For Karen Smith And Other Black Women Who Seek Freedom When The Misogynoir Is Enough

On an average day in an average month, the presence of misogynoir, even if frequent, is little more than irritating. The typical manifestations—mainly incidents in which a man of virtually any racial background gives disparaging remarks about Black women à la Bill O’Reilly—often make for an interesting, yet brief, groupchat-worthy discussion chock full of eyerolls. But in the last three weeks, the violent displays of misogynoir have become overwhelming and fear-inducing.

Solidarity can’t work without understanding that Blackness has a role in every struggle

The first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency have been marked by continuous attacks on the most vulnerable communities, just as promised. Those who have been resisting this administration have rightly responded to these attacks by attempting to shed light on every step taken toward such harmful efforts—from the blatantly bigoted “Muslim ban” and its equally bigoted second iteration, to threats against “sanctuary cities” whose governments refuse to go out of their way to target the undocumented.

However, in shedding this necessary light, many people have also chosen to distinguish struggles such as those against Islamophobia and anti-immigrant violence from the plight of Black people. While some have argued that its apparently lessened visibility is only a necessary evolution of the Movement for Black Lives, others have questioned the movement’s continued relevance after Trump’s ascension highlighted so many struggles that are seemingly distinctive and equally important.

Why intersectional feminism needs reproductive justice approaches to HIV

By Jallicia Jolly

Amidst the recent attacks on access to quality health care and sexual and reproductive health services, the assaults on the lives of racial and sexual minorities specifically reveal the systematic violation reserved for poor women of color, particularly Black and transgender women.

The neglect of Black women’s intersectional health experiences in national discussions about HIV/AIDS, coupled with the growing rates of HIV/AIDS in black communities, beg a critical question: How can a reproductive justice approach allow governments and decision makers to properly invest in Black health?

What our fixation on Michelle Obama’s hair says about the space we give Black women to breathe

I can probably count on my two hands how many times I’ve seen my mother’s hair outside of its headwrap. For modesty’s sake, she has religiously worn the garment almost every day for as long as I have been alive. To my mother, hair is an intimate experience, to be let down only in intimately personal moments–and she has always had far, far too few of those in a world that demands she give all her energy simply to survive.

Janelle Monae Marie Claire

I still love you Janelle Monáe but you’ve got this “consider stopping having sex” thing all wrong

Having to write this at all is frustrating to say the least. But, heterosexual sex is not the only kind of sex. Not only that, it isn’t a tool that should be leveraged to secure anyone’s civil rights. And, even though actress, singer, producer, and Black girl from the future Janelle Monáe recently suggested otherwise in her 2017 Fresh Faces interview with Marie Claire, “respecting the vagina” is not synonymous with respecting women or our rights.

How a Chicago mayor’s proposal to make post-grad plans a requirement for graduating harms Black & Brown students

Not content with over-policing Black folks in the streets and at their schools, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is now extending these practices into their academics. Earlier this week, the mayor shared his bright idea for requiring Chicago Public Schools students to produce a letter of acceptance from a 2 or 4-year university, vocational school, a branch of the military, or a job before receiving their diploma–starting with this year’s freshman class.

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.

Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad

There’s a deeper message behind that Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad

What do you get when you mix a thin, pretty, young, celebrity model (from the Kardashian brood no less) with a corporatized imaginary protest? If you guessed trash, congratulations. That’s what Pepsi gave us. You also get a glimpse of the image many white people have in their minds of corporations, consumers, and social issues. And, it’s a major problem.

California Wants to Repeal Felony HIV Criminalization Laws. No, That Does Not Deserve Backlash.

Recently, California legislators took the first steps towards combatting HIV criminalization by introducing a bill that would downgrade the charge for failing to disclose positive status to sexual partners from a felony to a misdemeanor. The bill would also apply to penalties against non-disclosure to blood banks.