Friday’s Looks, Listens, and Reads (2.21.14)

Friday’s Looks, Listens, and Reads will be published either weekly or bi-weekly most Friday mornings, with articles, essays, videos, and sites that are about the Black experience (which is diverse) for you to check out.

**If you have enjoyed the articles listed, comment below! If you have an suggestion for an article you have read and like to share with us, please email us!**

Many of the articles, essays, and op-eds this week will center around the same theme of the Michael Dunn trial and around keeping alive the memory of Jordan Davis.

Articles, Op-Eds, and Essays:

A short read from ThinkProgress on how to process the verdict from the Michael Dunn trial. Note: A sentencing for Dunn has been set for May. Excerpt: “The judge declared a mistrial on the first degree murder count, leaving prosecutors the option of seeking a new trial. The Florida shooting was the most prominent fatal shooting of a teen in self-defense since the death of Trayvon Martin drew national attention to Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. The law was also cited in Dunn’s trial.”

An essay from For Harriet on the interesting connection of music to Jordan Davis. Excerpt: The “loud music” coming from the car where Jordan Davis sat was no different than the “loud music” that came from the outlawed drums of our ancestors. The fear isn’t new. It’s historical. When we were enslaved and under violent suppression, African Americans had no choice but comply, to use a stick instead of a drum, to make sure our feet didn’t leave the floor so we wouldn’t be punished for dancing.”

A long read from The Feminist Wire about how America is in love more with black culture rather than black people, concerning Jordan Davis, Trayvon Martin, and many other Black Americans who have been murdered simply because they were black. Excerpt: “All: Please don’t think Lucia McBath, Sybrina Fulton and many other black mothers aren’t full of rage with regard to the lynching and potential lynching of our children and loved ones. Please don’t mistake our dissemblance for complacency with the pervasiveness of what James Baldwin names as “white criminal power,” which too often rewards and/or overlooks white supremacist material fury. We are pissed off!”

An op-ed from the Black Youth Project on receiving justice for Jordan Davis. Excerpt: “No “the man” isn’t some all-knowing figure who sits at the top of a grand post which can only be located by the most high. But we cannot ignore the fact that the system, meaning the basic underlying principles on which this country was founded on, aren’t meant to serve the poor, urban minority. In our opinion the system is broken. In theirs, meaning the prejudice white founders of this country and their current supporters? It couldn’t be working more efficiently.”

An op-ed from RH Reality Check on how to become educated and concerned with the justice system and with the killings of young Black people, like Jordan Davis. Excerpt: “I now fully understand I have the luxury of worrying about things Black parents never do, because they are worried about their kids being targeted simply for living, simply for the mundane actions of teenagers playing music too loud, simply because they are not white.”

An interview from Urban Times with author/activist Sistah Soujah and her experiences with racism in the publishing industry. Excerpt: “It also exposes the fear of competition, thus you hide the higher quality product. It reveals the desire to maintain power in terms of images because of the resistance to prominently display a young, beautiful, heterosexual, African, Muslim man who is intelligent, faithful, disciplined, but not docile. This instead of the multiplicity of images you see of beaten down, incarcerated, broken, black boys or men as predators and beast.”

A long read from Truth-Out on how the discussion of the history of black radicalism should be included when having national conversations on race. Excerpt: “However, what passes for most “conversations about race,” particularly in corporate media, which shape public perception, are narrow or wrong. Right-wing commentators such as Bill O’Reilly blame black people’s problems on “the disintegration of the African-American family” and other cultural pathologies, while liberal pundits typically point to conservatives as the sole racists in the country.”

An op-ed from Black Girl Dangerous on the lessons to be learned from the death of Avonte Oquendo, a 14-year Black boy with autism. Excerpt: “The vulnerability of Black disabled students like Avonté is indisputable yet still invisible and largely ignored. It is imperative to think about the intersections between Blackness and ability in order to provide Black, disabled students with the safety and adequate learning environments that they rightfully deserve.”

Websites to Check Out: [many facts have been featured on our Facebook!]


Jesse Williams, actor and activist, on the Michael Dunn trial

The Daily Show’s Jessica Williams on Stand Your Ground

A conversation among popular Black women content creators on the state of Black television.

YouTuber Chescaleigh on the double standard of using the N-word. Video.


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