Black Lives Matter

This Is What Can Happen When Data Meets The Movement For Black Lives

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?

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It matters that people are afraid to travel in the US due to police violence

Yesterday, my partner and I planned a day trip. We were thinking about just getting away from it all after a tough week of violence against Black people and the racist mainstream news cycle to accompany it. We looked up some spots that were within an hour driving distance from Chicago, thinking this might be a good opportunity to let the kids experience something new. Then, we remembered that we are Black and we are unsafe everywhere.

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Why We Need to Talk about Light-Skinned Privilege

Jesse Williams’ speech at the BET Awards was an instant classic. It was a quotable, resonating soliloquy that brought attention to many people who have been obscured in past and present movements for black lives, including women, on-the-ground activists, and young people. However, many on Twitter asserted that people were excited about the speech primarily because Williams is a light-skinned, light-eyed black actor. Some tweets claimed that black men of darker skin tones had spoken on these issues in this manner before, and had not received nearly the attention that Williams had received.

Donald Trump

Trump’s Fear Mongering is Nothing New

Only one day after the horrible attacks at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Donald Trump wielded a tried and true political strategy in American presidential politics: fear-mongering and xenophobia.

On June 13th, Trump once again called for a ban on Muslim immigration to the United States and suggested that President Obama is not a real American and that he may have been, in some vague and pernicious way, involved in the attacks. The scary part about Donald Trump’s strategy? It works.

Image via Roni Lubofsky

The Harsh Reality Of Being Black, Woman, and Abroad

“If it gets to be too much, or if you start feeling like you’re in danger, you call the university and tell them to bring you right back to Chicago.”

I was on the phone with my mother discussing my upcoming study abroad trip to Europe. “I hope they like Black people there”, I joked with a tinge of seriousness. Though I spoke solid French, I deliberately chose to complete my minor in a German-speaking country: Austria. After committing to the program, I caught up with a friend who had recently studied abroad and he shared the rampant racism he both witnessed and experienced in Mexico.

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Watch This Black Woman Tell Corporations How to End Colorism

Many people of color face implicit and explicit racism in their daily lives. A byproduct of that reality is something called “colorism.” In short, colorism is the discrimination against people who have darker skin. And Chika Okoro, a Stanford University graduate student, recently gave a TED Talk encouraging corporations to do something about it.

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Viola Davis and Kerry Washington are Creating Production Companies

So far, 2016 has been a wonderful year for Black woman seizing their own opportunities. Early this spring, Kelly Rowland announced that she plans on starting a makeup line for dark-skinned women.  Shea Moisture is taking a stand against the racism in the beauty industry. Recently, it was announced that Kerry Washington and Viola Davis are launching independent production companies. Take a moment to embrace all this Black girl magic.

Picture from Pierre Jean-Louis' Instagram.

Jean-Louis’ Images are a Reminder of the Beauty and Power of Black Hair

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.  

Photo of ballet dancers by 
Sebastian Miranda

Na Ponta dos Pés is a Ballet Studio and a Safe Haven for Brazilian Girls

Although she did not aspire to become a professional ballet dancer, Tuany Nascimento never stopped practicing ballet while in Brazil.  Whenever she practiced, groups of young girls always followed her, wanting to learn and emulate her skills as a dancer. Nascimento not only taught these young girls, in 2013 she opened the dance studio, Na Ponta dos Pés, and started teaching young girls ballet.