Blog Archives

The Sisters are Indeed Alright

  Every day we seem to get more bad news about Black women. We’re ugly and can’t get a date. We’re fat, sick, loud, and bitchy. We’re lazy, materialistic bad mothers. We don’t support our communities’ dreams cause we’re like crabs in a barrel. Does that cover it all? Even if you’re not being inundated with that nonsense, there are daily reminders that Black women, cis and trans, are literally in danger. Whether it is Sandra Bland suspiciously dying after a traffic stop, Renisha McBride getting murdered after seeking help after a car crash, or the murders of Elisha Walker, …Read more »

Bad Nerves

you have found yourself in each broken body each elation   your mother’s scar hers and hers and you.   Bettina Judd, “How To Measure Pain II”   As a kid I often wondered at the full meaning of the phrase “my nerves are bad.” Sure, I’d heard, “You’re getting on my nerves” or “You on my last nerve” more than once—my mother was always talking about her nerves in relation to how quickly I washed dishes or put away my clothes. I was perhaps even “tap dancing on her nerves,” but I digress. Having “bad nerves” was more puzzling …Read more »

The Rage of White Folks

If you let the news tell it, Black folks are rampaging all across the United States for no reason at all. Just looting and bashing police cars and making indulgent, extravagant messes across major urban areas when they should be at home getting their children fathers or learning how to not speak Ebonics. Or something like that. Yes, many Black folk are righteously indignant about the fact that #Every28Hours a Black person is killed by some sort of law enforcement or vigilante. Every day or so a Black person gets their spine smashed while cuffed in a paddywagon, or gets …Read more »

Teachers are Not Magical Negroes

When I was in the 7th grade, I moved from Connecticut to South Florida. I was a nerdy kid that loved reading, science, and social studies and had been tracked into the gifted and talented track during my years of schooling. But when I got to Fort Lauderdale I entered a middle school where we sat in class and watched the Jerry Springer Show, where we were being babysat rather than taught. I felt pretty bummed out about that and spent a lot of time in the library teaching myself. My mom worked 12 hours a day, 6 days a …Read more »

Embracing “Crazy” in the “Land of the Free”

                  Guest post by Jillian Ford Folks have called me crazy much of my life.  For the first two decades, “crazy” was a term of endearment: a way to signal my individuality and creativity.  In my 20’s, “creativity” slid into “eccentricity.”  Now in my third decade, “eccentricity” has morphed into “just plain ol’” crazy, or that “not-so-cute” kind of crazy, or the “go take your meds” type of crazy.  After years of trying to convince others I’m “normal,” I am changing course to embrace my crazy.  Because who, after all, is assigning …Read more »

We Rage

    We are numb. We are angry. We are incredulous. We are afraid. We are hopeful. We are hopeless. We are all the things. Let us be. Our hearts go out to Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown, Sr. and all of Mike Brown’s loved ones.  We are holding ourselves and our loved ones closer still. But some awful truths remain. Among them are the facts that today Marissa Alexander is in jail, but Darren Wilson is free. One fires a warning shot against her abusive ex and, as a result, faced upwards of 60 years in prison. The other …Read more »

Words to Live By

I’m ready to say “don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lorde split ya” to the month of October. Is it me or was this past month just extra ridiculous? From the ongoing shenanigans in Ferguson, to the exploits of so-called white allies in the anti-street harassment movement, to the tomfoolery of Thug Kitchen (I knew they had to be white hipsters), to the yearly ritual of blackface that is Halloween–there has been a range of indignities big and small thrown at people of color that boggle the mind. But wait, you say, that’s every month. Right. You …Read more »

Reflections on Respectability

New York Daily News

Trigger Warning: Discussions of violence Whitepeople believed that whatever the manners, under every dark skin was a jungle. Swift unnavigable waters, swinging screaming baboons, sleeping snakes, red gums ready for their sweet white blood. In a way, he thought, they were right. The more coloredpeople spent their strength trying to convince them how gentle they were, how clever and loving, how human, the more they used themselves up to persuade whites of something Negroes believed could not be questioned, the deeper and more tangled the jungle grew inside. But it wasn’t the jungle blacks brought with them to this place …Read more »

Dear Cee Lo

Trigger Warning: Discussions of sexual violence below. Dear Cee Lo, Dude, seriously? I am so disappointed in your actions that I almost don’t even know where to begin. You have just gotten off from some charges stemming from a 2012 accusation of sexual assault. And rather than quietly going off into the night as one might expect, you have proceeded to open your mouth and stuff your entire foot into in it in your rush to defend yourself. But your “righteous indignation” sounds more like the unreasonable rants of a guilty person. First, let’s set the record straight, because your …Read more »

Summer Self Care Survival Kit

  Everyday I read, watch, or discover something that makes me want to throw in the towel on humanity and crawl back into bed. I don’t really—none of us really—have that luxury though.   There are Nigerian schoolgirls still missing. Ebola outbreaks marked by fear and/or indifference. Kids dying in hotass cars. There is apartheid and genocide in Gaza. Renisha McBride, Eric Garner, Marissa Alexander and other chokeholds, death grips, suicide trips. White folks columbusing Dead trans women every week.   Sometimes talking about self care in the midst of so many forms devastating forms of institutional violence seems like …Read more »

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