Tag Archives: racism

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 »

Girl, Bye: Why This Moment is Bigger than Paula Deen

White women’s tears are delicious

Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past few days, you’ve probably heard about the kerfuffle with Our Fair Lady of Butter, Paula Deen. The quick and dirty of it all is that Deen and her brother, Bubba Hiers, are facing a discrimination suit from a former employee, Lisa Jackson, who has accused the restauranteurs of creating a hostile work environment that included racist business practices and sexual harassment. As a result of the suit, Deen answered questions in a deposition regarding the accusations in the case and it was in this deposition that Paula Deen showed her entire …Read more »

On Azealia Banks and White Gay Cis Male Privilege

Guest Post by Edward Ndopu Recently, the media has exploded with news of a Twitter battle between rapper Azealia Banks and gossip blogger Perez Hilton. After Hilton inserted himself in an altercation between Banks and fellow female rapper Angel Haze, taking Haze’s side, Banks denounced him as a “messy faggot”. She then went on to say that she used the word to describe “any male who acts like a female”. Rumours have since abounded that Banks is being dropped from her record label as a result of her speaking out against Hilton. Rather than taking sides, I believe it is …Read more »

Ode to Dark (Skinned) Girls

My melanin proficiency has often led to color complex(ion) issues brought on by my country (rural) upbringing in a community (and country) fascinated (via the hegemonic influences of beauty) with my yellow-skinned sister with looooooooooooooooooooong hair and generally ambivalent with me (and my dark skin and short/er hair).  They (the adults and other children in my life) always knew my sister was beautiful but for me it took time, years, deep long looks and depth of consideration to finally determine that I was cute, ish, beautiful even for a dark-skinned girl.  I have often pondered the implications of those terms of my …Read more »

More Musings on Melanin (or lack there of)

“Depending on the context, an individual may be an oppressor, a member of an oppressed group, or simultaneously oppressor and oppressed.” -Patricia Hill Collins “The true focus of revolutionary change is never merely the oppressive situations which we seek to escape, but that piece of the oppressor which is planted deep within each of us.” -Audre Lorde *Mic check*  Is this thing on?  *Dodges balled up brown paper bags* Hello, all.  First, we’re really grateful for the lively discussion our little polemic has engendered.  We’ve been monitoring the discussion both in the comments section and in Twittropolis, but wanted to …Read more »

Extinction Level Event

*The following is a polemic rant. You’ve been warned* So I am totally blown by the amount of ridiculousness in the world right now. I’m so overwhelmed by it all that I’m seriously on my Octavia game, pondering the necessity or need for humanity at all. A close friend said it’s gonna take an extinction level event for people to care and I agree, although I wonder why the threat doesn’t feel imminent to people right now. BP Oil Spill cleanup won’t be done til 2014 and that’s a conservative estimate. Wyclef has the nerve to run for president of Haiti (haven’t …Read more »

How it feels to be…

Last week, I spent some time with thirty black high school students from rural Alabama as a part of a summer enrichment program. After leading a session discussing Zora Neale Hurston’s “How if Feels to be Colored Me,” I had the students break into small groups to talk about how it feels to them in 2010. I mean, Zora talked about feeling “so very colored” at times in the 1920′s, what does it feel like to be a young black person in 2010? There were lots of interesting answers. Some of the students were excited about the Obama family being …Read more »

Take No Prisoners: The Policing of Black Girls

On June 16, two Black, female, Seattle teenagers were arrested and detained for jaywalking. Marilyn Levias, the 19 year-old perpetrator, unwisely chose to resist arrest. When her friend, 17 year-old Andrea Rosenthal, intervened on her behalf, the arresting officer, Ian Walsh, punched Rosenthal in the face. She was charged with third degree assault; after apologizing later that day, she was still forced to endure a lecture from the officer about keeping her hands to herself. Many folks in the blogosphere and news outlets have debated the rights and wrongs of this issue. Certain things are clear. It is never wise …Read more »

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