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.
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.