Momentum
A Medium blog about the fight against anti-Black racism.

Cherry-picking King’s quotes tells half the story. It’s time to highlight the entirety of his remarkable legacy.

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This year, Americans should take an extra moment to reflect on Martin Luther King Jr.’s compelling message. He delivered speeches that inspired people from all walks of life. His campaign challenged the status quo. King wanted America to become a country that judges people on their character as opposed to skin color. However, some people interpret his campaign in different ways. It matters what Americans tell themselves about King because his rhetoric provides a framework for ongoing discussions about civil rights.

King rejected the theory of American exceptionalism and instead embraced American potential. The change did not come easy during King’s lifetime, and it won’t come easy now. …


The legend of the field leaves a lasting legacy

Hank Aaron poses for an action portrait in his Atlanta Braves uniform circa 1968
Hank Aaron poses for an action portrait in his Atlanta Braves uniform circa 1968

Today the sports world mourns Hank Aaron, the baseball legend who broke Babe Ruth’s record and inspired millions of Black and Brown athletes to take the field. He was 86.

From The Undefeated:

He became his generation’s most direct descendent of Jackie Robinson not because he wanted to, but because he knew he had to as he ran directly at the racists who wanted to prevent his success. He was one of the torchbearers to emerge from the Negro Leagues, even though his time there was incredibly short. …


Let’s talk about our role in upholding racism

“I am you. I’m not someone else telling you your role and complacency in white supremacy. I’m not someone else. I am you. I, too, am a white woman who has been a part of the strategy conversations, through equity and inclusion training, and a part of the well-intentioned program development to combat the very institution that pays our bills. I am you. Our work is based on white supremacist ideals, we know this.

We ask ourselves daily, what is our role in ending the vitriol and racism? What power do we have to yield and to relinquish? How do we use it and how can we do better? And when we do better, how can we do even better?” …


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Hundreds of Black officers in the U.S. Capitol Police have reported rampant racism from their colleagues for two decades, according to a story from ProPublica that traces a link between police racism and the ease at which White nationalists were able to overtake the Capitol on January 6.

More than 250 Black officers have sued the Capitol Police for racial discrimination since 2001, and former Black cops tell ProPublica that White officers would berate them with racial slurs and unprovoked traffic stops.

Frank Adams, a Black 20-year veteran of the Capitol Police, told ProPublica that Congress should have listened to the reports of racism years ago. …


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There were many unprecedented elements to this particular inauguration. Among them: In his inauguration speech, President Joe Biden issued a strong repudiation of White supremacy. As Kat Stafford and Aaron Morrison report for the AP:

In his speech Wednesday, Biden denounced the “racism, nativism, fear, demonization,” that propelled the assault on Capitol Hill by an overwhelmingly white mob of Trump supporters who carried symbols of hate, including the Confederate battle flag.

“A cry for racial justice some 400 years in the making moves us,” Biden said in the nearly 23-minute-long speech promising to heal a divided nation. “A cry that can’t be any more desperate or any more clear. …


A writer questions where and how we came to accept black and white as descriptions for skin color instead of, say, brown, tan, or pink

A group of African American women wearing various white outfits and posing in front of a painted wall mural.
A group of African American women wearing various white outfits and posing in front of a painted wall mural.

At about 9:30 a.m., I turned away from my laptop, leaned back in my swivel chair, pulled down my mask, and took a sip of the piping hot black coffee that was just delivered to my desk. I could see that everyone else in the office was doing the same.

We all spun around in our chairs and kind of wheeled ourselves into position so that we were more or less facing each other. This little impromptu meeting of colleagues happens every day. We call it Coffee Club.

At Coffee Club, we don’t talk about work. On that day, the discussion was about the recent riots in Washington, D.C. At one point in the discussion, Eleise, who is the newest member of our group and who recently emigrated from Jamaica, reflected on the Black Lives Matter protests that occurred during the summer. …


Take it down a notch and allow yourself mental rest

For those of us who are actively dealing with racism, microaggressions, or working on better allyship, it can be hard to sit down and power up. But rest is a must. To that end, not just rest but mental rest is necessary too. Many experts suggest meditation and prayer as a way to reset after a tough week, or day, or month, or years of racism battle fatigue. But if you can’t quite force the mind to settle down perhaps a puzzle might help.

Old school? Yes. But forcing yourself to think about the puzzle instead of doomscrolling on Twitter is a good way to give your mind a temporary respite from thinking about what’s next in the battle against racism. …


Grown folks and little ones too are still rocking the unofficial Inaugural uniform

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You didn’t need to be a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority to have taken part in the nationwide cultural extravaganza of wearing Converse All-Stars and pearls for the Jan. 20, 2021 inauguration. It was all in honor of Vice President Kamala Harris, who broke several barriers to ascend to the position. She is the first woman, the first Black woman, the first South East Asian woman and the first non white person to become a vice president of the United States.

She also famously likes to wear Chucks — and pearls. And since very few of us could actually make it to DC in person to cheer her on, many supporters of all colors decided to support with a fashion choice for the day. …

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