TNS Weekly Recap: 7/5-7/9/21

This week the team at The North Star covered Nikole Hannah-Jones going to Howard U., Congress inaction over police reform, a racist who got pulled up on and more!

Peace and greetings,

I’ll be taking the reigns on the weekly recap over the next couple of weeks while the King family is on a much-needed/well-deserved vacation. You may see my name pop up frequently in the bylines of the articles, but there will also still be contributions sparingly from Shaun, Kendi and other guest writers. Most importantly, we will keep telling the stories that matter to our community.

This week we unpacked Nikole Hannah-Jones’s decision to join the faculty at Howard University after a longstanding tenure battle with the University of North Carolina, the Congressional stall around police reform, the story of a racist in New Jersey who got all the drama he called for, the #BlackGirlMagic of spelling bee champ, Zaila Avant-garde and more!

And for the fans of The Breakdown podcast, we will be running some classic throwback episodes over the next couple of weeks while Shaun is out. All in all, we got you covered!

Thanks for your continued support of liberation-oriented journalism. We literally cannot do this work without you. If you are not currently a member at The North Star, please take this opportunity to join us. We are working on more exciting things, and want you to be the first to know!

Peace, love and solidarity,

Donney Rose
TNS Chief Content Editor


Class Is In Session: Nikole Hannah-Jones & Ta-Nehisi Coates to Join the Journalism Faculty at Howard University by Donney Rose

The Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of The 1619 Project is joining Howard’s journalism faculty with a fellow former MacArthur Genius grant recipient, and Howard alum, Ta-Nehisi Coates. Coates, who had previously served as an adjunct professor at Howard, posted a celebratory pic of him and Jones on Instagram with a quote from hip-hop legend, Chuck D, with the caption “I never live alone. I never walk alone.”

Here’s What’s Going On With Congress & Their Struggle To Agree On Police Reform Policies by Kendi King

Last week, lawmakers involved in the police reform negotiations announced they had reached an agreement on a framework and would continue their discussions. What they didn’t say, of course, was that this framework is extremely weak and relies on the cooperation of many reluctant parties. After three months of debating, little progress has actually been made.

A Racist in New Jersey Got All the Smoke He Donney Rose

My guess is that Mathews didn’t get the memo that Black folks were in the streets last summer IN THE HEIGHT OF THE PANDEMIC protesting police brutality and racial injustice/violence. If he was aware, he might have thought twice about giving out his address after choosing violence against his Black neighbors, seeing that reduced COVID restrictions got folks pulling up places for leisure, let alone for protest.

Thousands of Incarcerated Elders Died in Prison of COVID-19 Throughout the Pandemic by Donney Rose

The robust prison population in the U.S. has not fared so fortunate throughout the pandemic. It is estimated that per every 100,000 incarcerated people in the U.S. that have contracted the coronavirus, 39 have died, compared to 29 of every 100,000 non-incarcerated people. Roughly 40 percent of people held in federal facilities have contracted COVID since the start of the pandemic, per The New York Times.

Zaila Avant-garde is Both a Prodigy and a Possibility by Donney Rose

Zaila, who is also an exceptional basketball player and Guinness world record holder for dribbling multiple basketballs simultaneously, is something of a wunderkind. In some respects, her historic achievement at the Scripps spelling bee is in contrast with the environment she is growing up in but it is also a testament to the personal village that has/is pouring into her, and an example of what is possible when those on the frontline in the public education system make space to cultivate genius blooming right in front of them.


The Breakdown with Shaun King [REPLAY]: Ep. 375 - Understanding the Inside/Outside Ways of Fighting for Change (July 6, 2021)

In this re-run episode, Shaun shares a painful, personal story about a lesson learned about organizing for change as an outsider and organizing for change as an insider. 

The Breakdown with Shaun King [REPLAY]: Ep. 476 - The Crisis of Christian Whiteness (July 7, 2021)

Just over a year ago, I started a firestorm by saying that statues of the blonde-haired, blue-eyed Jesus figure should be taken down just like the monuments of slaveholders. The problem is that for tens of millions of white people, it's necessary for that Jesus, that Savior, to be white. And it has been used as a tool of oppression for hundreds of years. It's a problem. On today's re-run episode, listen in as I break it down.

The Breakdown with Shaun King: Do you know what COINTELPRO was? [Replay] (June 8, 2021)

Do you know what COINTELPRO was? In this rerun episode, I begin to unpack and explain it. It was how the federal government undermined movements for Black people and Black power. And I think we are experiencing COINTELPRO 2.0 right here, right now.

#InTheseTweets | 69th Edition

“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 generosity of rapper Kodak Black, Nikole Hannah-Jones and Ta-Nehisi Coates joining Howard University's faculty, the cost of not legalizing marijuana and realism from Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

We are outchea in these tweets!"