The increase of school shootings have created a shock wave throughout the country. The March for Our Lives took place on March 24 where hundred of thousands gathered to protest over gun reform. The highlight were survivors of the Parkland school shooting helped push the event forward.
There are various reasons for opposition to gun reform because people have disagreed with the idea of taking away their guns especially the responsible gun owners. Other opposition is individuals who don’t understand how this movement is getting picked up so fast while Black Lives Matter is still being fought hard for.
The possession of guns is a constitutional right which is our 2nd Amendment. The conversation on how to handle this debate will depend on multiple factors from people giving up their guns, the raising the age of those who can buy guns, should teachers have guns, and many others options.
Killer Mike, a rapper and activist, who is supportive about the use of people owning guns decided to go on the NRA to express his concerns. His decision to not only be pro-gun but go to the NRA which has ignored the issues of #BLACKLIVESMATTER by not speaking up when Philando Castile, who was killed while possessing a gun, died.
This past Wednesday Rosa Clemente, a comunity organizer, journalist, hip hop activist, and 2008 Green Party Vice Presidential running mate of Cynthia McKinney. She divided into subjects ranging from her time of being a poor Black Puerto Rican in the South Bronx to moving one of the the richest suburbs in the country. The new environment gave her better opportunities and a chance that none of her family members never got, a college education.
She was able to get a degree in African American Studies at the University of Albany and went on to Cornell University. She used her education to take on journalism and write about the injustices hurting the black and brown communities in the United States. When visiting Puerto Rice, she witnessed the terrible conditions hidden in the country. Dilapidated houses, no electricity, a poor economy, and hurricanes repeatedly touching down and destroying communities. The poor conditions for Clemente was shocking as she didn’t expect a country supposedly part of the United States would be ignored.
Clemente also talked about her time organizing for #BlackLivesMatter protests such as for Michael Brown. She remembered at one point police officers had pointed guns at her and her friends at the rally. That was a point she realized the dangers of protesting in America. Her talk was very informative and inspiring as you could feel the passion in her activism and the good she is trying to instill in our society
I attended the Kathleen Cleaver lecture last Thursday and came away very impressed. She went through the entire history of the Black Panther history including the founders Bobby Seale and Huey Newton. They met in college and wanted to create a group to combat the racial injustices committed to black folks. Something I learned that I was never taught or saw on documentaries was they didn’t want any religion in the organization because it would take away the central focus in terms of fighting racism. i got to learn about the first official member of the party named Bobby Hutton who was killed two days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 6th, 1968.
She even gave her own opinion on the emergence of the New Black Panther Party in Texas. She deems them as illegitimate and frauds who are using the clout of the original Panthers to get their messages across. She thinks they just want to wear the gear and do embarrassing things that goes against everything the original Black Panthers mission was putting forth.
I thoroughly enjoyed her lecture but with she would of gave more information on what she did then her husband Eldrige Cleaver . Overall, I was amazed by the new bits of information that only someone like her who was not only in the group but knew and worked with the founders and the most famous people out of the Panthers.
Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities is a documentary about the creation and significance of Historically Black College and Universities in the United States. It starts from the end of slavery in the 1860s when freed slaves are quenching for knowledge that have longed been denied from them. Then it moves through the years of students protest coinciding with protests with the Civil Rights Movement. Finally, it ends with a look at contemporary HBCUs and their lack of enrollment, funding, and thus closing of dozens around the country. The importance of this documentary is to showcase how significant HBCUs have been for the development and production of black excellence in our history. The need to continue and help rebuild the deterioration of how HBCUs are still needed in the United States even 150 years after slavery has ended.
The upcoming release of the Marvel movie, Black Panther, is a long overdue milestone not just for comics turn into movies, but black representation on cinema. The last black superhero to show up on movie screens was Wesley Snipes’s 1998 vampire slaying hero Blade. It was groundbreaking to see a superhero whose melanin was dark and his strength could kill blood thirsty vampire with a swing of his sword . Snipes’ Blade gave young black children someone to idolize that looked like them and made them believe the possibility of also appearing on the big screens.
On February 16th, when Black Panther releases,a new generation will witness for the first time a superhero who resembles themselves. Black Panther is a a title given to the king of Wakanda, a fictional country in Africa . The movie brings an Afrofuturism vision of what it would look like if an African country wasn’t colonized by European colonizers. Just like in actual African countries, Wakanda possesses a valuable resource called vibranium that is heavily sought after. It was used to make Wakanda the most technologically advanced society in the world.
The cast will be filled with black actors and actresses and will feature a variety of African culture in it. This type of representation is unheard of in comic book movies because the typical superhero is a white man or woman from the American cities like New York or a fictional one like Metropolis. This movie breaks down white culture’s grasp on blackness as Jamil Smith says, “films that depict a reality where whiteness isn’t the default have been ghettoized, marketed largely to audiences of color as niche entertainment, instead of as part of the mainstream”. This film is important for the next generation as it focuses on identity, incorporates black representation, shows the beauty of African culture, and invites its audience to a world that many like myself, is mesmerized by.