GEORGE FLOYD: ONE YEAR LATER

Mainstream support for Black Lives Matter has waned. But for Black people, the fight continues — and so does the agony.

A makeshift memorial for George Floyd fills with flowers and candles nearly a year after his brutal killing by Minneapolis police. Photo: Getty Images

It is now a year after the murder of George Floyd, and Black people are still exhausted.

“There’s something called racial battle fatigue, and it is the exhaustion that comes from event after event, assault after assault,” says Thema Bryant-Davis, a professor of psychology at Pepperdine University and the director of the university’s Culture and Trauma Research Center. “Because although this milestone is very significant, there have been many others right before that and after that.”

Death at the hands of police has not stopped. Since May 26, 2020 — the day after former officer Derek Chauvin killed Floyd —…


A guilty verdict does not always equal appropriate consequences

Roxie Washington (L) and Gianna Floyd, daughter of George Floyd, look on during a news conference following the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial. Photo: Nathan Howard/Getty Images

When Judge Peter Cahill read off three guilty verdicts in the trial of Derek Chauvin on Tuesday, much of the world took a collective exhale.

The former Minneapolis police officer — now guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter for the murder of George Floyd — is the first officer in Minnesota to be held accountable for killing a Black man, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

It had been a long year since a video of Chauvin pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck for eight minutes overtook the news of the pandemic and pushed crowds into…


Chicago police killed 13-year-old Adam Toledo, and some media responded by questioning Toledo’s character. Black and Brown kids deserve better.

Adam Toledo, 13, was killed by Chicago police. This group marches for his justice. Photo: Getty Images

The public has now seen the troubling video of a Chicago police officer shooting and killing Adam Toledo, a 13-year-old Latino boy who lived in the city’s Little Village neighborhood.

For Chicagoans, especially for those in Black and Brown communities, the shooting feels like another likely injustice in a long line of cases in which police have killed young Black people — the police killing and subsequent cover-up of the death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald offers a high-profile example.

But just seven days after the murder of the child, popular Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn wrote that the public should…


Black Thoughts

The stimulus discussion proves we don’t trust people — especially poor and Black folks — to make their own best decisions

People wait in line to receive uncooked food donations from the food pantry at the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen on December 15, 2020 in New York City. Photo: Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

When I was a poor, pregnant 21-year-old, I struggled to afford groceries. I signed up for WIC (a federal food assistance program for women, infants, and children) but it didn’t help me buy any of the fruits and vegetables I’d hoped to incorporate into my diet. The only thing I could buy with my monthly paper checks was cereal (unfrosted Corn Flakes and Cheerios without honey), milk, and beans.

Was I grateful for the help? Yes. But to me, the restrictions on what foods this money could buy showed just how much we, as a society, don’t trust people —…


Black Thoughts

When it comes to Black employees, we already know the challenges

An employee at a Walmart in Los Angeles, CA on November 29, 2013. Photo: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

A new study by Walmart finds that, unsurprisingly, it will take almost a century for Black workers to be equally represented in the private sector.

The study, also cosigned by McKinsey & Company, more specifically states that it would take 95 years for Black employees to reach “talent parity.” In plain English, this means that because Black workers account for 12% of the 125 million U.S. private-sector workers, it would take nearly 100 more years for Black people to represent 12% of those jobs at all levels — from entry-level up to the C-suite.

The report, called “Race in the…


Inside the exclusive women’s group that trades ideas on tricking out yards and patios

A Black couple take a selfie in their backyard, where they’ve set up a projector screen to watch a movie with hanging lights.
A Black couple take a selfie in their backyard, where they’ve set up a projector screen to watch a movie with hanging lights.
Photo: svetikd/Getty Images

Home is a sanctuary. So when I recently bought and moved into my new one — a small Georgian-style house on Chicago’s South Side, the most immediate question was: What can I do with my backyard?

I knew the backyard I was blessed to grow up in was the kind of space I want to create now for me and my son: welcoming, relaxing, a bit luxurious. And honestly, I wasn’t sure how to even start.

“Have you joined that Facebook group yet?” asks my mama, who has one of the most colorful outdoor spaces I’ve ever seen, complete with…


Reallocating the budgets of police departments isn’t a new idea, but one that’s reached the mainstream

A photo of a protest. One big sign reads “DEFUND THE POLICE.”
A photo of a protest. One big sign reads “DEFUND THE POLICE.”
A participant holding a Defund The Police sign at the protest. Thousands of protesters filled the streets of Brooklyn on June 2, 2020, in a massive march to demand justice for George Floyd, killed by Officer Derek Chauvin and to make a loud call for the defunding of the police force. Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket/Getty Images

The recent police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis outraged the country, sparked global protests, and became the latest symbol of the centuries of systemic violence toward Black Americans. It also reignited calls to defund the police — an idea that may be new to public discussion, but not to the many activists and academics who have pushed for and studied what this significant change could look like nationwide.

On Sunday, nine members of the Minneapolis City Council answered those calls with a vow to defund and dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department and to create a new public safety system…


With professional help, parents of kids with autism and developmental delays are embracing DIY therapies

A photo of a mom and her young child high fiving as the kid plays with blocks.
A photo of a mom and her young child high fiving as the kid plays with blocks.
Photo: Weekend Images Inc./Getty Images

For Darlene Rodrigo, finding the right care for her daughter, Bella, has been a challenge. The sixth grader is nonverbal and has Down syndrome and autism. Despite these obstacles, her family’s hard work has helped Bella to bond with not only her teachers, but also the team who work to provide her with the therapies and assisted technologies that help her communicate.

But isolating during a global pandemic has changed that, and now, the Ontario, California, family is figuring out alternatives.

“I think this quarantine and this whole — I guess you could say — unforced lockdown has left us…


Yara Shahidi’s show salutes young mothers who are getting degrees and dream jobs with their babies in tow

The cast of “Grown-ish” films a scene for the second season. Photo: Eric McCandless/Getty Images

One test didn’t feel like enough. There, standing in my tiny college bathroom, I looked down at the two lines indicating that I was pregnant, and I took a second test. Again, two more lines appeared, and I fell to the floor crying because surely, I thought, my life was over.

Depictions of all the unplanned pregnancies of young mothers I’d seen in my favorite TV shows and movies flashed through my mind — Kerry Washington as a struggling teen mom in Save the Last Dance, the drama surrounding a resort dancer’s pregnancy in Dirty Dancing, Tupac’s “Brenda Got a…


A few months ago, I started to cry and I couldn’t stop.

I had a lot of commitments, too, and I couldn’t stop those either. I’m a journalist, a writer, a social media consultant, an entrepreneur, a mother, a daughter, a big sister, a mentor, and a friend. Like always, I had people counting on me. I had responsibilities. I things I had to do.

So like I always do when my depression hits, I kept going, trying to push through the pain I felt every single day.

I sent emails, interviewed dignitaries, and wrote stories. I managed websites, went…

Arionne Nettles

Arionne Nettles is a lecturer at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, a Chicago-based journalist, and a special needs mama.

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