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.
In a time where we need more feminism, more justice, and more radical change for the future, a biopic around the life of Angela Davis couldn’t be more timely. Davis will be working with Codeblack Films to develop “Angela Davis: An Autobiography” into the biopic about her life.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
Last weekend, another black woman made history, and we could not be more excited about it.
Tera Poole graduated from the University of Maryland’s School of Dentistry as the 2016 class valedictorian. She was the first Black person to ever do it.
Some of the best news has been floating around in the past week, and today is no different. A new report states that black women are now the most educated group in the United States, however it is not as impressive when conversations of pay equity are brought into the discussion.
While there are sure to be challenges at any kind of institution, the challenges that people of color face at predominantly white institutions (PWI) are a separate story. To take that idea even further, the experiences that black women have at PWIs can be even more stressful.
To detail those exact experiences, Kwyn Townsend Riley performed a poem detailing the 10 “guaranteed experiences” for black women at PWIs, including having people play in their hair, explaining the importance of #SayHerName and constantly having to educate.