simone-biles-twitter-olympics-medals

The 2016 Olympics Were A Showcase For Young Black Women’s Excellence

Simone Biles. Simone Manuel. Michelle Carter. Claressa Shields. Allyson Felix. Ibtihaj Muhammad. These are just some of the names of Black women who excelled on the world’s biggest stage in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

It feels as if this round of games came as fast as they went. And while there were plenty of wonderful and inspiring moments to last us until we do it all over again in a few years, the brightest ones often came from the accomplishments of talented Black women who repeatedly stole the show.

simone-biles-twitter-olympics

Black Girl Magic and the 2016 Olympics: The Water and Oil of Black Athleticism

This article was originally posted at Water Cooler Convos.

Over the past two weeks, I have watched Black girl after Black girl medal in the 2016 Summer Olympics. Simone Biles has dominated gymnastics. Simone Manuel did the same in swimming. Michelle Carter won gold in shot put. And, while I felt immense pride watching each of them claim victory in their respective sports, I can’t lie and say that I wasn’t conflicted about it all.

5997920696_ecb224068e_z

Women Jailed at a Faster Rate than Men, Two-Thirds are Women of Color

According to the New York Times, a new study from the Vera Institute of Justice shows that the number of women in jails in the United States is increasing more quickly than the number of men in jails. The majority of these women are black or Hispanic and many are also low-income. The study suggests the increasing rate of female inmates has been overlooked by criminal justice reform efforts.

IMG_5347

BlacQurl Fosters Space for Black Women Creatives & Critics

For black women interested in art, the opportunity to speak with like-minded peers can be few and far between. The lack of space for black women in the art world compelled Jovonna Jones and Samantha Scott to create BlacQurl, an online magazine and platform for black women and femme writers, creatives, and critics.

korryn-joyce-skye

5 Ways To Stop Harming Black Women Today

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.

Taylor and Melania

We Must Offer Black Women The Same Protections We Offer White Women

By now, the world has heard at length about the gaffes of two very famous white women this week. Taylor Swift was exposed on Snapchat by Kim Kardashian and Kanye West for lying about approving Kanye’s lyrics in his song “Famous.” Melania Trump, the wife of the Republican nominee for president, apparently lifted part of her Republican National Convention Speech from Michelle Obama’s 2008 Democratic National Convention speech. These two instances are part of a larger history of white women and public victimhood in the United States.

EricaGarner

Why We Should Celebrate #LoudBlackGirls

Last week, at the end of President Obama’s ABC town hall on policing, Erica Garner spoke up for herself.

“I was railroaded!” she exclaimed, complaining that she did not receive apt time to ask the President a question, which she had been promised by ABC. Ultimately, according to reports, President Obama noticed Garner and did have a conversation with her after the town hall. This incident sparked the trend #LoudBlackGirls on Twitter, with black women discussing the times they, and other important black women, spoke up for themselves or for others.

Black Lives Matter

On Being Biracial In The Movement For Black Lives

Sometimes I feel like people see me like they see Rachel Dolezal. Yeah, her.

As a biracial woman (half Black, half white) from the suburbs, whose features are not predominately “Black”, I find myself in a constant battle with myself as I try to figure out if fighting for equity and the uplift of the Black community is something I should act on – or even speak on – knowing that by doing so I am taking up space that should be reserved for darker-skinned Black people who cannot necessarily pass for anything else.