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A blog from Medium about the fight against anti-Black racism.
My grandmother, Carmen, holding me in 1987. Photos courtesy of the author.

When I was young, I liked asking my grandmother about her life back in Puerto Rico. I’d ask her what it had been like to move to the mainland as a young woman.

Memory is undoubtedly fallible, and while other family members often warned me that Nani’s stories were half-remembered and sometimes fictionalized, I loved to hear them. I’ll never forget when I asked her about meeting my grandfather. She said she fell in love with him “por su piel blanca y ojos claros” — because of his white skin and light eyes. My grandmother has coppery brown skin, dark…

Politics + Race

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Talking about race and racial justice is never simple. Certainly not as basic as white America made it seem during international Black Lives Matter protests in 2020. While it’s easy to call out racism on the political right, it’s much more complicated when you try to address it among liberals in the United States. Conservatism is largely based on racist political dynamics that make use of tools such as voter suppression, an ever-growing police state, the defunding of social programs, and tax breaks for the mostly white wealthy population.

Republicans employ coded language to disguise the impacts of their policy…

Photos courtesy of the author

My mutilated Black Lives Matter sign tells a story.

I’ve displayed the sign on my lawn for many years now, right before the Black Lives Matter movement became more well known. We were pioneers in a sense.

My family wanted our neighbors to know how we felt about what was going on in the world. I knew there was a chance the sign might get stolen, but the message was worth it.

For the first few years, the sign just sat there. While it was the only Black Lives Matter sign on the block, no one touched it. …

A little over a year ago, we collectively witnessed the murder of George Floyd, which ignited America’s racial reckoning across the globe. The stain of the summer of 2020 reverberates with the continued presence of two justice systems in America: one for White people and one for Black people. This imbalanced justice system has disproportionately incarcerated Black men with longer sentences (and for nonviolent offenses) than the 22.5 years Derek Chauvin received for Floyd’s murder.

We repeatedly witness no shortage of examples of racial violence and police brutality. From an early age, Black children learn about the impact of racism…

Emmett Till. Image: Getty

You may have noticed that last week, the Race/Racism column took a hiatus. Though there’s no shortage of stories about race and racism, there are only so many hours in a day, and only so many of them that I can allocate to this roundup while still pursuing my other interests — my own writing, and as of this month, teaching.

So Race/Racism is moving to an every-other-week feature here at Momentum.

I hope you’ll continue to check us out for the stories about anti-Black racism and examples of Black excellence. Today you’ll find stories about the destruction and continual…

Photo by Tasha Jolley on Unsplash

On September 7, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the man accused of orchestrating the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, appeared at a hearing with four other defendants. Twenty years after the attacks, their trial has still not begun. The legal case against them is mired in delays because some of their testimony was gained under torture.

Yet their torture, and the existence of a torture program that President George Bush authorized after the 9/11 attacks has been erased from public awareness. Many Americans no longer recognize the name “Abu Ghraib,” let alone know that hundreds of people were tortured at CIA black…

A class full of children does work in school in this pre-Covid image by CDC on Unsplash

By Edith Bazile, as first appeared in Schoolyard News

“Politeness as filtered through fragility and supremacy isn’t about manners. It’s about a methodology of controlling the conversation.” — Mikki Kendall, Hood Feminism: Notes from the Woman that a Movement Forgot

Today, American public education is a caste system empowered by policies that push Black students to the bottom.

A history of Black efforts to educate Black children

Photo: Jazmin Quaynor/Unsplash

I get it. No one wants to be called a derogatory name. We want to be regarded as kind, decent, and loving human beings.

But isn’t it more important to actually be a decent person than a terrible one who hides from accountability?

I’ve witnessed White people become enraged at the mere suggestion they may harbor racist ideals but will see injustice and not bat an eyelash. How is it that we live in a world where a label carries more weight than actual discrimination, brutality, and death?

When a person’s reputation takes precedence over humanity, what does that say…

Let’s Unpack This

A hand holds a bar of soap. Image: Getty

Over the last few weeks, White celebrities have been making headlines for their hygiene practices. On schedule, social media descended into the cultural “cleanliness wars” as everybody realized “proper” hygiene has a great many definitions. But, there’s a strange hypocrisy when one juxtaposes White people’s crusade against soap and water versus their constant critiquing of Black aesthetics.

Ashton Kutcher and his wife, Mila Kunis, said they don’t shower frequently and only wash their kids if they “see” dirt on them. Kutcher washes his armpits and crotch regularly but not the rest of his body. …

Photo: Pixabay

They’ve become so predictable and, frankly, almost amusing. Every time I write an article about race, I’m prepared for the commenters who, like clockwork, will accuse me of being racist. “You can’t fight racism with racism,” one of them recently Whitesplained, as if chiding Black people for writing about it was her doing her part.

Here’s the thing: If you are fed up with reading articles critical of White people written by Black people like me, you can hurl the R-word at us if you think that can wipe your conscience clean. Black people, however, don’t flinch at being called…


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

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