In order to truly make our communities safer, we must make sure that people who have served their time are able to fully and productively engage in our society -- whether through education or employment or some other constructive means.
"He that is greatest among you shall be your servant." The late Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa, modeled servant leadership in action. His leadership focused on the importance of community-building and empowering others to lead social change.
During our weekend together, joy sat right next to pain, our celebration of life right next to our grieving of death. I left feeling affirmed and hopeful.
People of color are dying in custody on a regular basis in this country, but the clearest outrage is being directed against a lion dying at the hands of a hunter in Zimbabwe.
America has always relied on black forgiveness to absolve itself of white guilt. The Charleston massacre was no different. By choosing to highlight the forgiveness of the black faith community, they shifted the burden of responsibility onto the oppressed in a classic display of deflection.
The scarring of war and poverty and racism that Malcolm X spoke of continues. It's time that students learn about the long history of activism that has challenged these deadly triplets.
When I visited Christian Love Baptist Church in Irvington, N.J. on July 19 and heard Johnson speak, six years after her son's death, it wasn't a dramatization of events it was real life. A mother poured her heart out to a congregation, which understood her pain.
While access to culturally diverse providers is low, the cost of mental health treatment remains high, which serves as an additional impediment to bridging the gap between the onset of symptoms and accessing professional care.
When I went to South Africa in 2010 to lead a creative writing club for teenage girls, I made sure to emphasize that word: club. I had never taught writing before, didn't have a teaching assistantship as I earned an MFA in nonfiction. I would not be correcting their grammar, nor assigning homework. Besides, how could I persuade girls to spend their Saturday afternoons in a writing class?
I am sorry for having even an ounce of doubt because I did not want the legacy of America's dad being black to deteriorate. I apologize for being so obsessed with that legacy that it blinded me to any wrongdoing.
No one I knew ever trusted the police. We never believed that they were there to protect and serve us. This became abundantly clear when I was 14 years old.
Getting behind the wheel, Bland had three strikes against her. She was black, female and fearless, a combination that is antithetical to all the vaunted white-centered narratives of driving and freedom in the U.S.
While police brutality affects people of all races and backgrounds in the U.S., it's important to note that black citizens face a unique experience within America's criminal justice system, just as they've faced a unique state of affairs for centuries in the United States.
Dear fellow white feminists, we need to talk about Sandra Bland. More specifically, we need to talk about why we aren't talking about Sandra Bland.
Since seeing the Sandra Bland video, I've been asking myself what I would've done if I were in her shoes. In my mind, I hear my momma telling me, "That's why I always tell you not to talk back to authority."
The extraordinary writer, filmmaker, and professor is on a mission to reach all people -- many of whom may have never been introduced to the power of words, the power of literature.
The BE MODERN MAN rally cry is "ITS OUR NORMAL TO BE EXTRAORDINARY". That is a very powerful statement. It is not our normal to be criminals, it is not our normal to be unemployed, it is not our normal to be below average, however, it is our normal to be extraordinary!
Dear Peace Officer, please hear my plea and the plea of the nation. Will you stop killing me? Will you protect and serve me now? #IAmHumanToo.
White people, no matter how nice, how good, how desirous of honest equality, can only understand so much of something they cannot viscerally experience. I know because I thought I knew... until I discovered how little I actually did.
Prince received the Lifetime Achievement Award and hand-picked his favorite female vocalists to perform his classics.
The women included Janelle Monae, who opened the set with 'Let's Go Crazy,' followed by Esperanza Spalding's rendition of 'If I Was Your Girlfriend.' Alicia Keys returned to the stage to play piano and sing 'Adore' and climbed up onto of the piano toward the end of her performance. Closing things out was Patti LaBelle with the seminal hit 'Purple Rain.' The legendary diva kicked off her shoes, and Prince caught one of them. LaBelle and his friend Chaka Khan presented Prince with the award.
This might have been Kanye West's first award show performance in over a year, but the night belonged to Chris Brown, who took the stage and gave the award show's most memorable performance – a tribute to the late, great King of Pop Michael Jackson.
Brown, who was set to perform last year's tribute to Jackson but was cut front the show at the last minute, danced to Jackson's biggest hits like 'Smooth Criminal,' 'The Way You Make Me Feel' and 'Remember the Time' before bursting in to tears during 'Man in the Mirror.' The crowd gave him a rousing standing ovation.
Brown was honored with the AOL Fandemonium Award, saying, "I didn't prepare a speech but I could never have done any of this without my fans, and I just want to say one thing. I let y'all down before but I won't do it again. I promise."
They might be rap newcomers, but Drake and Nicki Minaj took home rap honors. Drake, whose debut, 'Thank Me Later,' just hit stores a week ago, took home best male hip-hop artist. His label mate Minaj, who gave props to Jada Pinkett Smith in her speech, took home best female hip-hop artist. She also took the stage three times -- once with Diddy and Dirty Money for the remix to 'Hello, Good Morning' and later with Ludacris for 'My Chick Bad' and DJ Khaled for 'All I Do is Win.'
Both artists shouted out their Young Money rap crew and thanked their incarcerated mentor Lil' Wayne.
Finally, John Legend was honored with the Humanitarian Award.
Complete List of 'BET Awards '10' Award Winners:
Best Female R&B Artist:
Best Male R&B Artist:
Best Female Hip-Hop Artist:
Best Male Hip-Hop Artist:
Best New Artist:
Jay-Z & Alicia Keys 'Empire State of Mind'
Video of the Year:
Beyoncé featuring Lady Gaga 'Video Phone'
Video Director of the Year:
'Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire'
Subway Sportwoman of the Year:
Subway Sportman of the Year:
Best International Act:
Dizzee Rascal (UK)
Lifetime Achievement Award
Viewers' Choice Award
Rihanna featuring Young Jeezy 'Hard'
AOL Fandemonium Award