#HowItFeelsToBeABlackGirl Black Twitter black womanhood black women and girls racism self definition self-esteem sexism Twitter
by C. Imani Williams
The Twitter hashtag #HowItFeelsToBeABlackGirl, created by Jada Mosley, garnered over 21,000 tweets on its first day, and its still going. Mosely's vision for the hashtag came after she viewed a documentary on LGBTQ individuals for a college psychology course. The conversation manifested into a space for Black women and girls to discuss how we grapple with the complexities of our lives and navigate the impacts of current events—such as the tragedy and senseless loss of life in Charleston; the continuous acts of interpersonal and institutional violence perpetrated against black women; and the time we spent as community watching the unraveling of Rachel Dolezal's co-opting and appropriation of black women and culture.
I was only a high school student when I first realized the impact of the white gaze. A high-achieving pupil I, along with similarly-talented peers, quickly became the idols of white attention. We were anomalies in the eyes of these people who could only see us as far as they could see the next island. Their understanding of our capacity for success was as narrow as the one-third of the island unoccupied by the U.S. National Park. “Small-time” island kids, we quickly became the objects of white attention. In fact, were it not for these condominium-owning, island-trotting, land-thieving white benefactors it would have been largely impossible for me to attend the only (private) high school on island. The quality education afforded to me was a dream come true thanks to my elusive and yet seemingly-omniscient donors. Like clockwork, I was responsible for constantly demonstrating my sincerest gratitude for their generosity by way of “Thank You” cards. The time would come, at least once a semester, when all the good little brown and poor kids, had to make it our business to offer praise and appreciation to the good ol’ white folks. After all, it was important that they see a return on their financial investments.
A recent hashtag on Twitter, #WhoIsBurningBlackChurches is addressing the disturbing rash of arson attacks against black churches in the south since the Charleston Shooting. Seven churches have been victimized thus far, in Ohio, Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia. Despite this, coverage of these attacks is nowhere to be found on any major news network. For black activists, this sends a direct message to the black community: crimes against our community don’t matter, and should be ignored.
by Saaraa Bailey
We fall in love much like we begin life—naive and full of hope. Like many women around the world, I have experienced certain romantic issues that jilted my perception of relationships. I call these embodiments of my romantic misfortune the five types of “Mr. Wrongs.” Collaboratively, the men of my past paved my road to love and ultimately self discovery in blood, sweat, tears, and heartache.