#InTheseTweets: First Edition

In These Tweets is a weekly cultural dive into trending topics on Twitter. A collection of snapshot analyses on a variety of moments impacting our world. Sometimes serious, sometimes light, always substantive. We out here, #InTheseTweets

Former (see forcibly exiled) NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been making amazing use of his time ever since being ostracized from the game he loves for speaking out against state-sanctioned violence. His newest endeavor, Kaepernick Publishing, looks to be one of his most exciting ventures to date, as it will utilize the power of narrative he has been cultivating over the last few years. Perhaps even more exciting for other writers who scribe in the name of systematic change, is the prospect of having their words published by the emerging press. Kap has shown nothing but principled stances, so I personally have lofty expectations of substantive, advocacy-oriented literature to come from the printer over at Kaepernick Publishing.

Once again the finance world is looking to link the legacy of Harriet Tubman to some symbol of capitalism. This time it’s in the form of a OneUnited Bank debit card which features a resistant image of the fearless matriarch of abolition emblazoned on a debit card. In a case of real life heroism combined with fictional superheroes, Tubman appears to be posed with her arms crossed in an ‘X’ at the wrists, a salute popularized by the 2018 blockbuster movie, Black Panther, set in the mythical African nation of ‘Wakanda’. OneUnited claims that the pose was not a nod to the ‘Wakanda Forever’ rallying cry but it would not be far fetched for 1.) Harriet Tubman’s legacy to be tethered with the concept of a Black utopia and 2.) For a corporation to casually mix actual and fictional aspects of Black culture to appeal to a certain client base...and also, to do so in February.

As reported by The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles County District Attorney, Jackie Lacey, recently moved to dismiss 66,000 marijuana convictions in the county. This is a huge victory for defendants charged with marijuana possession in one of a few states that has legalized marijuana usage. A significant portion of the mass incarceration swell we have witnessed over the last four decades has been largely on account of low level drug offenses, many of which included possession of small amounts of marijuana. Black and brown citizens across the nation have felt the brunt of disproportionate sentencing, so it is great to see folks in the legal system like Lacey do the necessary due diligence to reverse course on the convictions. Now, to get some of these formerly convicted folks who are interested in opening a dispensary the license to do so, would be another milestone in atoning these injustices.

All around the world Friday, February 14th is the observation of Valentine’s Day, but for The North Star it is also an important day, as it is the recognized birthday of the icon who co-founded the original North Star publication, Frederick Douglass. As a formerly enslaved person who became one of the country’s foremost voices of abolition, Frederick Douglass through words and actions, embodied a type of love for his people that cannot be measured in the material world. In the legendary words of John Coltrane, Douglass’ love was a “love supreme." A love rooted in liberation, autonomy and a radical re-imagining of what this nation could be for Black people. Happy Valentine’s Day.

About the Author

Donney Roseis a poet, educator, essayist and Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow from Baton Rouge, La..