Last Semester in College, Out of Options

UPDATE- Message from Malik’s mom:

“One week ago, I was overwhelmed with worry and distress over whether my son would return to school this week. Then my sister Kim (aka the wind beneath my wings) created a donation page and with just one initial donation, the love and support started flowing in. I want to thank everyone who shared and/or donated and prayed for Malik’s return to school. They took a partial payment and he was able to return to school today and register for classes. This could not have happened without a community of people who cared enough to donate, and share the post. I am now overwhelmed in a profoundly grateful way!
The abundance of love and inspiration has been nothing short of amazing; and I am humbled by the kindness of strangers! I’m not FB friends with everyone who shared or donated but please share this post with those who received the original post! THANK YOU ALL!
Henry Rosemon Nadine Rosemon, Tracy Rosemon, Nicole Langston, Belinda Ramos
Sabrina L. Williams Loren Moore
Maisha Nailah Nicole Layton
Corey Rosemon Deneen Collins Sharese Simmons
Miguel Anderson, Emanuel Alexander Kawanda T Johnson Kenneth and Ora Pittman. Carmela C, Michelle Nickolaisen, Carl Young, Laverne Woods, Latarsha Leveston-Green, Litesa Wallace, Chris Hutchinson Shekinah Carrera, Kathryn Kappes, Michelle Guido, Joseph Coates, Heidi Paugh, Nicole Mijatovic-Torres, Chanel Philips” 

Thanks to you, we were able to convince the school to allow him to register- knowing our efforts to raise the funds.  Please, support us.  As of today we are looking for these #DreamMakers:

11 people to donate 100  OR

15 people to donate 75

23 people to donate 50

46 people to donate 25

115 people to donate 10

Also, PLEASE don’t dismiss $5.00 or $1.00.  EVERY dollar helps Malik.  You can also send PayPal to: or PayPal my sister (Malik’s mom) at  We need a miracle to help him graduate this year.  You can be that miracle.  Thank you!

Hello, friends.  As you Malik silhouetteknow, I have used my platform to speak for those who have no voice.  Today I am writing for a young man who has surpassed many obstacles, working extremely hard in high school and college.  He has worked jobs throughout his high school/college journey to defray costs.  He is charismatic, responsible, and highly intelligent.  He is currently one semester away from graduating from college at Western Illinois University and he needs your help.

Please help Malik Stuckey, my nephew, complete his education.  Our family has sacrificed to get him this far and we are tapped out of options. He will not be able to register for his last semester next week if we can’t raise the funds he needs.  Please go to and donate.  If you can’t donate, we ask that you please SHARE the link above and/or repost this blog to signify your support.

We are only as strong as the children we release into the world and my nephew truly deserves to complete his hard-earned education.  Thank you!

The Survival of a Cop Killer

police-1537106_1280A cop has died.  On Monday night (Oct. 9), a 19-year-old Texas student was taken into custody. While being processed, he pulled out a gun and shot the officer in the head, fatally wounding him.  The young man, identified as Hollis Daniels, fled the station on foot.  After a lock-down of the station and pursuit of the suspect, Hollis was finally apprehended.  As horrifying and sad as the officer’s death has been, something else occurred that is tragically and glaringly obvious… Daniels is still alive.

That sounds like a harsh statement but truth of the matter is, it hurts my soul. Because this, without question, represents the cornerstone of everything Colin Kaepernick kneeled for and blacks won’t shut up about! Right here… again- an armed violent white person commits a heinous crime and walks away with a beating heart.

It’s becoming uncomfortable to try ignoring what no longer can be ignored: Black people are endangered in this country. The reason is simple… black skin equals clear and present danger. It’s akin to standing in the middle of a busy expressway. Black skin incites fear, violence, and death and appears to produce an instant discomfort that seems to put others on high alert.  I’ll pause here to state the obvious: of course, not all non-blacks/whites feel it, but deep down, most cannot pretend it’s not there. It needs to be discussed because people are dying for no reason. Encounters with police appear to be detrimental to black health. Yet, police encounters with whites appear to be harmful to their own well-being.

Eliza Wasni is a 16-year-old who managed to openly steal a knife and a machete from a Walmart store in Skokie, IL and use it to murder 34-year-old Uber driver, Grant Nelson. After waving the weapons at officers, Wasni was taken into custody after she was tasered by police. Laquan McDonald wasn’t so lucky.  The 17-year-old was shot sixteen times while wielding a knife and moving away from officers.  Last year a Brooklyn resident Robert Crumb, killed his wife, stabbed his daughter, and after crashing his car into a gas station, he then attacked the officer whose gun was drawn and pointing directly at Crumb’s chest. Crumb continued to advance, threw the officer to the ground, and was eventually pulled off by other cops.  Yet we watched in horror as police shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice within two seconds of officers stopping their vehicle.  Tamir had a toy gun. Can we say it again: Black Lives Matter.

Before I go into BLM vs Black-on-Black crime, let’s talk about the problem of white privilege and the dirty little secret of the police department that neither they nor the media wants to discuss. In 2016 there was a huge increase in police killed on the job- a whopping 59% increase.  Of those killed, 71% were by the hands of whites.  Yet, as Shaun King states, the media has been silent.  This is clearly an uptick from an earlier study that was posted in Newsweek in 2015 which states “In 2013, 44 percent of cop killers were white, 37 percent were black and 11 percent were Hispanic. Last year, 54 percent were white, 26 percent were black and 18 percent were Hispanic.”  What’s wrong with this picture?

The conclusion I draw is that police are not threatened by white skin and because of that, they are dying on the job. Because they move around in this world with a privilege not enjoyed by others, they automatically extend it to the white criminals they encounter on the job.  Even Dylan Roof was fed a meal on his way to jail after he shot up a black church and murdered 9 people.  That’s privilege, plain, simple, and painful.

Inevitably, whenever one says Black Lives Matter, people want to compare it to the blue unicorn called “Black-on-black” crime.  That is because they don’t understand what SYSTEMIC racism is and that it exists in EVERY FACET of Black and brown Lives. It’s NOT just about police-on-black crime!! It’s about the educational system, the grade school-to-prison pipeline, the Criminal Justice system, and a myriad of other issues plaguing the black/brown communities within that “System”. A system, mind you, that is a living, breathing, and ever-churning machine of corruption. Black-on-black crime is a separate issue, so crunching numbers to dismiss #BLM is an irrelevant comparison. Studies in 2016 show that roughly 84% of Whites are killed by Whites and about 90% of Blacks are killed by Blacks- which makes sense because crimes are usually committed by the group we’re in the closest proximity to.  It’s safe to say that this is a crime problem – not a systemic and criminal justice problem.  I’ve never seen a blue unicorn so it’s safe to say Black-on-Black crime doesn’t exist in the form that the average racist would like to claim as a bullet point against BLM. Not unless, of course, you mention White-on-White crime in the same breath.

Hollis Daniels was brought in because he had drugs and drug paraphernalia in his room.  He evidently received treatment so respectful and compassionate that they did not even frisk him.  Then, he managed to pull out the weapon (was he even handcuffed?), shoot an officer and escape because no one could restrain him. This would never have occurred had he been black. If he managed to escape the frisk, there’s no way he would’ve made it out of that police station alive. That’s the ugly truth.

The good news is that people are slowly waking up to the fact that we can no longer live within the bubbles of our lives and ignore the festering injustices swarming around us.  Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the National Anthem and the country went berserk. But there is a problem because police are brutalizing and killing Black people and police, in turn, are being murdered by Whites. We tell drug addicts that unless they admit there’s a problem, they can’t even begin to fix it. Well, it’s time to apply that same analogy to this problem- which for officers- appears to be getting worse. They can start by treating their encounters with all races equally and stop giving Whites the benefit of the doubt. Maybe, just maybe we’ll all make it home alive.

When Community Bands Together: The Rise and Fall Thereof


On Sept 10, 2017, 19-year-old Kenneka Jenkins was found frozen to death inside the freezer of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Rosemont, Il following a party she attended there.  As devastating as her death has been, it occurred under the most bizarre circumstances we’ve seen in quite a while.  Although there has been much speculation about what happened to her (which won’t be covered today), the purpose of this article is to highlight the most extraordinary display of unity as people came together for a common cause – to seek answers.

Oftentimes, when blacks are reported in the media, it’s because they were killed by either law enforcement, gang violence, or other means. But this story wasn’t of much media interest because in the days after Kenneka Jenkin’s death, people came together to support her mother, Teresa Martin.  Ms. Martin’s attempts to find out what happened to her daughter were initially met with indifference.  She was eventually offered a viewing of videos that showed her daughter staggering (apparently intoxicated) down a hallway, then off an elevator, and finally into a kitchen.  What the videos did not show was her child entering the freezer.  She asked for that video and was again met with silence.

Several Chicago activists (Sheena M. James, Lamon Reccord, Jedidiah Brown, and Natorah El) stepped in to aid the grieving mother.  As each day passed, the crowds became a little bigger—30 became a hundred, and so on. Facebook Live views for these activists were in the double-digits as thousands of people around the country (and the world) responded and tuned in.  Monday through Thursday I tuned into various Facebook Live feeds of the protests.  They chanted “No justice no peace, this hotel won’t get no sleep’, ‘Justice for Kenneka’, ’21 hours and a coverup’, ‘If we don’t get it (tapes), SHUT IT DOWN’, etc. They blew whistles and banged on pots and pans. They were there to stay.

It was organized and efficient. After viewing the live feeds each day, it was hard not to see the camaraderie and cohesiveness of the protesters gain momentum.  Each day they began with a pre-protest update of the previous night’s events and let people know what was accomplished as well as the problems that arose.  In the evening, several people recorded live feeds of the protest in front of the Crowne Plaza Hotel.  Eventually (as with many protests) people were arrested. A “jail fund” was set up to aid them which, led to the last daily update taking place at the police station as they informed us who had been arrested (staying there until they bailed them out). The comments and encouragement sparked a movement- whose togetherness morphed into an event unlike anything I’ve seen before. It was the passion and commitment to the mother that literally moved people all over the country to action.

Facebook consistently shut down some of the feeds and suspended Ms. Martin’s (the mother) and Mr. Brown’s access to their pages (Ms. Martin’s was later restored).  Each night, the protests were peaceful and orderly. To keep streets clear and traffic flowing, arrests were made of anyone who stepped onto the street.  As the group of supporters sat in the Rosemont Police Department, they said that their motto was “We’re not leaving anyone behind.”  On one of those nights an elderly white man named Jack was bailed out. The police injured Jack’s arm and he was taken to the hospital before the group could bail him out.  When asked why he was there he said, “I’ve been doing this for over 50 years and I’ll never stop.” Then he said, “I’ll be back tomorrow.” Jack was there the next day- to the delight of the viewers who wrote in large letters “WE LOVE YOU JACK!!” Throughout all of this, the media was silent. I found it strange that hundreds of people protesting in upscale suburban Rosemont and against an upscale hotel was met with complete silence from the media. Black people weren’t looting and burning things so I guess it was a slow night. There was, however, a documentary photographer there (Jon Lowenstein) to capture events as they unfolded.

Toward the middle of the week Jedidiah Brown announced that on Friday they expected a large group – people coming from around the country- to support Ms. Martin’s quest for the complete videos of her daughter entering the freezer.  Friday arrived and something amazing happened — people from all over the country really did gather in Rosemont Illinois.  People of every race, age, and religion came to support Teresa Martin.

Ethan (a tall white gentle giant (who was later arrested) took a Greyhound bus from Georgia. There were people from Joliet, IL, Wisconsin, Indiana, Mississippi, New York, Boston, and California.  Among the crowd was a woman of short stature with her hair in a short afro wearing a purple tee-shirt with face of Kenneka Jenkins.  She was giving a hug to every person she came in contact with- thanking them for coming.  Teresa Martin has been a bulwark during her personal tragic loss.  Having just undergone a double-mastectomy just days before her daughter Kenneka went missing, she has consistently been in Rosemont daily demanding the full and complete video footage of her daughter’s last minutes of life.

Also, on Friday as massive crowds of people (1800+) arrived and took to the streets, law enforcement became aggressive and violent. One protester was violently thrown to the ground and arrested.  Activists went to the police station to check on his condition and to ask that the young man receive medical care. The officers -once polite/helpful – were now belligerent and aggressive and threatened Mr. Brown and the other activists with arrest for disturbing the peace.

To say the source of my initial unease (regarding Friday’s expected crowd) became a self-fulfilling prophesy is an understatement.  I say that because anyone who knows that when massive amounts of money, power, and privilege are at stake, the outcomes for the average person is shaky at best. This was a different kind of ‘protest’.  It wasn’t about race.  It wasn’t an obvious murder (it’s officially a death investigation).  It wasn’t even local(located in a Chicago suburb).  This was about a Chicago mother whose daughter died in a sadly disturbing and as yet, unanswered way – and people all over the country responded by physically showing up.  They donated time, air fare, places to stay, rides, food/drink, and their voices.

Sadly, whenever a demonstration moves to the highest (and peaceful) degree and, whenever there is such a strong, true/genuine cohesiveness of ‘the people’ (meaning ALL people), destruction is never far behind.  It would take a book to go deep into the events that unfolded within the Martin camp but allegations were made against the activists by the mother via Facebook about the funds, the mother pulled away from their aid -leaving in her wake devastated men and women who stood with her just hours before.  Why?  Because within activism are pockets of division and within the black community itself breads negativity. To read the comments in some of these feeds was disheartening to say the least. Apparently another activist (who was not associated with this group) was responsible for creating the division that brought the movement to an end.

Friday was a pivotal day for Chicago and the country.  People proved that it is possible to come together for a common cause. They went to Rosemont and shut it down- not an easy feat by any means.  But sadly, by Saturday, there were clearly signs that something poisonous had entered the mix and by Sunday, it fell completely apart. All unfolding like a made-for-TV series on Facebook Live.

My heart breaks for the Teresa Martin’s unimaginable loss and it’s important to note that she has yet to bury her child and truly grieve. She did state that no one told her about the ‘jail fund” but in fairness I heard several activists mention it several times and they always stated that she personally OK’d it. It is said that whenever money involved, bad things can happen and in this case, it certainly did.  At any rate, the allegations have left everyone with questions and confusion and, has caused a cavernous rift within the community of activists.

The movement is over and in it’s place is a standard protest (Jedidiah Brown and the others are no longer present).  I checked Facebook today and there are only a handful of people there- seemingly less than the crowd last week when protests first began.  It’s a huge step backwards.

I had no intention of writing about Kenneka Jenkins until all the facts were in.  Yet, after seeing how the amazing cohesiveness of the protests evolved on Friday, I decided to write “When Community Bands Together, Amazing Things Happen” but by Sunday, I revised it to “When Community Bands Together (The Rise and Fall Thereof).” That was disappointing…

But the real question we should be asking is “Why did this happen on the day when the most true power of the movement was present?”

But like this case, we will have to wait and see what unfolds in the days ahead. Hopefully we’ll get a picture of what really happened to destroy what was becoming a movement representative of the strength, respect, love, support, and a quest for truth by ALL the people. How ironic is that?

****The mother chose a large venue for her daughter’s funeral so she could thank everyone for supporting her.  Funeral arrangements as quoted by Teresa Martin’s Facebook page:

Rev T Meeks
752 E 114th st, Chicago, IL 60628 (correct address 😇)
11am-12pm wake
12pm-1pm Funeral

Remember British Oppression of America?

flag-2544494_1920The powers that be want this country divided- that’s by design of the one percent elites. Because divided we can’t stand together and demand that this country be run in a way that truly benefits all of us. The healthcare crisis, the Putin controversy, lack of immediate aid to Puerto Rico, DACA, and runaway taxing are prime examples of how American rights will eventually erode. We’d like to believe those issues are irrelevant… We fought each other over a man who is unfit to lead this country (the MOST divisive president ever in my lifetime), and now we’re fighting over… the flag.

I love the flag and our National Anthem -those words resonate deeply with me both as a writer and an American. But now, it’s difficult to connect those words to myself as a Black person when there is constant and overwhelming proof in the criminal justice system that this country does not respect black life. How can it when innocent and unarmed people are shot dead and rogue officers consistently walk? All the president did was throw gasoline on an already precarious situation(as he’s been doing since day one). We must come together as a nation and speak truth to power.

Kaepernick understands this and has thrown himself on his sword to prove it. This protest is not about direspecting our troops. It’s about the fact that this is proving to not be a land that is free for all. It’s to signify that something is broken in our land and it can no longer be ignored. It needs to be fixed. When the president made his comments to “fire those SOBS”, he finally struck a chord with their fellow teammates and as a result they ALL kneeled. That sent a loud message that something is broken in America, let’s fix it together. They are not disrespecting the flag.  Our soldiers who originally fought and died for this country did so because this country was OPPRESSED by the British. Oppression of a people is hazardous to the health of any nation. That is one of the reasons our troops are deployed all over the world.

Let’s face a harsh reality check that most people DON’T know- the original Anthem has racist verses in it therfore it, and the flag, was never intended to represent the “least” of us in America. America fought oppression against the British and won (all while oppressing slaves). Then slaves were freed but were still oppressed under Jim Crow. Now, we’re no longer considered oppressed (on the surface). Now we exist as a nation that is supposed to be representative of the diverse souls who live here.

Injustice against ‘one’ American is an injustice against all Americans. “Justice for all” is an ongoing homework assignment for all of us and we must do it together. So, as long as we remain divided on the most basic and critical of issues, we (ALL RACES) will never achieve the greatness that our flag symbolizes.

Justice Has Finally Prevailed



Marco Proano, the Chicago Police officer who fired 16 shots into a car full of unarmed teens, was found guilty of two federal civil rights violations -using unreasonable force and causing bodily injury.  Though it is a small step of victory for supporters of criminal justice reform, it was not a clean victory nor was it without it’s shadows of impropriety.

A vehicle carrying 6 teens was pulled over at 95th and LaSalle by 2 other officers.  Dash cam footage shows Proano arriving minutes later to the scene.  Proano, upon exiting his vehicle, quickly withdrew his weapon (pointing it sideways into the teen’s stolen vehicle) and firing as the driver reverses away from him. The December 2013 shooting left two teens shot and another otherwise injured but no one was killed.

In the aftermath of the shooting, supporters of Proano claimed that it was a ‘split-second’ decision and that his actions were justified although I can’t imagine anyone watching the video believing that he felt there was an immediate danger. This incident didn’t fall through the cracks because the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) launched an investigation into the shooting.  Initially, they barely investigated because, ironically, IPRA is just another cog in the rusty wheel of the criminal justice system.

IPRA was created in 2007 when complaints about how investigations against police officers were being conducted became unavoidable. Comprised of independent investigators, it replaced the Office of Professional Standards (OPS) which, was basically a group of police “investigating” police.  IPRA was tasked to deliver unbiased and unfiltered investigations of complaints lodged against officers. It was not a secret, however, that OPS investigators simply moved over to IPRA.  So much for transparency and accountability.

Ex-FBI Special Agent Larissa Camancho testified in court that in 2015 IPRA was contemplating clearing Proano in the shooting.  After speaking with the investigator on the case, she went to the head of IPRA and told him she believed that the officer should be investigated.  Not surprising because it’s been found that because IPRA has a less than 2% sustainability of complaints against officers, it was not as independent as the public was led to believe and moving forward, in September 2017, they will be replaced by a more rigorously independent agency, the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA).

When black people say the criminal justice system is broken and skewed heavily away from the rights of blacks, it is not an understatement.  We’ve seen proof of this when IPRA tried to clear officer Jason Van Dyke who, about a year after Proano’s crime, heinously shot and killed 17-year-old LaQuan McDonald.  It wasn’t until that video was released that Van Dyke was charged with murder.

Marco Proano faces up to 20 years in prison for his crime.  I will wait to see, with bated breath, how many years he’ll receive.  In the meantime we will celebrate because today there is one less volatile officer on the street slaughtering black people with impunity.  This conviction sends at the very least a whisper that the status quo is no longer going to fly.

I Dare You

Powerfully profound..

By Nannette Banks

Dare to love somebody

Not just those you know

but those yet born and all who stand in between

it’s not easy once you have experienced the

force of the brute, the hate of the bigot and the blow of the batterer

Dare to love somebody until it feels abnormal not to, love

dare to love in the moment when that’s all you have to offer because you’re left

speechless, you don’t

have the physical strength to carry on and your fleshy heart is waiting to break


give love, hope love, risk love, dare to love somebody even yourself without limits or


without borders that seal you in and keep others out…

It’s a process

some have lived it even when little to no love was returned

as stones were being thrown,

fire hoses aimed at full blast

dogs tearing at human flesh

they  dared…

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