Strong People Don’t Need Strong Leaders

Many people worked during the Civil Rights Movement to make sit-ins, protests, and speeches possible. Most remain nameless. Ella Baker was also one of the most integral figures for Civil Rights. Baker once said, “This may only be a dream of mine, but I think it can be made real.” She established the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), mentoring college students through the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SLCC). For Baker, working behind the scenes to help people was key. She was known to clash with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. …

Hate crimes are a legitimate problem and on the rise

Jussie Smollett’s mugshot

Staging an attack based on race, sexual orientation, and filing a false police report is mind-bogglingly reckless. That said, I don’t care about “Jussie The News-Item.” Why? Well, because there are bigger issues, people are dying, getting attacked and Jussie Smollett is a man who needs some serious help.

While You’re Here

“Right-wing extremism was linked to every extremist-related killing the group tracked in 2018, at least 50, and that jihadist groups were linked to none. 2018 was the deadliest year for right-wing extremism since the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.” (New York Times)

This Was Yesterday

“How long can we hold out there and prevent niggerization…

Cultural Icon Apollo Theater Sets New Goals As It Celebrates Its 85th Anniversary

Apollo Theater

“Before becoming the home of Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday or Bruno Mars, the Apollo was a Burlesque Theater. One can only imagine what it’s like being in charge of an entity like the Apollo; the responsibility of not only making sure the history stays alive but also encouraging growth can be intimidating but luckily with CEO/President, Jonelle Procope, at the reigns, the Apollo is flourishing and gearing up for 85 more years. The next time you visit the Apollo Theater, hopefully, you’ll see more than a structure — it’s your home. A home that has housed our culture for 85…

First African American student to integrate an elementary school in the South

Ruby Bridges was 6 years old in 1960 when U.S. Marshals helped escort her as she integrated William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans.

No story moves me quite like Ruby Bridges’ first day of school

Close your eyes and imagine being escorted into school by several armed white men. Imagine being 6 and all you want to do is learn but being told no. Imagine being called every horrible racial epithet and all you want to do is go to class.

Ruby Bridges was born in Tylertown, Mississippi in 1954. Remember, in 1954, the United States Supreme Court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students were unconstitutional. A unanimous (9–0) decision stated that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”

“Public accommodations are a right that cannot be given or taken away by a vote.” — Gloria Richardson

Gloria Richardson pushes a bayonet of a National Guardsman away during a protest in Cambridge, Md., in 1963.

An Iconic Image

I’ve spent years looking at this picture. Here’s a black woman, during the 60s, standing in the street, giving the ultimate side eye to a National Guardsman, with her hand on his rifle, pushing it away, as if to say, “Man, if you don’t get this gun out my face…” I found out that the woman in the picture, that I’ve been in awe of your years, was Gloria Richardson.

Her refusal to surrender her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery, Alabama bus spurred a city-wide boycott

Let me tell you something

As a kid growing up in South Jersey, I remember taking the Speedline to Philadelphia. I also have memories of taking the Greyhound bus from NJ to Baltimore to visit my family. Both were always an adventure. I’d think, “Are we gonna make it in time?” “Will there be enough seats?” “What is that smell?” “Why is that dude talking to himself?” I moved to Maryland in 1996. My second full-time job was in Alexandria, VA off of North Beauregard St. Yes, Beauregard. (Jesus Anyway, I used to wake up at the butt crack of stupid to catch METRO…

December 14, 2017: Happy Anniversary to the greatest freestyle of all time.

Black Thought

Where were you on December 14, 2017?

I was getting ready for work. As soon as I hopped out of the shower an alert popped up on my phone that Hot 97 posted a Black Thought freestyle. What the alert didn’t say was Mr. Tariq Trotter had performed the greatest freestyle of all time.

Happy anniversary to Black Thought’s 10 minutes of pure excellence. It was an unexpected, yet welcome, surprise. The irony of this freestyle over Mobb Deep’s classic “BURN” is not lost on us. I remember how the internet went crazy, as it should have. The reactions on social media, as well as the comment…

Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story

This docu-series left me with a mixed bag of emotions

I’m Overthinking, But I Need Answers

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Recently, I started re-watching all of my Marvel movies. I get to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and I have a deeper appreciation for the friendship that Cap and Falcon have. Yes, this is only my second or third time watching it. Anyway, something that I didn’t pick up the first time was the friendship is real and organic. Steve Rogers (Captain America) meeting Sam Wilson (Falcon) while out for a run is one of my favorite parts Captain America: The Winter Soldier. During this scene, Falcon suggests Cap check out some music to get him caught up. …

Prince Rogers Nelson (June 7, 1958 — April 21, 2016)

“Baby, that was much too fast...”

April 21, 2016: At 9:45 AM Prince was found unresponsive in his home at Paisley Park. He was 57 years old. God, I miss this man. Prince tributes are damn near impossible to pull off. I’ve listed a few below. If you’ve found some, let me know. Today is all about his His Purple Majesty. Continue to rest peacefully, Prince. 💜🎶☔🎵😓

Various tracks and mixes on SoundCloud paying tribute to Prince.

24-hours of Prince playlist by @PrinceMuseum.

Various tracks and mixes on MixCloud paying tribute to Prince.

Mark Ricks

Originally from NJ now living in MD. Just a guy with a smartphone looking to learn.

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