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Maybe My Weird Version of Blackness Isn’t That Weird

Francis

Growing up, I always thought I was weird. Even my own mother said so. I was a nerdy black girl who was quiet, shy and introverted; who struggled to find out who I was and to be comfortable in my own skin. For years I felt I had to put on masks of identities that didn’t fit me completely or reflect the way I saw myself. I felt alienated from the expectations of a fundamentalist-Christian identity, a black-church identity, a hip-hop-based cultural identity and other popular forms of identity associated with blackness.

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Rosa Parks' archive heads to Library of Congress

Rosa Parks

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hundreds of items from civil rights icon Rosa Parks that were long kept hidden away in a New York warehouse will have a new home at the Library of Congress for the next 10 years.

Library officials announced Tuesday night that Howard Buffett, the son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett, is loaning the entire collection to the world's largest library. Buffett's foundation bought the archive last month.

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Muslim Americans Say ISIS Terrorism May Lead to More Hate Crimes

Muslim

Linda Sarsour, the executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, was a victim of a hate crime this week that wouldn’t have occurred had it not been for the phenomenon of the terrorist group “Islamic State” (ISIS).

Sarsour, who has become a voice for Muslim Americans nationally, discussed the incident on social media.

“My deputy director and I were harassed by a bigoted drunk who hurled hateful Islamophobic and anti-Arab epithets at us on 5th Avenue in Bay Ridge [a neighborhood in Brooklyn],” Sarsour wrote in a Facebook post about the incident. “He said, ‘you are cutting people’s heads off, sharmoota, I’m going to cut off your head and see how you will feel, you Arab b…..’”

The attacker appeared to be referencing the IS, which beheaded American journalists James Foley and Steve Sotloff. The IS claimed the men were murdered in retaliation for the united States’ involvement in Iraq.

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Driving While Black—and Poor

DWB

St. Louis County has 90 municipalities – ranging in population from 13 to nearly 52,000 – and most of them sustain themselves by targeting, fining and jailing poor Missouri residents, many of them Black, who are unable to pay traffic tickets.

A “white paper” by ArchCity Defenders, a group that defends the poor in the St. Louis area for free, carefully details how Ferguson and other small villages and municipalities in the state have perfected the art of exploiting those who drive while Black – and poor.

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Five ways White House Director David Johns wants to help black students succeed

Johns

White House Director David Johns admittedly gets a little emotional when he talks about improving educational opportunities for black students he affectionally calls “babies” – a nod to his Twitter hashtag #TeachTheBabies.

“Excellence is absent when talking about black kids in education,” said Johns who leads the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans. The two-year-old initiative seeks to spark a conversation between school districts across the country on ways to educate low-income black students. “We live in a society where we believe black students aren’t smart. We hear that more black men are in prison than in college and that’s not true. We need to do a better job of policing what’s said about our babies.”

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