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A blog from Medium about the fight against anti-Black racism.

HIDDEN BLACK HISTORY

Wall Street broker Jeremiah G. Hamilton was ultra rich in mid-1800s New York City. Here is his story.

Image credit: JeremiahHamilton.org

In 1983, there were only three Black financial services professionals in the entire state of Arkansas. I was one of them. A decade later, I started the first Black-owned investment bank in Arkansas. For a little more than a decade, I was part of an exclusive club — the world of Blacks on Wall Street.

For more than thirty years, I navigated the universe of Black-owned investment firms, ultimately building and managing a successful program trading operation for one of the largest minority-owned investment banks on Wall Street. Most people are unaware of this, but there is a rich history…


Image by eezy from Pixabay

I’m from Brooklyn, so I quote Jay-Z like pastors quote the Bible.

I truly believe that there’s a Hov line for any occasion; if you can’t think of one, then your knowledge of his catalog isn’t deep enough. But, I don’t have that problem because I love rap. I’m a fan of the old and the new. I lament that Andre 3000 hasn’t blessed us with an album in years, yet I still appreciate the contributions of Lil Baby, Megan Thee Stallion, and Fivio Foreign. I miss the old Kanye but still bump “Closed on Sunday” because the chorus in…


Well-dressed Black activists were not trying to impress White people

People at the 1963 Civil Rights March in Washington, D.C. Photo: Warren K. Leffler via the Library of Congress

A 2020 South Carolina march against police violence had a dress code. The organizers asked that demonstrators “come in dress attire, please”. Later, they boasted that the thousands-strong crowd had been “fully adorned in their Sunday best.” Not everyone was impressed. Many thought the dress code was a distraction from the life-and-death issues of police violence and racial injustice. Or worse, an example of “respectability politics” — a pointless and pathetic attempt to impress bourgeois White people. One commentator remarked, “This business-casual nonsense is just begging to be accepted by a system that was never built for us. …


Stop thanking me for being polite when I’m angry about injustice —focus on the injustice instead

“If you aren’t more upset about the underlying offenses than you are about the tone of the speaker — so upset that you couldn’t care less about the tone: we aren’t in this together — not really. At that point when someone thanks me for being polite, politeness fails me. I hardly ever say thank you. I might give such comments a cursory “like,” on Facebook, but I will not nor will I ever again thank anyone for indirectly implying that anyone who can’t say the same things as politely as I do isn’t making a valid point deserving of…


Click or bang. Black people never know how their encounter with the police will end.

U.S. Army Lt. Caron Nazario. Photo: Winsor Police

I saw a movie once called The Deer Hunter. Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken starred as childhood friends who end up as prisoners of war during the Vietnam War. Russian roulette was one of the forms of torture used by their captors.

In the film, the Viet Cong forced their prisoners to play the game against one another, making them spin the barrel of a pistol, hold it to their temples, and pull the trigger. Their captors gambled as the prisoners played until, finally, a “bang” replaced the “click” of the empty chamber. …


Derek Chauvin was found guilty on three counts and the nation is stunned

Rev. Al Sharpton says a prayer as he is joined by the family of George Floyd outside the Hennepin County Government Center on April 19, 2021, in Minneapolis. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Across the nation, people hollered, wept, and honked horns. They stopped what they were doing to observe and to tune in to any television, livestream, or social media around 5 p.m. EST— all to hear the verdict in the case of Derek Chauvin, the ex-police officer charged with the murder of George Floyd.

Minneapolis braced for violence, its very leadership used to the legal backlash that happens when police officers hardly ever pay any significant price for the murder of Black and Brown people. Truth be told, nearly every major city braced — fully expecting a not guilty verdict as…


Chicago police killed 13-year-old Adam Toledo, and some media responded by questioning Toledo’s character. Black and Brown kids deserve better.

Adam Toledo, 13, was killed by Chicago police. This group marches for his justice. Photo: Getty Images

The public has now seen the troubling video of a Chicago police officer shooting and killing Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old Latino boy who lived in the city’s Little Village neighborhood.

For Chicagoans, especially for those in Black and Brown communities, the shooting feels like another likely injustice in a long line of cases in which police have killed young Black people — the police killing and subsequent cover-up of the death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald offers a high-profile example.

But just seven days after the murder of the child, popular Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn wrote that the public should…


File This Under Racism

Everything you need to know about this week in race and racism

Burning of a church where ammunition was stored during the Race Riot in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in June 1921. Photo: GHI/Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

As spring keeps springing, Covid-19 vaccines become more available and pandemic restrictions ease, you probably have other things to do instead of comb the internets for the latest stories on race and racism. But you still want to stay woke. Well, lucky you — we’ve rounded up some of the important stories you won’t want to miss. Read about the fight to preserve Black Wall Street’s place in history, hot chicken as a case study in appropriation, and more.

Cementing Greenwood’s legacy

This year marks the centennial of the racist destruction and massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Greenwood district. But the remainders of the…

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