Defender Associate Editor, Aswad Walker


After a recent NCAA March Madness victory for the University of Michigan or Tennessee, UM’s men’s head coach and former NBA all-star Juwan Howard was photographed consoling one of the Tennessee players who was overcome with emotion after his team’s loss. Several social media posts and ESPN mentions celebrated Howard’s powerful show of humanity and compassion for the young brother. And that’s cool. But I, like many others, need to see national media give as much energy to Juwan’s most recent spotlight moment as they did when Howard responded to being grabbed by an opposing coach during the post-game handshake. Howard was called everything but a child of God for his response to being physically grabbed by a coach he wasn’t trying to talk to. The energy given then to roasting Howard was on maximum. If no one else is going to do it, we need to lift up that powerful moment of Howard being there for a young brother in need.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson speaks after President Joe Biden announced Jackson as his nominee to the Supreme Court in the Cross Hall of the White House, Friday, Feb. 25, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)


Harris County Attorney Christian Menefee has sent a letter signed by nearly 300 Black attorneys licensed to practice in Texas in support of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation to the Supreme Court of the United States, and urging the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary to make it happen. Menefee and crew join several individuals and organizations offering similar endorsements of Ms. Jackson. But as a Black man, I am making a special plea to my brothers. If you and/or your organization, frat, congregation, barbershop, sports bar, hustle, side hustle, etc. haven’t already done so, add your name and your voice to those declaring support for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson and calling for her confirmation. Bruhs, let’s not be silent on this. Instead, let’s shout from the mountaintops our support for our sister, our cousin, our daughter, our auntie, our big mama, our Supreme Court Justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson. Because her confirmation is about not just her, but al the sisters she represents.

U.S. Sec. of State to help Brittney Griner, others detained in Russia
United States’ Brittney Griner (15) runs to chase the ball during women’s basketball preliminary round game against Japan at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 30, 2021, in Saitama, Japan. AP Photo/Eric Gay.


Brittney Griner’s Russian imprisonment. Ukrainians sending Black folk to the back of the bus amid war. China kicking Africans out of their country at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ukrainian refugees receiving global sympathy while Haitian refugees were criminalized and denied U.S. entrance. I could go on with the examples of global hate and disrespect shot in Blackfolk’s direction. But hopefully, you get the point. It’s a fact of history that only groups who live, think and operate as a group, as a people, and work for their empowerment unashamedly, receive humane treatment from global citizens. That’s why Marcus Garvey declared “Up ye mighty race; accomplish what you will,” to stir up that sense of oneness (Umoja) and power all people need if they hope to be treated with respect. Garvey issued this call roughly 100 years ago. Prayerfully, sometime soon, we’ll listen and respond accordingly.

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...