Viola Davis as the Woman King
Viola Davis as 'The Woman King.' Photo credit Sony Pictures via AP

According to Defender readers, y’all really appreciate our op-eds, i.e. those moments when we, the Defender staff, share our opinions and takes on various happenings in the city, state, country and world. Believe me; we appreciate your appreciation. And speaking of… below is a list of the five Community Central Op-eds you, the Defender readers, said you appreciated most.

Getty Images.

#5: Post-Midterm Election Advice: Dems, Slow Your Roll – The Dems, thanks to Black voters, squashed all that “Red Wave” noise, to the delight of millions. But immediately after the November midterms some Dems were so full of themselves they were so busy celebrating that they again ignored the many areas they need to do much, much better in going forward if we’re going to win the fight to save this nation’s democracy (and do right by Black people…finally). Because quiet as it’s kept, the insurrectionists (those folk who believe in the myth of white supremacy) aren’t going anywhere. And they’ll continue fighting tooth and nail to get their way.

Viola Davis as ‘The Woman King.’ Photo credit Sony Pictures via AP

#4: Black Studies Lecturer: Boycotting ‘The Woman King’ Makes No Sense – Some Blackfolk were so pro-Black that they attacked, demeaned and protested “The Woman King” even before it came out. The main source of their criticism was the fact that the money centered the African kingdom of Dahomey, a nation that participated in the enslaving of the brother and sister African people. On the surface, and armed only with that info, having issues with the movie makes sense. But damn, Blackfolk. If you gave the movie a chance and actually saw it, you’d know that the film 1) confronts that issue head-on, 2) shows the historically-verified efforts within Dahomey to stop their participation in the practice, 3) displays the majesty of the ancient kingdom of Dahomey in a way no other movie ever has, 4) provides an insanely powerful message of Black women’s empowerment, 5) highlights the necessity of brothers and sisters working together, 6) provides powerful social and historical commentary on colonialism and 6) offers a powerful call for Blackfolk today to stand together and fight and build for empowerment right now.

Getty Image of Mau Mau members detained by British forces in Nairobi, Kenya, 1952. Queen Elizabeth AP photo by Arthur Edwards. Cartoon rendering of British colonizer Cecil Rhodes.

#3: Op-Ed: Aw Hell, the Queen: It’s Chess Not Checkers – This was my personal pushback on the initial lovefest that was going down on cable news stations when word got out that Queen Elizabeth died.

Pastor Ed Young

#2: Op-Ed: Ed Young, Go Sit Down – Local mega-church pastor Ed Young decided to step up his white nationalism game with a series of sermons attacking all things Black, Brown, Democrat and progressive. And when he was confronted about his words from the Second Baptist Church pulpit that gave divine sanction to the myth of white supremacy, Young doubled-down, in an apparent move to stake his claim among the nation’s most prominent white evangelical racist preachers.  

Brandon Calloway. Photo credit: WREG/Twitter

#1: Brandon Calloway Police Beating and Why We Run – Folk who are always defending police, even after killing innocent, unarmed Black men, women and children, use whatever actions Blackfolk take against them. “Why didn’t they comply?” “Why did the sit?” “Why did they stand?” “Why did they put their hands up if they were innocent?” “Why didn’t they put their hands up when ordered to by police?” As Blackfolk, we already know the deal. Hands up, hands down, complying or not, we are always in danger of being murdered by police—and our guilt or innocence of a crime has nothing to do with it. Calloway found himself in one of those situations where he committed no crime, but had police chasing him, and then beating the absolute hell out of him when they caught him. And right on que, folk asked “Why did he run?” This op-ed seeks to answer that question.  

Aswad Walker

I'm originally from Cincinnati. I'm a husband and father to six children. I'm an associate pastor for the Shrine of Black Madonna (Houston). I am a lecturer (adjunct professor) in the University of Houston...