Education Reporter, Laura Onyeneho


Black History Month is to be a time to honor the triumphs, struggles, and contributions of African-Americans throughout U.S history. Unfortunately, the month just started and already our people are in turmoil…on Twitter.

A Black man named Tariq Nasheed co-hosted a Twitter space talk under the hashtag #SecureTheTribe. The forum was for Black Americans and African Immigrants in the U.S to talk about the impact of African immigration on them. Let’s say things went left and fast. Nasheed said African immigrants aren’t contributing to the system and that foundational Blacks in the U.S don’t need immigrants as they are making more money in their countries. It’s sad that we still have to resort to a xenophobic, colonizer, crab-in-the-barrel mentality. Immigrants are the fabric of this country and African immigrants contribute their fair share coming from third world countries triggered by America’s foreign policy interference. As for Nasheed, the 2018 Migration Policy Institute Report will tell you 54% of Nigerian immigrants are in largely white-collar positions in management, business, science, and arts, compared to just 39% of people born in the US. They have significant spending power. Go figure out why that is.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 22: Cheslie Kryst attends the 2019 Women’s Media Awards at Mandarin Oriental on October 22, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Women’s Media Award)


The news of the death of former Miss USA Cheslie Kryst shocked the entire country. From the outside, Kryst was on top of her professional career, but that image shattered when we learned she jumped to her death from the 60-story building in Manhattan where she lived. Her death sparked another national conversation about mental health. Suicide doesn’t discriminate and it impacts the Black community, as well. There is still a major stigma we have for seeking help because we don’t have much faith in a system that doesn’t work in our best interests at times. Isolation during the pandemic has worsened over time. But after the recent loss of Regina King’s only son by suicide, it’s time to rid this strength at all cost mentality, learn to be more vulnerable, and take care of our well-being.


Did you see that Bath and Body Works Black History Month product display? As much as I like shopping there, I wasn’t pleased with the branding. They literally took their regular product items and slapped some kente colors on them and added words like “empowered, unity, and confident” for a little razzle-dazzle. Mind you the Bath and Body Works foundation is contributing a total of $500,000 to the National Urban League and Columbus Urban League to support civil rights and racial justice in America. Consumers expect brands to take decisive stances on key issues that include diversity and representation. I’m down for a good cause that uplifts Black people, but man it’s a reminder of how brands have scrambled to throw together marketing material to show support for a cause that ended up being a total facepalm. That display was exactly that.

Laura Onyeneho

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,...