic motives.  Black bodies are the insurance that white supremacists use to ensure their continued supremacy.  Insurance, is defined as follows:

a thing providing protection against a possible eventuality.

The black body, in its systemized abjection insures that white supremacy remains  constant in a global context. The black body proves that “healthcare” is just another means to ensure that reparations remains a hollow term, and our bodies—dismembered, mistreated, and mutilated— remain aboard a ship to which the black collective has never truly exited.

Cultural Appropriation 101: White Men and The Man Weave

While female weaves have been popular for nearly a decade, the man weave is a fairly new phenomena. The assemblage of this fairly new hair option is nothing short of amazing. In the process—a false hairline is drawn and weave is glued (or sewn in some instances) to the scalp then shaved and styled accordingly. This process transforms the negative connotation of hair loss to a positive.


The man weave, offered mostly by black barbers for black clientele, alleviates the black man from appearing bald, negating the burden of visible hair loss. It is fascinating that spirituality, a practice that still dominates much of the black community seldom cures the need to cover up attributes that deviate from conventionality. A prevalent component of consciousness is belief in oneself— a belief nurtured in acknowledging a collective identity. The conscious black adopts black nationalism as his or her religion, and thereby garners individual esteem from a collective appreciation of his or her indigenous culture. Thus, to the conscious black, hair loss is a form of vanity—placing the individual before the collective—a divisive and detrimental act. Furthermore, soliciting an inauthentic mane as a male or female, reflects a deficient collective understanding and failed attempt to assemble what Dr. Wade Noble referenced as a “shattered consciousness.”

Beauty as transformation is generally problematic, as it festers inferiority to bolster capitalism. To the black body, transformation poses multiple problems. Namely, to further oppress an oppressed people is a crucial step closer to the edge. Dr. Christina Sharpe discusses the trans identity through a fresh lens in her masterpiece In the Wake: On Blackness and Being. In her book, Dr. Sharpe asserts the trans identity as an identity handed to the black body in their coerced voyage over the transatlantic. This journey would transition some black bodies to shark food, some to enslaved Africans, and others to coerced mothers of children forcibly deposited in their wombs. The journey would transition beloved husbands into castrated field hands severed from their family in a forced abandonment. It would transition the beauty of African people to the ugly and incompetent binary opposite to their white oppressors.

screen-shot-2017-02-15-at-4-11-21-pm-e1487193274607Moreover, the trans identity is a prime attribute of past and present blackness. An attribute exploited by the western gaze.

Similarly, the trans identity remains paramount to whiteness. Namely, while the voyage over the trans Atlantic transitioned majestic blacks to inferior beings, this trip did the opposite for whites. Somewhere over the transatlantic, whites transitioned from inferior genetics and physical strength to the top of a global hierarchy.

The man weave serves as a contemporary “trans” opportunity for the white collective.  This became quite apparent when I came across photos of white boys and men opting for man weaves that transformed their straight locs into an African texture.  Donning an ethnic hairdo is a means for a white person to season their whiteness with an “urban” flavor without relinquishing their white privilege.
side-viewMan weaves, offer the white man an opportunity to don the beauty of black hair without the ridicule or systemic disenfranchisement it affords those born with these very attributes. Whether bearing a receding hairline or one in full effect, a black person remains systemically disenfranchised; whereas, the man weave presents an opportunity for the white man to transition from conventional to exotic in a manner of minutes.

A white man donning an “Ethnic” hairdo consisting of coarse curls and the infamous part, locs, or braids, may also fill an ethnic slot in lieu of their racial ambiguity. Namely, companies or any opportunity seeking a “diverse” look, may solicit the racial ambiguity of fair skin, small features, and ethnic hair to exclusively hire their own but overtly appear to value those with unconventional attributes.  A black man on the other hand, whether donning straighter hair, braids, or a close caesar, is solely allotted access to the few and far between opportunities available solely for those of his demographic. Black_hair_9s

Others may argue that blacks appropriate white culture with straightened tresses, chemical treatments or inauthentic hair pieces. Blacks who adopt European aesthetics be it a Malaysian weave or chemical treatment, due so to appease the standards of whiteness imposed upon them as abducted Africans centuries ago. The conk, a means to process texturized hair to resemble that of a white person, like the pressing comb popularized by entrepreneur Madam CJ Walker,   aided blacks in consummating what they are nurtured to pursue as Africans in America–whiteness. Assimilation, while certainly a choice to the conscious gaze, is a way of life for those not yet on a journey to consciousness, who assimilate as easily as they breathe. The abducted African, in a coerced separation from his or her mother continent, does not know Africa as home. Thus, assimilation is not assimilation to the abducted African, it is simply a way of life.

Alternatively, for whites, taking is a way of life. But taking is not conceptualized as thievery or chicanery, but veiled by entitlement.  Whites who don aesthetics common of Africans, do so to capitalize on the beauty of African people without the systemic encumberance. These actions are immeasurably different and catastrophic to a collective who continues to be exploited.

Accusing a black person of cultural appropriation is a lethal ignorance essential to foment racism in America.  A black president, a few black billionaires, or some black bodies in traditionally white spaces, does not negate the epidemic of global racism. To this many blacks and non-blacks will point to the dictionary and their definition of racism which reads as follows:

  • a belief or doctrine that inherit differences among various human racial groups determine cultural or individual achievement

  • A policy, system of government, etc based upon fostering such a doctrine, discrimination

  • hatred or intolerance of another race or other races

Racism is not limited to a single belief, policy, or hatred. Yes its bad to call someone a “n*gger,” but racism is the system that created the n*gger. It’s the feeling in the air, the reason whites, hispanics, and nearly every other faction can murder and systemically disenfranchise blacks to no penalty. The same dictionary who defines blackness as a “stain” cannot be trusted in compartmentalizing racism. In order to truly be racist, one must employ other beings as their power, to be a victim of racism, your body is the power one uses to assert their dominance. Furthermore, blacks cannot be cultural appropriators because they are not racists and lack a position of power. In contrast, whites are inherently racists, and thereby predisposed to  cultural appropriation.  Cultural appropriation is facet of racism enabled by a global racial hierarchy.

Although cultural appropriation is a term frequently used throughout the diaspora, those with a distorted perception of racism misconstrue the term as applicable to anyone on western soil. It is these same individuals who label blacks the same as they do their racist oppressors in moments of prejudice. These mishaps are not minute, but monumental in perpetuating the racist supremacy that consumes our past and present.

Whites opting to don a man weave do so as a means of exercising their power. Donning an ethnic hairdo is a means for a white person to season whiteness with an “urban” flavor without relinquishing their white privilege . Whether bearing a receding hair line or one in full effect, a black person remains systemically disenfranchised. Furthermore, any white man who dons a man weave to “change up” and don the hair texture of a black man, is a cultural appropriator. This also goes for white men who don locks, or cornrows.

Cultural appropriation is not about hurt feelings—it is about the sheer insult of waving c3d44f72898896834058f59de912214d--dreadlocks-men-thin-dreadsprivilege in the face of systemic  disenfranchisement. Accusing the black collective, a demographic who has been exploited as appropriators, is not an oversight but yet another example of societal deflection. This deflection functions as an act of racial terrorism, burying the anxieties of racism in a fictive equity that does not exist for blacks anywhere globally.

In closing, while the man weave may appear innocuous or even flattering to some, cultural appropriation isn’t harmless or flattering– it’s assault. Cultural appropriation, employs fashion as weaponry, assaulting black esteem and identity. Fashion, although commonly regarded frivolously,  proves a gateway to racist assertions that intensify black subjugation through an implication that black beauty is only truly beautiful and noteworthy when paired with whites.

To be black is to have textured hair, fuller features, a possibly fuller figure, and deep skin tone. To be black is to also face adversity for these features. Cultural appropriation does not change the appeal of African features, but allows whites another path to beauty, highlighting the ongoing struggle for blacks to have anything, even their own beauty, unsullied by white greed.


Diddy. and the Expropriation of Black Excellence

For over twenty years, Sean Combs, “Diddy,” or “Puff Daddy” has been a paramount figure of black celebrity. He is debonair and articulate but still bears a familiarity to members of the collective in the barbershops and on the train. To many, he is the epitome of what it means to possess power as a black man in America. This perception, while fomenting much of Diddy’s prolonged relevancy, could not be more inaccurate.  bediddy

Diddy recently posted a picture of himself with other black figures of influence to which he captioned “black excellence.” The picture incited such a stir after it was revealed that Diddy had cropped out cultural appropiators Kendall and Kylie Jenner. To many, this gesture betrayed a black pride absent from much of mainstream culture, To the conscious gaze, an always fashion- forward Diddy was making yet another fashion statement vital to preserving his image in the wake of pseudo “wokeness.”  For instance, while NFL player Colin Kaepernick took a stand against the racial injustice that has plagues the black community for centuries, Diddy took a seat at the 2017 Met Gala to admire his racially ambiguous arm candy.  Diddy displays a dedication to self-marketing, focusing solely on ways to help himself gain popularity and allure by appearing “cool.” It is now cool to be black, and Diddy, as the king of cool has assumed a predictably stance in seemingly nuancing society’s latest trend with the term “black excellence.”

puffdaddy-1493696362-640x427Diddy strives to paint a portrait of contemporary black excellence in short film Black Excellence co-starring rapper and entrepeneaur Jay Z and the Apple Music exclusive documentary Can’t Stop Won’t Stop. Here’s what Diddy got wrong:



  1. Black minded is not the same as being black consciousness.

If nothing else is clear about Diddy, it is that he is occassionally black-minded. His business -savvy mindset granted artists that may not have gotten a chance to shine global exposure. The music mogul falls short of consciousness in his projected belief that white wealth equates to success.

For this reason, Diddy is like the field negro turned house negro, the southern black turned northerner, or the western black turned European. Racism is an inescapable global virus that affects the world. Belief that relocation or increased funds cures racism merely reflects an inability of the individual to conceptualize the disease of racism that consumes their lives. A rich black is not any more free than a house slave-he or she merely bears a closer proximity to your oppressors.

2. To Diddy, blackness is only a skin color

In the now famous “black excellence” photo,  Diddy poses with Migos, Travis Scott, Wiz Khalifa, and Jaden Smith. All men function to validate the caricatured narrative of black masculinity, making them melanated, or black physically but not possessing the consciousness to depict them as anything more that individuals seeking to eventually culminate a “trans” whiteness.

3. He thinks his success means something for blacks as a whole

While Diddy’s wealth has afforded him costly material goods, visibility, and legendary status, Diddy is an individual. Diddy is not an Ali- like figure who has risked what he worked for his entire life, to uplift his people. He isn’t a Fredi Washington like figure who used her celebrity to fuel activism His wealth and celebrity presence, while at times entertaining, has done nothing to upraise blacks from the veiled pits of contemporary enslavement. Rather, Diddy is a glamorized representation of our shortcomings.

At most, Diddy is a point of reference for any enslaved black seeking white validation. Having a wealthy black man, bears the same significance of first black President— a pseudo symbol of “what could be” but an accurate reflection of the colonialized mindset that consumes our collective.

4. While seemingly complimentary, “black excellence” actually upholds the teachings of white supremacy.

In truth, “black excellence” functions similarly to the term “white trash.” White trash implies that white is not inherently trashy. The phrase upholds the positive connotations the white gaze has always afforded whiteness,

Conversely, the term black excellence also sustains traditional ideologies of the term blackness. The Oxford English Dictionary affords the following definitions for the word “black:”

  • Of the very darkest colour owing to the absence of or complete absorption of light; the opposite of white.
  • Deeply stained with dirt.

  • Relating to black people.

  • Belonging to or denoting any human group having dark-coloured skin, especially of African or Australian Aboriginal ancestry.

  • Characterized by tragic or disastrous events; causing despair or pessimism.

  • (of a person’s state of mind) full of gloom or misery; very depressed.

  • Full of anger or hatred.

  • archaic Very evil or wicked.

The term “black excellence” upholds the negative connotation of blackness substantiated by the definitions listed in the Oxford English Dictionary. It implies that black is not inherently excellent and thus in need of a modifying term to reflect this aberration.

Diddy is of course not an anomaly, nor is Jay Z ,or anyone “gifted” the label of this hollow term. While Maya Angelou’s Still I Rise speaks of being “the hope and dream of a slave” in her confidence and self-awareness, Diddy reflects the hopes and dreams of the slave master, whose blood runs though the current music executives and Hollywood big-wigs– despite being long perished into the stolen soil. Diddy is the freed slave who came home to work for his master, dressed in his master’s clothes and riches torn from his mother continent.

Diddy proves that money, or access is not strong enough to undo the detriment of an institution birthed centuries ago. Like the black soldiers of war, given access to heavy artillery and murdering their oppressor’s enemy and not their oppressor, Diddy in his wealth and influence reflects white success or white excellence. He is not black excellence, but black foolery and debauchery. Diddy is not a leader but a follower, a precarious figure to those of the black collective, not so much for his actions themselves, but in the oblivion in which he projects his behaviors.

In short, the phrase black excellence, while pleasing to the ear, evokes the same shallowness as Jay Z’s “The Story of OJ,” so it seems only fitting that the two co star in an almost comical display of what black excellence is not. So to answer the gauche query that anchors the film:

What is better than one black billionaire?

Two black men to which money is a just a piece of paper.

Black power. ❤

The Dangers of Diversity: Defining Black Excellence through Black Nationalism

In my spare time, I work with high school students in preparing for college entry exams. While standardized testing is not something I believe in as a black nationalist, I am a firm advocate of education and use this opportunity to be the mentor I wish I had at sixteen or seventeen. I start every session by asking each student to tell me a little about themselves. Given that my students are young black girls, I always find a way to ask them about their college plans. In response to this query, no student has ever mentioned a black institution. A recent student informed me that she was interested in Howard, but her interest swayed because she did not feel a black institution would afford her the “diversity” she would need to succeed in the “real” world. hbcu

This statement, although admirable for its brevity, proved the epitome of a self-hatred common among blacks throughout the diaspora. As an oppressed people, it is a common way of life to believe that we must alter ourselves to fit into the world, not alter the world to encapsulate the fullness of blackness.

This lack of nationalism is why we smile when the Asians who follow us around the beauty supply stores remember us, or when they hand us Duck Sauce from behind a bullet-proof glass. This is why we are happy when a Dunkin’ Donuts or Panera Bread opens up near us, despite the franchise’s obvious disinterest in providing a service to our community. Their motives are purely monetary, and our motives remain rooted in seeking acceptance from those who couldn’t care less about whether we live or die—literally.

Other groups, be it Whites, Asians, Indians, Hispanics, Chicanos, etc employ diversity as strategy. Conversely, blacks, the sole group to not possess the necessary nationalism to extinguish exploitation by these groups, employ diversity as a means of survival. The term diversity is one I regard with personal revulsion, given that it is a primary tool of contemporary white supremacy. Diversity does not actually mean “variety” or “assortment.” For blacks “diversity” means a chance at inclusion, but to the oppressor, “diversity” is a means for abuse.

Diversity-Shutterstock-998x615To fully prepare for the inevitability of said abuse as a black person in the “real” word, a strong sense of self is mandatory. I cannot think of a better preparation for the real world for a black person than to study at a black institute, where the good, bad, and outstanding are all black. But perhaps most importantly, a black institution portrays a dynamic noticeably omitted from larger portrait of global racism—blacks working for other blacks. *A historically black college, where black scientists, writers, linguists, thespians, entrepreneurs, doctors, dentists, lawyers, social workers, architects, engineers, etc are all black people working for other blacks—is an essential image  in reshaping the psyche of black youth. No, this is not like the real world. But it shows you that it could be.

An HBCU grants its students an opportunity to hold hands with past and present black excellence to cultivate the necessary skillset to positively affect the future of black people. As the late Dr. Bobby Wright argued, white institutions “train” black minds to apply for spots on modern plantations, whereas black consciousness is the only state of mind that affords the black body true freedom.

Although to most dwellers of this acquired soil, success marks consummation of whiteness. To consummate whiteness is to attain what is commonly labeled the “American Dream” which simply means an acquisition of material goods, ie a house, car, picket fence etc. Those who attain the American Dream are believed to be financially stable, a phrase completely contradictory to the capabilities of blackness anywhere on the globe. Instability or possessing a temperate state of being, accompanies any black body hoping to exceed any western expectations. Stability is only guaranteed to those within the black collective who occupy a space that continually entertains their oppressors.

So, it is the veiled shoe shine boy and shuck- and-jive champion that remain the most celebrated individuals in our society. Yes, blacks are remarkable scientists, academics, writers, athletes, singers, dancers, cosmetologists, etc but why must we solely exalt them when they have attained illusive whiteness depicted in visibility, accolades, and wealth?

If we as a people truly desire freedom, we must server ties with western ideology. Namely, we must stop defining ourselves by a western measuring stick.

I particularly have an issue with glamorizing the black celebrity and athlete or anyone who has earned a tremendous amount of money. Money does not grant the black body in America anything but enslavement. The more money black have, the more whites they make rich in the process.

Regretfully, students like this young lady seeking “diversity,” are destined to become the concubines or enthusiastic employers of white men—a future Clarence Thomas, Henry Louis Gates, or even Bakari Henderson. Variant in form, the black body sacrificed in consummation of whiteness begins with dreams of what we’ve been nurtured to perceive as success.                 ut

Are the white-educated doctors, lawyers, educators, speakers, authors, and mathematicians talented? Yes.

Is the black celebrity pleasant to look at? Yes.

Are they amazing? Yes.

But so were the cotton-pickers, cooks, and caretakers of our past, who despite their innate greatness were celebrated solely for what they did for whites. Simply put, praising those who have pleased their masters is counterproductive to our advancement as black people.

Exalting those who have resisted the temptation of western material, on the other hand, is far more essential to our advancement. Celebrating those not granted visibility in the western gaze is far more crucial to reversing a Eurocentric ideology.

The western world may have created the construct ofblackness, but they did not create black people. The did not create black ability or black brilliance–and therefore:

Be it via education, entertainment, etc who are white supremacists to measure or define black excellence?


Black excellence is synonymous to black nationalism, and the western gaze will never grant the black body freedom in knowing their collective greatness.

The black institution is not necessarily a gateway to black excellence, but it’s a start. We must also seek black mentors, black businesses, and merchants to fulfill our needs and black heroes to engulf our dreams. There is so much power in blackness, but until the black collective realizes their greatness, blackness remains the power used by other factions.

As a young black girl, the most poignant lessons my students will receive about racism will be first-hand grievances handed to them by whites. Black nationalism does not cure these experiences, nor will a black institution— they merely soften the blow. I can only hope that admonishment from a seasoned survivor of racism will deter these young ladies from the gallows of conventional success, but it seems the most viable lessons ingrained into the black mind are learned the hard way…

Black power.

Author’s Note

*The author notes that often HBCU’s have White Board of Trustees and white faculty, but reserves commentary on these attributes for a later post. Even with these factors, the black institution is far blacker than any Ivy League or State School, which substantiates the premise of the article.