Rammellzee X Basquiat X 1982

Jean-Michel Basquiat and Rammellzee on Santa Monica Blvd after exiting Maxfields in Los Angeles. Photos by Basquiat’s assistant Stephen Torton. 


This project ‘Can I Just Be?’ is a project I’ve been working hard on for the past few weeks. It’s 2015 and African-American youth are still being stereotyped and grouped together. So I went out, got out different reflections of African-American youth and asked them to describe their experience as a young African-American in an “I am” and “I am not” statement.

Thank You To Everyone Who Participated. 

Photography Done By: youdontnomii

This photo set is also accompanied by a video starring myself and directed by delafro check it out:


Don’t Shoot Me’:part 2 Video Shows #Cops Hold #5 #Innocent Children at Gunpoint for Playing #Basketball
Grand Rapids, MI — Outraged community leaders in Grand Rapids are demanding reform after five African American youths aged between 12 and 14 years were held at gunpoint — for no justifiable reason — as they walked home from playing basketball. Pressure on the department by The Grand Rapids Press through a Freedom of Information Act request finally forced them to release the body camera footage which is nothing short of horrifying.
As the Free Thought Project reported last week, original v ideo of the incident, taken from far away, shows a number of #GrandRapids Police Department patrol cars descended on the scene, as #officers point loaded weapons at the youths, order them to the ground, and eventually place them each in handcuffs — after a vague call to dispatch suggested a large fight in the area, and the possibility a teen was in #possession of a #gun.
None of the young teens in question were armed. “Now they’re saying they don’t like the police,” Ikeshia Quinn, mother of two of the teens, told WOOD-TV — intimating the boys did not feel ambivalent toward #law #enforcement until this traumatic incident. “They don’t want to be involved with the police. They should’ve been approached differently because they are young boys. They had basketballs in their hands.” As the #bodycamera #footage begins, Officer Caleb Johnson pulls up to the boys and immediately points his weapon at them and demands they get on the ground. “Get on the #ground!” #Johnson tells the boys.

Three of the #children were so confused that they did not immediately comply. Luckily they weren’t shot. (Via @allnewshit ) #SosoBlú

Made with Instagram

The Old Fashioned Mother Goose’ Melodies Complete with Magic Colored Pictures. 45 color lithograph plates by WLS[heppard]. New York: G.W. Carleton, 1879.

With numerous classic rhymes by Mother Goose, including a rather unusual retelling of “Ten Little Indians,” which adds several US-specific regional references (“Six Nantucket whalers” and “Five Nevada miners”), as well as two stereotypical and derogatory views of African-American youth (“Four naughty colored boys” robbing an apple tree and “Two little Nigs in Florida”).

During the height of the Black Power movement of the late 1960s and 1970s, dozens of Pan African nationalist private schools, from preschools to post-secondary ventures, appeared in urban settings across the United States. The small, independent enterprises were often accused of teaching hate and were routinely harassed by authorities. Yet these institutions served as critical mechanisms for transmitting black consciousness. Founded by activist-intellectuals and other radicalized veterans of the civil rights movement, the schools strove not simply to bolster the academic skills and self-esteem of inner-city African-American youth but also to decolonize minds and foster a vigorous and regenerative sense of African identity.

In We Are An African People, historian Russell Rickford traces the intellectual lives of these autonomous black institutions, established dedicated to pursuing the self-determination that the integrationist civil rights movement had failed to provide. Influenced by Third World theorists and anticolonial campaigns, organizers of the schools saw formal education as a means of creating a vanguard of young activists devoted to the struggle for black political sovereignty throughout the world. Most of the institutions were short-lived, and they offered only modest numbers of children a genuine alternative to substandard, inner-city public schools. Yet their stories reveal much about Pan Africanism as a social and intellectual movement and as a key part of an indigenous black nationalism.

Rickford uses this largely forgotten movement to explore a particularly fertile period of political, cultural, and social revitalization that strove to revolutionize African American life and envision an alternate society. Reframing the post-civil rights era as a period of innovative organizing, he depicts the prelude to the modern Afrocentric movement and contributes to the ongoing conversation about urban educational reform, race, and identity.


Many African American youth feel that they have to wait until they’re around 50-years old to be an influential leader of their people. When you look at these black leaders who many expected to be in their 30s or 40s, you’d think otherwise. These men became leaders in their 20s. This shows age doesn’t matter. All it took for them to be a leader was ambition, courage, education, and listening to the advice of experienced leaders. These are the things that can turn today’s black youth into leaders when they reach their young adult years.

According to Huey Newton, African American young adults have played a major role when it came to fighting for justice and equality. By looking at the age of these leaders, you can also see why racists in the police and prison system mostly aim for young black men. The young adults are the ones most likely to bring about change. This is what the black youth need to be aware of. Once they are, they’ll have the courage and confidence to become successful leaders of their people.

Today ten health organizations and community groups filed a legal amicus brief in support of NYC’s proposed sugary drink portion cap rule. The rule, proposed by the New York City Board of Health, limits the size of sugary drinks sold to 16 ounces or less.

The brief recognizes the importance of taking action to stem obesity and chronic diseases, particularly for underserved racial and ethnic communities. It is directed at overconsumption of sugary drinks, a key driver of the obesity and type 2 diabetes epidemics.

The Institute of Medicine has identified sugary drinks as “the single largest contributor of calories and added sugars to the American diet.”  The rate of sugary drinks consumption is significantly higher among Hispanics and African-Americans. In New York City neighborhoods with the highest levels of obesity, residents are four times as likely to drink four or more sugary drinks a day as residents of neighborhoods with the lowest obesity rates. As a result, African Americans and Hispanics suffer from higher rates of chronic disease and obesity.

The consumption of sugary drinks by African-American and Hispanic youth, in particular, has been fostered by racially and ethnically targeted marketing by beverage companies. Ads for sugary drinks are more frequently present in magazines and television shows that target African Americans and Hispanics. Lower-income black and Latino neighborhoods also contain more outdoor ads for sugary drinks than do white and higher-income neighborhoods.

The brief points out that larger default portion size has led to increased consumption. By reducing standard sugary drink portion size to less than 16 ounces, NYC can move towards stopping the twin epidemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Read the full brief here to learn more about the effects of sugary drinks on American, and read NYC Health Commissioner Mary T Bassett’s statement in support of the brief here.

Thank you to the following organization for supporting this important policy by joining to file the brief: National Alliance for Hispanic Health, Association of Black Cardiologists, Harlem health Promotion Center, New York State American Academy of Pediatricians, United Puerto Rican Organization of Sunset Park, Harlem Children’s Zone, The Children’s Aid Society, National Congress of Black Women, Montefiore Medical Center, and Mount Sinai Health System.

My heart goes out to every married gay couple around the country fearing that their marriage will be nullified by this republican congress. Also to all of the sick individuals fighting for their health that rely on the coverage that they’ve received under the Affordable Care Act which is most certainly going to be revoked. To all of the families huddled together in fear tonight wondering how long it’ll be until violence ensues against them during immigrant witch hunts and the inevitable round ups. To every African American youth sitting at home afraid to go out now that a party has just taken power that firmly and passionately believes that their lives don’t matter. They do. And finally to every struggling working class family whose lives are going to get tougher and tougher as republicans make extreme cuts to their friends and benefactors at the top and compensate by abusing the middle class. My heart goes out to all of you.

I have no idea how we got here but I’m extremely saddened by the thought that a majority of the people voting in this country could support a man like that. It’s such a cliche to say that because of these results I want to move elsewhere but it’s so true. A majority of voting Americans just voted for a country filled with divisiveness and hate. That is not a country I feel safe living in. That is not a country that speaks for or represents me. Unfortunately, there is no way I could leave. I have to stay and work to help stall or fight the horrors that await. These hate-filled Americans may have won the battle by electing this horrid man as their leader but they will most certainly lose the war for the future of this country. We will rally and we will win again. #iamaprouddemocrat

Donald Trump: “You cannot run for president if you have such contempt in your heart for the American voter. You can’t lead this nation if you have such a low opinion for it’s citizens.”

Also Donald Trump: 

  • Hires white nationalist as his campaign chief.
  • Tells Black voters that they’re all living in poverty with no jobs.
  • Says he would force the U.S. military to commit war crimes if necessary.
  • “You have to treat them [women] like shit.”
  • Proposed a database to track Muslims who live in the United States.
  • Thinks U.S. born judge is unfit for his job because he has “Mexican heritage.”
  • Thinks women in the U.S. should be punished for having abortions.
  • Told his supporters to beat up protesters at his rallies, who are practicing their first amendment rights.
  • Made fun of a reporter’s disability.
  • Promises to deport children who were born in the United States if their parents weren’t citizens.
  • Plans to shut down mosques.
  • Uses images and falsified facts from white supremacists on Twitter.
  • Doesn’t like veterans who were captured.
  • Defended Japanese internment camps.
  • Wildly inflates the numbers of Black on Black crime/Black on white crime while also wildly deflating the numbers of white on white crime/white on Black crime.
  • Said that his supporters who violently attacked a homeless latino man were just “very passionate,” people who “love their country.”
  • Brought the “birther,” questions into the mainstream.
  • Says he could murder someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and fail to lose votes.
  • Refused to disavow an endorsement from KKK leader David Duke until pressured.
  • Claimed he donated a million dollars to veteran groups who didn’t see any of the money until he was investigated for lying.
  • Took advantage of those who enrolled at Trump University.
  • Thinks that husbands who change their children’s diapers are “acting like the wife.”
  • Mocked Carly Fiorina for her looks and claimed she couldn’t be president because of that.
  • Claimed that American Muslims are responsible  for failing to stop the Orlando Pulse shooter and the San Bernardino shooters.
  • Thinks that pregnant women are bad for business and feels that they should return quickly from maternity leave or risk being replaced.
  • Tweeted anti-semitic imagery of the Star of David over a bed of money, replaced it, then claimed there was nothing wrong with the original image despite it coming from a neo-Nazi forum.
  • “Laziness is a trait in the Blacks.”
  • Kicked out protesters at a rally and told security to take their coats and send them outside into the 10 degrees below zero weather.
  • Publicly shamed Miss Universe winner for gaining weight.
  • Says that second and third generation families cannot be properly assimilated if they are from the Middle East.
  • Mocked the family of deceased U.S. solider, Humayun Khan, because they are Muslim and claims they don’t like Trump because he’s tough on terrorism.
  • Has insulted 239 candidate, journalists, politicians and celebrities on his Twitter and the number rises everyday.
  • Attempted to woo Jewish voters with anti-Semitic stereotypes about money and dealmaking.
  • Praised Turkish President Erdogan for his violent response to an attempted coup.
  • Thinks women who are sexually harassed at work should find another job.
  • Proposes to (illegally) try U.S. citizens in Guantanamo Bay military tribunals.
  • Called Mexican immigrants rapists who bring crime and drugs into the U.S.
  • Refers to Elizabeth Warren as Pocahontas because she said she has ancestors who are Cherokee.
  • Has been sued twice by the Justice Department for refusing to rent to Black people.
  • Black employees at Trump casinos said that they would be removed from the casino floor when Trump and his wife came to visit.
  • “Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.”
  • “The reason a lot of Klan members like Donald Trump is because a lot of what he believes in, we believe in.” - Leader of Virginia KKK group
  • Told the House subcommittee on Native American Affairs that the Mashantucket Pequot Nation tribe didn’t “look like Indians to me… they don’t like like Indians to Indians.”
  • Took out full page ads in several New York newspapers calling for the return of the death penalty for the Central Park Five. He encouraged mob justice even though these five teenagers were found innocent thanks to DNA evidence. Trump still thinks they are guilty.
  • Says that a Black Lives Matter protester who was attacked was justified and that they “should have been roughed up.”
  • After the 9/11attacks, Trump called into a news station to brag about now having the tallest building in Downtown Manhattan.
  • Hired a campaign manager who didn’t want his children “to go to school with Jews.”
  • Says that people like Colin Kaepernick should leave America if they aren’t going to stand for the national anthem - ignoring that it’s his right to do so and millions of people don’t stand or put their hand on their heart for it for religious/personal reasons.
  • Is going to look into removing Muslims from working at the TSA.
  • Hired an advisor who is a Holocaust denier.
  • Praised the Mexican Repatriation program that forced Mexicans to return to their home country - 60% were U.S. citizens.
  • “We have a wonderful OPPORTUNITY here folks, that may never come again, at the RIGHT time . Donald Trump’s campaign statements, if nothing else, have SHOWN that ‘our views’ are NOT so ‘unpopular’ as the Political Correctness crowd have told everyone they are!” - Chairman of the American Nazi Party
  • “Who cares that he [Jeb Bush] speaks Mexican, this is America. English!”
  • Trump campaign worker and lawyer told Trump to focus on Black voters because he needs the minority vote and that the “Hispanics,” that don’t support him aren’t here legally so their vote doesn’t matter anyways.
  • Claims that no Black person can become president again because Obama has done such a poor job and ruined it for them.
  • “And if you look at Black and African-American youth, to a point where they’ve never done more poorly. There’s no spirit.”
  • Uses the slur “J*ps,” to refer to Japanese people.
  • While talking about Chinese and Japanese deals Trump used broken English and a mock “Asian accent.”
  • Claims that Native Americans are not offended by the term “r*dskins,” and knows many “Indians there are extremely proud of that name, they think it’s a positive.”
  • Took out ads against the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe who were trying to build a casino by claiming they are criminals. He used hypodermic needles and drug paraphernalia and asked the question: Are these the neighbors we want?
  • While claiming to be the biggest champion for LGBTQ+ rights he also says he’s “against gay marriage,” and “I have so many fabulous friends who happen to be gay but I’m a traditionalist.”
  • Mocked reporter, Serge Kovaleski, and his disability, which Trump denies he did. However, he’s also mocked a conservative critic, Charles Krauthammer for criticizing Trump. He said he could not believe he was being called names by someone who couldn’t even “buy a pair of pants.” Krauthammer is paralyzed from the waist down.
  • “You wouldn’t have your job if you weren’t beautiful.” - Trump to woman reporter.
  • Constantly reduces women down to their looks, if they want to sleep with him, and mocks those who are single/divorced. He’s also made jokes about Hillary not being able to “satisfy the country” because she couldn’t satisfy her husband and he cheated on her.
  • He will not make measures to stop climate change because he believes it’s a hoax and anyone who believes in it is falling for a hoax despite the fact that he takes measure to protect his property in Ireland. This protection is from the rising sea levels which is explicitly cited as a consequences of global warming.
  • Wants to close off parts of the internet and those who cry that it’s against freedom of speech are “foolish people.”

After 25 year ordeal, voices demand ‘Justice now for Central Park 5!’ 

Supporters packed the steps of New York City Hall February 4 to demand that Mayor Bill de Blasio make good on his promise to finally settle the case of the Central Park 5 and bring an end to the 25-year ordeal of these men and their families. 

The Central Park 5 youths – four African American and one Latino, all under age 18 – were framed by New York Police and District Attorney Robert Morgenthau for the rape and brutalization of a white woman during the infamous Central Park Jogger case in 1989. 

The NYPD forced confessions from the youths amidst a racist campaign egged on by then-Mayor Ed Koch, Governor Mario Cuomo, real estate developer Donald Trump and the corporate media. 

The men were finally exonerated in 2002, when a convicted rapist confessed to the Central Park attack. However, billionaire Mayor Mike Bloomberg never made a serious effort to settle the lawsuit brought by the men for civil damages. 

Three of the five– Yusef Salaam, Kevin Richardson and Raymond Santana – spoke at the news conference. They talked about the lifelong abuse and suffering faced by their families. 

“We continue to stand up,” said Santana, “because we know there are Central Park 6s, 7s, and 8s happening every day. Young people need to know what happened.” 

“We were not supposed to survive,” stated Richardson. “We were supposed to die or rot in prison forever. But we are here, and we are still standing.” 

The news conference also heard from Salaam’s mother, who is fighting late-stage cancer. She said she was holding on to see the case finally resolved. 

Attorney Michael Tarif Warren explained that while no monetary settlement can ever compensate for the loss of their youth, “the city must make a substantial showing. The city must do the right thing.” 

City Council member Inez Barron, former Council member Charles Barron, State Senator Bill Richardson, former City Comptroller John C. Liu and others called on de Blasio to immediately settle the suit. 

The news conference was organized by the December 12th Movement, a revolutionary Black organization that has championed the cause of the Central Park 5 for the last quarter century. D12 leader Amadi Ajamu, who chaired the event, singled out the late activist Elombe Brath for his untiring dedication to their case.

Photos and report by redguard

Today in history: On February 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin, 17 years old and unarmed, was shot and killed in cold blood in Sanford, Florida by neighborhood watch vigilante George Zimmerman.

After ignoring an order from the police department, George Zimmerman profiled, followed, confronted and murdered Trayvon. The Sanford police department then proceeded to allow George Zimmerman to go home, a free man, with his murder weapon. A massive wave of outrage followed, with huge protests in Florida and around the country demanding justice for Travyon Martin and an end to racist brutality and killings in the U.S.

Via Freedom Road Socialist Organization (Fight Back!)

“New Year’s Eve always makes us think of Oscar Grant, the young father murdered by killer cop Johannes Meserle on NYE in Oakland. Meserle is a free man once again, showing the injustice in this country. The people in Oakland responded by taking the streets. Long live Oscar Grant!”

Via Rebel Diaz

A Different World Impact on The Next Generation

I’m a millennium child. Yes, born in 2000, but my soul begs to differ. Ever since I began to take interest in the music I listen to, the shows I watch, and the ideas I believe in; I’ve always had an old soul. My mother remembers me screaming to D'Angelo by the time I was 9 and watching Sanford and Sons with my grandmother at a very young age. So “A Different World” idealism has probably already been installed in me. But since I’ve started highschool my low aspirations to go to college have been uplifted. I am a high achieving student without much effort or as the father figure in my life would put it, “A High-Achiever without have to Achieve Highly” but I never truly wanted to go to college. College is expensive, hard, and lots of responsibility.

But watching “A Different World” has given me a new outlook on college, especially HBCU’s. Though I am at the end of my Freshman year in highschool, from watching this show I’ve made a conscious decision to begin to “Achieve Highly”. “A Different World” has given me a realism of experiences that will, sadly, most likely happen to me in my college stint but the show has also given me a positive outlook on a college experience; especially a HBCU experience. From Whitley and Dwayne’s rendition of love, to Freddy’s naïveté, and Jaleesa and Walter’s quarrels. The show has a balance of representation and possible fantasies for all black youth that’s dream is to aspire. I’m proud to be deeply touched and transformed by this show. -Kyara Robinson