On Jada, Janet & ‘Worrying about the wrong things’

I sent out an official piece for publication so I won’t post that yet but here’s a more free form blurb related to the Oscars and the latest news regarding boycotting and responses to it.

Bruh.
There is no reason I can’t simultaneously build within the Black community AND hold the systems and institutions that continue to devalue and disenfranchise people of color accountable. 
I’m not ‘worried about the wrong things’ for thinking the Oscars should be more diverse. 

Representation matters. When my brother goes overseas and tiny Japanese women run away from him at night because he’s Black even though they’ve never previously encountered an ACTUAL black person I’m reminded that representation matters.
On the flip side when students from a prestigious and diverse educational institution publicize their experiences with racism and are trivialized and silenced I am reminded why we need our own shit.
So scuse me while I walk, chew gum, listen to music, nod my head, milly Rock, shop for joggers and contemplate world domination simultaneously.
One time for the folks who get that race is worth discussing in every context. I don’t need to not care about the oscars so I can care about police brutality. I don’t need to stop worrying about meek mill making a fool of himself so I can #sayhername and I don’t need to stop watching scandal and empire so I can a free up some time to volunteer at the women’s shelter. I do all that shit easily and care free as fuck so all your judgement is gonna do is cause me to flex in the form of multiple status updates.
Now shut the fuck up while I kill shit in multiple ways, please and thanks.
#TruthfulTuesdays 

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A quick note on the supposed black girl magic fest that was #YeezySeason4

I wasn’t going to comment on the #YeezySeason4 casting call because I know who Kanye is at this point and his affinity for ‘mixed’ and mixed looking women is QUITE apparent. 
But if you really think the presence of black women at his showcase absolves him of his misogyny and the blatant anti Blackness prevalent in that casting, or the numerous instances where he has shown his ass you might want to think again. 
(We all know how the world perceives the term ‘mixed’ whether or not you personally are mixed and proud to be black so stop it.) 
“How do you word the idea that you want all variations of black?” West asked in an interview with Vogue addressing the casting backlash. “How do you word that exactly?” 
Oh I don’t know. How about ‘all ethnicities and complexions welcome?’
It would have been VERY easy to create an inviting model casting that didn’t single out black women as uninvited. 
He tried it.
I am not impressed, moved or convinced Mr. Kardashian gives a flying fuck about black women. 
Whole lotta dark girls in the grass bare foot while the majority of lighter girls walk the runway but that’s nooooone of my business.
And as always, the ‘fashion’ is basic AF.
But y’all will wear anything if Yeezy says it’s hot.
Still praying for him and acknowledging his musical talent. Still hype Teyana is part of the squad cause she’s deserved the publicity shes getting now for a LONG time. 
But don’t act like Yeezy got my back cause he got them brown skinned girls bare foot in the grass facing away from the camera.
NOPE. 
#EndRant #Yeezy #YouAintGottaLieCraig #Colorism #AntiBlackness #Fashion 

Hey blog, I’ve missed you! Writing updates & news.

Im going to be on BBC radio today talking all things Azealia Banks at 4pm. Producer reached out after reading my Huff Post piece. (Last link in the list)

I know I’m playing myself by not updating my PERSONAL blog but it has the lowest viewership between all my social media.

I’m going to fix that.

In the meantime these are the articles I’ve written from March- May of this year that have been published.

I am so grateful and this is just the beginning. 

I can see myself becoming a stronger writer without compromising my voice or views and I’m very happy about that.

http://www.forharriet.com/2015/11/black-friday-black-folk-and-black-guilt.html?m=1

On Jada, Janet, Sisterhood & Why it’s all ‘That Serious’

http://www.forharriet.com/2016/03/on-kehlani-shaming-of-black-women-and.html?m=1

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/next-person-who-calls-hair-unprofessional_b_9661216.html?

http://tajimag.com/10-reasons-i-will-never-get-tired-of-slave-stories/

Afrocentrism as elitism: The gift and curse of consciousness in the social media age

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/the-day-buzzfeed-died_b_9690844.html?1460640932=
http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/azealia-banks-i-bid-you-adieu_b_9913980.html

Hotep Bingo: Funny but not really-Afrocentrism as elitismĀ 

Some of yall gon’ be mad but ….
Loving yourself and your people is no excuse for becoming just as ignorant and brainwashed as those who oppress you or those you judge for not being ‘woke.’ We can debate the individual squares or we can look at the bigger picture. For a lot of us Afrocentrism has become just another form of elitism within the black community.  

  
 

Eff Raven Symone at this point, seriously. But let’s talk about these ‘ghetto names’

Sad state of affairs when a successful woman of color with a purposely misspelled name that contains a completely unnecessary accent mark is on TV rocking flaming red hair (which is certainly perceived as ‘ghetto’ on her by her peers whether or not she realizes it) is talking about how she wouldn’t hire someone with a ‘ghetto’ name and even references watermelon. 
A name is a name just like skin is skin and clothes are clothes. They only mean what we make them mean and we really need to consider how ‘black’ names became the marker for who not to hire and how that effects the lived realities of actual human beings looking to go to school and become part of the work force.
I’ve known Deannas, Starquannas and Jay, Tay AND Day Quans and I never treated them any differently than the Samantha’s, Eric’s or Adams as my schoolmates OR students. 
It saddens me that we internalize this foolishness, even naming our children specifically based on what will give them the ‘best chance’ on an application. 
We get to choose their names and we often stay far away from cultural names so they won’t be judged but please believe that won’t save them. I shudder to think of how many of us would choose a different skin tone or hair texture for our children if we could.
When Johari and Jayla are wildly successful in whatever it is they decide to do it is those cultural names (granted- I now realize ‘Jayla’ might be quite palatable to a Eurocentric ear) that will be announced when they receive their accolades and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Jess and Jack have enough awards. 
And they’d be the same kids if they were Jamal and Jasmarie or Jay Quan and Janiqua.

A reminder for the supposedly conscious community about #BlackHair

  
I can love natural hair all I want, it doesn’t give me the right to judge my sister just for having a different texture. We are still fighting the same battles and part of the reason we are losing is because we refuse to focus on our similarities and instead spend too much time arguing about what makes us different and in our minds, better than one another. Our men, women and children have inherited this psyche and the cost to our families and communities is great. It’s time to start talking to each other and building together in spite of individual preferences. I don’t need to be just like you to value your life, health, safety and happiness. #StayWoke #Sisterhood #RealBlackLove #BlackHairMatters #TeamNatural #NaturalHair #TeamRelaxed #BlackGirlsRock #BlackGirlMagic #BlackPower #BlackUnity #locloveliveshere #loctalk post by @afrocenchick founder of @locloveliveshere @bestoflocsawards @youngpeopleofcolorinc pic found at @theloclife

Why disrespecting ‘ratchets’ is anti Black

  
This hits home for me in a major way. Having a great dialogue with a brotha on Facebook so I’m going to provide my commentary to him in this caption. He suggested that it’s important to differentiate because ‘we want our sons and daughters to differentiate between women who love themselves and give back to the world and those who don’t respect themselves or life’ 

here’s my response: The thing it’s important to remember Alain Davis is that the terms are applied so loosely that they lack accuracy and ultimately value. The minute you eat McDonald’s or know a fetty wap lyric you become a hood rat to some black men. 

If you didn’t know me as a person and you caught me on a particularly #carefreeblackgirl day I might very well be bumping ‘post to be’ and trying (and failing miserably) to do the nae nae. These small things create these huge and divisive categories and I can’t rock with that. 

In the case of our sisters who are truly not aware of their worth and ancestral greatness, the question we as a people have to ask ourselves is, ‘how does me calling this sister names change her situation?’ And it doesn’t. 

We forget that queens are queens even when they don’t exhibit ‘queen like’ behavior. That royalty shit is in our DNA. Perhaps if more of us respected one another that culture of love would permeate even the farthest gone mind. But we spend so much time throwing shade and trying to be a ‘different kind’ of black folk that the things that should bind us are trumped by these categorizations. 

It serves us to point out hArmful behavior. It doesn’t serve us to divide ourselves from one another or disrespect one another. A lot of nasty things come a black woman’s way once she’s deemed ‘ratchet’ and a ‘hoodrat.’ We don’t even have/use those terms for our men. Something else to think about. 

#locloveliveshere #blackhairmatters #stereotypes #namecalling #theblackcommunity #afrocenchick #ypoc #blacklove #blackpower #blackunity #blackwomen #blackmen #niggasbelike #bitchesbelike #queensbelike #kingsbelike #BUTWEALLROYALTY

Mad love to Amandla Sternberg

EXTREMELY tired of celebrities, correspondents & other people with influence claiming cultural appropriation ‘isn’t a big deal,’ that they ‘didn’t understand the historical context’ until they received a huge backlash or that ‘we can work toward equality a different way’ than calling out cultural theft for popularity & profit. 
No, bitch.
I will be there every time black, brown, red & yellow culture is used for a photo op while the originators of the baby hair, head dresses, braid styles, bamboo earrings, & head wraps are murdered with impunity, displaced, disrespected and dehumanized on a daily basis across the globe. 
It’s all connected.
I find it hilarious though not at all surprising that someone like Justin Beiber came to the defense of Kylie Jenner when Amandla Sternberg tried to put her on to the difference between appreciation and appropriation and suggested she could do more for the black community since she’s so fond of its physical attributes and hair styles.
These conversations are important and should be encouraged, not dismissed and shut down. Especially not by people with the influence over these young folks to make them think twice about their actions. 
Keep shining Amandla. 

 

Maybe now we’ll stop talking about Rachel Dolezal

 
And the anti Black hate crime being described as a ‘church shooting.’ The energy media outlets are pouring into giving someone with privilege an outlet to repeatedly speak on why she has every right to pretend said privilege does not exist is an abomination to the Haitians in the DR and the 9 victims murdered in a church last night. Anti- Black racism is a global epidemic and the sooner we start going to bat for #ActualBlack people the way we are defending the humanity of Rachel Dolezal, the sooner we will see a more equitable and accessible world. It’s not hating on her to acknowledge the space she’s taking up in a conversation that has nothing to do with her nor is it wrong to point out the implications of transracial theory and the lived experiences said thinking will impose upon the black women, girls & femmes already struggling to be loved, protected and humanized in this world. #charleston #dominicanrepublic #racheldolezal #thecostofactualblackness

Final Thoughts on Rachel Dolezal

I swear I won’t say anything else. But this interview is all over my damn feed. There’s nothing to explain. Loving and wanting to be donkey kong does not make me a fucking video game character. Too much baggage comes with blackness to be co opting it cause you FEEL like it. The epitome of privilege is the ability to CHOOSE blackness. I love the skin I’m in but I damn sure didn’t get to choose it, how people see me because of it and how they treat me and people like me. Race is a social construct, I get that. I would love to explore that. But not at the expense of the lived experiences of my people across the diaspora. This is not the story from which a dialogue about race should be spawned. Just another confirmation of white privilege and the feelings of white women overriding the lived experiences of black women. Although I was made to think critically the past few days I stand firm in my belief that the dialogue surrounding this serves an agenda that will be harmful to marginalized groups at the end of the day. The comparisons to the transgender struggle set a dangerous precedent that undermines the lives, safety and legitimacy of women, trans & black people. This ‘what is race?’ Question would not have come up if a black woman was outed as white. I guarantee it. On the flip side all the black folks standing up for Rachel on the grounds that she did so much for the community and embraced it and ‘well how come she can’t be black? Eff stereotypes! What makes a black person black anyway?’ You would be the same ones digging a grave to throw her in if she was a black woman who believed she was white (negropean! Humph! Look at that self hate!) so I really don’t get it. Anyone with a stake in the community, regardless of your race, let’s let Rachel do whatever she’s gonna do and keep building for the collective. This woman has already gotten too much air time. God bless her and keep it moving.