Nesa Chappelle, Ph.D.
In the U.S. there is a dirty little secret. Some believe that the sexual exploitation of children only occurs overseas in countries like Serbia, Africa, the Philippines, and India. This is the secret; in the U.S there is sexual exploitation of our children. The time is ripe for exposure of this more than 3.5 billion-dollar enterprise that exists in America– the forced child prostitution enterprise. In the United Nations DMST or sex slavery happens in cities and towns, both large and small, throughout the United States, right under our noses and in our own backyards (Commission 53rd Session).
It happened again. Just as I drove into the Maryland/Northern Virginia corridor–the place I called home for eleven years as a single, and later married without children, professor—the transformation began. I felt at ease in the region. My travel route became second nature. The essence of “home” was in the air and it infused its way into my car, into my skin, into my spirit. A classic Luther Vandross song came on the radio, followed by classic Jill Scott. This “welcome ritual” made the final two hours of my drive from Pittsburgh, PA to my family’s homestead in Richmond, VA, just plain effortless and peaceful. But what about the first leg of the route from Pittsburgh to Maryland? Yes, the one with hours without a real Black radio station. You know, the journey from personal-professional-middle-of-nowhere—a region to which I relocated for a better job, better pay, and more university prestige. It takes me several days to pack, to do laundry, to forward the mail, to figure out what to do with my garbage, and to do mantras to remind me not to forget my cell, laptop, Fitbit, and Ipad chargers. It’s a drudging process, and sometimes after I’ve finally packed I feel too tired to drive. However, once on the road—as in just up the street or around the corner from my house—every mile toward home and family gives me the feeling of a bat fleeing hell. It is everything you would expect—adrenaline, joy, expectancy, anticipation, and a sense of freedom. Even brief trips “back home” feel like vacations. In fact, trips to any location where I can claim to either have roots or will have communion with a few good friends, feel like vacations.
As I reflect on the Black lives matter movement, which has expanded to the Black women’s lives matter movement, I can’t help but to wonder how we can talk about Black women’s lives matter without allowing black women to tell their stories. I recently attended an event entitled #BlackMomsMatter, and it was a powerful event in which Black moms and community members in Ward 8 of Washington, DC came together to say that Black moms of Ward 8 matter. During that event, I stated that before we, as a society, can begin to create a new paradigm for Black women, one that is inclusive and authentic, we need to allow Black women to tell their stories in their fullness—authentically and unapologetically. (more…)
Womanpower Unlimited and the Black Freedom Struggle in Mississippi by Tiyi M. Morris
ABOUT THE BOOK
Womanpower Unlimited and the Black Freedom Struggle in Mississippi, provides the first comprehensive examination of the Jackson, Mississippi–based women’s organization Womanpower Unlimited. Founded in 1961 by Clarie Collins Harvey, the organization was created initially to provide aid to the Freedom Riders who were unjustly arrested and then tortured in Mississippi jails. Womanpower Unlimited expanded its activism to include programs such as voter registration drives, youth education, and participation in the international organization, Women Strike for Peace. Proving to be not only a significant organization with regard to civil rights activism in Mississippi, Womanpower Unlimited also spearheaded a movement for revitalizing black women’s social and political activism in the state. (more…)
As a Bible-believing, Christian, political scientist, raised attending church and church school (k-12 and college), and having served as a vice president at a fundamental Christian University, I have searched to find why it seems that so many American Christians cannot seem to allow every citizen in the population to enjoy their Constitutional and human rights unless those rights fall within the confines of The Holy Bible. Why must everyone salute the flag to prove allegiance to God and country? Why must there be prayer in public schools? And why can’t LBGT citizens engage in same-sex civil union? Why such social discrimination under the guise of religion? (more…)