The Truth in a Grain of Sand


Bill Cosby, one man part of a race that has been the subject of many controversial issues for hundreds of years. A race that has experienced more pain and suffering that no person should have to endure. Though they live in a place where the founders claim to provide liberty and justice for all people, when it comes to people of different color, those rights are often denied. Years of genocide and slavery simply forgotten by signing a piece of paper and pretending to give freedom and equality to the black community. Ask yourself, if you were one of the people in Hampton Roads, VA who are part of the black community empowerment, would you consider yourself equal to the white man?

Take for example Chattel Slavery. A time when black people were considered as actual property who could be traded, bought, sold, and inherited like any other property. A time when they were treated as mere playthings and expected to simply accept their fate as they were raped, beaten, and made to do anything the white man wished. Is it not barbaric that humans are capable of completely dehumanizing their brethren and labeling them as less than human? Though it is an era that has passed thanks to the thirteenth amendment, that part of history is something that can never be changed nor watered down. It will forever serve as a reminder of the crime that has been committed against them.

Today, people of all races and colors now live normally side by side. They form relationships, seek employment, and build families freely. However, when it comes to crime, this freedom we speak of may well just be an illusion. It is no secret that both peoples are treated differently by a judicial system that claims to give a fair trial for all as this discretion can even be seen bleeding through the branding of whites being labeled as convicts and blacks being labeled as criminals. The media – more often than not – paints black people as people who are naturally inclined to such acts as opposed to white criminals whom they paint as being driven to do their crime or simply choosing to camouflage the crime with a story they deem more worthy of attention.

Is this the case with Bill Cosby?

A man most beloved by all, especially by the black community, now a king who has fallen from grace after being charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault in 2015 and being found guilty for his crimes on April 26, 2018. This man was sentenced to 30 years in jail for his alleged crimes, and being a man of his age, that is tantamount to being given a life sentence. Now, let’s take a look at Brock Turner – a former Olympic swimmer who was found guilty of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman outside a campus fraternity party. The case was built strongly against him. There were witnesses, and yet he was only sentenced to 6 months in jail. 6 months, a very small price to pay for the life damaging act he has committed and yet Judge Aaron Persky even had the audacity to say that a longer sentence would have had a damaging effect on Brock Turner’s life.

Another example is the LA Riots back in 1992. Rodney King – a black motorist – was beaten by four white LAPD officers after leading them on a high-speed chase through Los Angeles County. After which he was beaten with police batons more than 50 times – an act that was filmed by George Holliday from his apartment balcony with over 20 officers present at the scene to witness the act. That should have been more than enough to have those four men sent to prison. But what happened? They were acquitted! What about the other officers who stood by? The grand jury refused to indict them. So, the question is – are blacks and whites really equal?

Though what Bill Cosby has done is indeed a crime, so are what those other men have done. For Mr. Cosby, the bill has just been served. But what about all those other people who need to pay for their crimes? What about all of the people in Hampton Roads, VA who are part of the black community empowerment and all of those who are still waiting for restitution? What now? Must the crimes against them remain silent and forgotten forever? Though the issue regarding Bill Cosby raises mixed opinions from the black community, it won’t stop them from fighting for a common goal and that is unity.

Though this hurdle may be a hard one to overcome, the desire to be united will rise above any other opinion that others may have. We are the voices of generations of those vulnerable and the oppressed. We stand as a beacon of light of unity to all black people globally and we are here to give back to the community. So, if you want to help us or be part of our team, call 757-424-4121 or 757-424-2015 now. Our Own System Inc. is active in Hampton Roads, VA as a black community empowerment-focused organization. To know more about what we do, browse more of our website at for more information.

Black Panther: The Lessons behind the Film

Splendidly Black

Jamil Smith in his article titled “The Revolutionary Power of Black Panther” in Time Magazine, says that “Hollywood has never produced a blockbuster this splendidly black.” Following this, one can say that the film Black Panther is restructuring—removing even, the concept of an other based on color—the “black,” and holding it up proud in the face of a state where the vision of a thriving multicolored community is becoming blurrier and blurrier.

With 1.2 billion US dollars worldwide, Black Panther is breaking the box office and pushing film distributor Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures past the 1 billion USD box office mark. Multiple critics and reviews claim that Black Panther “is just as engaging to think about as it is to watch.” With critical sociocultural undertones, Black Panther leaves its viewers with a thought-provoking Afro futuristic view on African development and culture. The movie itself is the highest grossing film with a predominantly black cast, and the highest grossing film by a black director. What exactly can we learn from this momentous film that is breaking boundaries as we speak?

History: Black Power, Black Panther

The Marvel Universe’s Black Panther character was born in the civil rights era when the black activist Stokely Carmichael, a few months after the death of Malcolm X, encouraged his peers to be militant in their pursuit of black ideals and eventually coined the term “black power.” “Black Power” stood for the empowerment of the colored individual, a sort of individual realization and collective effort of overthrowing the white oppressor. This was a time when tensions were high due to an America that, despite its grand and lofty promises of progress for people of all colors of skin, delivered so little. This was a time when a third of the nation’s poor were African Americans, and the majority of those in power didn’t seem to give much more than a glance towards their direction. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby did not consciously base the character of King T’Challa (the Black Panther) on the calls of Carmichael, but easily, the image held power in a trying time.

When threatened with invaders at the borders of Wakanda (the highly-developed Africa that is the empire of the Black Panther), the rallying cry of King T’Challa is not a loud, verbose yell typical of the Hulk, but a rather calm, confident remark of “Let them try.” This portrays so much—that King T’Challa is a strong and an intelligent black individual, but at the same time, he is not scrambling or desperately searching for control—he already is in control.

Black Panther (2018) and Trump’s America

With the 2018 film’s release, social conditions resemble somewhat the first time the character of the Black Panther was introduced. Breaching into Trump’s America which believes in the mission that is to “Make America Great Again,” and pursues this by targeting immigrants from the Southern and Central Americas as well as predominantly Muslim countries, Coogler’s Black Panther continues the character’s history of providing a strong anchor for the hope of minorities, with the film’s imagery and symbolism while also subtly challenging the status quo.

The message within the film

Black Panther offers viewers a fresh, innovative and compelling perspective into the could-have-beens and what-ifs of African development. In the style of the captivating and much-beloved fiction that the Marvel universe is known for ever since the first Iron Man came out, Black Panther presents the idea of an Africa that was not derailed by over 400 years of slavery and racial oppression. In its narrative, we can observe a society that exceeds the technological advancement and economic process of even those countries that are established superpowers today such as the United States.

The film has left, and is continuously making, a tremendous impact on different communities worldwide. Like what it did during its origins that were rooted in tumultuous social conditions, the Black Panther of 2018 is so much more than just a clever piece of fiction and flashy cinematography or art styles. It is a rallying cry for colored minorities in the midst of a violently changing tempest that is the social conditions of the present day. It is an unperturbed reassurance that people of all colors will hold strong despite the many challenges that meet them. It is those three words: “Let them try.”