I was taking a Black Feminism/Womanism class at Portland State University when I first read about bell hooks’s struggle with suicidal thoughts while she was at Stanford. I thought, “Wait, I’m not the only one? And people actually talk about this!?” At some point, I breathed an audible sigh of relief that my classmates misinterpreted as boredom; yes, they actually thought that a black, queer gurl in a Black Feminism class was bored. How simple people can be sometimes! What really happened was, in that moment, I felt as though a hand had reached out and plucked…
Hey y’all. So I wrote a thing.
[tw for suicide] y’all GO READ THIS phenomenal piece. it had me in tears. i couldn’t pick just one part to quote.
Many victims of sexual assault do not report these crimes to family, school officials or police, and a new report on the normalization of sexual violence among young girls and women offers several insights into why this is; it also functions as a pretty harrowing primer on rape culture and its consequences.
Researchers at Marquette University analyzed forensic interviews with 100 young people between the ages of 3 and 17, many of whom spoke candidly about their daily experiences of sexual violence and harassment.
According to sociologist Heather Hlavka, many of the young people she interviewed viewed these incidents as a normal part of life. One interview subject told researchers, “They grab you, touch your butt and try to, like, touch you in the front, and run away, but it’s okay, I mean … I never think it’s a big thing because they do it to everyone.”
According to a release on the report, there are several of the reasons why young women do not come forward about the abuse they experience, including a belief that men “can’t help it” and a fear of being labeled a “whore”:
Girls believe the myth that men can’t help it. The girls interviewed described men as unable to control their sexual desires, often framing men as the sexual aggressors and women as the gatekeepers of sexual activity. They perceived everyday harassment and abuse as normal male behavior, and as something to endure, ignore, or maneuver around.
Many of the girls said that they didn’t report the incident because they didn’t want to make a “big deal” of their experiences. They doubted if anything outside of forcible heterosexual intercourse counted as an offense or rape.
Lack of reporting may be linked to trust in authority figures. According to Hlavka, the girls seem to have internalized their position in a male-dominated, sexual context and likely assumed authority figures would also view them as “bad girls” who prompted the assault.
Hlavka found that girls don’t support other girls when they report sexual violence. The young women expressed fear that they would be labeled as a “whore” or “slut,” or accused of exaggeration or lying by both authority figures and their peers, decreasing their likelihood of reporting sexual abuse.
They’ve also seen various media takes and possible religious messages that present various versions of coercion and sexual assault being permissible.
But rape culture isnt fucking real? Little girls are out here thinking that BEING ASSAULTED IS NORMAL
As a soldier in Iraq, Rob Smith was thought of as just an American. This experience differs starkly from the United States, where Smith says his identity is often entirely drawn from his appearance and sexuality.
Mrs. Obama was hoping to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision, which struck down segregation in schools. And what better way to honor the anniversary of integrated schools than telling the nation’s first black first lady you don’t want her to speak at your high school graduation?
One parent told the Associated Press that she was concerned Mrs. Obama would “outshine” her son. Yes, she will. She’s the first lady of the United States, and your son is some kid from Topeka, Kansas. It’s not even close.
We are thrilled to announce the success of our graduate Sam Lutalo-Kiingi from Uganda, the first Deaf African to earn a doctorate in linguistics. His thesis is entitled ‘A Descriptive Grammar of Morphosyntactic Constructions in Ugandan Sign Language (UgSL)’, and is the first attempt at describing the morphosyntax of an African sign language, many of which are severely under-documented.
Using an inductive approach, a corpus-based methodology and extensive fieldwork in Uganda, Sam studied how UgSL signers construct utterances of morphosyntactic complexity. His findings include that UgSL has especially interesting ways of expressing negation and possession, as well as an unusually extensive pronominal system. As a native Deaf user of UgSL who is also fluent in several other sign languages, Sam also relied on introspection and his insider status among members of the Ugandan Deaf community, who were instrumental in providing data.
Great News. It is wonderful to see deaf people of color being successful.
More than 70 years ago, “when computers were human and women were underestimated, a group of female mathematicians helped win a war and usher in the modern computer age.” Now, their history has finally been told. This is the story of Top-Secret Rosies.
“To be Black, poor, and uneducated in America is, arguably, a more desperate and intractable predicament today than it was forty or fifty years ago.
I say “arguably” because in terms of material possessions and physical living conditions there has been obvious improvement. Housing is less squalid and overcrowded than it once was for poor Black people. The wholesale transfer of manufacturing to China robbed unskilled American workers of jobs, but that phenomenon, plus the rise of discount retailers like Wal-Mart, drove prices so low that former luxuries came within reach of practically everyone—-televisions, household appliances, mobile phones, flashy “gold” jewelry made out of nickel or zinc. The poor certainly don’t look as poor as they once did.
But in most other ways, the situation and prospects of the Abandoned Black poor have worsened. There is no need to list, once again, all the many interlocking problems and crises that afflict impoverished African-American urban and rural communities. It suffices to ask one question: HOW IS A TEENAGER LIVING IN ABANDONED DYSFUNCTION TODAY SUPPOSED TO ESCAPE? By following the sage advice of parents and other mentors? The teenager is likely being raised by a single mother, who herself was raised by a single mother. By attending first-class public schools, with constructive academic support at home? We know all about the failings of big-city public education. By landing a blue-collar industrial job with security, benefits, and a middle-class wage? Those jobs can be found in China or Brazil, not Cincinnati or Boston. The ladder that generations have used to climb out of poverty is missing its rungs.”—Disintegration - The Splintering of Black America
“…A white graduate of a public Michigan university who wishes to pass his historical privilege on to his children may freely lobby the board of that university in favor of an expanded legacy admissions policy, whereas a black Michigander who was denied the opportunity to attend that very university cannot lobby the board in favor of a policy that might give his children a chance that he never had and that they might never have absent that policy.”—Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor, in her dissent following the Supreme Court decision to uphold the Michigan Ban on Affirmative Action in public universities (http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/12-682_j4ek.pdf)
I’m so glad that this has been written- I didn’t go to the London LGBT film festival this year- but I knew that they were showing yet another film about how homophobic Jamaica is (this time by a white dude!) and the prison themed party they held made me real sure i’d made the right decision
Goller-Sojourner says every six months or so, he’d hear a racist insult or some other offense, and his mother would rush to his side. Still, it was confusing. “My source of love and hate came from the same well,” he explains. “My parents looked just like the same people who were calling me a n***** or porch monkey. … My mother and my parents were in my corner, but it was still difficult to process.”
In college he began what he calls a “descent into blackness and out of whiteness.” He describes it as a journey, giving up the privileges he claimed as a child of white parents and learning to accept his identity independent of them…
"I moved to New York City, where for the first time I found my own reflection pleasing," Goller-Sojourner says. "I learned to fall in love with myself and being black in my mid- to late-20s. And although it was a beautiful experience, it shouldn’t have taken 25 years to do that."
…His parents were among the first wave of transracial adopters, and did their best to prepare him for the real world. Parents today can do even better, he says.
"I don’t have a checklist," he says, "but if I did, it would sound something like this: If you don’t have any close friends or people who look like your kid before you adopt a kid, then why are you adopting that kid? Your child should not be your first black friend.
i had to move to seoul before i learned to find my own reflection pleasing (which i wrote about here) it took me 27 years.
ps. this article is super “easy on the ears” - he even says that he’s not against transracial adoption (and is open about the colorism within black adoptive families) and STILL people are calling him an ungrateful, whiny brat with “issues” - that’s basically a given whenever adoptees are critical of adoption.
"Your child should not be your first black friend" MIC DROP.
Sitting in Circles with Rich White Girls: Memoirs of a Bulimic Black Boy chronicles the performer’s life long affair with the scale and ten-plus year liaison with an eating disorder. Also a hilarious and heartbreaking exploration into the process and pattern of identity construction — in this case how growing up: fat, dark-skinned, gay and adopted by white folks affected and shaped the performer’s maturation — is always crushingly honest, with the performer’s greatest gift being the ability to find playfulness even in the midst of grief.
"I am an Inuit seal meat eater, and my fur is ethical," wrote Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, bundled in a sealskin coat, pants and boots. She also wrote a letter to DeGeneres and posted it online.
Samsung vowed to donate $1 for every retweet of DeGeneres’ celebrity-packed Oscars selfie to a charity of her choice. She raised $1.5 million for the Humane Society of the United States, which campaigns annually against Canada’s seal hunt.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show’s website calls the seal hunt “one of the most atrocious and inhumane acts against animals allowed by any government.”
The Inuit have long defended the hunt as a sustainable practice, deeply rooted in Inuit culture, which helps feed people in a region plagued by hunger.
"The meat feeds families, which is important to an area where many households have identified that they face issues of food insecurity," said Sandi Vincent, who posted her own sealfie Thursday.
The pelts also come in handy in the cold northern climate and provide a needed source of income, she said. She also countered the idea of the hunt as “inhumane.”
"In Inuit culture, it is believed seals and other animals have souls and offer themselves to you. Humanely and with gratitude we accepted this gift," she said, reminiscing about catching her first seal at age 15.
1. Single moms are the problem. Only 9 percent of low-income, urban moms have been single throughout their child’s first five years. Thirty-five percent were married to, or in a relationship with, the child’s father for that entire time.
2. Absent dads are the problem. Sixty percent of low-income dads see at least one of their children daily. Another 16 percent see their children weekly.
3. Black dads are the problem. Among men who don’t live with their children, black fathers are more likely than white or Hispanic dads to have a daily presence in their kids’ lives.
4. Poor people are lazy. In 2004, there was at least one adult with a job in 60 percent of families on food stamps that had both kids and a nondisabled, working-age adult.
5. If you’re not officially poor, you’re doing okay. The federal poverty line for a family of two parents and two children in 2012 was $23,283. Basic needs cost at least twice that in 615 of America’s cities and regions.
6. Go to college, get out of poverty. In 2012, about 1.1 million people who made less than $25,000 a year, worked full time, and were heads of household had a bachelor’s degree.
7. We’re winning the war on poverty. The number of households with children living on less than $2 a day per person has grown 160 percent since 1996, to 1.65 million families in 2011.
8. The days of old ladies eating cat food are over. The share of elderly single women living in extreme poverty jumped 31 percent from 2011 to 2012.
9. The homeless are drunk street people. One in 45 kids in the United States experiences homelessness each year. In New York City alone, 22,000 children are homeless.
10. Handouts are bankrupting us. In 2012, total welfare funding was 0.47 percent of the federal budget.
Last week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lifted the ban that prevented BP from engaging in any contracts with the federal government, paving the way for BP to resume bidding on leases for oil and gas development on public lands and waters, including the Gulf.
BP already holds more than 600 lease blocks—more than any other operator in the Gulf—and they currently have ten rigs working to drill new deepwater wells, like the Macondo well that failed in 2010.