Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Defining Myself for Myself: On Chasing Authenticated Knowledge of Self & Love


There’s a certain attractive, yet destructive danger that comes with seeking definition, footing and stability in others. I know it well. I know the thrill of redefining yourself with every new encounter and with every subsequent relationship. However, I also know the void for sense of self that remains unfilled, calling you back to the last and on to the next.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

When A "Good Man" Isn't Good Enough


How often have I heard “But he’s a good man,” “Girl, it could be worse,” and “You just better be thankful that . . .” and how often have I caught myself saying these things?

I, too, was bamboozled into thinking that because he was “good,” I had to be perfect, and being perfect meant you were a "cool girlfriend" and "cool girlfriends" never “nagged,” never had an opinion, lied, and were passive. In truth, he never made me feel like I had to be this way, but years of listening to older and other women had convinced me that sacrificing my full satisfaction was a small price to pay. Listening to these women and hearing their stories had also convinced me that being unfulfilled would be easy to live with because he was “so good,” and “good black men” were a commodity, a rarity--men that didn’t come easy, and black women were supposed to do everything they had to do to keep them.

Why I Will Not March for Eric Garner


"I can't breathe."

I held my breath as I watched Eric Garner's pleas for mercy. I didn't make it to the part where he suffocated--hands behind his back, face down--on the sidewalk. The familiarity stings. I knew the ending. Images of murdered black men haunt my thoughts.

How Black Women Find Real Friends Online


This is not your old-fashioned snail mail.  The prevalent use of social media allows users to form friendships and other relationships in interactive settings, and it often conflicts with the politics of internet etiquette.

Monday, July 21, 2014

16 Empowering Books for Teenage Black Girls


I still remember what it was like to be a teenager. I was a fury of emotions, dreams, ideas. I was awkward, self-assured, and painfully uncomfortable in my skin all at the same time. I worried about boys and relationships. I worried about by body. I worried about fitting in. I worried about my future. And on top of this all, I was often reminded that because I was Black, I was “different.” It was hard to find characters and images of people who looked like me in movies, books, magazines, TV shows. And when I did find those images that resembled my hair, my body type, my skin color… They often didn’t reflect my interests, personality, or background. 

Not On My Watch: Exposing Sexual Predators in the Church


by Simone Oliver

At first, when her call came, I thought she was calling to console and encourage me in my grief and recovery, but she called to share her own story. Like me, she found that the connection with her pastor as a confidante and spiritual mentor had morphed into a relationship that turned controlling, threatening, and abusive. As we swapped stories we both bemoaned our stupidity, naivety, and had taken to self-loathing. Her plan was to leave town and start all over in another state. My plan – to continue praying that I would miraculously recover from the 28 stab wounds he inflicted resulting in my paraplegia. When the third call came, different woman, different pastor, similar story I knew that there was something bigger going on. Bigger than being “stupid”, “naïve”, or “making poor choices”. Like most women, we had learned how to turn on ourselves, but as I considered their stories, others that I had heard, and things I had witnessed in the church I knew that we could not all be stupid, naïve, or just making poor choices, there had to be another dynamic at play.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Why Be Offended?: On Choosing to Engage Negativity


A few months ago, ThoughtCatalog published a post titled “Natural Hair For White Girls”. This article started a minor uproar on my Facebook feed from my friends who are considered conscious and ahead of their time.

The vagueness of the title let on that it was probably a click-baiting scam. My curious nature pushed me to go forward and see why people were getting angry. Was the article that infuriating? I wanted to understand.

Shanesha Taylor Reaches Deal With Prosecutors


PHOENIX (AP) - Prosecutors and a Phoenix woman reached a deal Friday that would allow her to avoid prosecution for leaving her two young sons alone in a hot car while she was at a job interview.

Shanesha Taylor, who faced being tried on two felony child abuse charges, said gratitude was the only thing she felt.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Ain’t I Black and a Woman, Too?


Last week, someone responded to one of my posts saying (more or less), “I have always considered myself a woman first and a person of color second.” I read her sentence over and over again as I tried to understand what she meant. But making sense of how she posits herself in the world never came to me. I do not say this to invalidate this woman’s feelings or how she chooses to identify herself, as I don’t know her like that, but I have always been equally Black and Woman, Woman and Black. (And I always will be.)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

So I Geek Yeeah: Six Black Women Geeks You Should Know


By Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo

I hope when you read this article’s title you started humming the chorus for Creep by TLC. For the past few years I’ve wanted to create a parody song à la Chescaleigh that changes the lyrics from an anthem for scorned lovers into a song about fearlessly inhabiting my geek identity. As the backlash against cosplayer Chaka Cumberbatch illustrates, a black woman who openly identifies as a geek can pose quite a threat to the status quo. Entering into geek spaces is often a harrowing experience for any woman, but it is especially pronounced for a woman of color. Not only do black women geeks often feel invisible to their non-POC peers as well as geek content creators, but they also face racist and sexist hate-speech online and in person just for pursuing their interests.