You know that feeling in the pit of your stomach when you feel personal failure because people close to you…people you hope you positively influence made a bad decision today that will haunt all of you both disproportionately and indefinitely? Well ya… I’m feeling that coupled with a deeper understanding of what it looks like when people confuse the definition of feminism with sexism and don’t even know it. I did my part and regardless of the outcome I can tell my daughter genitalia didn’t sway my vote.
As a feminist by definition I viewed both candidates equally as politicians with agendas and when I compared their records, ethics, and platforms…I can tell her I voted for the right guy and fought for him all the way to the convention…I hope I can tell this story to her one day and laugh about how silly it is that I was afraid for her very life…
I hope I can look back and I don’t remember the nightmares I’ve had of her replacing Sandra Bland on that video or her growing up in a world dominated by war and ruled by resource scarcity… I hope that my hope comes peeking through the clouds of media dust storms that bury FBI investigations and passive aggressive racism under girl power puff pieces and celebrity obituaries.
I pray that before it all falls to shit something pulls the pin out of this grenade and we explode into enlightenment propelled by the understanding that although things aren’t perfect it isn’t impossible nor is it unrealistic to demand real progressive change in a country that has always been dragged, kicking, and screaming into the future…
I’m hoping someone reads this and feels regret…deep mournful regret for not taking a chance on the underdog today… but instead of deflecting they take a hard look at WHY they felt OK with self identifying as unworthy of hope… I want them to ask themselves “what happens to a dream deferred”… then I want them to watch a Trump rally and find out.
I finally tasted #Lemonade and it wasn’t anything like it was portrayed to me. It was a full bodied thirst quenching tall glass of amniotic bliss… It was a rich visual embodiment of the call and response like conversations that women of the diaspora play out internally on a daily basis. It is sheer and utter blaspheme to paint Beyoncé as an “Angry Black Woman” seeking to publicly air a lovers spat…The images… so carefully crafted are delicate representations of our strength as black women… don’t you see?
It’s a celebration of life and vibrancy in face of dull toned turned backs… It’s a chin held high in face of misplaced applause… It’s the acknowledgment of the side eyes we’ve dished out to those whose very image we were trained to covet over our own… It’s an ode to the colored girl… and an antidote to the colorist. If you watched an hour of sunshine and chose to see rain… I can only deduce that it either wasn’t made for you or you were not ready to receive it.
I was ready though…I been ready. I needed this more then I knew I did… a burst of brilliant blue-black ultra violet light. So many talented womenfolk pooled together in a single contiguous heart string… lined up in Formation… calling me with their eyes saluting me, emblazoned with the symbols of our pride.
I’m glad to be alive in these strange times…these fearful, exhausting, yet awe inspiring times. I finally tasted #Lemonade and all I could muster to say out loud was thank you … Thank you to the ancestors for laying the foundation for Formation by turning lemons into Lemonade under the watchful eyes of your little girls…because you never know who you are raising until they rise up.
I believe your assertion that for some “late-breaking sexism often means later-onset identification with the principles of second-wave feminism”, however that experience is EXACTLY why I’m CHOOSING to vote for Bernie Sanders as opposed to Hillary Clinton; and I’d like the think pieces on why I’m naive or somehow less of a feminist than you are to stop.
I am an HBCU Dean’s List grad. I am a Black Single Mother of a 4-year-old daughter. I am a proud member of the LGBT community, and I have been eking out an existence working 10-12 hours days for $12 an hour in one of the most discriminatory industries (Hollywood) in the world. You assume that because I won’t blindly vote for Hillary I must be naive to the discrimination of the business world or the social structure of this country in general; this position is not only disparaging, but sexist, and ageist all bundled up nicely in a tight fist that I’m tired of being assaulted with.
I’m proud the woman before me have paved a pathway for us, but didn’t they do so in order for me to have the freedom to vote about the issues and the candidates’ political and social anatomy not their physical anatomy? Making young educated women out to be people pleasing and inexperienced shows a level of callus that is scary and truly disheartening. The woman of the baby boomer age were once idealist…what happened to that belly burning fire that was emboldened by opposition and in search of true progressive change? Why settle for just any woman when there is more at stake here than ovaries in the oval office? We have a Supreme Court justice nom on the line, we have oil pipelines from Canada pending, we have a trade deal that could dismantle what little democratic power we have left over corporations, and we have a privatized prison system that threatens to sue if we don’t continue to fuel them with free labor. I and thousands of other women graduated from college as the economy fell apart; we faced even more abysmal job prospects than we would have had we been met solely with the sexism already expected in the workplace.
I am not some starry-eyed child who doesn’t know what’s good for me. I am the product of my history, culture, and environment. I am the niece of two Uncles jailed by Clinton’s 94’ Crime Bill. I am a bi-sexual woman who is puzzled that the same woman who supported her husband in signing DOMA, the HIV travel ban, as well as overseeing the doubling of LGBT discharges from the military in his tenure, can act as if that never happened or claim to have magically “evolved” dismissing my and countless other peoples pain. Hillary didn’t fully support same sex marriage until 2013…yes…2013! She flew in the face of change and only joined our ranks as the prevailing winds of pew polling blew. She’s never stood true as a weather vane for equal human rights for all…only the humans who benefit her public image.
Bottom line: I don’t trust her. I don’t trust Hillary to do right by me or any of the issues I care about. If I were a man the very women who bash me would respect my right as an American to vote for the person, male or female whom I’m most ideologically aligned with. However, I am not a man…and these women… my sisters claim “there is a special place in Hell” for me and that I only support Bernie because his camp is where all the boys are. The legacy I want to leave my daughter isn’t one of forced affiliation or entitlement; it’s one of progressive ethics so I’ll stand tall in my opposition. If Bernie wins on a platform of revolutionary change I can take comfort in the fact that regardless of which side they played ALL women will benefit both directly and indirectly from that.
I do hope that a woman will inhabit the white house one day soon, but that isn’t my ONLY hope… I pray that by the time my child is of college age she won’t have to tackle the issues I have had to. I hope she won’t have to decide between living a life and paying back student loans. Yes, sexism is very real but so is the need to reduce income inequality, corporate welfare, and the cost of health care. I have aspirations for myself and my daughter that are bigger than the shadow cast by Hillary and when I look into my child’s eyes and my own in the mirror, I know there are better female candidates out there, but we as women need to recognize them… let’s not squander our “1st woman” card on a layup.
Most Certainly a Feminist,
Growing up…I transitioned from an all black private school to an all white public school… My lips were too big and my curly “Ms. Frizzel” hair (as they used to call it) was made fun of all because I actually had a top lip and my hair wasn’t like their long dull straight hair… Now…watching this I am most disturbed by the fact that the women making the video have zero idea that they are culturally appropriating the nuances of beauty that woman of color are taught to dislike about themselves. Until I grew to love who I am, I would straighten my hair and subdue my features… It’s almost like they are saying our beauty traits are a “style” or “fad” and really only attractive, cute, or unique when they rock them… Feel Free to post an opposing view… if you have one…I will counter whatever it is with sunless tanner and pictures of Bo Derek with cornrows…
Check out the article I got the videos from written by my friend Carla Thomas of STYLE & GRACE
“Ok, soooo the awards are mine? It’s official? Let me drop this single on um right quick”
Sheesh… I’m with EVERYTHING HE SAYS… EVERYTHING…
Poetry at it’s rawest, Kendrick pulled my heart out with this one.
Although I may not always agree with Wells Fargo’s Business Practices, this #MyUntold Project is really worth checking out.
This story-telling initiative offers a glimpse of what it means to be African-American today. View the stories & share your own using #MyUntold.
Posted by: Aprill Turner
MINNEAPOLIS (October 17, 2014) – Today at the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), Board of Directors Meeting, President Bob Butler announced that long-time supporter CNN has withdrawn support of NABJ for the 2015 Convention & Career Fair.
NABJ issued a statement last week, “NABJ Concerned About Atmosphere at CNN for African Americans“, in which NABJ expressed concern over the large number of African-American staff members leaving and being fired from the cable news network. Several African-Americans anchors have left the anchor desk or CNN altogether in the past few years.
Following the release CNN contacted NABJ President Bob Butler and informed him the association’s request for support was denied.
Since that time CNN announced a major layoff in which at least five senior managers were laid off. In the past year nearly a dozen African American managers have resigned, been laid off or were terminated.”
“I understand the company has a right to make personnel decisions,” said NABJ President Bob Butler. “There were not that many African American managers at CNN in the first place. These layoffs have hurt our members tremendously. I am severely disappointed that CNN has ended our partnership.”
NABJ was established as an advocacy group in 1975 in Washington, D.C., and is now the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation. It provides career development, educational support and other services to its members worldwide.
***THIS JUST IN***
UPDATED 10/17/14, 3:43 P.M. EST: According to Nigerian government officials, in addition to the ceasefire, the nearly 300 schoolgirls — who were kidnapped as they took exams in Chibok — will be released, reports the BBC.
Nigerian presidential aide Hassan Tukur told BBC Focus on Africa that the agreement was sealed after a month of negotiations, mediated by Chad.
As part of the talks, a government delegation twice met representatives of the Islamist group.
Mr Tukur said Boko Haram had announced a unilateral ceasefire on Thursday and the government had responded.
“They’ve assured us they have the girls and they will release them,” he said.
“I am cautiously optimistic.”
While the Nigerian government hasn’t revealed what concessions they have made to secure the girls, they have said that they will be having a meeting next week to hash out the particulars of the release.
ABUJA, Nigeria — Nigeria’s government and Islamic extremists from Boko Haram have agreed to an immediate cease-fire, officials said Friday, in a move that could end five years of insurgency that has killed thousands and left hundreds of thousands homeless in Africa’s most populous nation and its biggest oil producer.
The fate of more than 200 missing schoolgirls abducted by the insurgents six months ago remains unclear. Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade said their release is still being negotiated.
Boko Haram negotiators “assured that the schoolgirls and all other people in their captivity are all alive and well,” Mike Omeri, the government spokesman on the insurgency, told a news conference.
The chief of defense staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, announced the truce and ordered his troops to immediately comply with the agreement.
“Already, the terrorists have announced a cease-fire in furtherance of their desire for peace. In this regard, the government of Nigeria has, in similar vein, declared a cease-fire,” Omeri said.
There was no immediate word from Boko Haram, which limits its announcements almost exclusively to videos of its leader Abubakar Shekau. Last year, when a government minister charged with negotiations announced an agreement, the group quickly published a video denying it. Leader Shekau said at that time that whoever the government negotiated with did not speak for him and that he would never talk to infidels.
It could take days for word to get to fighters of Boko Haram, which is broken into several groups. They include foreigners from neighboring countries Chad, Cameroon and Niger, where the insurgents also have camps.
There have been unconfirmed reports that at least some of the girls have been carried across borders, and some forced to marry their captors. A Boko Haram video in May showed two of the girls explaining why they had converted from Christianity to Islam.
Omeri confirmed there had been direct negotiations this week about the release of the abducted girls. Another official said the talks took place in neighboring Chad. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to talk to reporters.
Boko Haram had been demanding the release of detained extremists in exchange for the girls. President Goodluck Jonathan originally said he could not countenance a prisoner swap.
Boko Haram – the group’s nickname means “education is sinful” – attracted international condemnation with the April 15 kidnapping of 276 girls and young women writing final examinations at a boarding school in the remote northeastern town of Chibok.
Dozens escaped on their own in the first couple of days, but 219 remain missing. Their plight drew protests around the world with demands that the military and government get them free.
The United States, Britain, France and China sent experts to help find the girls, and U.S. drones flew over the area they are believed captive. But Badeh said months ago that they feared a military campaign to free the girls would lead to many of their deaths.
Dozens more schoolgirls and boys, young women and men have been kidnapped by the extremists in a 5-year-old insurgency.
Jonathan told the United Nations last month that the extremists have killed 13,000 civilians.
Hundreds of thousands have been driven from their homes, many of them farmers, causing a food emergency in the northeast of the country where the insurgency is centered.
But Boko Haram has struck elsewhere, with suicide and car bombing attacks in northern cities, in Abuja, the capital in the center of the country, and one failed car bomb in Lagos, the commercial capital in the southwest.
This week, nearly 100 soldiers have been on trial before a court-martial for mutiny and conspiracy to mutiny by refusing to fight the insurgents.
Demoralized troops have told The Associated Press that Boko Haram is better equipped and better armed, and that their officers steal some of their pay. They complain that they are abandoned to fight in the bush with no food or water.
In August, Boko Haram began seizing and holding territory where it declared a caliphate, apparently copying the Islamic State group fighting in Iraq and Syria.
But the tide appears to have turned in recent weeks, with the military wrestling some towns from the extremists and reporting to have killed hundreds of Boko Haram fighters.
French President Francois Hollande on Friday welcomed the announcement of an accord on the Nigerian schoolgirls as “good news.” He said during a press conference in Paris that “we have information that allows us to think that (the release of the girls) could happen in the coming hours and days”. He didn’t give details.
By Abena Agyeman-Fisher