The Chicago Transit Authority is under fire after one of its Bus Drivers tried to eject a young Gay couple for holding hands and kissing.
Should Black people care about marriage equality?
Writer, activist and friend of BYP.com, Maya Rupert has written a fascinating article for the Huffington Post on this very controversial topic.
We implore you to check it out.
Rupert is the Federal Policy Director at the National Center for Lesbian Rights. In a recent article entitled “Is Marriage Equality for White People,” Rupert condemns the increasingly popular position that marriage equality for LGBT people is a “white issue.”
“This narrative is untrue, and it is time we stop acting like marriage equality is only for white people. In fact, the fight for marriage equality is very much a fight about racial justice. Opponents of marriage equality are waging a culture war and, while the LGBT community may be the stated target, families of color are and will continue to be the collateral damage.”
Do you agree?
Today is National Coming Out Day; a celebration of the bravery it takes to come out, and the positive impact it can have on the LGBT community at large.
The Black Youth Project wishes our readers a wonderful and liberating Coming Out Day. If you do choose this is to be the day that you reveal your sexuality to family or friends, we want you to know that you have our love and support.
And feel free to send us your “Coming Out” stories. Hearing about your personal journey can make a world of difference to a young, struggling LBGT youth looking for some type of affirmation or hope.
However, we also want to make it very clear that all of us – regardless of age, gender, race or socioeconomic status – are on our own journeys.
Nobody knows the best time for you to come out BUT YOU.
Culture in itself is harmless. Simply a hallow word that curls off the surface of one’s tongue. It is only when culture is contextualized that it begins to define our world, our actions, and our perception. When “culture” is paired with another term, it ceases to be ambiguous and comes to life to either uplift or bring peril to the communities that we’re apart of. There is a culture to everything and it is inside of this infinite possibility of culture that lives are both made and destroyed.
There is drug culture, rape culture, black culture, city culture and the list goes on. These various cultures can support, sustain, and nourish both young and old. However, there are cultures that must be fought against at their inception. There are some cultures that should not be allowed to flourish in a society where we desire everyone to be equal. I declare war on the culture of homophobia.
Last Saturday night, Kreayshawn and the White Girl Mob played a sold-out gig in Hollywood. And according to Spin Magazine, it was an insane show.
“…the audience rushed the stage where they proceeded to completely freak out — bouncing, stripping, cooking, and flipping into the crowd — until the music was done and they were forced bodily from the limelight by the venue’s security. It was intensely electric.”
The next day, she hit the VMAs, where she was nominated (and a favorite) for the Best New Artist Award. She lost to like-minded and equally controversial Tyler, the Creator. Like Kreayshawn, Tyler and Odd Future rose to prominence through YouTube, blogs and social media, don’t fit in any radio format, and have sharply divided critics and fans.
A lot of people aren’t taking Kreayshawn and Odd Future seriously. And that’s understandable. When something comes along that is so alien to mainstream standards and tastes, it always gets dismissed.
But don’t be fooled. Their success is organic and real; not some record label’s scheme. The rise of artists like Odd Future and Kreayshawn (as well as Lil B and Waka Flocka Flame) is subversive to Hip Hop’s status quo. And it might end up being a big deal.
Dear Chris Brown,
I get it. The public eye isn’t always fun. People watch every move you make. They scrutinize your every word.
You’re only 22 years old. Everyone makes mistakes. I get it.
But here’s the problem. Back in February of 2009, you left your then-girlfriend Rihanna bloodied and beaten on the side of the road.
That was a really, really big mistake, Chris. On many levels.
A few days ago, after a long days work, I got on the train, grabbed a seat, plugged in my headphones and tried not to think about the long ride home. I am not generally afraid of being on the train at any point in the day. Growing up taking the train in Chicago prepared me to deal with the crazies in New York. In fact, I think the sheer density of NYC makes me feel a lot safer than being on an empty train. In Chicago, I caught a man masturbating while he watched me read the paper. We were two of four people on the train. The other two people were incapable of offering any assistance. I was 15, in unfamiliar territory, and face to face with a man and his hard-on. I ran from teh train and rode all the way back home. It was Sunday morning.
Once you grow up riding the train, you learn the basic rules:
- Don’t look strangers in the eyes.
- Don’t fall asleep.
- Don’t board empty cars.
- If the train is passing through Chinatown, you are more likely to get a seat if you stand over a Chinese person.
Lady Gaga’s second full-length album Born This Way opens with “Marry The Night,” one of the most epic pop songs you will ever hear. Clearly aimed to kickstart the album with the kind of massive statement MJ nailed with Thiller‘s ‘Wanna Be Startin’ Something,” “Marry The Night” opens with somber church organ and decidedly pensive vocals before erupting into a blast of synths, and never lets up. It sounds like classic Whitney Houston produced by Max Martin, and it is arguably the best song Lady Gaga has ever released. It’s that good.
Born This Way should crumble under the weight of such a masterful opening salvo (not to mention unbelievable hype), but it doesn’t. Not by a long shot.
Nobody is more Hip Hop than Mister Cee.
He was Big Daddy Kane’s DJ during his prime in the late eighties. He was an early mentor to The Notorious B.I.G., even acting as an associate executive producer on his landmark debut album, Ready To Die. And he’s a longstanding radio DJ and personality at New York’s Hot 97, arguably the most famous Hip Hop radio station in the world.
It just doesn’t get much more Hip Hop than that. And unfortunately, it also doesn’t get more Hip Hop than getting arrested by the NYPD, so the intial news of Mister Cee’s arrest last week in New York City didn’t raise too many eyebrows. Getting into trouble with the law? Having your wrists cuffed behind your back? No problem. Very Hip Hop.
But getting arrested for receiving a blowjob from a 20 year-old man in a parked car? Apparently, that’s problematic. Go figure.
In 2008, when I first read “Gay is the New Black” on the cover of the Advocate, I CRINGED at its implications. Even as I write, “Gay is the New Black,” it is unsettling because it elides, obfuscates and erases many tensions and concerns. You may be asking, “Why speak about it now, three years after the article was published?” The answer is simple—I feel the need to talk about my concerns and fears on the matter because of the Obama Administration’s legal/political move to position/add gay people as a protected class of citizens.
Oh no! The folks back home will never stop smacking their lips over this one. As African American Studies grows across the nation, its scholarly diversity does not fall behind. Could white professors be added to the “things keeping Black people down” list? Possibly, but the fall of Black academia shouldn’t be instantly expected. Many of you, with folded arms right now, have already made the fatal mistake of pitting experience as the only knowledge of struggle. Did you hear me? I said that a white teacher can understand why Langston Hughes has to say he knows rivers; or similarly, scream with Nina Simone in Mississippi.
For the last month or so, I have been trying to wrap my mind around how Antoine Dodson’s instant celebrity fame helps his sister, Kelly Dodson. Yes, I know Antoine’s internet fame allowed him to move his family from a less safe neighborhood context to a safer residential area. But, the reasons why a man could easily climb through Kelly’s window without the fear of being accosted intending to rape her and the reasons for Antoine individual solution—“We will find you . . .”—have yet to be answered or addressed. However, what has transpired is that the Bed Intruder Song has gone viral to point that both Verizon (yes, the phone company) and Tea Party Candidate, Christine O’Donnell, have used the song to show the need for net neutrality (i.e. digital stratification and no FCC regulation of price) and how Chris Coons is a Democratic Bed Intruder so, “Hide your wills, hide your lights . . . ‘Cause he’s taxing everything out here.” Honestly, as a black woman/advocate/feminist, I find Christine O’Donnell’s comparison of rape and taxing as what my grandmother would call, “dumb as bricks talking out the side of your neck” talk.
Our country is facing some serious problems. From high unemployment and Wall Street thievery, to divisive squabbles over social issues like gay rights, immigration reform and abortion, it’s easy to see ourselves as a country at war with itself.
But if you ask me, the biggest problem we face as a nation is our downright pitiful dialogue about these very issues, largely a result of the terrible state of news media in this country.
We are not at war; but the media really wants us to be.
So, am I the only one who finds the YouTube’s “viralization” (yes, I made up a word) of the Bed Intruder Song deeply unsettling and problematic? Every time, I check my Facebook newsfeed I see, yet, another “remix” of the Bed Intruder Song. For those of you who are not familiar with the song, it tells the “real life” story of a young black woman who experienced “sexual violation” (yes, I know she was not penetrated, but that does not mean that she did not experience sexual trauma or sexual violation) when a man climbed through her window while she was sleeping. However, the attack was stopped by the young woman’s brother, Antoine, who helped to scare the man off. And, who, vocally stated on the local news the following evening:
Obviously we have a rapist in Lincoln Park, he is climbin in your window, he’s snatching your people up. So y’all need to hide your kid, hide your wife and hide your husband cause they rapin everybody out here. We got your t-shirt you done left your fingerprints behind and all. You’re so dum, you’re really dumb for real. You don’t have to come and confess what you did, we’re looking for you. We, we’re gonna find you. So you can run and tell that homeboy.
I want to begin be saying that I honor the voice of Antoine and his sister, Kelly, for speaking out, fearlessly, against their attacker. Often, when sexual violations happen silence is a safe response for both men and women to take in order to cope with their abuse. So, I applaud both, sister and brother, for speaking out.
Some of my closest friends are gay, but the pastor is telling me that “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” AIDS is the leading cause of death for African-American women between the ages of 25 and 34, but the pastor tells me that using condoms is a sin because it’s a form of birth control. I live in a world where women are the CEOs of successful businesses and hold high positions in the government, but within the walls of the church, female leadership is often absent. Only 10 percent of churches in the United States employ women as senior pastors. These sexist, homophobic and conservative attitudes of the church are what is causing young people to question their faith, causing Gen-Yers to abandon the church in increasing numbers. Taken from Brandee Sanders’ article on the Root
So, like a “doubting Thomas,” I read Brandee Sanders’ Are Millennial Losing Faith with a somewhat skeptical eye staunchly believing that Black youth do attend church and that they do believe unerringly in the Bible. The saying goes, “You can talk about my Mama . . . you can even talk about my Tyler Perry, but nooooo-body better talk badly about my Jesus.” Of course, in all fairness to Sanders, she does not specifically say she is talking about black youth, but about all Gen-Yers irrespective of race. However, because the article is featured on the Root which is dedicated to telling the stories of African Americans, I think many of my friends and I assumed she was writing about Black youth which prompted me to check her sources—The Pew Study.