The Root

20 Things 50-Year-Old Black Men Get to Do Without Giving a Damn

The realization that I’m officially closer to 50 than I am to 18 hit me while playing basketball last week. My legs were feeling especially springy, so I decided to actually try to dunk instead of doing the nonchalant, rim grab, “almost” dunk thing I do to convince people—myself included—I can still dunk if I sincerely tried.

NC High Schooler Who Passed Drug Test Suspended for Smelling Like Weed

A North Carolina mother is furious after her 15-year-old was suspended from school for possession of drugs, even though the student was only accused of smelling like marijuana and later passed a drug test, WNCN reports

Shooting Suspect in Custody After Attacks at 2 Md. Malls 

Authorities have a suspect in custody after shootings at two different Maryland malls Friday, NBC News reports. According to the report, two people were killed in the attacks, while two others were injured. 

When Nia Long Told Larry King That J. Cole Wasn’t Too Young, I Lost My Mind

To say that Nia Long is a national treasure is an understatement. Long has been a part of most of our lives since at least the mid-’90s, when she played Beulah “Lisa” Wilkes on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and when a visionary Ice Cube saw fit to cast her in cult classic Friday.

My God Too: New Campaign Launched at Morgan State Spotlights LGBTQ Life on HBCU Campuses

“Gender is more than just being a man or a woman. Gender is what you identify as, as a person,” says Damilola Louwole, 21, a senior at Morgan State University in Baltimore. She dresses and identifies as a masculine woman, and says that people don’t understand. The Cambridge, Mass., native also says that at a recent visit to a black church in Maryland, her sexuality was brought up in a negative way.

“I was asked, ‘How you gonna be a Christian and date people who look like you?’” Louwole says, with outrage in her voice. “This was the first time I’ve ever run into anything like that at church. I was like, ‘My faith has nothing to do with my sexuality. No sin is greater than another.’”

But Louwole says that it made her uncomfortable in church, where she had never felt that way before. She hasn’t been back since. Louwole is among many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer students at HBCU campuses who are feeling isolated or forced to choose between their sexuality and spirituality. That’s why Many Voices, a black church movement for LGBTQ justice, launched a nationwide video campaign Thursday night at Morgan State. The short film “My God Too: Black LGBTQ Students Speak OUT,” capturing the experiences of nonstraight students on black campuses, was screened at the school and followed by a panel discussion.

“It’s a beautiful presentation in the voices of students themselves, sharing the experience of campus and spiritual life and how those two intersect,” the Rev. Cedric Harmon, executive director of Many Voices, says. The film features interviews with both LGBTQ Morgan State University students and non-LGBTQ students who support them (known as allies). The students discuss the impact of traditional black-church teachings about gender and sexuality on campus, as well as what could happen if the African-American community chose to engage in social-justice awareness involving gender and spirituality. Harmon says that he hopes the video will show a community that is often accused of marginalizing LGBTQ people that these African Americans need a spiritual home, too.

“One of the things that really stuck out from the interviews is that faith is important to these students. They grew up in a spiritual environment,” Harmon says. He notes that students want a place where they don’t have to separate their spiritual selves from their sexual selves. Some black churches have spoken out forcefully against homosexuality and have used the Bible as what Harmon calls a “text of terror.”

Louwole, who appears in the film, says that she wishes more black pastors would try to open their understanding, and a dialogue. As more African Americans express their sexuality, she’s hoping that the black church will really start talking about these issues.

“The African-American tradition is to be really involved in your faith. If you’re taking somebody’s faith away, it’s taking them away from their identity,” Louwole says. “A lot of times when you’re down and out in the African-American community, you look to God. If you go to church and say ‘I’m a female and I would like to date females’ and they turn you away, it could add to you losing your way.”

“These folks feel disconnected. For many, spirituality is at the core of their being,” Harmon explains. “Being separated from the church, and from family and community, is a disorienting experience. … You can’t take faith away from them, even if the church has been taken away from them.”

Anika Simpson, associate professor of philosophy and coordinator of the school’s Women and Gender Studies Program, says that Morgan State is trying to address inequality on its campus for all students and change the antagonistic messages that some LGBTQ students say they get from everyone from their professors to their pastors.

“The dominant narrative is that the church and HBCUs are homophobic and create negative environments. We want to disrupt that narrative,” Simpson says. “If people are only hearing negative comments from pastors, teachers, the administration, faculty and staff, it drowns out the progressive voices that are in existence. We want to shine a light on the fact that not everyone feels this way.”

Simpson says that the actions Morgan State is taking to help include asking students to provide their preferred gender pronoun on the intake form that professors use to get to know their students, and not using heteronormative language in class, such as assuming that a story would be about a woman and her boyfriend. She says that it is similar to how schools ended up with African-American and women’s studies programs.

“The problem is not seeing the students that are sitting in front of you—and that’s also an issue at the policy level,” Simpson says. “People want to see themselves and their stories. ... If you are teaching literature, do you mention the sexuality of some of the authors being covered?"

For some students, she adds, it is about feeling safe in their dorms and safe to speak about their sexuality in class without risking some sort of backlash from their peers or faculty members. But for John Benton-Denny, a 26-year-old Morgan State senior from New York City, it is about being able to live his truth, without being subject to bullying and discrimination. He says that’s one of the reasons he is part of the film “My God Too.”

“I feel this film is important not only for the LGBT community but for the black community,” Benton-Denny says. “These narratives need to be heard and understood because the LGBT community is so misunderstood. ... If people understood what we went through and the dynamics of our lives, they probably wouldn’t be so quick to judge or resent us.”


Kanye West & Kim Kardashian’s Pre-Nup Details Emerge

Kim Kardashian & Kanye West (Photo by PIERRE ANDRIEU/AFP/Getty Images) Details are emerging about Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's upcoming May wedding and how they are going to cover their fortunes in the event of divorce.

Check Out Why Evelyn Lozada and Chad Ochocinco Are Having A Hard Time Finding A Wedding Venue!

Motorola Xoom At The Maxim Party Powered by Motorola Xoom RUMOR REPORT: According to The Jasmine Brand, Evelyn Lozada from Basketball Wives’ and Chad Ochocino, her NFL player fiance, are having a…well…not-so-easy time wedding planning. The couple, who is filming a reality show “Ocho & […]

New Music Haley Reinhart Feat. B.O.B. ‘Oh My’

Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images Some of you may remember Haley Reinhart from the 10th season of American Idol when she came in 3rd place. Since then, she has been signed to 19 Entertainment/Interscope Records. She has teamed up with […]

Chuck Brown, The Godfather of Go-Go, Dead At 75

[photogallerylink id=80744 align=right] Chuck Brown, the legendary “Godfather of Go-Go” died Wednesday. He died of multiple organ failure at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, his management confirmed to WPGC Radio. The 75-year-old singer had postponed […]

Despite Petition & Bullying Allegations, Basketball Wives Picked Up For Another Season!

(Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images for Motorola Xoom) After numerous complaints, comments of disgust towards the show, and even petitions to cancel the show, ‘Basketball Wives’ has been renewed for a FIFTH season! Apologetic comments by Shaunie O’Neal and comments by VH1 have […]


Dayodman - Be Free Music Video


Follow us here on IG @Dayodman Twitter @Dayodman14 Subscribe!!!! Now more footage from the king subscribe if u support my hustle Subscribe…

B.M.E. - Lord Knows


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Dayodman - Swagga Performance


Artist Dayodman's song Swagga - check out the lighting I programmed.

Dayodman - FWNLM Music Video By TruePower


New Misic Video Pls Subscribe Support the King



We go back home with the baddest chick.


We cruise through Decatur, GA., with Jacquees.

Michael Bivins

We're hanging with one of Boston's brave.


We travel to Memphis with iLoveMemphis


We hit the streets of Brooklyn with AZ.


Blac Chyna -- Rob Went In-N-Out ... Now I'm Goin' Burger King (VIDEO)

Blac Chyna has broken ranks in the burger department, making a Burger King run hours after TMZ broke the story ... she is pregnant with Rob Kardashian's kid. Chyna was in downtown L.A. with a friend, scoring a few bags at the drive-thru. Rob -- a…

Jermaine Jackson -- My Mom Has a Right to Michael's House (VIDEO)

Jermaine Jackson thinks the deed that was filed attempting to transfer the title of Michael Jackson's Hayvenhurst home to Katherine was kosher, because he says that's exactly what MJ wanted. We got Jermaine Friday at Health Nut in Calabasas, and he…

Saint West -- Oye, I'm in Cuba!! (PHOTOS)

Saint West is already getting a taste of the family biz -- chilling in Cuba for the Kardashian family vacation TV shoot ... and making his paparazzi debut! It's the first time Kanye West and Kim Kardashian have taken the 5-month-old out in public…

Doris Roberts -- Died of a Stroke

Doris Roberts died from a massive stroke ... according to her death certificate. TMZ obtained a copy of the doc, filed in L.A. County Court -- and it reveals the "Everybody Loves Raymond" star had been suffering from hypertension for years. The…

MMA's Gabi Garcia -- Brazilian Boob Cover-up ... For New Tattoo (VIDEO)

MMA powerhouse Gabi Garcia got some new chest ink in Brazil -- but they wouldn't let go under the needle without covering up her lady parts first.  Check out the video of Gabi's tat artist in action ... followed by the final product. …


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