Earlier this year, Pierre Jean-Louis, an artist based on the East Coast, posted a photo of a Black woman’s hair that he reimagined as a piece of art that looked like a perfectly coiled galaxy. Since then, Jean-Louise has continued to post artistic renditions of Black women’s hair on Instagram, and every photo is as beautiful as the last.
On Saturday mornings, I would wake up to the smell of pancakes and the sounds of oldies playing on the radio. Like clockwork the station always played “Kiss” by the time I made it downstairs to the kitchen. There, I watched my mother bust her 80s dance moves before planting a kiss on my cheek. While my peers sang the Jonas Brothers and Hannah Montana, I was trying to figure out the exact time that doves cried. Throughout the years, we learned from Prince’s artistry, we danced to his music, we watched “Purple Rain” on repeat, and, now, we mourn his passing.
It’s only March, but so far it’s been a good year for continuing the conversation of the representation of Black women in the media. For a quick recap, Mya Taylor was the first transgender woman to win a major award. Then, a misinformed and unwoke writer tried to come for #Blackgirlmagic, but no one was having it. We’re not even half way through the year and the celebration of Black women is in full swing, and in one week, the Black Girls Rock! Annual Awards Show returns with Tracee Ellis Ross as host.
Even though How to Get Away with Murder (HTGAWM) is a brilliant show in terms of its character development, casting, and plot structure, it still has fewer viewers than Scandal, a show that’s been on its last leg for the past couple of seasons. HTGAWM, unlike Scandal, is unflinching in its complex representation of Blackness.
During the week of February 21st, Veronica Morris-Moore did not rest. She was dedicating her body, her energy, and her time to making sure that people make the smart choices for the betterment of Black lives.
Instead of sleeping, Morris-Moore protested against Anita Alvarez, the current state attorney for Chicago who in no way, shape, or form should have control over Black lives because she abuses her power and has no respect for Black people. Morris-Moore rightfully believes that the greatest power that we have seen is action and protest. Her language is poetic and her dedication is inspiring. With Morris-Moore and the efforts of Fearless Leading by the Youth (F.L.Y.), an organization founded to enact change by carrying out political campaigns created by Black youth. Because of their work, there will now be a trauma center on the Southside of Chicago. In this installment of Black Youth Spotlight, we talk with Morris-Moore and gain insight into how her actions has helped save lives on the Southside.
In most cultures that have been affected by white supremacy, there are white standards of beauty in place to tell women that they are not beautiful enough to be loved or wanted in their society. Unfortunately, when beauty is based solely on European standards, a woman’s physical and mental potential is not related to a her intelligence. Instead, this logic suggests that the whiter she is, then the prettier and more successful she will be. However with hashtag #UnfairandLovely, South Asian women are taking a stand against this system of oppression called colorism. This hashtag is important because it raises much needed awareness of the discrimination that women face because of their darker complexions.
At the beginning of Black History Month, a group of Black girls at the School for Creative Studies in Durham, North Carolina wanted to wear “geles”, also known as head wraps, in order to celebrate their African heritage. How did the school administration respond to this celebration of Black culture? Negatively and without any consideration for what the head wraps could have meant for the young women.
“Well instead of Starbucks coffee on every corner you’ll find plenty of fried plantains.” –Ngozi, “An African City”
In 1998, “Sex and the City” kicked off the trend of shows about the complicated lives of professional women. However, when you watch shows of professional women trying to find themselves, the cast is normally white women in the United States. Now we don’t have to imagine what television classics would have been like if they included people of color because in 2016, “An African City” hits everything that “Sex and the City” missed.
2015 was a year of anger and frustration on the political front. It was a year when more innocent Black lives were lost due to police violence. It was also a year where a blatant disrespect for blackness was manifested through the repeated instances of cultural appropriation in the media i.e. Rachel Dolezal and Kylie Jenner. While some Black millennials debated whether or not they could count the number of continents in Africa, these 7 Black millennials represented pure excellence.
Although many people and brands love adopting African-American Vernacular English, it’s often denigrated and denied the same regard as any other words and phrases borne of popular culture. Unfortunately, the cultural backlash against “bae” reflects how mainstream American society takes a voyeuristic, if not disposable approach to black culture.