The Suburban Black Girl

674af7ce012705bf6ac26c6888fdfabaWho is the suburban black girl?

While many are accustomed to the stereotypical neck rolling, hardcore, thugalicious black girl, few are aware about the existence and unique culture of the suburban black girl. Although many black girls living in the suburbs find ease in moving between white and black communities, there are still problems that derive from growing up black in predominately white suburbs. The suburban black girl experiences a unique kind of isolation that is easily overlooked. Continue reading

Watch These Young Girls Recite Maya Angelou’s “Phenomenal Woman”

Nickelodeon partnered with the Because of Them, We Can™ for Black History Month. It was amazing watching these young girls recite Maya Angelou’s “Phenomenal Woman”.

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me. Continue reading

Supporting Black & Minority-Owned Businesses

Before I begin I am in no way, shape or form telling people not shop at white-owned businesses. I am merely expressing the importance of supporting black and minority-owned businesses.

African-Americans as a community need to stop blindly throwing away all their money. They need to reevaluate their spending strategies by directing their money towards more black and minority-owned businesses. Their money needs to be spent in more places where they see a representation of themselves and their culture. It’s smart to shop locally in areas where  owners of stores are black. African Americans need to uplift their people so that they can have a chance to be as successful as other businesses. For example, instead of constantly eating McDonald’s (WHICH IS NOT HEALTHY ANY WAY!), go to Ben’s Chili Bowl and enjoy their delicious food. Taking action by supporting black-owned businesses will have a big influence on the development of black communities, as well as their employment availability. Continue reading

Keeping Our Defenders Safe (Sexual Harassment Within The U.S. Military)

 “The Invisible War” Documentary Film
(If you don’t have the film you can watch it on YouTube in “parts”)

The troops protecting our country are also sexually assaulting others within the same group which is very contradicting.

This may be hard to believe, but sexual assault, sexual harassment and rape are very common in the U.S. military. In May, the Pentagon released an anonymous sexual assault survey which concluded that 26,000 troops were sexually assaulted/harassed in 2012. This is a tremendous increase in assaults when compared to the 19,000 who reported last year. Although women only make up 15% of the active duty force, they make up 47% of the sexual assaulted victims. “The annual report shows that of assaults on women, 67% happened on base, 19% in a war zone and 20% on a ship or a field exercise. For male-on-male assaults, 73%happened on base and 26% in a combat zone” (Washington Times).

The perpetrators of the sexual assaults are usually people in charge/superiors. You can see how this puts service members in an awkward position. Having a superior as the offender contradicts the entire situation. The majority of sexual assault cases are not reported. Therefore, the committer gets off with no punishment, while the victim is emotionally and mentally scarred for life. Sexual assaults are not reported for numerous, military, cultural reasons: Continue reading

No Headscarves! Stop Islam!

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On May 14, 2016 Antwerp, Belgium, hosted the third annual Muslim Expo, which is a festival that celebrates  Muslim lifestyle and culture. Unfortunately, members of Vlaams Belang (a Belgian political party), showed up to protest at the event. They showed up in a group of around 40 protesters, some handing out pork sausages. The group held signs that said things like, “No headscarves,” “No mosques,” and “Stop Islam.” Continue reading

CELEBRATING OCTAVIA E. BUTLER WITH A YEAR OF EVENTS

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This year would mark the 10th anniversary of the untimely death of the “grand dame of science fiction”, Octavia E. Butler. She will always be remembered for her unquestionable impact on the world of science fiction and Black literature, as well as her immense effect on future generations of writers.

After Butler’s death, scholars started to examine her work and old documents, which helped launch a new genre called Afro-Futurism. The documents included a widespread of drafts, notes, research materials, texts written when Butler was only 12 years old, novels, short stories, and essays. Continue reading

WHAT IS BEAUTY?


WHAT IS BEAUTY

Beauty is subjective; it is a result of the judgment of others on what is aesthetically pleasing. For example, some people find that the color orange is beautiful while others find that the color blue is beautiful. When it comes to other human beings, however, the definition and perception of beauty becomes far less subjective. Cultural norms and traditions skew the definition of ‘beauty’ until it becomes a rigid, cookie-cutter concept that acknowledges little to no bend. The U.S. is programmed to glorify Eurocentric features. The problem is that America’s population does not consist of white people exclusively. A country that houses thousands of people with different cultural and ethnic backgrounds cannot only praises the attributes of Caucasians because it creates an inferiority complex. The presence of white beauty preferences is harmful because they serve to erase and devalue black culture and support a system of black inferiority. White people created the social idea that one color is better than another and because of this, beauty standards remain slanted to this day.

Continue reading

ADINKRA SYMBOLS

 There was a time where I would constantly see Adinkra symbols without understanding the deeper meaning behind them. For example, I ate at Sankofa without the slightest clue that Sankofa means “return and get it” emphasizing the importance of learning from the past.

          Luckily, I had the opportunity to participate in a New Orleans service trip where I gained so much valuable information about the cultural significance of Adinkra symbols. Adinkra symbols can be found anywhere from patterned cloth, to jewelry and different advertising logos. It is a set of intricate cultural designs that have various deeper meanings and can communicate expressive messages representing a person’s life. Continue reading