What We Talkin’ Bout: Discussions in Black Culture Vol. 1

The North Star has dropped its paywall during this COVID-19 crisis so that pertinent information and analysis is available to everyone during this time. This is only possible because of the generous support of our members. We rely on these funds to pay our staff to continue to provide high-quality content. If you are able to support, we invite you to do so here.

What We Talkin’ Bout: briefings on dialogues Black folks are having. Additional follow-up is always encouraged.

Daniel Prude - Most of us just became aware of the case of Daniel Prude, the 41-year-old Black man who was killed by Rochester, NY police while on a visit from out of town. Prude was experiencing a severe mental episode when his brother called 911 for help. When police arrived and found a naked and distraught Prude in the middle of the street, they covered his face with a “spit bag,” handcuffed him and killed him. His cause of death was ruled as asphyxiation. It happened a couple months before George Floyd met a similar fate. We are just learning about it nearly six months later.

Evictions in Houston- Recently, news broke about Houston’s Constable Office evicting tenants despite previous protections set up by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on account of the economic impact caused by COVID-19. Lower-income residents of the fourth largest city in the U.S. are being kicked out of their homes and one does not have to think too hard about what demographic this is disproportionately impacting.

Jessica Krug- the white woman professor who had been claiming an Afro-Latino identity throughout her whole adult life, but finally was like “you know what y’all, I’m white.” In her confessional post on Medium, Krug wrote "For the better part of my adult life, every move I've made, every relationship I've formed, has been rooted in the napalm toxic soil of lies.” Which is quite a poetic way of saying “I been benefiting from cultural cosplay for a long ass time...welp, now that that’s out, time to see what this white privilege hittin’ for.”

Tyler Perry’s Billionaire Status- Forbes recently announced that filmmaker/philanthropist, Tyler Perry, is the newest member of the Black billionaire’s club. TP’s net worth is at one billion dollars and lots of Black folks are feeling inspired by his rags-to-riches, DIY rise. Perry has been the subject of much criticism over the years, mostly for what many note as his tendency to write flat, one-dimensional characters and predictable plots (and the fact that he boasts of writing it all himself). Opinions about his creative output vary, but one undeniable fact is that Perry has by and large built his wealth off the support of majority Black audiences and regularly gives back to communities in need.

Bey Day 39- Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter is 39 today. Every year, September 4 is an unofficial holiday for the “Beyhive” and this year is no exception. Beyoncé has been lauded for her philanthropy amidst the pandemic, her advocacy for Breonna Taylor and her guest appearance on Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage” remix, among many other things in 2020. A world in peril does not stop folks from stanning for their queen. Queen Bey is closing in on 40 and has not stopped “shining, shining, shining” in the least!