Category Archives: African Americans

Blurs and Erases

We find ourselves at an interesting moment. Pivotal, in fact. As we collectively attempt to navigate uncharted waters, I am constantly thinking about how prepared I am. For a large portion of my life, lockdown was my reality. This in … Continue reading

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Mayor Harold Washington: Champion of Race and Reform in Chicago

If you’ve read Robert Caro’s biographies of Lyndon Johnson, you know what it’s like to be kidnapped by a historian who’s also a great story teller. The reading lamp burns late. I’ve just finished a new book on Illinois history … Continue reading

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1968 – Not Really So Long Ago or Far Away

“I want kids to see that it wasn’t just Martin Luther King making things happen in the 1960s, it was local folks here as well. Just as it is today.” Katie Snyder, Education Program Specialist, Museum of the Grand Prairie … Continue reading

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Trump Pardons Jack Johnson

On May 24, 2018, President Donald Trump officially signed a posthumous pardon for heavyweight boxer Jack Johnson. As a radical and a sports fan, it was a surreal moment on a number of levels. But to explain how, it is … Continue reading

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ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Nika Lucks

A column curated by staff of the Urbana Public Arts Program Nika Lucks is a local photographer originally from the Chicago Southside. Her most recent work, People of Speech: Part I, draws inspiration from parts of speech: nouns, verbs, adjectives, … Continue reading

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The Cops Killed Richie

No matter how much training or technology they get, the cops just can’t stop killing Black people. On a Wednesday morning, November 16, 2016, at approximately 8:30 a.m., Champaign police received a call about a “disorderly” subject, Richard “Richie” Turner, … Continue reading

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Daughters of the Dust and the Place of the Gullah/Geechee

I was first introduced to Julie Dash’s exquisite film in 2000, about nine years after its release. One of my dear friends at the time, underground hip hop legend Percee P, was an avid collector of black cinema and was … Continue reading

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A Black Herstory Slam Redux

A Black Herstory Slam Redux This past February, the Women’s Resources Center at the University of Illinois sponsored Black Herstory Slam, an open mic devoted to poetry, spoken word, and performance that highlights Black women’s history and black feminist thought. … Continue reading

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Full Transcript of Evelyn Reynolds’s CU Women’s March Speech

I’m grateful for the opportunity to speak here today. None of today’s speakers can fully represent the array of magnificent women in our community. Many of which don’t hold public positions of influence or prestigious titles. Many of whom are … Continue reading

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Malcolm X on The Media

Jason Patterson Malcolm X Interviewed at Intermediate School 201, Harlem, 1964   Fixed soft pastel on raw canvas, under self leveling clear gel 2016 jasonpattersonart.com    

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The Extremes of Struggle at the Monster’s Heart: The Black Working Class and Socioeconomic Realities under Obama’s Neoliberalism

“International capitalism cannot be destroyed without the extremes of struggle. The entire colonial world is watching the blacks inside the U.S…We are on the inside. We are the only ones who can get at the monster’s heart…”  — George L. … Continue reading

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Doing SOLHOT as a Reliable Way of Life

“I remember the day I let go of the idea and held on to people it’s much riskier now I really wanna’ take care”  – We Levitate, “Take Care”, How I Feel EP (2016) I am a lover/bandbae/dreamer/Black girl artist/DJ/and … Continue reading

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Hip-Hop and the Black Radical Tradition in CU

i must confess that waltzes do not move me. i have no sympathy for symphonies i guess i hummed the Blues too early, and spent too many midnights out wailing in the rain. Assata Shakur – Culture The tradition of … Continue reading

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Demands for a Transformed University

On September 9, 2016, a “Rally for a Transformed University” was held at the alma mater on UIUC campus. It corresponded with the release of a list of demands. Led by Black Students For Revolution, the coalition of student organizations … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Labor/Economics, LGBTQA, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Voices of Color, Women | Comments Off on Demands for a Transformed University

Taking Applications for “Open Scene,” IMC’s Youth Media Project

The Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center (UCIMC) and the City of Urbana are happy to launch Open Scene, a project to reimagine downtown Urbana through arts-based dialogues led by youth. Open Scene will be anchored at the UCIMC, a media and … Continue reading

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CU Schools Need to Work Harder to Involve African American Parents

During the month of August, thousands of children will head back to schools in Champaign Unit 4 and Urbana 116 school districts. Many African American families and students are probably anxious about the new school year because of issues they … Continue reading

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We Don’t Need a New Jail, We Need Abolition

Speaking to the Champaign County Board on Tuesday, August 9th, local Black organizer/activist, Kadeem Fuller made a much needed case for the abolition of jails, prisons, and white supremacy. The following is a transcript of his speech.  Tonight I sit … Continue reading

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May Day Rally on Quad

“This is what solidarity looks like.” May Day rally on the U of I Quad.

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The Myron Scruggs Case and the Champaign Police Department

by Belden Fields An  Ugly Image From the Past In the late 1960s, I joined the newly created chapter of the Champaign County ACLU and became the chair of its investigations committee. I received a call from a woman member … Continue reading

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Racism and Mass Incarceration in the US Heartland: Historical Roots of the New Jim Crow

If asked what state had the highest rate of incarceration rate of black men, most people would likely cite somewhere in the old Confederacy, perhaps Mississippi or Louisiana. They would be about 1000 miles too far South. According to labor … Continue reading

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