Social movements over the years have taught us that politeness and respectabiility rarely result in lasting social change. When 15-year-old Claudette Colvin first resisted public bus segregation in Alabama on March 2, 1955, she did so knowing that she’d be classified as unruly, dangerous, and a threat to the very fabric of American society. Nine months later, when Rosa Parks did the same, it was groundswell effect of women like Colvin’s actions which helped to shift the public’s attention to the nonviolent but very disruptive actions of Blacks in Montgomery, Alabama. But these women, their fellow organizers and their tactics weren’t polite. So, why is anyone demanding politeness from young Black organizers today?
Last week, mainstream news outlets erupted with stories about student protests at the University of Missouri. The University was founded in 1839 but didn’t admit Black students until 1950 when the University was “fully integrated.” Today, the roughly 35,000 students have found themselves at the center of a major push for cultural and administrative change on campus following reports of racism toward Black students on the main, predominantly white Columbia campus. Here are some of th key facts you need to know.
by L.G. Parker
The statistics are daunting and all around us. Because black, because queer, because trans, because gender-non-conforming, because, because, because… we are less likely to be hired, more likely to go without. Some of our loved ones might even suggest that we stop acting like a lil boy or girl, stop playing dress up, grow up and look decent and get a job. Maybe some of them are well meaning, but the fact remains that those suggestions are harmful and do not help us cope with the many ways that we already fear the way various discriminations will impact our finances and employability.
I like to consider the following business owners when I start to worry about these things.
Michael Brown, Jr. was murdered in cold blood last August in Ferguson, MO. Now, a life-sized model of his dead body is on display in an “art exhibit” in the historically Black neighborhood of Bronzeville in Chicago. Sadly, it epitomizes the very definition of the White Privilege and racism it seeks to rebuke.
In a recent cover interview with Nylon, 26-year-old actress Zoë Kravitz had a lot to say about her prior issues with understanding the complexities of blackness and with Hollywood’s ongoing “race problem.” The young starlet and daughter of Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet shared how race has factored into her acting career thus far. The interview spotlights just how complex the industry’s casting choices really can be especially as it pertains to diversity and the portrayal of characters of color.
The Kardashian-Jenners are no strangers when it comes to public drama. Usually, it’s the older half sisters of Kylie Jenner who are caught in public confrontation. However, a recent spat between Kylie Jenner (best known for being someone else’s half sister) and Amandla Stenberg (beloved Black actress from the Hunger Games series) highlights just how much certain members of this family appropriate blackness while openly diminishing actual Black people.