#iTaughtMarcJacobs

I know he didn’t claim he created Bantu knots.

I’m just clarifying for those who assumed he did like Justine Marjan at Mane Addicts.

More than that I’m recognizing the beautiful Black & Brown women across the diaspora who are constantly berated for the same styles & attributes that later grace runways & magazine covers. 

Shall I make you a list to go with your latest lesson in originators vs. perpetrators? 

Don’t mind if I do : )

Baby hairs

Big butts

Tribal prints

African head wraps

Timbs

Cornrows

Full lips 

And the latest victim: Bantu knots (not to be confused with twisted mini buns)

This is just my way of telling my sisters I see them and reminding them the world sees you too, it just can’t always handle you in all your splendor. I’m quite used to my culture being loved while my people are hated but that does not mean I accept it. 

We taught Marc Jacobs.

 
  
  
  
   
   

  
  
  
  
  
  

Gang Members sentenced to 8, 20 years respectively in fatal park shooting of 4 year old boy

I don’t rock with the Daily News but I had to share this story. I know several great Black parents living in predominantly Black neighborhoods who don’t feel like it’s safe to take their children to the local park. Fighting, weed smoking, extreme violence- that is the reality in some parks, especially now that summer is here. We HAVE to do better. Black on Black crime seems to be a term used specifically to victim blame black and brown people for their own demise when state sanctioned violence prematurely ends a life and that cannot go unnoticed BUT intra-racial violence must be dealt with as well. Combatting external AND internal forces making our communities unsafe is the key to creating a new kind of community. My heart goes out to this mom. I can’t imagine her pain. The village must save all these lost youth or at least put a concerted effort into trying to do so. Stop asking where the parents are and let’s come together and look out for ALL our kids. There would be way less stories like this if kids weren’t looking to gang life for a family and understood the gravity of destroying a family and the damage hard time does to quality of life on the outside afterward. This breaks my heart on so many levels.

  

Marc Jacobs inspired what now?

Sigh. As upsetting as it is to see cultural appropriation winning in the mainstream while we are criticized for the very same styles that always find their way onto white bodies and receive mass accolades, (cornrows, Locs, timbs, north face coats, baby hair, ‘tribal’ prints, etc) I choose to laugh at their love/ hate relationship with us/ our culture and give credit where it’s due because no one will do it for us. With that said tag your beautiful Bantu knot/ loc knot flicks with #ITaughtMarcJacobs for a chance to be featured and let’s bring some levity to this all too common  occurrence of cultural theft for profit and popularity with no regard to the originators. #bantuknots #locknots #CultureVultures #Appropriation #TwistedMiniBunsAreNotAThing

  
  
  
  

Happy Birthday Lenny & Lauryn!

Turn up for loc’d legends! The miseducation of Lauryn Hill is STILL one of the best hip hop albums ever made by any man or woman from any era of music and its content is almost painfully relevant. Lenny Kravitz is still giving me life in film, music & with his beautiful family, looking damn good all the while. Before it was cool to be natural they were out there paving the way for conscious thought and individuality. Happy birthday to them both! #HappyBirthdayLauryn  #HappyBirthdayLenny 

     

NYC! Join YPOC for brunch this Fathers Day weekend!

In addition to our fundraiser for #YPOCSummerCamp going on via indiegogo.com we are hosting another brunch next month in honor of Father’s Day!
Our #YPOCMothersDayBrunch was amazing. We got to experience Nigerian food and discuss improving our communities and how we interact with one another.

  
There’s so much going on in the world that we often feel hopeless. Let’s turn the sorrow and anger caused by constant violence internally and externally into the motivating force that causes us to be better for ourselves and each other.
We’re having the a discussion about how to operate as one village raising all of our children as opposed to being separate individuals concerned only with ourselves. 

  
We will be focusing on the role of father figures next month at Zoma Ethiopian restaurant in Harlem so 

Parents, guardians, concerned citizens, educators & community activists: consider joining us and adding your voice to this very necessary and ongoing conversation.
As a community that cares it is our job to find ways to create opportunities and safe spaces for the entire next generation, not just the youth in our own lives. 

  
Come brainstorm and enjoy a great meal in the spirit of family, community and togetherness. 
Check out the eventbrite for details & to RSVP. Hope to see you there!
Father’s Day link:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ypoc-fathers-day-brunch-tickets-16328992456?aff=erellivorg
Facebook Event Page: 
https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=440088012824420&tsid=0.09098865208216012&source=typeahead

#YPOCFathersDayBrunch #CommunityActivism #EverydayActivism #BeTheChange #Empowerment #CriticalThinking #Creativity #Brunch #Love #BlackLivesMatter #TheBlackCommunity #SelfLove #SelfPreservation #Grassroots #Community #Humanity #AfricanFood #EthiopianFood #Zoma #ZomaNYC #Harlem

Support the YPOC Summer Initiative!

The 3 primary goals of the YPOC summer initiative are:

   
   1. To instill a sense of empowerment in youth POC. Through enriching dialogue, experiences and examinations of self and society using pop culture, the performance arts, current events, history and other means of examining the role of POC in their own lives and as members of the Black Diaspora.

  
2. To discover and hone each student’s inate creative talents. Whether they are a singer or an architect, we aim to allow their creativity to flourish as their minds open to new ideas so that they are expanding their whole mind and not just their left brain. Through performance, deep reflective writing and creative seminars we aim to give students an opportunity to figure out what they like and realize their full potential in that area.

  
3. To instill critically thinking minds. The main objective of the YPOC summer initiative is to make sure each and every student leaves the program with a questioning mind and a thirst for knowledge. As a community, we are often unaware of what isn’t between the covers of a magazine or on the news, but a desire to know more about everything, and an understanding of the importance of concepts like empowerment and activism, will hopefully help create a generation of future thinkers, doers and leaders with the book smarts to know how to solve problems, the creativity it will take to defeat issues related to those problems and the empowerment to be the change they want to see in this world without fear.
In addition to the main objectives, other significant objectives include improving students writing and public speaking abilities, improving their ability to learn in new ways and expanding their knowledge of history, society and themselves.
Program Design:
The YPOC summer initiative curriculum was created by YPOC founder Tajh Sutton. As a childhood education major at Brooklyn College with a concentration in English, a mother of two, a political activist, and an aspiring performance artist and model, my aim was to take all the things that have helped expand my understanding of life and added to my happiness, and put them together to create a holistic edu-cultural program that would benefit the collective. 
Future Goals:
If successful in all goals, the YPOC summer initiative aims to branch out into an academic school year program, such as an elective or after school program option, in addition to the summer program. There is currently a senior staff of one, with an alternating list of volunteers providing assistance when needed. We are currently building support for sponsorship and partnering with like minded businesses, programs and initiatives for funding and implementation in order to hire a consistant staff and provide compensation as well as provide our students with enriching opportunities outside of their schools and communities.
Please like, share & donate whatever you can to the cause! You can view the full campaign below & check out the related photos at facebook.com/ypocinc to see what we’ve been doing since our 2012 campaign where it all began : )
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/freedom-fun-in-the-sun-with-ypoc/x/387939#/story

The Problem with Black Youth: Black Adults

Lets take systemic and systematic circumstance out of the equation for a minute. And you know I love me some discussion on intersectionality, equity and accessibility as it pertains to race.

We pass so much judgement on our young people forgetting how much like them we were and still are in some ways. 

We sang inappropriate song lyrics. We became sexually active before we were mentally or emotionally prepared (with some pretty unsavory folks in retrospect.) 

We stayed on the phone/ IM too long. We watched fights instead of telling our friends and classmates there was a better way to resolve their issues. 

We did not value people like educators, bus drivers, cashiers,  etc. We were quick to catch an attitude and we probably stayed in some bad relationships and ended some good ones over really petty things. 

We had no time for our parents advice, opinions or feelings and we were not trying to hear some random adult telling us anything about ourselves. 

But now we look at these kids like they’re the scum of the Earth. For what? Having premarital sex? How many of you were teen parents? Oh. Ok. 

Their music is terrible? Ok. But I bet you remember all the lyrics to Nelly’s ‘hot in herre’ even though our little asses had no business singing about taking anything off! 

We used foul language. Most of us were drinking before the legal drinking age. Like, come on. Let’s keep it a hunnet. 

Now there’s some of this stuff I definitely didn’t do, but some I did, and I’m grouping us all together because it’s what we do to younger people. 

Every time someone shares a fight video (which should not even be happening) it’s accompanied by a caption like ‘smh these disrespectful kids today.’ I always see the comments and think, ‘ but who raised them?!’ 

These kids don’t come out of the womb inappropriate, violent and looking for trouble. They learn these behaviors somewhere. And instead of taking responsibility for our young people as a whole we lift up the ‘good’ ones we know and Shame the ones who ‘make us look bad.’ 

Imagine a world where we didn’t wait on anyone else to save our kids and made a daily effort to create communities where all generations were invested in building and growing together? 

Imagine a world where we took our most destructive young people and actually asked ‘why did you hit that girl? What did you think would come of it? Is jail time something you look forward to? Do you realize your ability to work, vote and live peacefully in general will be impacted for life because you chose to react instead of utilize long term/ big picture thinking?’ 

We need to start a conversation with our youth instead of making them wrong for everything. We also need to spread the positive as quickly as we spread the negative. 

A lot of you have all these things to say online but put ZERO effort into our kids and communities in your daily lives. Some of you post fight videos regularly, but never graduation photos. 

How about you help change the narrative instead of promoting the status quo? 

Happy Birthday Malcolm X

Happy birthday to a legend. We need a Malcolm today. All these wannabe Martins and no Malcolms. I say wannabe Martins because You see how they did MLK’s legacy. Let the media tell it and he was soft as baby shit, and that’s the Martin y’all are taught to revere but that Martin wore a suit and preached peace and was STILL murdered. He may have been non violent but he knew what was up. The Martin they keep under wraps knew ‘a riot was the language of the unheard.’ He knew men like Malcolm were necessary even if he didn’t practice the same tactics. Today the majority want to be peaceful like Martin but they don’t comprehend the necessity of the Malcolms in the movement which creates division. There I go preaching again. I just wanted to say happy birthday 😂😂😂😂

Proof that White Gangs, like Corporations, are people & a reminder why we must assert #BlackLivesMatter

Is there anything I could say about the biker gang/ supremacist shooting in Waco Texas that I haven’t said a thousand times before? Perps are Hanging out after a mass murder that left 9 dead, with cell phone access and uncuffed. I don’t think I need to ask what would have happened if this was the bloods & crips in a confrontation and police showed up to the scene. Seriously, if you aren’t aware that racism is not only alive and well but THRIVING across the world due to feigned ignorance and a collective unwillingness to be uncomfortable with being part of the problem and then taking steps to become part of the solution then nothing I post here will sway or deter you. I’m not wasting my breath. Just going to keep doing my work, holding my head high and using my knowledge of the negative to create more of the positive. But I will say this: the implicit bias we refuse to acknowledge is killing our kids. And if you don’t see the brown boys and girls all over the news as ‘our’ kids but you simultaneously want ‘all’ lives to matter, it’s time to look in the mirror, call out your own bullshit, and work toward taking responsibility for the world we live in and the people continually leaving it too soon. #Waco #BlackLivesMatter #ThatsThatBullshit #Texas #ThugsCanBeWhiteToo

The Harriet Tubman 20 Debate Continues

The caption under Harriet Tubman reads ‘slave liberator.’ And I get it. Hear me out though. Ain’t nobody consign homeboy on the 20 dollar bill and I’m not here for a legend being fake celebrated as Yet another way to appease/ distract the masses. Fuck a face on paper money. Prosecute one of these damn killer cops. Create legislation that demands equality and accessibility not in theory, but with a clear plan of ACTION that will actually be ENFORCED by the men and women who are supposed to represent us and our interests. Have a REAL conversation about what’s REALLY going on in the world for the next election. Support the #BlackSpring like we did the #ArabSpring THAT I would be impressed by. This means less than nothing to me. In 300 years when they’ve erased slavery from the history books and kids only know Harriet Tubman as ‘the woman on the 20 dollar bill’ it will be too late for you to feel some kinda way. #StayWoke #HarrietTubman #BlackLegaciesMatter #MuseumsNotMoney