"Do Not Buy Where You Will Not Be Hired"

Floyd McKissick Papers (4930), Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, UNC Chapel Hill.

This photograph was found in the black attorney’s papers, Floyd McKissick. The actual date of the photograph is unknown, but it was found in a folder with other photographs from McKissick’s work with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and its Youth Chapter in Durham, North Carolina in the early 1960s. The individuals pictured in the photograph are also unknown.

Pictured are two African American males holding signs in front of a self service A&P Super Market. The signs say: “DO NOT BUY WHERE YOU WILL NOT BE HIRED” with a small “NAACP” in the bottom right corner. African Americans in Durham who participated in such civil rights groups often used sit-ins and boycotts to protest segregation and other unfair practices towards racial minorities. These two men in the photograph were boycotting this A&P Super Market because they were not allowed to be hired for employment due to their skin color. In order to discourage other African Americans from giving their money and business to a place that would not hire these black men, they stood out in front of the store with signs to let other blacks know of their injustices.

NAACP Should Already Know That The Politics Of Respectability Cannot Save Black People's Lives

NAACP sent these two tweets below in reference to the extrajudicial execution of Michael Brown recycling the same two common false narratives meant to control and silence Black people in response to extrajudicial execution and State violence because of anti-Blackness: 1) the oversimplified narrative that Black people “do not care” about intraracial crime—the same type of crime that every race experiences yet no one suggests any other race of people do not care when their own harms their own, and 2) the false narrative that the politics of respectability can protect Black people from violence. I replied to both of their tweets; they have now deleted the first one; as of the time of this essay, the second one is still there.







This organization is out of touch with the experiences of Black people (especially young Black people, and some can attest to this in their own justice work) if they are willing to push the exact same narrative that racist/anti-Black White people/non-Black people push and if they are willing to harm by pushing respectability for Black people versus accountability for the State and how anti-Blackness impacts our lives. (And the NAACP has a very long history of promoting respectability politics.) 

This is reality. Extrajudicial execution of another Black person on this 28 hour clock. Leaving his body in the street for hours just as was done during lynchings of the past for White consumption/entertainment and psychological warfare on Black people. Denying the witness to the crime the ability to give an official statement to where he had to do it on camera and off the record. Forcing Black people away from gathering in prayer circles. Denying Michael Brown’s mother and the public truthful answers. Denying the people the right to congregate to pray and/or grieve and forcing the press out of the area (which both of the latter are first amendment violations). Centering stories on looting (they released looter photos to media versus the murdering cop’s name and photo and/or any truth about what happened during that execution; anti-Blackness means centering property over Black lives is standard) over stories of the police violence and murder since anti-Blackness means not examining the context by which looting (businesses that profiled and harmed people there were the ones targeted, and “your own community” doesn’t apply to people who are under constant racist profiling and terrorism) and rioting (a long history of fighting extrajudicial and State violence contributes to this and anger is a phase of grief) occur. Pretending that every expression of grief is wrong since Black people are denied the right to humanity to live or grieve in a way we see fit. Treating that area as a war zone with military grade equipment and threats. Restricting airspace over the area (as the press could capture footage), and a series of other gross violations has happened or is currently happening. 

This is not the same as every race’s intraracial crime (yes, every fucking race has intraracial crime; every race does not face anti-Blackness [or settler colonialism, which connects to this history] and this particular historic structure of violence, however) nor would be prevented by the politics of respectability. Black people in America do not have the power of the police or the State. We cannot “earn humanity" through behavior, dress, or even beliefs. We are dehumanized as Black people based on who we are, the fact that we are Black, not based on what we do. A lack of “respect” for the city (one already under investigation for profiling and racist policing long before Michael was executed) didn’t kill Michael Brown. A long legacy of anti-Blackness and violence in that city, in this country, in our history is why he is dead. 

When Whites are gleefully thanking the NAACP for these tweets and some Black people are once again harmed and triggered by fellow Black people, there is a problem. I should not see racists’ timelines and see the same type of tweets as NAACP sent. Declaring Black people as collectively non-compassionate and irresponsible are racist narratives that speak to the mythology of “arbitrary” Black “pathology” versus a response to the violence Black people endure just for existing. 

And not once is the epistemic violence involved in the phrase/misnomer "Black on Black crime" ever about intraracial abuse in terms of people who aren’t cishet Black men when those abuses are street harassment, domestic violence, rape, homophobia, transphobia, transmisogyny, colourism, fat shaming, ableism, classism etc. Because see, these are areas that other races of people will ignore or downplay in their own races when they happen to people who are not cishet men. These are abuses where even the same Black people who have internalized racism and need to derail this moment to be about intraracial crime (which they feel we can control, though they ignore how structural factors impact this crime as well; it is not arbitrary) instead of what is actually at hand at the moment, the extrajudicial execution of Michael Brown. So while there is room to discuss why when a victim of crime is not a cishet Black man, the concern evaporates rapidly, both intraracially and among White/non-Black people, that has to do with how cisheteropatriarchy functions, not that Black people “only care” when it is violence that is either the function of the State or supported by the State because of anti-Blackness. 

Extrajudicial execution because of anti-Blackness is structurally not the same as intraracial crime among Black people or intraracial crime that any race experiences. The politics of respectability cannot protect Black people. Recognize these truths. Reject using them as a way to feel “distant” or “safe” from this issue. We are not safe. We never were. Nothing in Ferguson matters more than the fact that a mother and a family had their child executed in a fashion that is a part of American history and is an American pastime. And no easily disproven narrative or excuses from our own or excuses from Whites/non-Black people will change this fact.

Related Posts: The Extrajudicial Execution of Michael Brown and Its Relationship to Lynching. Past Is Present, National Moment of Silence, Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 7pm EST / 4pm PSTI Do Not Give A Fuck About Your Anti-Black Opinions…At All.


On this MLK Day of Service, we recognize the work of Virginia Harper (pictured in top image, front row right), a civil rights activist from Fort Madison, Iowa. 

Harper’s involvement in civil rights issues began during childhood and continued throughout her life. At age eleven, Harper and her two sisters refused to sit in the rows reserved for minorities at the local Fort Madison movie theater. In 1946 she was one of five black students to reside in the newly-integrated University of Iowa dorms. After graduating she returned to Fort Madison, where she served for many years as president of the local NAACP branch, promoting civil rights events and organizing boycotts of discriminatory businesses. In 1992, Harper was inducted into the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame.

Iowa Digital Library: Virginia Harper news clippings, NAACP newsletters, etc.

Iowa Women’s Archives: Guide to the Virginia Harper papers, 1940-2005

Let’s be clear here: Martin Luther King did not live and die so that the grandsons and granddaughters of the Civil Rights revolution might seek justice violently; We don’t have to do that.

Cornell William Brooks, NAACP National President, in light of the Michael Brown murder


I just heard this on CNN, and I think this is important to remember, especially for some people on tumblr. When we say “hate breeds hate” and “don’t fight fire with fire” we aren’t “silencing the grievances of the oppressed”, we’re saying that it’s foolish to act as if inciting the same vitriol and aggressiveness as the people you claim to be against will solve anything, because it solves nothing. 

Be constructive in your arguments and actions, be logical, be level-headed, and people will take you seriously. 

Being unapologetically bitter and conceited will only make the people you’re advocating against feel justified in their actions, and when others see that you’re acting just like your opponents they won’t see the point of siding with you.


Teachers and supporters of education flood Moral Monday in protest of oppressive, fascist, anti-education Republican party
July 30, 2013

Thousands of North Carolina teachers and other protesters on Monday staged one of the largest of the almost-weekly demonstrations opposing Republican policy decisions.

The North Carolina Association of Educators brought busloads of teachers to Raleigh on Monday as the so-called “Moral Monday” protests reached the three-month mark. Thousands of red-shirt-wearing educators listened to speakers on a lawn inside the state government complex, then marched several blocks for another rally outside the antebellum state Capitol building.

"Educators are sick and tired of being demoralized," NCAE President Rodney Ellis said at a news conference preceding the rally. "We’re sick and tired of being unappreciated. We’re sick and tired of being disrespected. Public educators and public schools are not failing our students, politicians are."

Crowds grew so large that police shut down a portion of Lane Street.

Many said they were outraged and angry that the state budget signed by Gov. Pat McCrory last week doesn’t include raises for North Carolina’s teachers – among the lowest paid in the country – and sets aside $20 million for “opportunity scholarships,” which opponents have compared to a school voucher system.

Julie Grice, who has been teaching in Hickory for 20 years, said future teachers will have to deal with the challenges of the legislature not supporting them.

"They are going to have to pay out of their pocket. They are going to have to work many hours for little pay," she said.

Earlier in the day, a smaller group of protesters gathered at the State Capitol to demand a meeting with Gov. Pat McCrory. Police kept the demonstration outside the building but said they would deliver the protesters’ letter to the governor.

With lawmakers gone, the protest featured none of the civil disobedience that led to about 925 demonstrators being arrested outside the legislative chambers in previous weeks.

North Carolina NAACP President Rev. William Barber said the weekly protests will continue, but move to different locations around the state. The next will be in Asheville next Monday and there are plans to hold demonstrations in all 13 of North Carolina’s congressional districts, Barber said.

"We are not ending Moral Monday," he said. "We are suspending it here and taking it on the road."


‘Sleepy Hollow’s’ Nicole Beharie nabs NAACP nomination


When the NAACP announced their nominations for the 45th annual Image Awards Thursday, one “Sleepy Hollow” resident was among the names called.

Nicole Beharie, who plays the the tough-as-nails Det. Abbie Mills on the hit locally filmed Fox series, nabbed a nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series.

Beharie’s competition in the category includes “Scandal’s” ever-popular Kerry Washington, “Southland’s” Regina King, “Grey’s Anatomy’s” Chandra Wilson and “Treme’s” Khandi Alexander.

To see the full list of nominees in film and TV, visit The Hollywood Reporter.

The NAACP Image Awards airs 9 p.m. Feb. 22 on TV One. [x]