When I first read the code of conduct administered at Pretoria High School for Girls in South Africa, I was mortified. As a mother, with a daughter whose hair at 3 years old would be classified by some as “nappy”, all I could think was “How would I do her hair if this came home from her school?” The answer quickly revealed itself: I wouldn’t. I couldn’t.
On Thursday, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates announced in a memo that, over time, the DOJ will end its contracts with private prison companies that operate 13 facilities within the Bureau of Prisons (BOP). While this is a significant move given the times we live in, these contracts, with Corrections Corporation of America and GEO Group Inc., only account for 7% of the industry’s revenue.
As we’ve seen through the influx of data and media coverage on Black boys, they often lose their innocence at the hands of someone else, someone who has stereotyped and criminalized their Blackness continuing the mindset that because they are Black, they don’t deserve innocence. And, while this won’t be changed overnight, Jennifer Pierre is taking the issue of Black boyhood into her own hands and is releasing a new line of dolls for boys of color called “Melanites.”
Ava Duvernay’s documentary, The 13th, will be the opening film at the New York Film Festival’s (NYFF) 54th Festival. It’s the first non-fiction film to open the event in the NYFF’s history; if you haven’t already, let us toast to Duvernay’s #BlackGirlMagic. I want to take it a step further though, I want to uplift Duvernay’s message.
The documentary is appropriately titled to address the ironies between the 13th Amendment that simultaneously “abolished” slavery and also created mass incarceration over time.
According to a new poll, young people are divided concerning race in America. Around 80% of African Americans youth ages 18-30 believe that racism remains a major problem, while only 54% of young Whites agree that this is an issue. While a slight majority of young whites surveyed do agree that race is a major issue, this data suggests a wide gap remains between black and white youth’s perceptions of racism.
On July 5, the number on The Guardian’s police killings ticker The Counted went up. On July 6, it went up again. The Guardian, like many other news outlets, with genuine intentions has made the effort to look at the numerous surveys, polls, and research behind racial disparities in policing in the country. My question is: who does the data usually benefit? Even more importantly: what is being done about it?
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.
Seven weeks ago, En Pointe Studio, which is located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, made their first post on Instagram, and ever since then, they have dedicated every post to celebrating young Black dance talent. A week ago, they released a photo of all their talented dancers. En Pointe Studio is shattering the imposed color lines in the dance world, and it is truly inspiring.
In a thirty second video, an elementary student from Texas breaks down the classist structure of America’s criminal justice system. His take down of the system occurred during a school debate, and so far this viral video has received over 66,000 retweets.
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.