Women

MLK’s Mother Was Assassinated, Too: The Forgotten Women Of Black History Month | Talking Points

Alberta Williams King

Absent from most discussion about Martin Luther King, Jr is his mother’s assassination. As our author, Aurin Squire, gasps at her lack of knowledge, we should realize that what we read is filled with holes waiting to be filled. The main question is, do we wait for others to do our jobs or we going to fill those spaces with our stories.

Historical omission points toward a culture’s subconscious beliefs that some people matter less than others. When female stories are muted, we are teaching our kids that their dignity is second class and the historical accounts of their lives is less relevant. This lowered value carries over when women face sexual objectification and systemic brutalization from inside and outside the community. When we can’t see ourselves in our history, we begin to think that we are disconnected and suffering alone. Historical ignorance always precedes cultural imbalances and individual despair. Too many lives are still lived in the blank space, too many march for racial equality while subjugating their gender and even sexual orientation.

via MLK’s Mother Was Assassinated, Too: The Forgotten Women Of Black History Month.

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Ella Jo Baker: “If you have strong people, you don’t need strong leaders.”

Strong people definitely don’t need strong leaders!

Machine Mean

Ella Jo Baker, press conference, 1960 Ella Jo Baker, press conference, 1960

While some Civil Rights leaders tested the limits of oppression in the South themselves through direct action, some empowered others to test those same limits. Ella Jo Baker was a natural born leader who empowered others by developing ordinary people into becoming grassroots leaders, building upon their own potentials and sense of social justice. Baker encouraged young activists, like the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), to listen and become inspired by the testimonies of those suffering under racial oppression in Mississippi and throughout the Deep South. Baker wanted these young turks to extract lessons that could be applied to future freedom struggles. Ella Jo Baker was an important leader in the Black Freedom Movement who tested the limits of oppression by getting to know everyday people and believing passionately, just as former SNCC activist Victoria Gray Adams did, that “everybody has something to say and something to offer.”

During an interview with historian Charles…

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10 Learned Behaviors of a Black Girl — Everyday Feminism

This Andie Berry article published in Everyday Feminism is a necessary item in the Black Girls toolbox.

Andie Berry writes:

I often felt like my parents were teaching me to be a complacent, extremely hardworking robot-woman (i.e. the mammy archetype). I now realize that they were doing their best to teach me how to survive the intersections of being Black and a woman in a world that hated both.

via 10 Learned Behaviors of a Black Girl — Everyday Feminism.

Who Suffers Most From Rape and Sexual Assault in America? – NYTimes.com

There are obvious steps we as a society can take to better support all victims of sexual violence: We have to stop blaming and shaming survivors, and to start holding perpetrators accountable. But we also need to do much more to support women in disadvantaged communities. These are the same women who have the least flexibility at work, the least access to reliable transportation, the least help with child care, and the least resources with which to pursue legal representation or medical treatment on their own. We need to do a better job of bringing health, legal and psychological services to them.

via Who Suffers Most From Rape and Sexual Assault in America? – NYTimes.com.

Surprising Facts About Black Women | MadameNoire

Madame Noire

Madame Noire lists 15 fast facts about the African American woman that may astound you. Among this list are characteristics, strengths, and accomplishments seldom noted in the current conversations African American women have with each other. Drink up, Ladies!

Think you know all there is to know about the African-American experience? These surprising facts about black women just might surprise you.

via Surprising Facts About Black Women | MadameNoire.

After Ferguson, my feminism will never be the same | #OYRchallenge

The raw silence spoken of by Tina Mbachu in this article rings back to my vision of small enclaves peppered with frightened aged African Americans in America. She points to white feminists’ singular focus on their backyard and their circus. Similarly, the last few years of heightened African Americans murdered and elder malaise leaves one to gasp with each news flash, each video of gunfire spurting from a sea of blue.

After Ferguson, my feminism will never be the same

“This coming Black History month plagues me the most, as I look back over my social media posts. We have become numb to those sepia and black and white photos of the sixties. They dramatize the void between then and now. They ceased to represent hope so long ago that our Black politicians forgot what they truly represented and are to represent. And so, this paraphernalia becomes an addition to our term papers, articles, festivals, and blogs. We market them to the forlorn instead of justice. We pull them out to wipe our brows after we have sold the community to feed our bellies.

“We are fighting the same issues, yet our children are forming new ideas — new means of protest,” one social media poster said. And I grunt. Another prided the police’s traffic control prowess during our local march. I am still stunned from the vision of a young man shot to death by police just a few years ago on our streets that ended in silence; and her politicizing the mother’s grief. I digress because the she is a woman, a mother, and Black; and the message she sent is “No mother. Your son’s death is not important here. Our borrowed crinoline skirts must remain intact.””

So Tina Mbachu’s indictment against white feminist can be broadened to include a hubris and selfish protest adopted by all of us for too long. The selfish protest our children are now rejecting. The protest that used them as blame, shields, and sacrifices to what we labeled Black Progress. I hear Mbachu clearly when she states:

After Ferguson, my feminism will never be the same
Traumatic transmission across generation is the leftover pain, the unbearable weight of it on our mothers, our fathers. This grief is transferred to us across multiple vectors. The transferring of trauma is also a transferring of tasks. Once solidarity is created in the process, the new generation must now find ways to deal with the pain. We must find new ways to represent our pains, to discuss them, and to heal.

As a feminist, whether a white liberal or radical feminist, you are absolutely wrong to question how I express this pain.

via After Ferguson, my feminism will never be the same.

Ferguson officer accused of raping pregnant woman: ‘You’re the type of girl that can get me in trouble’

“Law enforcement Officers of the City of Ferguson have been involved in many other acts of violence including the shooting of Michael Brown on Aug. 9, 2014,” the suit states. “On information and belief discovery will produce other acts of violence, all contributing to a pattern and practice of allowing violence and sexual assault on members of the public. The numerous acts of violence against the citizenry by law enforcement of the City of Ferguson constitute a pattern.”

via Ferguson officer accused of raping pregnant woman: ‘You’re the type of girl that can get me in trouble’.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Knows We Call Her ‘Notorious RBG’ and Loves It

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 2014

In an interview with Katie Couric for Yahoo News, the Justice says that she’s tickled by the internet adoration of young women and progressives who have branded her “Notorious RBG” and made fan art featuring the Justice as a super hero. Ginsburg even corrected Couric when she implied that the Tumblr that popularized the nickname had arisen after the Hobby Lobby decision. I believe, says perfect person Ruth Bader Ginsburg, that it was after the Voting Rights Act. She added, “I haven’t seen anything that isn’t pleasing or funny on that website.”

via Ruth Bader Ginsburg Knows We Call Her ‘Notorious RBG’ and Loves It.

Brazil’s new primetime show “Sexo e as Negas” serves the white gaze | Media Diversified

Black Brazilian Women

When we first heard the news about the series, it was said that a white woman would be the principal actor. She, who behind a balcony, would observe us like animals in a zoo. She who would speak on our behalf. Our history, suffering and capacity to speak for ourselves were minor details. The narrators of our trauma and suffering, in this case a man, is someone absent from this suffering. It is not silliness, not even conservatism, not even the forces of politically correctness, as some will suggest. It is about critical care for our history and existence.

via Brazil’s new primetime show “Sexo e as Negas” serves the white gaze | Media Diversified.

14 Incredible Web Series Created By and Featuring Black Women | #OYRchallenge

ForHarriet.com‘s Michelle Denise Jackson posted this list of webisodes featuring Black women. What made this most special was the commentor’s additions to the already noteworthy list. Snuggle in. This is going to be a warm and exciting winter on the web. 

Here are a few nibbles to get you started.



Michelle Denise JacksonI am a writer, storyteller, and performer, as well as an aspiring screenwriter and producer. I have spent most of my adult life feeling various degrees of outrage, disappointment, and frustration by the limited roles and narratives available to Black women in the mainstream entertainment and media industry.

via 14 Incredible Web Series Created By and Featuring Black Women.