Viola Davis sticks up for her daughter’s hair



It seems like it’s open season on natural hair, especially when it belongs to the child of a famous person. Blue Ivy has been the butt of many jokes for what critics call Jay Z and Beyonce’s “poor choice in styling.”

Now, actress Viola Davis is coming under fire for choosing to keep her daughter’s hair natural. But instead of ignoring the criticism, Davis is sticking up for her child, and her parenting choices. 

Stop Saying Little Black Girls Are “Too Grown”

By TaMeicka L. Clear


I saw a conversation in a black lesbian Facebook group about Willow Smith being gay at age 13 and having a girlfriend. The conversation was about the probability that she is gay and if 13 is too young to be gay and have a girlfriend.

I was challenged by some of the comments and concerned mostly around the idea that Black folk seem to have around controlling the behavior and expression of youth. Parental control is a cross cultural issue, however I believe that issues of internalized slavery and colonization cause Black people to worry and attempt to protect Black youth from the ever present notion that  “we can’t really do whatever we want because we are not as free as white people are”.

7 Year-Old Roderick Arrington Beaten to Death for Lying About Reading Bible, Doing Homework

Two Las Vegas parents are in custody after allegedly beating their 7 year-old son to death for not reading the bible or doing his homework, and lying about it.

Roderick Arrington was pronounced dead on November 30th after being admitted to a hospital unresponsive on the previous day.

His mother, Dina Palmer, and stepfather, Markeice Palmer, have been charged with murder, child abuse and neglect.

Gendered Toys and the Effect They Can Have on Kids


As I babysat for a three-year old boy last night, I admired the way he played so carefree. I reflected on how playing is a child’s only real duty – with the exception of eating and sleeping. When I asked him what he did at school that day, he answered “played”, with the sort of tone that said “duh, what else?” I watched him run from one end of the house to the other sliding across the wooden floors and laughing. I watched him throw his plush football around, careless of where it landed, eager to pick it back up and toss it again. I watched him put together his train tracks and watch with slight boredom as his Thomas train slowly went around the tracks.

All of this amazed me as he bounced from toy to toy, excited to show me all the cool things that filled his playroom. But what I loved most about his large, toy-filled playroom was that some traditionally “girl” toys were present as well. He had a play kitchen set up complete with a play stove and oven; a large plastic doll house that featured miniature furniture and small dolls and a Barbie jeep truck, similar to the one I used to play with. All of these “girly” toys to the critical eye would seem out of place next to his Tonka trucks and plastic tool sets. Yet, I appreciated this mixture of “girl” and “boy” toys his mother provided for him.

Black Youth Dissuaded from Asking Questions?

This past weekend I spent time with my niece in celebration of her ninth birthday! It was great to be in the midst of young children in my family with all their wonder and innocence. On another hand, it was also tiresome answering all of their questions all day! While I am mostly joking, this day full of kids reminded me of an article I once read. The main thesis of the article was that African-American youth are less likely to ask questions in schools than Caucasian youth. Reason being, the former group is discouraged from asking questions in the home life whereas the latter group encourages inquisitive nature. Keeping this in mind, I wonder if and where this similar sentiment is seen in other arenas dealing with youth. My first thoughts surprisingly led me to church and home, the main social institutions present in a black youth’s life. 

Is Childhood Obesity THAT out of Hand?

A piece of commentary published in The Journal of The American Medical Association has posed interesting questions regarding children’s welfare, the part that parents play in contributing to childhood obesity and the moral obligations of government. The authors of the article put forth that morbid obesity is and should be considered a type of neglect. As such, in extreme situations, removing a morbidly obese child from their parents and placing them in a healthful environment is warranted.

Some dissent is to be expected.  But irresponsible parenting should be punished for the child’s well-being, right? Most states have adopted laws that protect kids from harm by removing them from unhealthy environments. For example, criminals and drug addicts have been known to lose custody of their kids. What’s the difference in the case of morbidly obese children? Let’s also emphasize that Dr. Ludwig is only advocating removal in those extreme cases where the child’s weight has put his or her life in danger and every other option has been explored.

Wanna Raise a Child? No Application Necessary.

We make people fill out applications for everything under the sun. School. Jobs. Apartments. Cars. Credit cards. Society places such high value on this imaginary money that we pass around that you can actually be denied credit cards or bank accounts if you have been proven to be irresponsible with it. If you are not qualified, you cannot attend college, get certain jobs, drive certain cars, or live in certain apartments. How completely ass backwards is it that we allow anyone to have a child without first checking that they are qualified mentally and emotionally?

Let me be clear, I’m not advocating that we turn control of our reproductive bodies over to the government or our neighbors. I’m just saying that perhaps there ought to be some kind of system in place to make sure that people understand exactly what they are getting into when they have a child.