Controling our Narrative: Message from Associate Editor Aswad Walker
In this Dec. 12, 2020, file photo, MD Crawford carries a Black Lives Matter flag before a march in La Marque, Texas to protest the shooting of Joshua Feast, 22, by a La Marque police officer. (Stuart Villanueva /The Galveston County Daily News via AP, File)


BLM representatives recently held a press conference to tell their story from their perspective. The reason? BLM has been called everything but a child of God simply for attempting to hold America accountable for historic and current mistreatment. Apparently, someone in BLM said, “Enough with this BS. Let’s control our own narrative.” That sounds like good advice for Blackfolk, in general. The reason every movie or TV show about white high schoolers show nearly all of them drinking and drugging is because that’s how it is (at least according to drug use stats, and every Black person I know who went to such schools).

Aswad Walker

However, the parents and grandparents of those same high, lit, stoned white kids are the very politicians creating laws that paint Black youth as the source of America’s drug problems. Media, scholars and lawmakers spew the “Absent Black Father” myth so often, we don’t even realize according to a 2013 CDC report, Black fathers are just as involved in the lives of their children, and often more so, than white or Latino dads. And the attack on Critical Race Theory is just another attempt by others to control the narrative about us. It’s time out for that nonsense. Let’s make a mid-year resolution to tell our own story and control our own narrative.


U.S. Supreme Court Building

The U.S. Supreme Court, with its conservative super-majority, surprised folk recently with its ruling that clears the way for college athletes to get paid for the use of their names and images in video games, etc. The High Court also rejected efforts to kill Obamacare, potentially saving thousands of lives. That’s the good. The bad? This same court backed a Catholic group that shunned certain potential foster parents on the basis of their LGBTQ+ status. Why is this bad? Because its discriminatory. But also, is the Catholic Church the best judge of who should or shouldn’t be involved with children? And finally, the ugly. SCOTUS ruled that Nestle Co. couldn’t be sued for using and supporting overseas child labor because the labor was taking place in Africa. That ruling only highlights the global reputation of the “Ugly American;” folk who expect to be treated like royalty while treating everyone else like dirt.


Mamie Zwadie King-Chalmers

With the Tulsa Race Massacre, Juneteenth and attacks on Critical Race Theory (i.e. attempts to whitewash all Black history) dominating the news recently, the topic of history has been front-and-center. But history is so much more than past events. A friend, Mamie Zwadie King-Chalmers, recently celebrated her 80th birthday. I was her pastor when I lived in Detroit. She’s the sister in the iconic Civil Rights photo, being blasted by a firehose while protesting white supremacy. The fact that I can call her a friend reminds me that history is not relegated to the past, but rather it’s what we live, breathe and make happen daily. Darnella Frazier, the teenage sister who recorded George Floyd’s murder, probably didn’t realize in the moment she was making history, but her actions birthed a global movement. Just imagine the kind of history we could make if we were intentional about it. #BeTheChange

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...