Education Reporter, Laura Onyeneho

Race at the center of another mass shooting

Buffalo, N.Y. is now at the center of the nation’s news cycle for yet another mass shooting of Black people. A white-18-year-old wearing military gear stormed into a supermarket killing 10 people and wounding three others while live streaming for at least two minutes with a helmet camera. Authorities describe the act to be “racially motivated violent extremism.”

The accused terrorist, Payton Gendron, targeted mostly Black shoppers and workers at Tops Friendly Market. He had previously posted a 180-page white supremacist manifesto spewing racist philosophies and outlining his plans to kill. He was reportedly “radicalized” on the internet and saw the low white birth rate as a threat that “will ultimately result in the complete racial and cultural replacement of the European people.” In the almighty words of Donald Glover “This is America.” 

What is interesting to me is the fact that this white supremacist openly expressed his hate on social media right under the nose of domestic intelligence agencies. Were there any red flags cited at all before this tragedy? Unfortunately for too many in the Black community being hunted down and killed like wild animals aren’t anything new. What is this country going to do to truly address its blatant ignorance and lack of strong gun control policies? I saw a post on social media that said “There is a breaking news alert, then there is a hashtag or two, then shocked outrage, then a return to complacency. Then another shooting.” Let that sink in. 

Honey Pot receives backlash from supporters

Honey Pot, the popular Black-owned feminine product brand is trending on social media because consumers noticed a rebranding and an alteration to its plant-based feminine hygiene products.

The company was launched in 2012 by founder and CEO Beatrice Dixon who is known to be very vocal about her struggles as a Black business owner. She was also a target of racist trolls online for her goal to blaze a trail for Black girls. But now it seems as though the tables have turned in a different direction.

Honey Pot supporters believe the company “sold out” and marketed its brand to Black people only to grow and leave their core supporters behind once bigger (white) corporations buy into the product. Dixon took to Instagram in a 13-minute video to address the rumors surrounding the company. She said she is “spiritually and professionally” invested in the brand and did not sell the company.

She does, however, admit that she could have done better to communicate more directly to their audience. The washes have evolved but the ingredients are all-natural and backed by science. Our people were too quick and too harsh on Black businesses and their decisions to sustain themselves. Dixon did right to address the situation and I hope this won’t impact the good Honey Pot is doing for women everywhere.

Burna Boy makes history

If you aren’t familiar with this name, you could be living under a rock! Burna Boy, the Nigerian Afrobeats artist, is making history as the first African artist to have three albums reach 100 million Spotify Streams, and headline and sell out his first show at Madison Square Garden in April. The Grammy Award-winner made his recent debut at the Billboard Music Awards performing his hit song “Kilometre” and “Last Last,” his single off of his new album “Love Damini” set to drop on his birthday in July. He is just one of the many Nigerian artists blazing the trail for this genre of music with its crossover appeal. From clubs, lounges, radio shows, TV commercials, and music videos, the influence is evident. Afrobeats is globally recognized it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

I cover Houston's education system as it relates to the Black community for the Defender as a Report for America corps member. I'm a multimedia journalist and have reported on social, cultural, lifestyle,...