Chimamanda Adichie Wants Girls and Women to Stop Worrying About Being Liked

ChimamandaAdichie

Last week, Chimamanda Adichie was honored at the Girls Write Now AwardsHer message to the attendees was simple: Do you and don’t worry about what others say.

“Forget about likability. I think that what our society teaches young girls and I think that it’s something that’s quite difficult for even older women, self-confessed feminists, to shrug off is this idea that likability is an essential part of the space you occupy in the world. That you’re supposed to twist yourself into shapes to make yourself likable. That you’re supposed to kind of hold back sometimes, pull back. Don’t quite say, don’t be too pushy … because you have to be likable. And I say that is bullshit,” Adichie told the audience.

Words to live by:

 

Photo: Girls Write Now

#SayHerName: The Black Woman Is the Mule of the Earth

rekia

By Samantha Master

During the era of legalized, extra-judicial lynchings of Black people, there are almost 150 documented cases of Black women being lynched. Their crimes ranged from registering to vote to being the daughter or partner of someone accused of murder.

While the United States is still processing the murders—and subsequent acts of resistance—following the deaths of young Black men like Michael Brown and Freddie Gray at the hands of law enforcement, Black women are left wondering why when the similar fates befalls us, there is all-but-silence.

In the face of continued state and law enforcement violence via death, physical and sexual assault, Black women—who have largely catalyzed and organized movement strategy and actions in the aftermath of these tragedies—are declaring that our lives are valuable and sacred and our names deserve to be spoken alongside our fallen brethren.

To date, 11 known cisgender women—assigned female at birth and identifying as women—and at least 1 transgender woman has been killed by law enforcement. Black women are most likely to be victims of police sexual assault. Almost 40% of Black transgender people who had encounters with police reported harassment. Black girls are suspended six times the rates of white girls in primary and secondary schools.

State and law enforcement violence have created a state of emergency for Black women and girls, and we cannot sit idly by while our sisters are being—to quote Kimberle Crenshaw—“pushed out, over policed and under protected.” All of the women are not white. All of the Blacks are not men. And some of us are still brave.

It is not enough to simply know and speak the names of our sisters, we must commit to ending the racist, hetero-cis-patriarchal policies and practices that endanger our lives and our communities. We must commit to centering Black women, girls and femmes in our analyses by ensuring that our anti-racism is not sexist, our feminisms are not cis-sexist, and our work is inclusive of the whole of Black experiences.

Black women birthed intersectionality, and we need their brilliance now, more than ever, if we are to ever be free.

Black women and girls have existed—invisibilized and ignored—at the margins of narratives and organizing against state and law enforcement violence for far too long. Today, we say, “No more.”

In honor of:

Mary Turner, Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley and Denise McNair, Assata Shakur, Tyisha Miller, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Miriam Carey, Rekia Boyd,  Yvette Smith, Tyra Hunter,  Anna Brown, Sheneque Proctor, Renisha McBride, Tanisha Anderson, Nuwnah Laroche, Mya Hall, Yuvette Henderson, Natasha McKenna, Janisha Fonville, Monique Deckard, Megan Hockaday, Alexia Christian, and so many more whose names may escape our tongue but whose stories live within our hearts, we #SpeakHerName.

Samantha Master is a writer based in Washington, D.C.

Photo: Rekia Boyd/Sandra Khalifa 

Powerful Photos From #SayHerName

say her name

Yesterday, BYP100, Ferguson Action, Black Lives Matter, along with dozens of community organizations and organizers, lead #SayHerName demonstrations across the U.S. Here are some powerful images from rallies across the country.

“My baby sister was full of love.” #RekiaBoyd . Murdered by Chi PD. we won’t let them get away. #SayHerName pic.twitter.com/LRSBTNOfBy

— BYP100 (@BYP_100) May 20, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for the Move for Black Pride? This List Is for You

By L.G. Parker

Pride ain’t for everybody. As writer Shaan Michael Wade puts it, Pride is “classy, white cissification at its finest.”     For those of us who are black and queer, not to mention gender-non-conforming, disabled, women, broke as hell, or any combination of these things and more, pride is a very colorful reenactment of the erasure we face every day.

Which is why we come together and celebrate ourselves for ourselves.  Check out this growing list of Black Pride events:

 

MAY

makers lab

DC Black Pride

Washington, D.C.

May 22-25

District of Queer

Washington, D.C.

May 14-24

 

JUNE 

Portland Black Pride

Portland, Oregon

June 17-21

South Carolina Black Pride

Columbia, South Carolina

June 24-28

Columbus Urban Pride 2015

Columbus, Ohio

June 19 – 20

Harlem Pride 2015

Harlem, New York

June 27-29

portland-black-pride

JULY

At The Beach LA

Los Angeles, California

July 2- 5

United Black Pride

Chicago, Illinois

July 4-6

Charloette Black Gay Pride

Charlotte, North Carolina

July 16-19

Indiana Pride of Color

Indianapolis, Indiana

July 17-19

Pittsburg Black Pride

Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

July 20 – 31

Shades of Pride

Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, North Carolina

July 24-26

Hotter Than July (Detroit)

Detroit, Michigan

July 24-28

harlem

AUGUST

Jacksonville Black Pride

Jacksonville, Florida

August 7-9

New York City Black Pride

New York City, New York

August 12-16

St. Louis Black Pride

St. Louis, Missouri

August 12-16

 

SEPTEMBER

Atlanta Black Pride

Atlanta, Georgia

August 31 – September 7

 

 

OCTOBER

Dallas Southern Pride

Dallas, Texas

October 1 – 5

Baltimore Black Pride

Baltimore, Maryland

October 8-11

Nashville Black Pride

Nashville, Tennenssee

October 16-18

 

NOVEMBER

Jackson Black Pride

Jackson, Mississippi

November 11-15

 

L.G. Parker is a writer based in Richmond, VA

The Last Black Man in San Francisco

 sanfran

There’s a lot of dope black films to look forward to. The latest in the Kickstarter game is The Last Black Man in San Francisco. The film details the real life consequences of gentrification.

From Kickstarter:

The Last Black Man in San Francisco is a feature-length narrative film currently in pre-production that is inspired by the real life of Jimmie Fails, a third-generation San Franciscan, who dreams of buying back his old family home in the Fillmore. 

But this film isn’t just about tough economic times and changing political landscapes in San Francisco. It’s a story about two inseparable misfits who are searching for home in a city they can no longer call their own.

 

Photo: The Last Black Man in San Francisco/Kickstarter

Black Youth Project 100 Leads National Day of Action For Black Women & Girls

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On Thursday, May 21, The Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) will lead a national day of action to call for an end to the epidemic of state violence being waged against Black women and girls by the police and other government entities. BYP100 will join with Ferguson Action and Black Lives Matter, in addition to numerous community organizations and organizers, to lead public rallies in several cities across the U.S. to demand accountability from politicians, law enforcement officials, and self-appointed vigilantes who inflict violence against Black women and girls.

The national day of action will include events in at least seventeen major U.S. cities, including: Chicago, IL; New York, NY; Columbus, OH; Oakland, CA; Miami, FL; New Orleans, LA; Louisville, KY; Lexington, KY; Ann Arbor, MI; Indianapolis, IN; Charlotte, NC; Seattle, WA; Asheville, NC; Minneapolis, MN;  Austin, TX; Nashville, TN; and Washington, DC. BYP100 will rally to bring awareness to the often ignored experiences of Black women and girls targeted by the police, and lift up their stories of sexual, physical and structural violence by law enforcement officials.

“This national day of action was catalyzed by a group of young Chicagoans, including leaders from BYP100, We Charge Genocide and Black Lives Matter, who decided to call for the immediate firing of Dante Servin during the May 21st Chicago Police Board meeting.” says Charlene Carruthers, National Director of BYP100. Just one month ago, Det. Dante Servin of the Chicago Police Department was acquitted of the 2012 killing of Rekia Boyd, an unarmed Black woman he shot in the back of the head while he was off-duty. “We believe that Black women and girls stories of victimization by state actors are often in the shadows of Black men — that must change,” added Carruthers.

Far too many recent events across the country have demonstrated that police murders, sexual assault and harassment continue with impunity, with police rarely being held accountable for the crimes they inflict against the Black community in general and Black women and girls, specifically.  A 2014 study released by the Black Women’s Blueprint and Women’s All Point Bulletin to the Committee Against Torture reports that the over-policing of Black women has increased since 2000, and cites rape and sexual violence as the second most prevalent form of police violence.

“As we continue to struggle for justice on behalf of our fallen brothers, we join to declare collectively that when we say ‘Black Lives Matter’ we mean ALL Black lives – including our women, transgender and queer sisters, and girls too,” says BYP100 National Co-Chair, Jessica Pierce. “The respective murders of Aiyana Jones, Rekia Boyd, and Mya Hall at the hands of law enforcement officers are just as important as the tragedies of Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice, and Michael Brown.”

It is beyond apparent that Black women and girls are not exempt from the same police brutality experienced by Black men, and that their murderers and perpetrators also leverage a biased judicial system to evade justice. BYP100 is committed to seeking justice for all Black women and girls who have been victimized by police and state violence until justice prevails.