Why Stanford accepting the teen who wrote #BlackLivesMatter 100 times on his application does little for Black lives

By Tariq Luthun

This week, the story of Ziad Ahmed–a Muslim-American teen who was accepted into Stanford after writing #BlackLivesMatter in his application–went viral. Since the story dropped, many have come out in praise of the young man for his seemingly bold decision to write the politicized phrase on such an important application not just once, but 100 times. In this article for The Root, the author opens by asking the reader if our activism is “performative or substantive,” insinuating that Ahmed embodies the latter in a way that few others might.

Rachel Dolezal, Farcical Blackness and ‘Eating the Other’

By: Imani J. Jackson

One day I was minding my business, as an actual Black woman, when the Internet alerted me of a narrative that captivated America. Rachel Dolezal was a disgraced NAACP president whose whistleblower parents alerted the public of their daughter’s lived lie.

Dolezal had deputized herself as a Black sister, taught Africana studies and filed hate crime complaints that curiously could never be corroborated.  Further, the folks she thought she fooled through her racial Rachel curating apparently knew something was amiss.  

The Onus of Belonging: On Disability, Disney Princesses, and Finding My Tribe

By: Sarah Jama

There comes a time in any healthy, developing friendship when a shift from acquaintance, to friend, to close friend—and if luck is at hand—to sibling or family occurs.  The concluding shift, in my opinion, can only occur once one is made to feel thoroughly seen, thoroughly visible— flaws and all—by the counterpart in question.

For my friend Aisha and I, the shift happened in a dingy elevator of the downtown public library.

How femmephobia and the gender binary caused me to hate myself

By Latonya Pennington

Until recently, gender identity and expression made me feel like a mannequin that has to be dressed up and put into poses. It started when my mother would make me wear this pink, puffy dress when visiting my dad while he worked and lived overseas. The dress just didn’t feel like me. Even after only wearing it for a few hours, it felt confining and uncomfortable–like a costume.

10 Reasons Donald Trump Needs To Keep His Hands Off Young People’s Health Coverage

By: Nnennaya Amuchie

If only old Kanye was here to comment on the conditions facing young people under the Trump Administration. Then, we might have some public dialogue about it.

From the moment of Kanye West’s now infamous concert rant, the multi-platinum rapper  made it clear that he was #teamTrump. But recently, Kanye deleted any trace of his support for Trump from his social media. I can only hope he learned his lesson, after Kanye’s huge fan base of diverse young people were greatly disappointed by his Trump comments. Though Hillary Clinton received a lot of criticism going into and during the course of the 2016 election, young people overwhelmingly supported Clinton over  Trump.  If it wasn’t already apparent during his ongoing attacks both on the campaign trail and as POTUS, Donald Trump doesn’t care  about the consequences of his extremely unpopular and damaging policies his administration has already implemented.

In the remixed version of the old Kanye West: Donald Trump does not care about young people. If he did, he wouldn’t be trying to take away our health care.

Artist Makeda Lewis on Luck And Her Now Iconic Afro-Feminist Coloring Book

By: L. G. Parker

By now you’ve heard of Atlanta-based artist Makeda Lewis. The 25-year-old multidisciplinary artist’s Avie’s Dreams, an Afro-Feminist coloring book and surrealist poem, has been celebrated by Saint Heron, Nylon, Blavity and more. In its rich pages, uncolored images are accompanied by introspective words that speak to the artists journey as a person as well as Avie’s self-evolution, the book’s central character.

#TransCrowdFund: The Radical Redistribution of Wealth We Need

By: J. Skyler

Since Trump took office, we have seen a widespread assault on civil liberties, fueled by racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, ableist and transphobic neo-nazi rhetoric that has left those of us who live in the margins of American society petrified. From the planned repeal of the Affordable Care Act, to the environmental disaster of the Dakota Pipeline, to the recension of Obama era guidelines on Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, disenfranchised Americans are wondering if it is possible to literally survive under the Trump administration. Transgender people, particularly trans women of color who live with multiple axes of oppression, are especially vulnerable.

That Meeting Between Trump’s White House and HBCU Presidents Was Doomed Before It Began

By: Jared A. Loggins

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are in peril; crippled by, among many things, a system of unequal funding distribution at the state and federal level. HBCU administrators went to the White House last week keenly aware of this. They also know—or at least, they should know—that to enter a meeting expecting something noble and respectful, like a deep commitment to helping vulnerable Black institutions, is a pipe dream given this White House’s open hostility toward racial difference. The meeting was doomed before it began.

Producer Jahaan Sweet Speaks Black Art and the Joke that Helped Him Graduate from Juilliard

By: Imani J. Jackson

Asking people how they self-identify is more instructive than presumptively assigning them labels. So I asked Jahaan Sweet, during a recent hour-long, sit-down interview in an artsy enclave, who he is. “I consider myself a music maker.” He added that he is a burgeoning businessman, “I just like to create shit.” That spirit of Black creation, whether during the Depression Era Harlem Renaissance or Reagan Era rap movement, continues to thrive despite our oppressive conditions.