Sunday, October 19, 2014

Finding Freedom in Celibacy: My Journey of Self-Discovery

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by Deja L. Jones

Growing up, sex was always a taboo subject in my family, particularly with my parents. I can remember the day my parents sat me and my older sister down for “The Talk,” one of the most awkward experiences as we listened to my parents explain the technicalities of intercourse. As devout Christians, they consistently reinforced the idea that sex was a gift from God, intended for a husband and wife to unify their marriage. Sounds beautiful, right? Maybe even poetic?

They're More than Lyrics: Why I Hate Chris Brown's "Loyal"

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by Stephanie Gates
“These hoes ain’t loyal.”

I wake up too many mornings with the hook playing in my head. Here’s the kicker: I hate this song! And yet, I can’t get it out of my head because it’s stuck on repeat. This happens every time I’m somewhere the song plays. I like the beat and I don’t want to because I can’t stand songs with misogynistic lyrics. So, the fact that this song won’t leave me alone, means that I need to write about it. I need to explain why I detest this and similar songs that treat women as things. A hoe is a thing; it’s an object. It is a tool to be used. It is easily discarded and replaced. So, when we sing along to the catchy beat, we subconsciously accept that women and girls are things. We accept that they are disposable. And we don’t recognize their humanity.

Faith Hunter Proves that Black Girls Can Be Yogis Too

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by Nneka M. Okona

On a sunny Sunday afternoon, I met with yogi Faith Hunter, the face behind the brand Spiritually Fly, at The Diner in the bustling neighborhood of Adams Morgan in Washington, D.C. She ordered green tea and I ordered black, with a side of milk. As she poured the steaming hot tea into her cup, I automatically felt at ease. It seems that Faith’s warm energy permeates past interpersonal interactions into her business, a brand she’s slowly been building and that resonates with many.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Rescue Me: Snoop, T.I. Iggy, and How White Women Get Saved

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by Diana Veiga for Clutch Magazine
Earlier this week I wrote about Snoop Dogg and his “beef” with white female rapper Iggy Azalea. To quote Drake, things went from zero to a hundred real quick to the point where Snoop was making a video where he called Azalea a b*tch and a c*nt. I predicted that he would have to apologize because basically nobody, well let me rephrase a Black man especially, cannot taunt a white woman and get away with it.

I was right.

Lauryn Hill Does Not Owe The World Another Album

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by Anna Gibson

Recently, an article appeared on Medium titled, “It’s Finally Time To Stop Caring About Lauryn Hill.” In it, the author Stefan Schumacher makes a number of points regarding Hill’s lyrical hiatus and musical appearances both on stage and in the recording studio. Although I disagree with his argument, it should be noted that Schumacher did make a few good points in his article.

Black Women Are Leading a Cultural Movement through TV

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Yesterday, Shonda Rhimes was on the cover of The Hollywood Reporter’s new issue. The caption underneath her read, “This is TV’s savior.” This came just one day after Viola Davis performed one of the most important scenes in recent pop culture on “How to Get Away with Murder” (a show that Rhimes serves as executive producer of): Davis’ character, Annalise Keating, is shown removing her wig, running her hands through her natural hair, and stripping off her makeup. This is an idea Davis had herself, and pitched to the series creator, Peter Nowalk.

Boko Haram to Release Kidnapped Nigeran Schoolgirls

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by Erika Eichelberger for Mother Jones


On Friday, Nigeria's government announced it had reached a deal with Boko Haram to release the approximately 200 schoolgirls held captive by the Islamist terror group since April.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Dear Creators of "Thug Kitchen": Stop Using Black Stereotypes as a Marketing Strategy

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by Brittany Dawson

America, known for its supposed melting pot of diversity and the balanced scales of equality, struggles with White privilege. Still, in 2014. Privileged, greedy hands sink their fingers in the cultural cookie jar—jamming our art, language, shared experiences (crumbs and all) feverishly in the bottomless mouth of a society hungry for constant cultural production. Black culture is the stolen recipe, source of inspiration from movies to music. But Black culture is rarely given credit or lauded as equal. White privilege makes stealing Black culture acceptable. While Whiteness allows them to distance themselves from the oppressive aspects of Blackness, they are still able to reap millions of dollars and gain relevance from our culture.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pushed Out: New Study Shows Black Women are Steered Away from STEM Fields

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by Kesiena Boom 

A new cross-university paper entitled “Ethnic Variation in Gender-STEM Stereotypes and STEM Participation: An Intersectional Approach”  in Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, a journal of the American Psychological Association has uncovered some uncomfortable trends related to the participation of Black women in degrees in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Upon entering college, Black women are more likely than white women to express an interest in declaring a STEM major, by the considerable gap of twenty three to sixteen percent. Perhaps Black women, aware of their more precarious position in society than white women are instinctively drawn towards STEM subjects due to their respectability compared to what are seen as more ‘soft’ subjects such as Media Studies. However by the time graduation rolls around, only eight percent of STEM graduates are Black women and ten percent are white women according to the National Science Foundation. It is highly possible that the combined forces of racism and sexism are acting as a significant barrier to Black women in STEM, though the authors of the study concluded that more research is needed in order to confirm or deny this speculation. In the words of Laurie O’ Brien, the paper’s lead author “If black women start out in college more interested in STEM than white women, but are less likely to complete college with a STEM degree, this suggests that black women may face unique barriers, such as race-based stereotypes.”

Simone Biles is Inarguably the Best Gymnast in the World

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by Dvora Meyers for Slate

Last week in Nanning, China, Simone Biles won four world championship gold medals, locking down the team championship, the individual all-around title, and the beam and floor exercise apparatus finals. (She also came very close to a fifth on vault, taking the silver.) Biles has now won more world championship gold medals than any other U.S. gymnast (she has six including last year’s haul, putting her ahead of Shannon Miller) and won more golds than any female gymnast at a single world championships since Ludmilla Tourischeva in 1974. These accomplishments would cap off many a gymnastics career, but with two years to go until the Rio Olympics, the 17-year-old Texan seems to be just getting started.