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.
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.
By: Marq Montgomery
**This article was originally posted at AngryBlackHoemo.com and has been republished with permission**
It’s Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, so it’s a good of a time as any to dive into this topic.
When we talk about the HIV/AIDS epidemic among Gay men, in general, there’s often an air of judgement and condescension, dripping with implications that any of us who contract the virus “deserve it” for our “immoral” behavior. And when you add in the racism of addressing Black, Gay men, that attitude only grows…even from other Gay men.
This holiday season, many of us will return home to our families, who, even though they love us very much and we love them, may hold different political beliefs. It won’t be easy.
The current political moment is an especially tough one if you or your loved ones voted for different presidential candidates back in November. In order to get through this holiday season not only dealing with politically different family, but truly enjoying yourself and your time together, here are 4 tips to breeze through the holidays with family who may not be so “woke.”
It’s Black Friday, or the day after the Thanksgiving holiday. While yesterday was a #NationalDayOfMourning for many, today is often a chance for people who celebrate the day to dive into left-overs, relax with family, and for many of us, shop ’til we drop. While we are buying presents for loved ones and ourselves, whether we are overjoyed or overwhelmed, let us keep in mind a few ways that we can #StayBlack amidst the holiday hoopla and the political tension that has been mounting in this country for months.
I am one of those people who attempted to (and probably failed at) ignoring the presidential race for much of 2016. The prospect of potentially having to choose between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was grief inducing enough but to watch the campaign antics in real-time felt like a malignant form of self-harm.
However, now that Trump is the president-elect (a phrase I struggle with even typing at this moment), I – like many others – am forced to reckon with the realities before me. I have seen many people posting memes about drinking to cope with the election results or joking about starting nonprescription drugs to distract them from what is surely to come. And, while I – like so many others – have considered self-medicating as a way to cope, I am convinced that we must also be frank in this moment about the very real anxiety and fear this new political development brings on in an effort to move our collective grief toward collective action and healing.
Kid Cudi’s Man on the Moon 2: The Legend of Mr. Rager was released during my first semester in college. After looking forward to it for weeks, I played it on my laptop as soon as it came out.
When it was over, I turned to my roommate and asked for his thoughts. He admitted that it was good, but ultimately not for him. Now that I’ve known him for more than six years, I can understand why.
Not too long ago, depression was merely viewed as “the blues,” people with anxiety were just “high-strung,” and mental disorders were all lumped into insensitive categories. But people coming out to publicly discuss their personal battles with mental health has helped make mental health more important to the general public.
This article was originally posted at Water Cooler Convos.
I recently watched a video where trans men explained the idea of male privilege. In the video, they talked about how, after transitioning, they experienced a sense of freedom when walking down the street and moving in public spaces. They noticed that people stopped cutting them off when they spoke. In essence, they were shocked by the ways that their perceived manliness made people treat them like humans.
Their comments were so striking because they made me reflect on the ways that male privilege (the process wherein male and male-presenting people gain undue benefits just by the nature of their perceived gender) and toxic masculinity (the ways that patriarchy operates to create a culture where male and male-presenting people are expected to exhibit harmful behaviors usually against women) have informed my life. As I recounted my many interactions, I realized the countless instances and hours of my life that I have spent trying to avoid predatory, stalkerish men. In fact, so much of my life has been dedicated to patriarchy that it has become as normal as breathing.
One of my favorite gospel songs growing up said, “Give me my flowers, while I yet live, so that I can see the beauty that they bring.” The song always stuck with me now it resonates even more.
This past Friday, Joyce Quaweay was brutally beaten by her boyfriend and his friend reportedly because she would not submit. On Saturday, Skye Mockabee (26) was found dead in a Cleveland parking lot. And, on Monday, Korryn Gaines (23) was killed while holding her 5-year-old son in her arms. As Brittney Cooper so aptly notes at the Crunk Feminist Collective, all of these women’s deaths are connected. To see them any other way is to deny the culture of white hetero-patriarchy in this country.
As a queer Black woman in the United States, I am keenly aware that my mere existence in public spaces is seen as disruptive, agitating, confrontational, and deserving of violence. For many trans and cis Black women, these sentiments extend into their private spaces as well. So how do we work to protect one another in moments like these? What do we do next?
Here are a few things we can work on right now that can help move toward collective liberation.