amandaonwriting: Happy Birthday, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, born 15 September 1977 12 Quotes I think you travel to search and you come back home to find yourself there. I have been writing since I was old enough to spell. I have never considered not writing. The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story. Of course I am not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in. Racism should never have happened and so you don’t get a cookie for reducing it. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower, and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people. But stories can also repair that broken dignity. If you don’t understand, ask questions. If you’re uncomfortable about asking questions, say you are uncomfortable about asking questions and then ask anyway. Because of writers like Chinua Achebe and Camara Laye … I realized that people like me, girls with skin the colour of chocolate, whose kinky hair could not form ponytails, could also exist in literature. You can’t write a script in your mind and then force yourself to follow it. You have to let yourself be. The best novels are those that are important without being like medicine; they have something to say, are expansive and intelligent but never forget to be entertaining and to have character and emotion at their centre. I write from real life. I am an unrepentant eavesdropper and a collector of stories. I record bits of overheard dialogue. Our histories cling to us. We are shaped by where we come from. Adichie is a Nigerian writer. Her best known novels are Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun, and Americanah. Source for image by Amanda Patterson for Writers Write
I remember the day I found out “tall dark and handsome” just meant “tan white guys with black hair” and I was never more confused in all my years of life
When The Media Treats White Suspects And Killers Better Than Black Victicms.
via The Huffington Post.
blacksupervillain: in3ffable-lib3rty: black—lamb: cute-pubes: As I was sitting in the back of the police car, I remembered the countless times my father came home frustrated or humiliated by the cops when he had done nothing wrong. I felt his shame, his anger, and my own feelings of frustration for existing in a world where I have allowed myself to believe that “authority figures” could control my BEING… my ability to BE! Danièle’s husband, Brian Lucas, who is white, says he believes they were targeted because they are an interracial couple. Read more here black privilege…. they literally saw a black woman kissing a white man and ASSUMED SHE WAS A PROSTITUTE. and then they said they were married AND THE COPS FUCKING ASKED FOR ID???? what the fuck? what the fuck? and she said no AND WAS ARRESTED? they need to be fired but God knows that’s not going to happen. LISTEN: she’s an actress. this happened to a producer. even fucking Oprah. no matter what you accomplish as a black person, you are still black and people don’t think their rights apply to you despite the constitution it’s really scaryit’s really infuriatingit’s really exhausting this is disgusting
BREAKING: Protests continue after a week hiatus in Ferguson. Live updates are returning.
Beats by Dre Presents: Powerbeats2 Wireless - Nothing Stops Serena
What interests me most about this commercial is Serena’s presentation. Here is an incredibly talented and powerful athlete, just won the 2014 U.S. Open and her skill, her head game, her intellect on the court and her athletic prowess cannot be denied. And because of this skill and the hypervisibility of her body as a dark skinned Black woman, in the context of how misogynoir manifests in both the media and society itself, she is regularly referred to as a “man.” As in, despite her being cisgender, because of anti-Blackness and misogynoir, her womanhood is regularly challenged and denied, in often transmisogynistic ways, similarly to how White “feminist icon” Joan Rivers did to Michelle Obama, who is also cisgender. The “strong Black woman” archetype against Serena and “angry Black woman” archetype against Michelle Obama operates not just as ableist and racist, but specifically misogynoiristic; it’s about denying their womanhood as Black women. This is not a suggestion that cis privilege doesn’t exist for Black women, especially when examining the experiences of cis Black women and Black trans women; it’s complicating the way privilege is discussed with an intersectional perspective versus a linear one shaped by White academic discourse on oppression, which usually co-opts intersectionality in an epistemically violent way to center Whiteness, while simultaneously denying White privilege.
Serena is so femme in this commercial and in her appearance in general. Her sculpted eyebrows, her eye shadow, her makeup, her pink tank top, her jewelry, her manicured nails, her hair. All femme presentation. Her body (and her dark skin)—regularly the site which people use deny her womanhood—is one that is powerful and strong but incredibly curvy. And “curvy” is not required to be a woman (nor is femme presentation), but it is interesting how “womanly” it is considered to be when that curvy body is not Black and especially not dark skinned if Black. The athletic appearance of strength in her body becomes a place to deny her womanhood. Strength for women—which in the media is usually typed as the thin cis White woman “kicking ass”—is considered an asset to womanhood and “empowerment" as long as that "empowerment" rests on denying Black women’s womanhood through degradation of our bodies. (Oh and such "empowerment" also rests on denying Black women’s identification as "feminists" since "feminist" and "human" are used interchangeably, as a form of epistemic violence, since White womanhood is automatically considered “feminist” just for existing.)
This does not mean that White women do not experience misogyny and body shaming. What it does mean is that while misogyny is something that all women experience, reclamation for empowerment for women’s bodies usually means reclamation for thin cis White women’s bodies at the cost of Black women’s bodies, fat women’s bodies, disabled women’s bodies, trans women’s bodies (and bodies with many of these identities intersecting) etc. In this case, I look at it through a lens critiquing colourism, anti-Blackness, misogynoir and transmisogyny in regards to Serena and Black women, in general. And because of anti-Blackness and the history of degradation of Black bodies into non-human chattel and still treated as such, Black women’s bodies require its own conversation.
Serena is 32; I am 35. I have grown up hearing the anti-Black, misogynoiristic, transmisogynistic slander of her body and her appearance. I tire of it. Deeply. Thus, I see this commercial as a celebration of her own interior life (as in, her own thought process, preparation etc. existing independently of the White Gaze’s validation in this commercial), her head game, her skill, her body, her skin, her beauty, her life. I like it a lot. ❤
nprfreshair: In 1951, an African-American woman named Henrietta Lacks was diagnosed with terminal cervical cancer. She was treated at Johns Hopkins University, where a doctor named George Gey snipped cells from her cervix without telling her. Gey discovered that Lacks’ cells could not only be kept alive, but would also grow indefinitely. For the past 60 years Lacks’ cells have been cultured and used in experiments ranging from determining the long-term effects of radiation to testing the live polio vaccine. Her cells were commercialized and have generated millions of dollars in profit for the medical researchers who patented her tissue. Lacks’ family, however, didn’t know the cell cultures existed until more than 20 years after her death. In 2010 we spoke to Medical writer Rebecca Skloot who examines the legacy of Lacks’ contribution to science — and effect that has had on her family — in her bestselling book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Now, 62 years later the Lacks family has given consent to this controversial medical contribution. Researchers who wish to use “HeLa” cells now have to submit a request and proposal that will be reviewed by the Lacks family. This new agreement is in the interest of respecting the family’s privacy, though, they still will not profit financially from any medical study. This is a remarkable story, both medically and ethically, about the rights we have to our bodies, even beyond the grave. image via NPR
Many white people may never truly understand why incidents like the Michael Brown shooting infuriate blacks and other people of color — even when it’s clear that race plays a large, looming role in how the situation snowballed to the 18-year-old’s death.
This is in part because white people can move through daily life without constantly thinking about how their race will be perceived. Part of having white privilege is the freedom from worrying about racism, a freedom their black counterparts have never known. But it gives black people a unique yet challenging perspective by which they navigate the world.
- Do not forget Michael Brown
- Do not forget how the media dehumanized him and tried to justify his murder
- Do not forget how peaceful protests were painted as savage riots
- Do not forget police armed with military grade weapons terrorized and arrested black civilians
- Do not forget Darren Wilson being awarded over $200,000 in fundraiser donations for murdering an unarmed black child
- Do not forget that this system was not built to defend us, but to control us
- Do not forget Ferguson
The True Trayvon Martin
- He didn’t eat pork bc his father didn’t. Once his uncle fixed pork chops; they smelled so good,he called them “beef chops” & ate 1. #Trayvon
- He was passionate about aviation. #Trayvon
- When he volunteered at a soup kitchen for. The first time, he was astounded by the US hunger crisis. #Trayvon
- He loved his little cousins birthday parties. Even as a teen, he wasn’t too cool for Chuck E. Cheese. #Trayvon
- He was modest about saving his father from dying in a house fire. His father called him his best friend bc of it. #Trayvon
- Hoodies made *him* feel safe. Like so many teens (and adults), he wore them as a protective shell, a security garment. #Trayvon
- He called his dad, “My ol’ boy.” Lord, how he loved his dad. #Trayvon
- When folks wanted to tease him, they said, “Boy, you too skinny to take a breath.” And he’d just smile. #Trayvon
- If he wanted to hang out with his cousins and they had chores, he helped so they could finish faster. #Trayvon
- His uncle said they never had to ask him to do something twice. #Trayvon
- At 17, he was still into BMX bikes. He could cat-walk wheelie. #Trayvon
- The tattoo on his wrist read, “Sybrina.” #Trayvon
- The tattoo on his chest read, “Cora” — his grandmother’s name. #Trayvon
- I’m going to stop here. But just claim one of these memories I tweeted. Carry part of this boy with you, write him on your heart. #Trayvon
- Write the beautiful details of all the black children you meet on your heart. That’s where they’ll be safest. #Trayvon
- I feel like this stuff is important. #Trayvon
All facts about Trayvon are from this Esquire article.
I will never forget Trayvon. Never.