Earlier this year BYP100 released the Agenda to Build Black Futures, followed by A Vision For Black Lives policy platform that they signed on to this summer, both of which spread wide in the digital space. Last week BYP100 and the National Black Justice Coalition joined each other in Washington, D.C. to take both platforms from the digital space to the congressional space for the first Build Black Futures Advocacy Day. This was a huge step in the Movement, as members of congress on both sides of the aisle have struggled to understand the Movement and it’s asks of our government.
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.
Last week, the New York Times reported findings that African American families with higher incomes tend to live in areas with more low income African Americans due to segregation, as well as systemic racism in housing and home mortgage lending. The report also brings attention to racism in white neighborhoods, which black families may wish to avoid altogether when choosing a place to live.
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.
In the wake of the 2015 Supreme Court decision to recognize same-sex loving people’s right to marry in the United States, Congress has proposed the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) under the guise of protecting “religious liberty” to allow employers and business owners to discriminate against gay people’s rights if they do not agree with homosexuality. In addition, according to the ACLU, these laws enable employers to fire women for having premarital sex and pharmacies to deny birth control to women.
Fact: No one should be denied a service because of who they are or what they believe
Also fact: It’s pretty ironic when supporters of a candidate (whose entire campaign is based on discrimination) are denied a service and are then shocked to see what that discrimination feels like.
Shannon Riggs and her cousins were on the way back from a Donald Trump rally in North Carolina when they decided to get some food from a local restaurant chain called Cook Out. Adorned in full “Make America Great Again” regalia, Riggs and her cousins approached the window to make their order and claim they heard an employee say, “‘Oh, hell no, I’m not serving them.”
At the beginning of Black History Month, a group of Black girls at the School for Creative Studies in Durham, North Carolina wanted to wear “geles”, also known as head wraps, in order to celebrate their African heritage. How did the school administration respond to this celebration of Black culture? Negatively and without any consideration for what the head wraps could have meant for the young women.
Who doesn’t love Jennifer Lawrence? She’s the modern-day Joan of Arc who calls out Hollywood and its sexist pay structures while still headlining some of the biggest films of the year. Well, Chris Rock, like many people of color doesn’t believe Lawrence is the great light for equality. Rather, he suggests that her focus on pay differences for women misses how race also plays a factor.