The Break – A Law Enforcement Perspective Pt.4

KC and the crew wrap up their conversation about law enforcement with David, an LAPD officer. They discuss the larger racial issues, positive interactions, the decision to shoot and more.

Music: Flying Lotus – Camel (Nosaj Thing Remix)

Please leave your comments and feedback below or you can contact us via Twitter: @BLACKISONLINE; Facebook: Black Is Magazine; Email:; Voicemail: (323) 455-4219.

The Break – A Law Enforcement Perspective Pt.3

KC and the crew continue the discussion about law enforcement with David, touching on the fear of police, teaching compliance, law enforcement culture and changing policies.

Music: Flying Lotus – RobertaFlack (feat. Dolly)

Please leave your comments and feedback below or you can contact us via Twitter: @BLACKISONLINE; Facebook: Black Is Magazine; Email:; Voicemail: (323) 455-4219.

The Break – A Law Enforcement Perspective Pt.2

KC and the crew continue the conversation with David about law enforcement. They discuss the “no snitch” policy, Christopher Dorner, Blue Live Matter, changing mindsets, hiring and firing police officers, and the “shoot to kill” mentality.

Music: Flying Lotus – Spicy Sammich

Please leave your comments and feedback below or you can contact us via Twitter: @BLACKISONLINE; Facebook: Black Is Magazine; Email:; Voicemail: (323) 455-4219.


The Break – Teaching Options for Obama

In this episode KC, Tash, Shelby, Steve & Julius are joined by journalist Cinque Henderson (@jesuiscinque). They discuss his article “Three Places Obama Could Teach” which was featured in The New Yorker.

Music: Jimmy Q – Untitled

Please leave your comments and feedback below or you can contact us via Twitter: @BLACKISONLINE; Facebook: Black Is Magazine; Email:; Voicemail: (323) 455-4219.

The Break – Athletes Using Their Voice

KC, Chris, Tash, Leisha, Shelby and Arian discuss protests at universities, athletes and celebrities using their voice, integrating white institutions and more.

Music: Sango – Until Saturday (Feat. Ta-ku & Tracey)

Please leave your comments and feedback below or you can contact us via Twitter: @BLACKISONLINE; Facebook: Black Is Magazine; Email:; Hotline: (323) 455-4219.

The Break – Mics Off: Champagne Parties

In this Mics Off episode of The Break, the crew talk about champagne parties and reminisce about prom.

Please leave your comments and feedback below, or you can contact us via Twitter: @BLACKISONLINE; Facebook: Black Is Magazine; Email:; Hotline: (323) 455-4219.

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Culture Connection: We Are Proud to Present a PRESENTATION (VIDEO)

Watch and listen as Malcolm guest hosts a post-show discussion with the cast and crew of the play, We Are Proud to Present a PRESENTATION About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known As Southwest Africa, From the German SudwestAfrika, Between the Years 1884-1915 at Cal-Arts on October 19th. This provocative piece of work is captivating and provides much food for thought! Special thanks to Nijeul X. Porter for inviting Culture Connection to host this discussion. Enjoy!

For comments or questions about this or any other episode, call the hotline at (323) 455-4219.

Facebook: Black Is Magazine    Twitter: @BLACKISONLINE      Brother Malcolm: @caliyalie

LA EVENTS: The 7th Annual Young African American Males Conference

Friendship Baptist Church will be holding its 7th annual Young African American Males’ Conference at the Pasadena City College on Saturday, September 21 at 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

The event, with the theme “Success by Choice,” is co-hosted by the Metropolitan Community, Action Services Corporation and Pasadena City College, which is located at 1570 E. Colorado Blvd.

Friendship Baptist Church is one of the oldest congregations in the city of Pasadena, having been founded in September 1893. It was the first Negro Baptist Church in the city and for many years had the largest membership of any African-American Church. Throughout it’s history, the Church has played an important religious and civic role in Pasadena.

This is an awesome conference geared towards helping young Black men learn life skills that will help through school and beyond! This is also an opportunity for our young men to network and develop mentors to aid them through life’s challenges. Support this event on the 21st!

For more information, visit


Three Terms Hindering Africa America’s Institutional Development: Affirmative Action, Diversity, & Minority

“All cruel people describe themselves as paragons of frankness.” – Tennessee Williams

This article will probably get me in trouble with the politically correct police and let’s all hold hands and get along crowd who typically have an idealistic view that all the resources in the world can magically be distributed evenly across all populations. However, truth is truth especially as it pertains to social, economic, and political (SEP) interest and until we have their idealistic world we have to consider that groups will continue to battle over power to control the resources much like what happens with every one of God’s other creations – imagine that. SEP interest drives every group’s institutional and individual decision-making except for one – African Americans. African America continues to chase the ever elusive ghost of assimilation and inclusion into the (European) American Dream to the expense of its own power. Below are the three terms that to me psychologically have and continue hamper our development and why.

Affirmative Action

Simply put this has been one of the most damaging policies toward a stronger African-American institutional power development. Affirmative Action was a bill pushed for by certain Civil Rights Movement (CRM) groups and was signed into law by Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965. It owes its roots to desegregation and the court case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, KS in 1954.

Desegregation’s ultimate culmination into the affirmative action law was all but the signature that wiped out African-American institutional development. Prior, we built towns such as “Black Wall Street” in Tulsa, OK and Rosewood, FL and countless self-sufficient African-American towns. These towns would be torn apart ultimately because of our lack of ability to obtain political retribution for social and economic attacks against us which is where the aim of the CRM should have been. Instead, a movement within the CRM decided that equality meant to be assimilated into European American owned and controlled institutions. We would all but abandon towns which we built, businesses we started, and colleges that were founded for our interest and then begin to define success not by what we owned or controlled anymore but by being the “first” to break through into institutions where we weren’t wanted and out flanked socially, economically, and politically. Despite an understanding that in capitalism the ultimate power lies in what you control directly or indirectly and what you own.

Today, less than 15% of African-Americans who can go to college attend HBCUs despite the institutional implications that a college and university can bring to a community as noted in The University of Power & Wealth. “Success” is defined as moving out of our neighborhoods and then we wonder why our elementary and secondary schools are weak. They are weak because the demand that drives home values up which in turn increases the amount of taxes available to fund our schools and then allows them to develop and pay quality teachers was abandoned so that we could live in a “good” neighborhood. The educated and professionals instead of being a permanent presence in the community for children to see (positive social capital) instead leave children to look up to those hanging on the corner (negative social capital). It use to be that our doctors, teachers, and other professionals lived in the community and therefore set the barometer of that community. Yet, we’ll claim they can find role models or they should seek out mentoring programs missing the point of setting the rule in a community for kids instead of hoping they’ll find a way to be the exception. Before affirmative action, we started companies like C.R. Patterson, the only African-American owned automobile manufacturing company. Now, most of define our success by the car we drive not the ones we build.


The problem for African America allowing itself to be labeled a minority are numerous but I’ll address specifically as it relates to economic policy and actions. In 2008, Dr. Verna Dauterive, alum of Wiley College, donated $25 million to the University of Southern California in memory of her late husband. The money would be used to fund a scholarship for minority students that pursued a doctorate in education. Who is a minority? The answer is simply anyone who is not a European-American male. That means the scholarships from that donation, at a school whose African-American population is not even five percent, never even have to be used for an African-American. It means that if USC so chose they could give that scholarship to anyone that’s not of African descent from here on out and they would be meeting the requirements of that donation. It should also be noted that USC has a $3.5 billion endowment while her undergraduate alma mater Wiley College has a reported $50 million endowment. To say the $25 million would have gone further at Wiley impacting African-Americans is without question.

Recently it was noted by Jarrett Carter, Editor of HBCU Digest, that many HBCUs lead their states in minority purchases. In fact, Prairie View A&M University, Mr. Carter noted leads the state of Texas with 38% of its contracts awarded to minority businesses. Again, it should be pointed out that does not mean $1 has to go to African-American businesses. As a former employee and graduate assistant at Prairie View A&M University it was not unusual for us to hear stories about European American families with businesses making the wife 51% owner of the business in order to access minority contracts. You have to love loopholes.


Every year certain business magazines release “Most Diverse Companies” and they are always speaking of the labor that works for these major corporations. The reality is that while the labor might be diverse the ownership is still typically 99.9% European American. The current idea of diversity just means you were able to get the most talented of other groups to work for another group’s economic interest. Again, I can’t state enough that it is ownership who gets rewarded the most long-term not labor. We see this in college football where schools like the University of Texas have 50,000 students of which only 500 are African-American males and 50% of them are on the football or basketball team. A football team composed of almost 70% African-American males, and is the most profitable college football program in the United States. The profits then go into non-revenue athletic scholarships which are predominantly European American (see golf, softball, swimming, baseball, etc.), along with aiding research, faculty salaries, and much more. The 1% of the population with no SEP power at the university providing immensely to the 99% with all of the SEP power. Now that’s a change.

It is always important to note who is defining what. I always get annoyed by “diversity” often being hijacked and/or pigeon holed to only mean multiple cultures. Diversity is also always talked about from a European American majority. That is to say in a room of 10 people if you have 7 European Americans, 1 African-American, 1 Asian American, and 1 Latino American you have diversity. However, if you have 7 African-Americans, 1 European American, 1 Asian American, and 1 Latino American it is not perceived as diversity. This is the hurdle that HBCUs often face in perception by not only society as a whole but even sadder by African-Americans themselves. Every time a conversation about diversity comes up I have to point out there are a number of variables by which one can create a diverse setting beyond ancestry. If I have a room of eight people of African descent with two from Jamaica, two from Ghana, two from America, and two from Brazil and each of those two is a mixture of male/female then do I not have a diverse room? Yes, I do. I just happen to have one foundational link of ancestry. I can add variables such as but not limited to geographical upbringing, economic class, education, gender, etc. Just for the record HBCUs have always been willing to take poor and underserved European Americans and others. The reverse still is not true unless of course you can do something exceptional on a football field.

We must define things from our point of social, economic, and political interest and not just blindly follow someone else’s idea of what is “good” as their idea of “good” is always from their point of view and interest. I was on a radio show where one of the guests proclaimed to me that Martin Luther King, Jr. was fighting for our right to move into someone else’s neighborhood. A clear problem of what happens when you allow someone else to control your history. Even a man who screamed for our self-sufficiency as many seem to forget has had his image and message watered down over the years. In capitalism, everything is ownership or labor. This is neither good nor bad. It just is and we all know that knowing is half the battle.

Mr. Foster is the President of AK, Inc., President of the HBCU Chamber of Commerce, Interim Executive Director of HBCU Endowment Foundation, and sits on the board of directors at the Center for HBCU Media Advocacy. A former banker & financial analyst who earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics & Finance from Virginia State University as well his master’s degree in Community Development & Urban Planning from Prairie View A&M University. Publishing research on the agriculture economics of food waste, full-time contributor at HBCU Money, and guest contributor for a number of African American media outlets.

No Breaks: Reality of a College Student

On my last day of classes, my aunt and I were discussing my summer plans and what I planned to do in the upcoming days. I just completed my sophomore year at the University of Southern California and have all these plans lined up including my part-time job and another internship. When I informed my aunt of my plans, she told me, “And here I thought you would be able to just relax and read all summer like you wanted to. That doesn’t sound like much of a break.”

Her response caught me off guard because, compared to my workload during the spring semester, I thought I was getting a break. But when I reflected on what I told her I would be doing and the amount of hours I would be spending working each week, my plans did not sound as relaxing as they did before. While I could just call everything off and literally be unproductive throughout my summer break, the goals I have for my future are not just handed to me. I have to make these opportunities available to myself which can’t happen in the comfort of my bed, no matter how tempting that sounds.

While the job market is showing signs of improvement these past few years, college students are still facing an uphill battle in landing a job after graduation.  Because of this, students should work hard throughout their college career to build themselves up not only as future employers but well-rounded individuals.

“Employers are looking for students who have done meaningful work,” says Lynn O’Shaughnessy, author of The College Solution. “They’re not just interested in students who may have devoted a lot of time studying and getting straight A’s. They want students who have shown initiative and are motivated and have pursued interests outside the classroom.”

According to, the top four to-do list for college students during their summer vacations are internships, academic activities, volunteering, and conducting individual projects. As the job market continues to increase in competitiveness every year, more becomes required of us as potential successors in any career path. This means the job as college students is never done whether we are during midterm and finals season or during our summer breaks. There are no breaks for college students. Every day is a step closer to figuring out where we fit in this world and every year is a set of goals accomplished towards the reality that faces us once we graduate. And when we walk that stage, it’s the end of another period and the face of a new chapter, whether it’s the internship that will jumpstart your career or the graduate program that will professionalize your career objectives. This doesn’t mean that you need to rush the process. Spend the time exploring your interests and researching opportunities to cultivate yourself.

While I have two years left, I still cannot help but wonder where I go from here. In reality, yes, I enjoy my three months of academic freedom then start the second half of my undergraduate college career in the fall but even at this point in my education, the only thing that keeps me going is my future. Where am I headed? What does it take from me to achieve the goals I have set for myself? These are the common thoughts of the average college student frequently, especially upperclassmen where time just seems to be running out a bit faster than they thought. With all of this being said, these four years spent trying to find yourself in this world and develop the skills and talents you have been given should not add stress. These four years should challenge and encourage you to think big and set the bar high.

They say that college is the best four years of your life. And they are. Parties and meeting your lifetime friends is an awesome experience but so is discovering who you are and working towards whom you dream to be in the future. Go to the beach, drive to Vegas with your friends, have a great time this summer but remember that every day as a college student is sacred and spend it not only in celebration of early adulthood but also productively.

Shelby White is an intern for Black Is and a student at the University of Southern California.