TNS Weekly Recap: 6/14-6/18

The team at The North Star covered A LOT this week. Plus we kicked off a new series called These Songs of Freedom LIVE!

Hey Everybody.

This week the team at The North Star has so much goodness to share that I won’t waste time with a long drawn-out intro. Check it all out and if have not subscribed to be a member at The North Star, please consider doing so.

Love and appreciate you all. Your friend and brother,



Racism Has Always Been a Critical Matter in the U.S. Whether Some Folks Want to Deny History or Not by Donney Rose

Republicans in Congress and Republican leaders at the state level have instigated a culture war of ideology in efforts to block the teachings of critical race theory at every turn. Critical race theory, which examines social, cultural and legal issues as they relate to race and racism, is the present-day bane of Republican politicians’ existence as the mere idea of it disrupts the narrative they parrot about the United States not being a nation that is rooted in systemic racism.

Guess the percentage of crimes police actually solve? Here's a hint - cut your first guess by about 90% by Shaun King

I don’t think a single government agency in the United States is worse at their job than American police. I can take it a step further - I don’t think our entire country has a single profession that is as consistently ineffective, while simultaneously outrageously expensive, as law enforcement. When I tell you the real numbers that they desperately don’t want you to know, I am sure you will agree with me - policing is a scam.

Finding Racism When I’m Not Even Looking: The Reality of Being Black in America by Kendi King 

All my life I’ve been the “woke” person in any friend group. Recently one of my friends introduced me to his girlfriend, saying “There’s only two things you really need to know about Kendi. She’s always talking about some social justice stuff, and she’s from Brooklyn”.

Confronting Excessive Force in Historical Perspective: Targeting Louisville Neighborhoods by Dr. Kimberly Hill

Two of the most notorious police-involved shootings in the recent history of the city took place in the early 2000s. Both started in historically Black areas and both ended with the legal exoneration of the officers.

On The Performative Act of Making Juneteenth a Federal Holiday by Donney Rose

Do I believe that the descendants of enslaved Africans deserve a day off in recognition of Juneteenth? Hell yes. Do I believe that this federal recognition justifies the government’s hesitancy or flat-out unwillingness to budge on matters of substantive impact to Black Americans? Absolutely not.

Policing” Is the New Political Buzzword, But Don't Be Fooled By Politicians' False Promises by Kendi King

Politicians today know that if they’ve got a savvy marketing team and can make their candidates look good on TikTok, that’s half the battle. This year, and for what I imagine will be years to come, “policing” is the buzzword all the politicians are using. Vague plans to reform law enforcement units are major points for nearly all mayoral, district attorney, and city council platforms, making it hard to decipher whose plans are geared towards social justice and whose aren’t.

The easiest victory Joe Biden could earn today with the Black voters who put him in office by Shaun King

I’d like for his Department of Justice to prosecute thousands of police officers, but I know that will never happen. Instead, under their flawed bad apples theory, where they believe that 99% of police are good, and just 1% are bad, I challenge them to actually prosecute the 1%.

America is Back Outside and Shooting: Gun Violence in Summer 2021 by Donney Rose

2021 has already seen 17 mass killings, 16 of which were shootings according to data collected by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University. For context, a mass shooting is defined as a single incident where four or more people are shot or killed. This of course does not account for shootings in which the shooter injures or kills a single person or less than four people. In that regard, those occurrences are also a part of a bloody trend in 2021.

Black and Brown Bullies: A Reckoning of Unfriendly BIPOC Hotties by Branden Janese

Is it time for us to come to terms with our toxic behavior? We brilliantly call out other folks. BIPOC women are the Queens of calling people out on their shit. Yet, are we teaching everyone else a lesson except ourselves?

The North Star presents..."These Songs of Freedom" LIVE + Juneteenth playlist by Willis Polk and Donney Rose

These Songs of Freedom (TSOF) is a monthly live performance series with liberation-minded musicians and artists curated by TNS executive producer, Willis Polk. What started as merely a themed playlist offering from The North Star has developed into a series intended to showcase performing artists who use their music to agitate, advocate, disrupt and/or mobilize. 

The premiere of These Songs of Freedom LIVE featuring Grand Hustle recording artist, Translee, available at this link!

Three Descendants of the 1919 Elaine, Arkansas Massacre Speak on the Lasting Impact of an Overlooked History by Donney Rose

The beginnings of the 20th century were filled with stories of Black Americans dying at the hands of white men who sought to extend dominion over Black bodies after the ending of chattel slavery had legally taken it from them. The characters in these events were not the same as antebellum enslavers but followed a similar plot of oppression and violence in the name of keeping Black folks in a subservient position.


The Breakdown with Shaun King: Ep. 465 - I'm back! Thank you for your prayers & support! (June 14, 2021)

I took the past 2 weeks off to take care of myself, then to help take care of my wife after she had a horrible accident. Today I want to thank you for your love and support and tell you TWO BIG IDEAS that are on my heart.

The Breakdown with Shaun King: Ep. 466 - Guess the percentage of crimes solved by police (June 15, 2021)

Here's a hint. Cut your guess by at least 90%. It's so damn low.

W.O.C. AT WORK: [VIDEO] Ep. 7 Equity in the Arts: A Conversation with Performer Gina Quinones (June 15, 2021)

Blanca and Rai talk with Latina mother, teacher, and performer Gina Quinones about her identity evolution as an Afro-Latina and how the arts community is long overdue for a reckoning on race.

The Breakdown with Shaun King: Ep. 467 - Mitch McConnell just said the quiet part out loud (June 16, 2021)

This week Mitch McConnell openly said that if Republicans take back the Senate next year, even if by a single vote, that he would refuse to appoint any Supreme Court nominees from Joe Biden. I believe him. And the Democratic Party should too.

The Breakdown with Shaun King: Ep. 468 - If Joe Biden believes police only have a few bad apples, he should prosecute them and prove it to us. (June 17, 2021)

One of the single easiest victories Joe Biden could have right now with the Black voters who put him into office would be prosecuting the police from all of the worst cases of police violence of the past 10 years. I could name a thousand cases, but he could start with dozens, including Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, and Philando Castile and go from there.


“In These Tweets” is The North Star’s weekly cultural dive into trending topics on Twitter impacting our community, hosted by TNS Chief Content Editor, Donney Rose. This week, Donney looks at the philanthropy of Mackenzie Scott, simple science about the coronavirus and a profound truth about Black women from Ari Lennox.

We are outchea in these tweets!