While catching up on Season 2 of the “Being Mary Jane” television series, I came upon a scene in Episode 9 where Gabrielle Union as Mary Jane Paul hosts a discussion on the Black woman’s image. Is she ugly?
The guest are real life activist and scholars, singer-songwriter, actress, musician, and record producer India Arie; Mark Anthony Neal a Professor of African & African American Studies and the founding director of the Center for Arts, Digital Culture and Entrepreneurship (CADCE) at Duke University; and Michaela Angela Davis, image activist, feminist, and CNN contributor. Professor Neal hosts many Black scholars on his weekly webcast, “Left of Black,” so this was right up his alley.
The question is: Black women. Do you feel Beautiful? “WE have to say we are magic,” says Davis. Watch and Learn!!!
Despite the legislation which emanated from the Civil Rights Movement, Black people are not free and they have no power, including power over their own communities. The larger society will not employ us, but they will imprison us, as they have by the multitudes, separating our families and destroying our communities, as we are used as raw materials for the prison factories.
And whether by the police, the courts, or vigilantes, this society continues to kill Black women, children and men—in the streets, in the police car, in the jail house and elsewhere, all because we have no power, and they know it.
“Black Americana” is a project aiming to deconstruct negative stereotypes through redefining and “reappropriating” relics of black americana. The goal of this first installment, says artist Tanisha Pyron, is to explore the dynamics between black women and men at various points in the African-American historical timeline. “[We’re] looking to quantify and establish what it took for one black man to love one black woman in the past and what it takes now and cast vision for it will take generations to come,” she writes.
To learn more about “Black Americana”, check out their Facebook page. Take a peek at some of the photos from this first installment below!
The Beautiful Project, a Durham, N.C.-based nonprofit, has launched an online exhibit—“The Self Care Exhibit: A Word and Image Act of Self-Preservation and Political Warfare”—to help us see, through a photographic collective, how that self-preservation Sister Audre was referencing takes shape. The organization has long empowered black girls by making them partners in reframing their images in the media, but this is the first time it is applying its unique artistic activism through photography to an issue specific to adult black women.
The concept emerged during a conversation in 2013 when Jamaica Gilmer, a professional photographer gifted in the art of storytelling with her lens, and fellow co-founders of the Beautiful Project, writer and educator Pamela Thompson and educator and activist Erin Stephens, led a discussion with their group of contributors.
How do we as African American’s label our implicit bias? Class.
“What we have shown here is that racial disparities in discipline can occur even when black and white students behave in the same manner,” write Jason A. Okonofua and Jennifer L. Eberhardt in their paper, published in April by the journal Psychological Science. (Eberhardt won a 2014 MacArthur “Genius” fellowship for her work on implicit bias.)
It’s a pattern that might provide insight to interpersonal bias in criminal justice. “Just as escalating responses to multiple infractions committed by Black students might feed racial disparities in disciplinary practices in K–12 schooling, so too might escalating responses to multiple infractions committed by black suspects feed racial disparities in the criminal-justice system,” they write.
Although this article is directed at men of color, the higher education teaching shortlist presented here should be observed beyond a single profile. See references below if you need credentials.
This post is co-authored with Frank Harris III @fharris3 – Associate Professor, Postsecondary Education at San Diego State University; Khalid White @brother_white – Professor, Ethnic Studies and Umoja Program Coordinator at San Jose City College; and Marissa Vasquez-Urias @mvasquez619 – Lecturer, Community College Leadership at San Diego State University
Mary Seacole was a Jamaican nurse who cared for British soldiers at the battlefront during the Crimean War. She assisted the wounded at the military hospitals and was a familiar figure at the transfer points for casualties from the front. Her remedies for cholera and dysentery were particularly valued.
Septima Poinsette Clark (May 3, 1898 – Dec. 15, 1987)
Septima Clark was an American educator and civil rights activist. Clark developed the literacy and citizenship workshops that played an important role in the drive for voting rights and civil rights for African-Americans in the American Civil Rights Movement.
Clark, along with future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and others, worked on a 1945 case that sought equal pay for Black and white teachers. She described it as her “first effort in a social action challenging the status quo.” Her salary increased threefold when the case was won.
Social media is rife with comparisons of Jordanian pilot Muadh al-Kasasbeh and past American lynchings and burnings such as the case of Jesse Washington of Waco, Texas in 1919. Which of these photos explain why we as Americans avoid recognizing local horrors, yet are so quick to comment on the same crippling situations across the seas? Now read the article by Elisabeth Parker.
I made my way down the hall to my computer and typed in: “Waco, Texas. Lynching.”
Sure enough, there it was: the charred corpse of a young black man, tied to a blistered tree in the heart of the Texas Bible Belt. Next to the burned body, young white men can be seen smiling and grinning, seemingly jubilant at their front-row seats in a carnival of death. One of them sent a picture postcard home: “This is the barbeque we had last night. My picture is to the left with a cross over it. Your son, Joe.”
The Root talked to three transracial adoptees, all adopted by white families in the 1970s, about their experiences and views on transracial adoption, as well as Costner’s new film. While all three appreciated the love and foundation their families provided, a common theme evolved: In a racially polarized society, children of color cannot be raised devoid of their history and culture. All three agreed that white families who adopt children of color need to abandon the naivete of colorblindness and deal with the racial reality their black and brown children face.