Archive for Black Lives Matter

The Spirit Guide Award

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2017 by Raqiyah Mays

Amazing time with family during this weekend’s gala at the Harlem Hospital Center for The Bomb Shelter, an amazing non profit offering free arts programs for talented youth. I’m honored to have been chosen by their members to receive the very first Spirit Guide Award. :+)

Posing with my proud mother

My son Kalel played 12-year-old personal photographer for the event.

My kid took this pic :+)

Gave a speech on an artist’s responsibility to use their art to speak truth and improve the world.

#MLKDay 2017

Posted in Black Lives Matter with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2017 by Raqiyah Mays

MLK Day is not a day off. I was raised to know that today is a day of service. I’m blessed that the work I’m paid to do doubles as community service.

 My #MLKDay 2017 to do and got-it-done list:

 1)  Sent my kid to a youth leadership conference. 

2) Worked on a speech I’ve been hired to write for the Women’s March on Washington. #Speechwriter

 3) Wrote & edited campaign materials for Amnesty International campaigns against Police Brutality & The Syrian Refugees Crisis 

4) Soul food dinner with family.

 Dr. King would be proud. :+) Productive. Busy. Satisfying. Today was a good day.

VH1 Black History Month Throwback

Posted in Black Lives Matter, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 5, 2016 by Raqiyah Mays

Whenever Black History Month comes around, I always think of this: 2009. VH1. A commercial series I was featured in cast by Jennifer Schram Maxwell & Fredgy Noël featuring some pretty dope folks like Lawrence Alexander, Adama Delphine Fawundu, Michaela Angela Davis, Brandee A. Younger – to name a few others deemed – “Future Leaders.” #GREATMemory #BlackHistoryMonth



White Silence = White Consent: The Necessity of MTV’s ‘White People’ [By Raqiyah Mays]

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on July 22, 2015 by Raqiyah Mays

White people MTV pic

Thanks to social media and the #Blacklivesmatter movement, the phrase “White Silence = White Consent” has circulated Twitter and Facebook among many of all races who believe that the key to curing racism in America begins with an honest conversation among those who make up the country’s majority – White People. It’s the name of MTV’s upcoming documentary airing July 22 which will hopefully take this conversation off social media and onto to the small screen for a demographic that needs it the most – white millennials. “The construction of racism has benefited white people, not people of color,” says Jose Antonia Vargas, the Pulitzer Prize-winning filmmaker and journalist behind White People. “What I hope this film does is get us closer to the fuller reckoning in history of this country which has yet to be really told.”

According to a 2014 study among millennials, provided by MTV’s public affairs campaign “Look Different”, more than three in four (79%) admitted being friends with people with biases. 72% said that their generation believes in equality more than older people. Although when asked if the government pays too much attention to the problems of racial minority groups, 41% of whites answered “yes,” compared to 21% of people of color. But in the age of a modern civil rights movement led by mostly millennials, the government’s responsibility in addressing race has become a hot topic seen in the Department of Justice’s investigations of police brutality murders of unarmed black men, women, and children to the #TakeItDown confederate flag debate among southern senators. 54% of millennials polled agreed that it’s “hard to have a respectful conversation about bias in

person or online.” This seems to mainly be the issue of white people, who have been historically uncomfortable discussing racism.

In a news article written by Marc Snetiker on MTV’s upcoming film, the headline reads; “Watch the uncomfortable trailer for MTV’s documentary White People.” After breaking it down the story finishes with the line, “Watch the trailer—did we mention it’s uncomfortable?—below.” While in a piece by Lauren Le Vine entitled “Why Did MTV Make a Documentary Called White People?” Le Vine, like, reminds readers “The discussions in White People are bound to make some viewers uncomfortable.”

But isn’t that the point? When has an honest conversation about racism ever been comfortable? And when has avoiding a difficult topic ever been healthy for a relationship?

Racism is a people issue, a family issues, and a (lack of) love issue. Like being in any of these relationships, ignoring a lingering problem and not discussing it because it makes someone “uncomfortable” has always led to deeper complications. Hence network producers and people in charge of mainstream news media – who are mostly white – mimic the historical habitual silence of those in their culture by nervously choosing to not cover race related stories. That is, until a millennial, 21-year-old Dylann Roof, shoots dead nine African American elders at a Charleston’s Emmanuel AME Church bible study while proudly representing white supremacists who wave the confederate flag. Finally, after these disturbingly violent deaths the country cannot deny that we need to discuss racial bias. And thanks to the loud power of social media, ignited long ago by injustices in Ferguson, New York, Baltimore, Cleveland, LA, and countless cities nationwide – ignoring the skin color issue can no longer persist. America has officially been forced to admit to this country’s age old embarrassing racist sickness proceeding the 1787 enactment of the three-fifths compromise counting slaves as three-fifths of a human in the United States Constitution.