Blog Archives

Blackgirls Matter

  but we don’t see her enough. to know she’s not stronger than steel that super-human shit is made for TV but made for real life blackgirls break we matter but we don’t hear ourselves enough. screams are muted by stereotypes and assumptions that swallow and misunderstand our words when they are not softly-spoken or standardized making us feel foreign in our own damn land we belong here because we belong everywhere   we matter but we are not present enough. forced, always, to think ahead and defend ourselves to think back and protect ourselves blackgirls lives are fleeting taken …Read more »

Pleasure Principles: 5 Lessons About Sex From Beyoncé

I was a little late to the game when Beyoncé’s self-titled album first dropped.  I am not an Apple user so I had to wait a week before I had access to the visual album “seen” around the world.   Except for Flawless, which has since become somewhat of a personal feminist “girl, get your life, you got this” anthem and the two songs released on YouTube in the interim (Drunk in Love and XO, and the controversies surrounding them), I was limited to the album summation of friends which varied from, “Girllllllllll….” to “I prefer the ‘Get Me Bodied’ Beyoncé …Read more »

Self Love Is the Best Love

  After a long while she spoke very softly.  “Is it true that I can have a baby now?” “Sure,” said Frieda drowsily.  “Sure you can.” “But . . . how?” Her voice was hollow with wonder. “Oh,” said Frieda, “somebody has to love you.” “Oh.” There was a long pause in which Pecola and I thought this over.  It would involve, I supposed, “my man,” who before leaving me, would love me.  But there weren’t any babies in the songs my mother sang.  Maybe that’s why the women were sad: the men left before they could make a baby. …Read more »

The Viability of Visibility: Love Letters for ShaMichael

You may have heard about the viral video popularized on World Star Hip Hop and commonly known as the “Sharkeisha video.”  The video is a disturbing depiction of a young blackgirl being ambushed and brutally beaten by another blackgirl, identified as Sharkeisha, while a third accomplice videotaped the incident on her phone (it was later uploaded to Instagram and later World Star Hip Hop).  What you may not know, and/or have heard, is the name of the victim in the video, ShaMichael Manuel. It is disturbing that a violent video clip depicting the ambush of a young blackgirl was being …Read more »

Being Single: On Mary Jane, Gabrielle Union & Those of Us Who Are Imperfect

  Last year, Gabrielle Union received the Fierce and Fearless Award at Essence magazine’s sixth annual Black Women in Hollywood pre-Oscars luncheon and gave a dope speech about her journey in Hollywood and learning to love herself and other black women.  She opened up and shared the truth of her experience, her pain, her insecurity, and her power (this was the same speech that inspired an episode of Oprah’s Next Chapter that featured Viola Davis, Alfre Woodard, Phylicia Rashad and Gabrielle Union talking candidly about being black actresses).  I watched Oprah’s Next Chapter (and Union’s speech later) in awe, once …Read more »

(Black First) Ladies First

I’ve been reflecting, this week, on black first ladies.  FLOTUS Michelle Obama seems like an anomaly but black first ladies are commonplace in black communities.  While Obama is the first black lady of the White House there have always been black first ladies of black churches.  The wives of preachers, these big hat wearing, first pew sitting, handkerchief holding, Bible toting holy women of God are heralded for their relationship to powerful men.  The prefix attached to their name is “Lady” or “First Lady,” instead of Mrs., and many a single woman believer vies for the coveted role of being …Read more »

Mama’s Feminism

I don’t have a lot of feminist friends, at least not the kind that self-identify as such.  My non-academic friends don’t see themselves as feminists, don’t call themselves feminist, don’t all the way understand my relationship with the term.  They spend a lot of time trying to resist myths around being black and a woman and don’t have the energy or motivation to also resist myths of feminism, of bra burning white women who hate men and stand in picket lines. Of black women who understand the theoretical nexus of their lives and initiatives that connect them to “the cause” …Read more »

Blackgirl Blue(s)

The first time I decided I wanted to die it was because I felt the weight of so much sadness blues as deep as navy mixed with black I was too black to be happy Too black to be pretty Too black to be worth anything I convinced myself no one would care if I was gone   The second time I collected prescription pills in a cloth pocketbook I hid underneath the bathroom sink behind Mama’s sponge rollers and fingernail polish   The third time I pulled grandma’s gun from under her mattress and stared at it for hours …Read more »

(Why) Does It Matter?: Raven Symoné’s Quiet Coming Out

As a close-enough-to 80’s baby I knew Raven Symoné  as adorable Olivia on The Cosby Show.  She was like the new Rudy, a yellow skinned toddler beauty to share banter and cute humor with Cliff once his fictional offspring were too old to pull it off.  By the time Symoné emerged the star of her own show on Disney Channel, I was too old to pay attention and too distracted to be a fan.  Truth be told Raven Symoné has not been on my radar for years, despite her occasional appearance in media for critiques on everything from her weight …Read more »

How to Not Die: Some Survival Tips for Black Women Who Are Asked to Do Too Much

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”                            –Audre (the) Lorde High blood pressure runs in my family.  I have been taking medication to regulate it for six years and I recently started getting intense headaches and migraines that I realized were related to hypertension.  Deadline-driven days have become so commonplace in my life that I didn’t recognize or respond to the “stress” anymore.  It became normalized.  A way of life.  The way my life is.  This is a problem.  And sometimes I won’t sit down (read: take a break from …Read more »

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