Tag Archives: Black Women

Jesus Wasn’t A Slut-Shamer or How Conservative Theology Harms Black Women

I’m a feminist who believes in God. Raised Christian, I still attend church.  But what I am not is a person who will willingly check her brain, political convictions, or academic training at the door in order to enter the house of God or to participate in a community of faith. Express homophobic views, tell me that God requires me to let a man rule my house because I have a vagina, or spout a prosperity theology premised on the idea that poor folks are poor because they lack faith, and you are likely to see me get up and …Read more »

Who Will Keep Our Sisters? A Rant About the Incredibly Bad Arguments in Defense of My Brother’s Keeper

It’s Saturday Morning. It’s International Women’s Day. And I have a rant. A rant that I need to share in this community of like-minded folks. A rant so that I don’t lose my shit with some educated Black men, who need to be hemmed up by the cufflinks. On Thursday, in my weekly column at Salon, I wrote about the President’s new My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, and what it means for Black and Brown women and girls, who have yet again been decentered from the national conversation on race and class disparities. Now if you follow my work at Salon, …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 »

On Black Men Showing Up for Black Women at the Scene of the Crime

Two nights ago I showed up to the Brecht Forum in Brooklyn ready to have a conversation about what we mean when we say “ally, privilege, and comrade.” I showed up to have that discussion after months of battle testing around these issues in my own crew. Over these months I’ve learned that it is far easier to be just to the people we don’t know than the people we do know. So there I sat on a panel with a white woman and a Black man. As a Black feminist, I never quite know how political discussions will go …Read more »

De-Tangling Racism: On White Women and Black Hair

Pictures from a new exhibit by photographer Endia Beal called “Can I Touch It?” showcase several white women, all corporate execs, who agreed to get a “Black hairstyle” and then have their portrait taken. Apparently, this very quotidian fixation with Black women’s bodies and Black women’s hair is now the stuff of art exhibits. This project started when Beal began permitting many of her white corporate colleagues to touch her big red ‘fro, to pull it even, while she photographed them doing it. Over the summer, a friend and I happened upon the “You Can Touch My Hair” exhibit that …Read more »

Somebody, Anybody? It’s Hard Out Here for a Sista

  Trigger warning: Violent language   “Somebody, anybody sing a Black girl song”  Ntozake Shange, For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide When the Rainbow was Enuf                             Being a Black woman or girl in the United States has never been easy. That much seems clear.     We are Black, so we’re not Latina enough.  And we are certainly not beauty queens.   We are not perfect victims.  We get what we deserve.     We are trans* so we’re not “woman enough.” Violence and imprisonment are par …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 »

Happy Birthday Marsha “Pay It No Mind” Johnson!

Guest Post by Reina Gossett A few months ago I took the PATH train to Hoboken with my artistic collaborator Sasha Wortzel to interview Randy Wicker for a film we are making about Sylvia Rivera.  Randy is one of the few surviving members of Mattachine Society, an early queer radical organizing group in the US. Randy’s apartment is an archival space containing vital history, some shared visually through the photographs on Randy’s refrigerator door, other pieces held in the clothes adorning the wall, but most of it Randy passes to you through stories.  Randy befriended both Marsha P Johnson and Sylvia …Read more »

Love and Basketball: 5 Reasons You Should Be a Brittney Griner Fan

Brittney Griner is not the first female athlete to come out about her sexuality, nor is she the first black woman in the WNBA to do so.  What she is, though, is the first black woman athlete of her caliber (she is compared to the late great Wilt Chamberlain) to come out on the front end of her professional basketball career.  A towering 6 feet 8 inches tall, Griner is no stranger to attention or controversy.  Her feats on the basketball court have earned her numerous awards including an ESPY Award for Best Female Athlete and two Naismith trophies.  She …Read more »

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