Eagles Badly Mishandled Release of DeSean Jackson

If he doesn’t end up in the bay with an “SF” on his helmet, I’d laugh like hell if DeSean Jackson ended up as a Giant, Cowboy or Indigenous Person and came back to light up the Beagles twice a season. They deserve nothing less for their ham-fisted attempt to trash Jackson after cutting him loose in a cowardly move that defies Football Logic 101.

English: Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeS...
The ever-perceptive Philadelphia-based sports journalist, Chris Murray, details how the Eagles front office blew it big time.

Chip Kelly might want to take out a restraining order against DeSean Jackson.

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The Chris Murray Report

By Chris Murray
For the Chris Murray Report and the Philadelphia Sunday Sun

Former Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson has been contacted by several teams since he was cut by the team on Friday. Former Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson has been contacted by several teams since he was cut by the team on Friday.

PHILADELPHIA—In the previous column on DeSean Jackson’s unceremonious release from the Eagles, I refrained from outright criticizing the team’s handling of this situation because I wanted to hear it from them rather than rely on second-hand information or the speculation from other publications.

Instead of Eagles general manager Howie Roseman and Chip Kelly addressing the issue head-on and honestly, they chose not talk to the media that covers the team. Their silence allowed a NJ.com story to portray Jackson as a thug with ties to a Los Angeles street gang so they could come up with a convenient justification to cut him and not have to pay him.

The Los Angeles Police Department told the Philadelphia…

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Kobe Bryant: Dumb Jock

Kobe Bryant is a great baller, not a great thinker. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

There are many great sports figures I respect, but only a few I admire. Among that small (and getting smaller) number are Muhammad Ali and Jim Brown and both for their achievements within their chosen endeavors as well as the bravery to stand up as proud and strong Black men no matter what it cost them (and it cost them both plenty).

We should celebrate these men while they are still with us and mourn them when they are gone. Not just because neither boxing or football are the games they were when Ali and Brown towered over them, but because whatever factory of courage produced these American idols has long since shut down the line, closed up shop, and gone out of business.

There are still great sports figures whose achievements want respect, but far fewer whose pride isn’t simply ugly egotism and whose strength fades away when they attempt to express informed opinions on matters they have no grasp of.

Which brings us to Kobe Bean Bryant, the “Black Mamba” and gradually descending star of the Los Angeles Lakers whose 17th season was limited to six games due to injuries. Bryant wasn’t able to slow the lottery-bound Lakers’ descent to the second-worst record in the NBA Western Conference.   Still, while he can’t knock down jumpers, he can lob bricks at his team, his coach, and rivals like the Miami Heat’s LeBron James.

Speaking in a New Yorker profile, Bryant slammed King James for a 2012 photo of the Miami Heat team dressed in hoodies, heads bowed in respectful homage to Trayvon Martin, the teenager slain by vigilante George Zimmerman. Bryant swatted away what he perceived as a knee-jerk attempt by James to show racial solidarity with Martin.

“I won’t react to something just because I’m supposed to, because I’m an African-American. That argument doesn’t make any sense to me. So we want to advance as a society and a culture, but, say, if something happens to an African-American we immediately come to his defense? Yet you want to talk about how far we’ve progressed as a society? Well, we’ve progressed as a society, then don’t jump to somebody’s defense just because they’re African-American. You sit and you listen to the facts just like you would in any other situation, right? So I won’t assert myself.”

That should be easy.  When has Bryant ever asserted himself as an African-American?

Bryant was born in suburban Philadelphia, but his dad Joe “Jellybean” Bryant moved the family to Italy when Kobe was six. Kobe spent much of his early years outside of the U.S. speaks both Italian and Spanish and got his name from the Japanese beef his parents saw on a restaurant menu and maintains a love/hate relationship with the town of his birth.

 

Kobe’s not completely wrong.  Supporting someone just because they’re Black is the wrong thing to do, but LeBron and the Heat players didn’t support Trayvon Martin because he was Black.   They supported him because he was innocent.  They supported him because he was a victim.  They supported him because Black people who aren’t obscenely wealthy and totally clueless realize superstar status won’t protect them because they are still Black.

Did Kobe not notice there were a lot of White people who were rocking hoodies in support of Trayvon?

I’ve never warmed up to Bryant. Love his game. Hate everything else unrelated to his game. He’s never been a leader, never been an inspiration, never been anyone worth looking up to. He’s a “Me” guy not a “We” guy. It’s all about him and never about anyone else. Kobe, like Michael Jordan, has spent the majority of his life saying nothing about race in America.  He should  keep quiet about subjects he knows nothing about and he knows nothing about Trayvon Martin.

Bryant is a Black men whose identification with how African-Americans experience life is suspect.  This is something Barack Obama was accused of, but Bryant is living the dream where his wealth and success seemingly insulates him from harsh realities.

Brown caught heat last December for criticizing Bryant’s Switzerland approach to race matters.

“He is somewhat confused about culture, because he was brought up in another country,” Brown said on The Arsenio Hall Show . (Bryant spent part of his childhood in Italy, where his father played professional basketball.) “[Bryant] doesn’t quite fit what’s happening in America.”

In the 1960s, Brown pulled together a collection of top black athletes who shared his social activism. “If I had to call that summit all over,” he said, “there would be some athletes I wouldn’t call. Kobe would be one of them.”

Bryant took to Twitter to fire back at Brown with a sneering, “A ‘Global’ African American is an inferior shade to ‘American’ African American?? #hmmm. that doesn’t sound very #Mandela or #DrKing sir.”

It’s impressive Bryant knows who Mandela and King were but he doesn’t get how they laid their lives on the line for the cause of racial and social justice.  Jim Brown did too.  Bryant believes he floats about mundane trivialities of being Black in the post-racial paradise he made for himself.  Kobe is in La-La Land.  His above it all attitude mirrors that of another L.A. based superstar,  O. J. Simpson.

The hoodie is not the problem. The perception of the hoodie is.

Not a Black thing. More like a human thing.

The late sportswriter Ralph Wiley deconstructed the Juice’s attempted Escape From Blackness fantasy in an ESPN column and it still applies to the Black Mamba. “O.J. tried and almost succeeded at being everything but a black guy — and, more important, his own guy.”

“He fooled himself. He fooled white people. But he didn’t fool very many black people. Not the ones who knew him well, anyway.”

Who really knows Kobe Bryant?   Kobe has never before taken a stand on any social issue or controversy in the news.  This is why he kept his mouth shut.  He knew something stupid would fall out of it.

Bryant took to Twitter again, but this time there was a decidedly different message dribbling out of his brain.

“Travon Martin was wronged THATS my opinion and thats what I believe the FACTS showed. The system did not work #myopinion #tweetURthoughts”

Bryant hasn’t asserted himself on yet is the proper spelling on George Zimmerman’s victim. It’s “Trayvon,” notTravon.” You would think a guy named “Kobe” would sweat a detail like that.

It is undeniable Kobe Bryant is among the select few in the history of NBA who as an athlete and winner belongs among the few, the elite and clearly superior talents of the game.

It is equally undeniable he is a supreme jerk off it.

"So what was up with the hoody, man?'

“So what was up with the hoody, man?’

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Paul Ryan Throws Out Race Bait. Catches Himself Looking Racist.

A race hustler gets caught hustling race.

Paul Ryan, former Republican vice-president candidate and notorious Ayn Rand denier had some interesting thoughts on the problem of poverty.

He probably should have kept them to himself.

At a town hall meeting in Racine, WI on Wednesday, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) was confronted by a black constituent about his remarks disparaging lazy “inner city” men as a drain on the economy.

Think Progress reported that 61-year-old Alfonso Gardner of Racine asked the erstwhile vice presidential candidate exactly what he meant when he said “we have got this tailspin of culture in our inner cities in particular of men not working, and just generations of men not even thinking about working and learning the value and culture of work.”

“You said what you meant,” said Gardner to Ryan during the question and answer section of his appearance. When Ryan said “inner city,” Gardner contended, it was “a code word for black.”

Ryan acted offended that Gardner brought race into the discussion, saying, “There is nothing whatsoever about race in my comments at all.”

Gardner was overreacting, he said, “I think when we throw these charges [of racism] around, it should be based on something.”

Think Progress’ Scott Keyes spoke to Gardner after the event, who said, “He’s out here shucking and jiving. He’s been in Congress eight terms and just now talking about poverty?”

The go-to guide for the sophisticated bigot.

The go-to guide for the sophisticated bigot.

Furthermore, when Ryan made his remarks on Bill Bennett’s AM radio talk show “Morning in America,” he referenced white supremacist writer Charles Murray, who the Southern Poverty Law Center said uses “racist pseudoscience and misleading statistics to argue that social inequality is caused by the genetic inferiority” of African-Americans.

Maybe Ryan actually has a genuine interest in bettering the plight of those generations of inner city males who aren’t working.

Maybe.

More likely Ryan is blowing a particularly high-pitched dog whistle where the problem of inner city Black men not working is based on the fact they’re Black men living in the inner city.

I’d be more inclined to get Cryin’ Ryan the benefit of the doubt if he wasn’t referring to theories of a slob like Charles Murray, the living half of the two twits who wrote the spectacularly racist The Bell Curve and he wasn’t running this smack on a radio show hosted by Bill Bennett, a former Secretary of Education who once told a caller, “I do know that it’s true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could — if that were your sole purpose — you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down.”

If Paul Ryan gave a shit about the serious issues of Black men and the conditions they face in the inner city, he’d get off his dead ass and support some legislation that might put people to work like the president’s American Jobs Act that has languished in Congress since 2011.

But Ryan doesn’t give a shit. He’s another smart-ass White guy who wants to talk Black problems to death with bullshit analysis, hang-wringing sob stories and not a goddamn bit of action. I am SO tired of these opportunistic jackholes like Ryan who riff on subjects they know nothing about and care even less and think referencing a racist like Murray gives them some clout and we should pay attention to them.

NO. We shouldn’t.

Ryan is a man going places in American politics and much like Sen. Rand Paul who has made some encouraging noises in talking about race. At least for a prominent Republican even if Paul falls Whitesplaining the same awkward way Ryan does.

Nobody needs to tell a Black male what’s broken. I’ve heard all that in barbershop conversations for over five decades now.   All  I want to hear from Ryan is what’s the plan to fix it?   Beware when a right-winger who’s never spoken about poverty or race before starts talking about it.  Odds are he’s only spreading verbal fertilizer.

Ryan isn’t going to do anything about the problems of “inner city” men.  He just likes talking about it because it makes him seem sincere and really cares when we know he really doesn’t.  My advice to Ryan is to take the advice of another Republican, Frederick Douglass who had some thoughts himself about what should be done about those Black people problems.

Everybody has asked the question…”What shall we do with the Negro?” I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us!

A path to stupidity is what this doofus wants to put the country on.

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Dead Fred: A Cold End For A Bad Man

Dead Fred.

Fred Phelps, the fire-and-brimstone “God Hates Fags” preacher and leader of a flock on inbred idiots called the Westboro Baptist Church, won’t be picketing the funerals of dead soldiers and gay celebrities any more.   His hateful little cult of cretins will probably attempt to carry on without him, but it just won’t be the same without Freaky Fred leading the chorus of ugly screaming and shouting at grieving families.

That’s because Fred is dead and that’s a good thing because when he was alive he was one crazy and annoying man.  He was not a good man.  He did not do kind things.  He was one selfish, vicious, worthless old bastard who lived only to bring misery to the world and we’re all better off he’s no longer above ground polluting the air with his rancid teachings.

Nice people should have nice things said about them when they die.  Nasty people don’t become nice people because they are dead people now and Fred Phelps was not nice people.  Not at all.

If I’m forced to say something good about Fred Phelps, Satan’s newest BFF, it’s this, as a gay friend pointed out. If this loathsome man did nothing else in his miserable excrescence of an existence, he did more to make homophobia hatred so repulsive and repellent it cut right across EVERY diving line. Phelps made the difficult act of learning tolerance far more preferable than his preaching prejudice.

English: Oberlin College, in Oberlin Ohio, on ...

English: Oberlin College, in Oberlin Ohio, on Tuesday May 10, 2000, Gay and Lesbian students kiss in front of the group of anti homosexual protestors. The protests were brought into Oberlin by Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., and have also been protesting the General Conference of the United Methodist Church in Cleveland Ohio. Several hundred Oberlin College students turned out to rally against the out-of-town protesters. (Photo/Paul M. Walsh) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Liberals, conservatives, Christians and atheists, hard-Right-wingers and loony Lefties, the reddest of rednecks and the most heavy-handed of Bible-thumpers could agree on this one they: none of them wanted anything to do with Phelps. Even if you didn’t care for your fellow Gay Americans, you didn’t want your dislike lumped in with the rabid insanity of a Fred Phelps.

Phelps never intended to be a unifying force, but he turned out to be one anyway. Everyone could at least unite against him.

Alas, poor Fred. One less inflamed asshole in the world.  One more inflamed asshole burning in the purgatory he wanted to damn gays and lesbians to.  If this all sounds cruel and cold, what do you expect?  Phelps  was a cold and cruel man full of fear and bigotry and that’s all he filled the world with.  The world is already dark enough.  What Phelps contributed was nothing anybody needed.

To the bitter end Phelps was an hypocritical shitheel.  Now that he’s gone all cold and stiff he’s not going to have a proper funeral?  Wassup with that, bud?  Afraid the case of Glee will show up with picket signs?

Fred doesn’t need to be buried.  He should be recycled.  Put him in a yard waste bag, drag his dead ass to the corner and he can be picked up and turned into something useful.   He was full of crap and should make excellent mulch.

He deserves a 21-flush salute.  And then let’s forget all about Fred Phelps.  The same way you forget about a big meal after your body expels it as waste 24 hours later.

That’s Fred Phelps.  Human waste.

Goodbye to all that? Lord, let’s hope so!

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Jonathan Martin’s Second Chance Comes in San Francisco

The next chapter in Jonathan Martin’s NFL career will take place in San Francisco after the 49ers traded a draft pick to the Miami Dolphins to reunite Martin with his college coach.

There are 32 teams in the NFL, but not every organization and certainly not every locker room are created equal. If Jonathan Martin can play (and making plays is how you get and keep a job in the NFL) then all this other crap will go away and he will be able to pick up the pieces of what was a once-promising career.

Will Martin hear his share of trash talk and possibly a few cheap shots when he’s on the field? You can bet on it because football is as much a mental as a physical game and if an opponent can bait the guy on the other side into making a mistake, they will do their best to get into Martin’s head. The meek will not inherit the earth or thrive in the brutally bottom-line world of pro football.

If Martin is mentally and emotionally weak, he won’t make it past the 49ers training camp and reasonably he shouldn’t. While he was the victim of a vicious hazing at the grubby hands of Richie Incognito and other Miami Dolphins players, Martin will still have to show he can take the punishment that will certainly be dished out at him.

There’s nowhere to hide on a football field and while landing in San Francisco with Jim Harbaugh, his old college coach, may be the optimum best-case scenario for Jonathan Martin, it’s still largely on him to show he belongs.   If Harbaugh can’t rekindle Martin’s diminished competitive fires, nobody can.

Coach Harbaugh in a calm and reflective moment. (photo credit: Getty Images)

Sorry if that seems harsh, but what’s harsh is often also true.  Martin seems like a thoughtful young man who simply happened to get caught up in a bully’s brutal hazing but found no support from an unconcerned Dolphin coaching staff and front office.

“Because of my relationship recruiting Jonathan, and coached Jonathan for three years at Stanford, I’m confident he will be committed to the mission and the organization, and very excited about it,” Harbaugh said. “I believe everybody deserves an Etch-A-Sketch opportunity and an opportunity to start a new chapter.”

As a 49ers fan, nobody wants Martin to succeed more than I do, but nobody’s going to hand him a spot on the roster. He’s going to have to go out and earn it.

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CPAC 2014: Empty Rooms, Emptier Rhetoric.

This room is actually full.  Everyone came dressed as empty chairs.

This room is actually full. Everyone came dressed as empty chairs.

Last week’s Conservative Political Action Convention (CPAC) was the annual gathering of the tribes of Right-Wing Nation.   Everybody who’s anybody in that crowd was there if they were on the good side of the event’s organizers.  Anybody  on their bad side wasn’t invited.

Apparently Blacks are on CPAC’s bad side.  The 2012 election results revealed the grim truth that the Republican Party has become an old, male, White and Southern vessel, much ado was made about how more had to be done to make outreach to those Blacks, Latinos, Asians and other people of color whom don’t find the Grand Old Party one they feel welcomed to be part of.   With that backdrop, CPAC conducted a minority outreach panel discussion.

The problem was there weren’t many minorities in attendance.   Or anybody else either.

The panel’s theme was GOP outreach to minority communities and the panelists were Virginia Senate candidate Ed Gillespie and three Black political strategists: Jason Roe, Elroy Sailor, and Robert Woodson.   All benchwarmers and nobodies.

None of the Black conservative All-Stars were there.  Ben Carson and Allen West would have showed up but couldn’t take a break from the shoe shine stand.   Mia Love was watching some White woman’s kids.  David Webb was parking cars.  Tim Scott was bussing tables and Artur Davis was frying chicken.  Herman Cain and Crystal Wright couldn’t get off their day jobs at McDonald’s. Those burgers ain’t gonna flip themselves!

Conservatives don’t have a diversity problem.  They don’t even believe in diversity.  They believe they have a messaging problem.  They have a lack of Blacks who think as they do and can carry their message back to other Blacks.   An auditorium of row after empty row of chairs may look embarrassing to those outside of CPAC, to those inside CPAC, it’s not embarrassing at all.  Opening their arms to invite more people of color in sounds nice in theory, but as a priority it isn’t one.

For years Carson, West, Cain and their ilk have yammering like kindergarten kids cranked up on too much sugar in their cherry Kool-Aid how Blacks are taken for granted by Democrats.  How Blacks are played for suckers by Democrats.  How Democrats treat Black like slaves and keep them on their plantation.

“No, I don’t want Dr. Carson as a running mate. I’M a doctor!”

Here was an opportunity to show 30 million African-Americans what the conservative alternative is and they LITERALLY COULD NOT BE BOTHERED TO SHOW UP!   Outside of the Republican National Convention, CPAC is the biggest gathering of American conservatives and if they don’t care how old, how White and how unrepresentative of the country their movement is people of color won’t either.

A word about Dr. Ben Carson placing third in the CPAC presidential straw poll behind Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz.  Big deal.   Carson is the current Great Black Hope of the White Right with some fantasizing he would be a Hillary stopper as he could dent her percentage of the African-American vote.

That’s a fantasy shattered by the reality that Carson would have to step out of his CPAC/Fox News comfort zone and actually face skeptical audiences unimpressed by his vagueness and real journalists who won’t pitch him slow rollers across the plate.   If “lack of experience” is a rap Republicans have hung around Barack Obama’s neck,  he looks like a Washington lifer compared to the callow Carson who has never run for any elected office, never served in a presidential administration and doesn’t seem to have any policy positions.  Even Horny Herman Cain was more qualified.

Carson is the featured Flavor of the Month.  He soaks up the adulation of the White Right like cornbread does gravy, but like cornbread, he’ll crumble under the pressure of an actual presidential campaign.

Right-Wing Flavor of the Month (photo credit: T.J. Kilpatrick/Getty Images)

Right-Wing Flavor of the Month (photo credit: T.J. Kilpatrick/Getty Images)

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It’s Lupita’s World (Now Can She Make It In It?)

Lupita Nyong’o has a little naked gold man to carry around after winning Best Supporting Actress for her amazing performance as the long-suffering Patsey in 12 Years A Slave.  The reason I ended my decade-long moratorium of watching The Academy Awards was my rooting interest in 12 Years and my hope Lupita would walk away with yet another acting award.

The same weekend of the Oscars, Nyong’o show up in the week’s Number One movie, Non-Stop, the new Liam Neeson film, a role that requires no heavy lifting and only a few lines as Nyong’o plays a stewardess in a generic nothing part.

ABC News dubbed the Mexican-born Kenyan “Hollywood’s New ‘IT’ Girl” comparing her favorably to Jennifer Lawrence, Sandra Bullock, Hillary Swank and Julia Roberts.   That’s heavy company for Nyong’o to run with after just two films.

The expectation would be after racking up a series of accolades and awards, Nyong’o would have her pick of future films roles, yet she has no upcoming projects on her IMDB page.  Maybe she is taking her time before choosing what she does next.  The fear is she’s the latest Black actress to win Best Supporting Actress only to find Hollywood doesn’t know what to do with them as Jennifer Hudson, Octavia Spencer and Mo’nique have previously learned.

Nyong’o has the looks and the talent to have a long and successful career, but will she be given roles that offer her opportunities to build on 12 Years A Slave or will she end up in Zoe Saldana territory as the Black girlfriend of the starring White actor?  Ending up as ethnic eye-candy would be a terrible waste of Nyong’o’s potential.

While Nyong’o’s career in front of the camera remains a work-in-progress, she has quickly become a much-admired role model for overcoming her own doubts and embracing her beauty as a dark-skinned African woman.  At the 7th annual Black Women in Hollywood luncheon, Nyong’o spoke from the heart.

Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong’o (Photo credit: gdcgraphics)

I want to take this opportunity to talk about beauty. Black beauty. Dark beauty. I received a letter from a girl and I’d like to share just a small part of it with you: “Dear Lupita,” it reads, “I think you’re really lucky to be this Black but yet this successful in Hollywood overnight. I was just about to buy Dencia’s Whitenicious cream to lighten my skin when you appeared on the world map and saved me.”

My heart bled a little when I read those words. I could never have guessed that my first job out of school would be so powerful in and of itself and that it would propel me to be such an image of hope in the same way that the women of The Color Purple were to me.

I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin, I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin. And my one prayer to God, the miracle worker, was that I would wake up lighter-skinned. The morning would come and I would be so excited about seeing my new skin that I would refuse to look down at myself until I was in front of a mirror because I wanted to see my fair face first. And every day I experienced the same disappointment of being just as dark as I had been the day before. I tried to negotiate with God: I told him I would stop stealing sugar cubes at night if he gave me what I wanted; I would listen to my mother’s every word and never lose my school sweater again if he just made me a little lighter. But I guess God was unimpressed with my bargaining chips because He never listened.

And when I was a teenager my self-hate grew worse, as you can imagine happens with adolescence. My mother reminded me often that she thought that I was beautiful but that was no consolation: She’s my mother, of course she’s supposed to think I am beautiful. And then Alek Wek came on the international scene. A celebrated model, she was dark as night, she was on all of the runways and in every magazine and everyone was talking about how beautiful she was. Even Oprah called her beautiful and that made it a fact. I couldn’t believe that people were embracing a woman who looked so much like me as beautiful. My complexion had always been an obstacle to overcome and all of a sudden, Oprah was telling me it wasn’t. It was perplexing and I wanted to reject it because I had begun to enjoy the seduction of inadequacy. But a flower couldn’t help but bloom inside of me. When I saw Alek I inadvertently saw a reflection of myself that I could not deny. Now, I had a spring in my step because I felt more seen, more appreciated by the far away gatekeepers of beauty, but around me the preference for light skin prevailed. To the beholders that I thought mattered, I was still unbeautiful. And my mother again would say to me, “You can’t eat beauty. It doesn’t feed you.” And these words plagued and bothered me; I didn’t really understand them until finally I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume, it was something that I just had to be.

And what my mother meant when she said you can’t eat beauty was that you can’t rely on how you look to sustain you. What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul. It is what got Patsey in so much trouble with her master, but it is also what has kept her story alive to this day. We remember the beauty of her spirit even after the beauty of her body has faded away.

And so I hope that my presence on your screens and in the magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey. That you will feel the validation of your external beauty but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside. There is no shade to that beauty.

Nyongo's Facebook page featured this pic the morning after the Oscars.

Nyongo’s Facebook page featured this pic the morning after the Oscars.

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