Power concedes nothing without a demand

Photo by Jakayla Toney

As a Black man in America, I am forced to continuously question whether this country cares about people who look like me.

When Derek Chauvin’s trial for the murder of George Floyd began, for my own emotional self-preservation, I distanced myself from following the trial too closely, and I steeled myself for yet another painful outcome that would absolve a police officer for the killing of an unarmed Black man, an outcome that would have reinforced the lingering question about what America thinks about people who look like me. It is a question that is neither idle nor new.

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Jones’ victory comes at a time when the nation faces a political crossroads

Michael B. Thomas, Special To St. Louis Public Radio

Something very important happened in America on Tuesday.

Tishaura Jones, St. Louis city treasurer, won the election for Mayor of St. Louis, Missouri, becoming the first Black woman to hold that office. While that is exciting and inspiring in and of itself, the significance of her win goes far beyond the demographic milestone.

This country is at a political crossroads, and the Democratic Party and progressive movement are also at that same crossroads. …


Trust Black women. Black women saved the planet. Black girl magic. The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped a Nation by Anna Malaika NtiAsare-Tubbs — a book that crystalizes and illustrates the significance underlying those phrases — was released this week. Written while she was herself a Black mother-to-be, carrying her first child, Tubbs outlines how these three Black women shaped America.

As Anna writes in her book, “Writing about Black motherhood while becoming one gave me a much deeper perspective than I had before…Because of who Alberta, Berdis, and…


Much of the post-election analysis runs the risk of missing what is happening in American politics and what is on the horizon. Multiple factors played a role in the election outcome — increased turnout of voters of color, erosion of support for Trump among college-educated whites and seniors, and an extraordinary and unexpected increased turnout of Trump voters. Rather than attribute the results to any one single factor, as too many pundits are doing, the more instructive approach is to examine what the data shows about where the country is heading.

With Joe Biden’s victories in the previously-Republican states of…


On December 15, 2010, Ben Jealous wrote me an email introducing me to Stacey Abrams. He wrote, “Thanks for agreeing to talk to Stacey Abrams, Minority Leader of the GA Assembly. As I mentioned she is like a sister to me, and is the first woman to lead a party in either house of the GA Legislature. Stacey’s success will be transformative for the level of justice in GA.”

Today, Stacey is the Democratic nominee for governor in Georgia, and Ben is the Democratic nominee for governor in Maryland. A new day is dawning in Democratic politics, and the future…


Maybe now Democrats can start pursuing a strategy likely to actually win and finally bury the fanciful notion that Republican voters will abandon the monster in the White House. If tonight’s GA-06 special election proves anything, it’s that no amount of paid advertising and no amount of evidence of obstruction of justice (if not outright treason) will pry loose Republican voters. Fortunately, buried beneath the headlines is the empirical evidence that Democrats can take back the House in 2018 if they focus all their resources on mobilizing Democratic voters instead of trying to woo Republicans.

Democrats spent nearly $30 million…


Over the next two weeks, we have an excellent opportunity to deal a powerful blow to the occupier of the Oval Office and his enablers in Congress. The April 18th special election in Georgia’s sixth Congressional District presents the first best chance for people across the country to help win a race that will reverberate through the halls of Congress, drive a bigger wedge between the White House and members of Congress and further stall the efforts of Republicans to roll back the progress of the past decade.

The suburban Atlanta-area congressional seat was vacated when former Congressman Tom Price…


What the hell is wrong with the House Democrats? In their understandable frustration with this year’s election results, some Democrats are taking inexplicable steps that further threaten to diminish progressive power in America. Apparently some of them feel that the way to counter an angry white male President-elect who rode to power by galvanizing angry white male voters is to put forward white men as the face of the future of the Democratic Party.

First, Congressman Tim Ryan, from an Ohio district that is 83% white and voted for Trump, challenged Nancy Pelosi, the first woman to ever serve as…


Today, I am mindful of the words from the Sweet Honey in the Rock song, Ella’s Song — “We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes.” After last night’s election results, the admonition from that ode to the civil rights era are more pertinent than ever. …


Dear Larry and Paul Dolan:

I have been a Cleveland sports fan since the 1960s. In fact, I was born in 1964, the last year Cleveland won a sports championship prior to the Cavs cracking the 52-year curse on June 19th. I have lived through all the heartbreaking losses of the ’80s and 90s, and before that I kept the faith during the dark days of the 1970s when a fourth-place finish was a good year for our baseball team. I even lugged cups of Coca-Cola up and down the stairs at the old Cleveland Municipal Stadium selling soda to…

Steve Phillips

Host of podcast, Democracy In Color with Steve Phillips; Author of national bestseller “Brown is the New White”; Sr Fellow, Ctr Amer Prog

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