You Can’t Turn Off the Spigot

September 5, 2023



By Leslie Fields-Cruz


You Can’t Turn Off the Spigot

Black. African American. Afro-American. Black Diaspora. Africa. Negro. Colored. Nigger. Nigga. Race. Racism. Oppression. Revolution. Evolution. History. Discrimination. Segregation. Integration. Diversity. Equity. Inclusion. Police Brutality. Injustice. Justice. Political. Sex. Sexuality. Gender. Homophobia. Homophobic. Celebration. Family. Pronouns. Economic. Disparity. Agenda. HBCU. Greek. Immigration. Migration. Lynching. Massacre. Incarceration. Freedom. Education. Kaepernick. Ali. X. King. hooks. Morrison. Baldwin. Hughes. DuBois. Douglass. Tubman. Coates. Floyd. Panther. Wakanda. Riggs. Hill. Carver. Booker T. Afrofuturism. Coffee. Chocolate. Ebony. Cafe Au Lait. Redbone. Civil Rights. Environmental Justice. Reunion. Braids. Afro. Lyndy Hop. Hip-Hop. Break Dance. Culture. Jazz. Spiritual. Pick. Yellow. Paper Bag. Farmer. Land Ownership. Sharecropping. Car Porter. Entrepreneur. Empowerment. Investment. Spoken Word. Wig. Hot Comb. Murder. Theft. Stereotype. Middle Class. Success. Joy. Reparations. Reconstruction. Jim Crow. Negro Regiment. Buffalo Soldiers. 

Use any combination of these words in an article, a book, or a script, and it could be censored in parts of this country. Try to use a combination of these words to explain the need for programs serving underprivileged people in this country, and you could be liable for a lawsuit. Try using these words to educate people about the experiences of people of color or other marginalized groups, and you could lose your job. 


These Words, Hard Truths

There are those in this world who refuse to accept the hard truths of our country’s history, because it makes what they believed as truth, only a half-truth or, in some cases, an outright lie. It forces them to acknowledge that when one lives in a society that has been multicultural from the day  Europeans came to the Americas, “HIStory”, is NOT the only history. There’s HerStory, TheirStory, BlackStory, NativeStory, AsianStory, LatinXStory, and a multitude of OtherStories, which force all of us to think critically about the narratives we’ve been told to accept as  unequivocal, factual, absolute truth. 

This month, as educators across the nation head back to school, the climate of censorship prohibits many from using specific texts and documentaries in their classrooms. Some educators could even be fired for sharing their personal experiences with discrimination or oppression. Black Public Media wants educators to know, we have your back. We won’t stop supporting or creating the well-researched, factual stories needed for your history and social studies curricula. They will be available on public media networks and paid streaming networks inside or outside the classroom. Try though they might, it’s too late for the deniers to turn off the spigot. OurStories will just keep coming.

Subscribe Today!

If you’re not already receiving the BPM monthly newsletter and Weekly Dispatch, fill out the “Stay Informed” box at the bottom righthand corner of this webpage to subscribe.

BPM is supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting with further funding from the MacArthur Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts. BPM is the only nonprofit that offers training, funding and distribution for projects solely about the Black experience. We welcome foundations, corporations and individuals to help with our work. For more information about underwriting and contributions, contact Alisa Norris (

Copyright (C) 2023, Black Public Media. All rights reserved.