Justice or Else: Black Out Black Friday

Count down to Black Friday. What’s more important to you? Buying gifts or uniting for justice and equality. Stand for something! If 1 million of us don’t shop on Black Friday, on that day alone, we can control well over 500 million dollars in this country. What can we do with the money? We can put that back into our communities, start rebuilding, start implementing social and educational programs in or community. Take control of the economic system in this country and utilize it to gain equality for black and brown people in America.
1. If you feel compelled to shop at least support small black and brown businesses, discontinue giving money to large corporations that don’t have our best interest in mind.
2. If you feel compelled to shop at least cutdown on the amount you purchase, let’s get back to understanding that there is no need to purchase thousands of dollars worth of merchandise for this one day. Purchase one meaningful gift for children, let’s go back to teaching them to be grateful for what they have received and start rebuilding strong characters agains.
As the Football team at the University of Missouri showed, the power is in the dollar. Justice Or Else! Not a Moment a Movement!



I’m exhausted but I “Can’t Sleep”.  There’s too much work to be done in our communities, we are on the brink of annihilation if we don’t band together, come together and stand up for our rights as a black community – as human beings.

Stay tuned….coming soon the debut of Can’t Sleep by Assata Afua


Can’t sleep
Cause I’m longing for a collective agency
For a black revolution
An active movement
A charge
A call to arms
To action
Let’s sit in
…stand up
…stand tall
…shout loud
…push back
…fight back
Revolt for what’s right
Against this constant struggle
For equality and justice
Or there will be no peace!!….

The New Black Movement!

Dark Nation Rising: #RiseUpOctober



Coming in October 2015, the dark nation will rise in the form of a national march focused on shining the light on the oppressions of black and brown people in NYC and across the country – with a demand to end the systematic annihilation of a people. The endeavor will be a collaboration of organizations, businesses, groups and individuals from all over the country; of every race, social, economic and religious background who are fed up with the constant occurrence of oppression manifested as unjust killings and systematic brutality aimed against black and brown individuals. The “Which Side Are you On?” March, set for October 24, 2015 in NYC will be the first of its kind. The focus will be to immerse the city with people from all over the country with like minds and kindred souls that are tired of the current status within this society. The founders of the march are imploring the country to take a stand and join the movement through the #RiseUpOctober campaign, which will build over the next 3 ½ months leading up to the historical march.

In the “Rise Up October” preliminary meeting on Tuesday June 30th, crowds slowly congregated at approximately 6:30 pm, by following a maze of make shift signs leading to the basement hall of the Unitarian Church of All Souls, located in Manhattan at Lexington Ave and 80th street. Speakers Dr. Cornel West and Mr. Carl Dix spoke to a packed crowd with a focus on lending their expertise, ideas, insight and passion to ensure that the march moved forward successfully and on a grand scale.

Mr. Dix talked in general about the tragic acts of excessive force, police brutality and murder that have plagued the black and brown communities with increased frequency over the past few years. However, the main topic of discussion was led by the recent tragedy in Charleston, SC where a self-proclaimed white supremacist took 9 innocent black lives during a bible study session at the historical Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. This tragic event, unfortunately, is not an isolate incident, and more and more frequently there are increased murders, not only as a result of police brutality, but also by civilian attackers with pure hate pumping through their hearts.

During the meeting, Mr. Dix spoke eloquently about the antiquated ideology of forgiving those that are acting against you simply based on the color of your skin. He iterated: “Being forgiving is what the ruling class wants and you can’t end oppression by forgiving your oppressors.” Mr. Dix went on to say “Together we need to draw a line and ask each individual, “What Side Are You On?” Mr. Dix also talked about the need to stop responding to each individual outrage as a separate, isolate event in this country. When a person is killed or brutalized, we march, protest and then activities die down, then silence until the next tragic even occurs and then we begin the process over again. There needs to be a constant push and a constant rise that only ends when we have reached our goal.

“It’s going to take a revolution to stop the horrors of this society!” Mr. Dix exclaimed.

The next speaker, Dr. Cornel West, electrified the crowd with a distinction only known to him. His insightful and dynamic way of expression not only motivates, but keeps the crowd thinking beyond the current events but to a deeper more spiritual existence which is needed in today’s society. Dr. West, spoke (as notably prone to do) quoting the prolificacy of musicians, he spoke about being “everyday people”, as Sly and the Family Stone sang about in the 70s. He reminded the captivated audience that this march is a call for everyone to “straightened up their backs to ensure that no one can ride your back”. Dr. West also ensure the crowd that he “Came into this world swinging, is still swinging and will go down swinging” and encouraged the members, organizers and participates of the Rise Up movement to “emerge as a fighter and emerge swinging” when it comes to fighting for justice and equality. There was one important point that Dr. West stressed and that was the need of new leaders, younger leaders to head the fight. You spoke about an awareness and understanding that is needed today, an understanding that all organizations nor will all groups agree on religion, on ideological views or even the status of our society in their eyes, but one thing they have to agree on is that there needs to be an end to all the hate in the country today and with bolstering enthusiasm he proclaimed “Count Me in Against Hate!”

The #RiseUpOctober Movement and “What Side Are You On?” March is in direct response to the constant injustices and the constant crimes against black and brown people not only by police but by the white supremacist extremist that are as prevalent in today’s society as they were 40 & 50 years ago.

This march will definitely prove to be an historical event of magnanimous proportions. Anyone seeking to assist in getting the word out, volunteering their time or need further information please contact me through www.blackawarenessforum.com or www.stopmassincareration.net.

Show your support, passion and your intended participation in the march by spreading the word using: #RiseUpOctober via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and all personal websites and social media forums and make sure you are a part of the movement this October.


Continued Heartache in the Black Community


Candlelight Vigil held at Barclay Center in Brooklyn, NY Photo by Stephanie Strickland

When will the heartache subside?  Will my people ever be safe? Year after year, month after month and minute after minute these senseless killings of members of the black community continue.

A week ago another senseless killing occurred in Charleston, South Carolina. The killing of 9 black members of the Emanuel AME African Methodist Episcopal Church. In an almost eery resemblance of times past, this historic structure continues to be engulfed by racism, bigotry and hate dating back hundreds of years.  In the late 1700s Emanuel AME  church was started by blacks and slaves. Denmark Vesey organized and stood for the right for blacks to not only organize but congregate together for pray, only for racist bigotry to burn the church down and execute many members including Vesey. Today the challenges and plight of black people has not progressed as much as we would hope.

This is evident with the murder of 9 innocent people of the black community at the hands of a white racist.  Race crimes are on the rise in recent years and with the influx of police brutality targeted towards the black community you have to ask yourself, how far have we actually come and where do we go from here? Rev. Clementa Pinckney and the other 8 members suffered the same fate as Vesey and the 34 that were executed at Emanuel AME so many years ago.  History is coming full circle for the black community. And the question remains – where do we go from here?

No one seems to have any answers on how to keep the members of  black communities safe from systematic annihilation. No one seems to have the pulse on a community that is running around in circles, continually protesting, continually marching, continually praying, continually mourning, continually burying loved ones and as we have for hundreds and hundreds of years – continually live in fear for our lives as blacks and fear for the lives of our loved ones – sadly with no reprieve in sight.

The weight of the black community is heavy right now and I am not sure who can carry that burden on their shoulders. One thing is clear – we can’t go much longer the way things are.

Black Lives Matter!