A Diaspora Rises Against Police Brutality

Canadians protest racial profiling in Quebec.

Montreal, Quebec, houses the largest Haitian population in Canada. As of the country’s latest census there are over 100,000 people of Haitian origin living in the city. Moreover, since the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, Montreal has become a viable destination for many people as they try to escape the circumstances in their home country and the number of Haitians in Montreal is only expected to increase.


Facing Race, Defining Justice and Making Change

On November 15-17, 2012, racial justice think tank, the Applied Research Center (ARC) and publisher of Colorlines, will host the 2012 Facing Race National Conference. Just ten days after the 2012 Presidential Election, this discussion is the forefront of a critical dialogue about racial justice and social activism and it is timely. More than 1,000 educators, journalists, artists, leaders, and activists are anticipated to attend, along with a stellar lineup of presenters.  The conference is the largest national multi-racial assembly of its kind.


Basquiat Faces the Games

Olympic Rings, 1985

A collaborative painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol features Warhol’s highly stylized take on the Olympic symbol of the five rings against their traditional white background. Superimposed, just off center, is a strong image of a Black face done in Basquiat’s freehand, graffiti-like style.

These two socially minded Pop icons incorporated imagery and text from contemporary culture into their personal expressions. During the summer of 1984, the Olympic Games were in Los Angeles, the first time they were hosted in the United States in half a century. Meanwhile, Ronald Reagan was running for reelection and his policies continued to marginalize African American and poor communities.


One Vote

Civil rights activist Gracie Hawthorne played an important role in voter registration canvassing during the Freedom Summer of 1964.

Voter apathy and disillusionment may be on the rise among low-income communities and communities of color. The economic recovery has been particularly harsh on communities of color and the 14.1% unemployment rate for Black Americans is nearly double that of white Americans. Some voters don’t have a strong opinion about Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, arguing that neither candidate is pursuing issues that matter most to their community. Furthermore, political impasse and infighting, coupled with an influx of negative political ads, leave these voters with an impression that there is little hope for progress in the future.


Women, Race and Revolution

An image of Carlota with a machete.

Black women around the world and throughout history have fought for their freedom and inclusion in society. In the United States, we are most familiar with the likes of Rosa Parks, Ella Baker and Claudette Colvin – African American women leaders that fought for Civil Rights throughout the 1960s. The struggle for freedom in the Americas actually started much earlier than that. Today marks the anniversary of a Cuban revolution that began nearly a century before Fidel Castro and Che Guevara’s July 26th Movement. Carlota, who predates both Guevara and Castro, was one of several female Africans responsible for leading a string of successful slave uprisings in Cuba from 1843-44. The freedom of her compatriots would eventually cost Carlota her life.



Police arrest three young women for suspected drug dealing in the San Francisco area. 1995, San Francisco, CA.

It’s that time again! It’s the time when hollow buzz words such as “prosperity” and “freedom” dominate the airwaves, bombarding the senses yet falling short of truly addressing the issues. Yes, folks, its election time in the United States! With less than a week left before the election, partisan bickering is nearing its highest levels and the pressure to “choose sides” is increasing with each day. Two of the largest voting groups that are being targeted in these final weeks are students and black voters. Large supporters of Barack Obama in 2008, these constituencies could be the deciding factor in ever-important swing states such as North Carolina and Ohio. However, there is a disturbing lack of discussion regarding the topic of mass incarceration in the United States, a systemic epidemic that disproportionately affects Black and Latino youth.