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.
On May 13, Ben Garrison released a racist photo that compared the First Lady Michelle Obama to Melania Trump. While Melania was depicted as the epitome of femininity, the First Lady was depicted as a muscular brute, a thing to be feared and unwanted. As President Obama’s second term in the White House comes to an end, we are left to reflect on mainstream media’s treatment of FLOTUS and what that means for young Black girls in America.
Rekia Boyd. Miriam Carey. Islan Nettles. Sandra Bland. Aiyana Stanley-Jones.Tanisha Anderson. Renisha McBride. Sakia Gunn. Shelly Frey.
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.
Last week, a research team from Johns Hopkins Medicine published a review of 19 studies titled “All Hairstyles Are Not Created Equal”, in which they analyzed the relationship between “scalp-pulling” hairstyles and hair loss among Black women. The takeaway, according to Dr. Crystal Aguh, is to offer both Black women patients and dermatologists tips for how to better prevent traction alopecia by avoiding high and moderate risk styles, like weaves, locs, tight ponytails, chemical treatments and braids.
In 2012, when I found out that the Mindy Kaling landed a show, I was ecstatic. At the time, I was still in the Scandal and Nicole Beharie in Sleepy Hollow bliss. When I first started watching Kaling’s show, The Mindy Project, I was willing to ignore some of the jokes that didn’t land or the undeveloped characters because it’s still a struggle for people of color to be represented on television. Now almost four years later, my enthusiasm and dedication for The Mindy Project has disintegrated. I am left wishing that the show was canceled because it doesn’t even try to confront race.
In their first commercial, Shea Moisture is breaking down the barrier between the “Beauty Aisles” and the “Ethnic Sections” in stores. While the products that are aimed at white women fill every single beauty aisle with pictures of blonde women smiling, the “ethnic sections” are only allowed to have a few dusty shelves.
The separation of products between “beauty” and “ethnic” is a reflection of the standards of beauty that many people and corporations still believe. Many people don’t believe that women of color can be beautiful. In the new commercial, Shea Moisture shows that women of color (especially Black women) are tired of being told that there is not a place for them in beauty.
This commercial is monumental because it openly discusses the racism that runs rampant in the beauty industry. It proves that products aimed at women of color belong in the “Beauty Aisle” because we are beautiful too.
This May, eight Black women will be walking the stage to receive their PhDs in Education from Indiana University. These women did not all start the program together, however they found each other during their academic journey and created these strong relationships that helped them achieve their goals, and this May they are making history.
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.