ROOTING FOR DUSTY & ANANA
Full disclosure. I grew up hating the Astros. Back in the day they were in the same division as my hometown Cincinnati Reds. So, I’ve been rooting against the ‘Stros long before they donned those horrific, multi-striped 80s uniforms. The fact that for a couple of years, they were the only baseball team to field an entire squad with zero American-born Black ballplayers, only solidified my anti-Astros position. But in 2017, out of nowhere, my youngest daughter, Anana, became an Astros superfan. Seeing the joy on her face when her hometown team won left me no choice but root for the Astros. And when they hired Dusty Baker, that solidified my Astros love. I saw Baker play in Cincinnati’s old Riverfront Stadium as Hank Aaron’s teammate and in the Dome as a Dodger. I’m a big Dusty fan, and even bigger fan of my daughter Anana. So, please believe, I’m cheering for the Astros to win it all!
THAT’S GREEK TO ME
When I heard that folk were attacking actress Amanda Seales for wearing AKA sorority gear on TV’s Insecure even though, in real life, she’s not an AKA, I thought, “That’s crazy. She’s an actress playing a role. How ‘insecure’ do you have to be to be mad at a Black actor or actress playing roles where they’re Divine Nine members?” I needed someone to make this make sense. Then, I heard comedian and radio show host Rickey Smiley (an Omega) explain that if he were to wear Omega Psi Phi gear on a show, he would first have to get permission from the fraternity’s international office. My response to that explanation? “I still need someone to make this make sense.”
Feeling some kinda way because Seales’ role called her to be an AKA seems beyond childish. I’m not a Greek, so maybe that’s why this is Greek to me, but I’d think a frat or sorority would be flattered to have their set positively highlighted on the big or small screen.
This year marks the 55th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, yet much of their work still remains a mystery to most. As with most things related to Blackfolk, the story of the BPP has been grossly distorted. They have been, and still are, portrayed as a violent, anti-white hate group. Some misguided souls even call them the Black version of the KKK. But the Panthers never carried out domestic terrorism attacks against the white community, and never had, like the KKK did, a cadre of police, military, FBI and elected officials backing up their lynching and bombing campaigns. “Uncritical” race theory has made the Panthers and violence synonymous.
But the BPP was formed to protect Black Oakland residents from the violence inflicted on them by police during car stops. Yes, the BPP were about our right to self-defense, but their most lasting legacies were providing the models for the free breakfast programs, neighborhood health clinics and job training programs adopted and used by the U.S. government to this day.