Matter

They tweeted, retweeted photo of a cop at a Black Lives Matter protest. Then came felonies.

NUTLEY, N.J. – It began with a tweet of a police officer at a Black Lives Matter protest in June and a crude request to identify him.

“If anyone knows who this b—h is, throw his info under this tweet,” the tweet read.

Sitting home in Queens Village, New York, Georgana Sziszak saw the tweet appear on her Twitter timeline and clicked the “retweet” button. 

Nearly one month later, Sziszak was issued a summons charging her with a felony: fourth-degree cyber harassment with the intent to harm or place a person in fear of harm, after retweeting the post, which has since been deleted.

“As a 20-year-old that simply retweeted a tweet to help my friend, I am now at risk of giving up my career, serving time and having a record,” Sziszak wrote on a GoFundMe page, which has raised more than $8,000 for her legal bills.

Unemployment: 1.8M

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Black creators matter. But Black TikTok stars say the app has work to do.

In early June, Erynn Chambers stepped onto her porch, just outside the front door of her North Carolina home, opened TikTok on her phone, and began to film herself.

“Black neighborhoods are overpoliced, so of course they have higher rates of crime,” she sang to her own tune. “And white perpetrators are undercharged, so of course they have lower rates of crime.”

Chambers, 27, who started using the short-form video app during quarantine, had just watched a TikTok by drag queen Online Kyne discussing the manipulation of statistics to make Black Americans appear more violent. Chambers, an elementary school music teacher, set her frustration to music.

“It went viral pretty much overnight,” Chambers said. “It was incredible.”

Chambers refers to her content, made under the user name @Rynnstar, as “edu-tainment” — education and entertainment — and she uses it, in part, to raise awareness of the American Black experience. She’s

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This farmer in Pomona will inspire you to plant your own garden, no matter how small

Farmer Rishi Kumar stands in his fields in Pomona, where visitors can pick and buy fruit seasonally. <span class="copyright">(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)</span>
Farmer Rishi Kumar stands in his fields in Pomona, where visitors can pick and buy fruit seasonally. (Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

This is the latest in a new series we call Plant PPL, where we interview people of color in the plant world. If you have any suggestions for PPL to include in our series, tag us on Instagram @latimesplants. This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Over the last 10 years, Rishi Kumar has transformed dirt plots and water-guzzling lawns into thriving gardens and farms.

At his parents’ home in Diamond Bar, where Kumar grew up, he planted more than 80 fruit trees that yield thousands of pounds of produce every year and use half the water as a typical lawn. The suburban home has become a refuge for bees, butterflies and a regular chorus of birds.

In Claremont, he replaced a lawn with

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Why the Black Lives Matter movement doesn’t want a singular leader

In 2015, thousands of Black activists gathered in Ohio for the first national Black Lives Matter convention to consider where the movement would direct its energy.

Attendees in the crowd held up red construction paper to signal “no” to a handful of narrow options, like focusing only on policy or on organizing demonstrations. But then, the activists were asked what they thought about an all-of-the-above, “multi-tactical” approach encompassing everything from organizing and protesting to pushing new legislation at various levels of government.

“It was a sea of green,” said Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson, co-executive director of the Highlander Research and Education Center and one of many leaders in the Movement for Black Lives coalition.

The democratic nature of the vote, and the broad vision it endorsed, illustrate a key, intentional detail about the Black Lives Matter movement that has baffled some outsiders: It doesn’t have a typical power structure — and

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How To Make Black Lives Matter At Harvard Business School

When I first heard that Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria had publicly apologized for the school’s numerous failures to the African-American community, I was both surprised by his personal confession of complicity and highly skeptical that the anti-Black culture that he had led for a decade would substantially improve. As a senior lecturer at the school for seven years from 2012 to 2019, I had been regularly lobbying Dean Nohria on Black issues. I would initiate meetings with him every year in the fall and spring, armed with my sheet of paper with “Black Agenda” handwritten on the top. I wrongfully assumed that a “man of color” would want to rid the school of its anti-Black racism. Boy, was I wrong! There was no progress.

And then, when I finally read his entire apology, I was outraged and glad that I had retired from the toxic anti-Black environment. The … Read More