U-N-I-T-Y Part I

Originally posted on dimunitivediva:

The summer of 2013 was truly the summer of my discontent. The Supreme Court ruling regarding the Voting Rights and the acquittal of George Zimmerman were a powerful punch to my gut. As they say in the streets shit got real, and the country of my birth once again reminded me that I’m less than equal. The combination of these events left me in a bewildered and cynical state. By August however another controversy would erupt. The fallout from this event, coupled with discoveries made in my study of slavery, would lead to a painful-but necessary-examination of my views on identity and on the concept of solidarity among my own people. My next few posts will deal with these reflections.

Black power is for black men. It was a hashtag that started trending on Twitter on August 13th, 2013. Through tweets Black women gave voice to our struggle at the…

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Black femininity

Originally posted on Abagond:

phoebeprunelleGuest post by commenter phoebeprunelle:

I am writing this post because an exchange over on the interracial relationship thread sparked a discussion on beauty. Anyone who knows me personally knows that a few years ago, I stopped buying Essence and Ebony magazine – basically any Black mainstream magazine. I also encouraged male family members to look beyond mainstream Black male magazines that featured Black women plastered half naked on the cover with what can usually be described as a scowl on their faces.

Here are the reasons I stopped buying mainstream Black magazines,  listed below in no particular order:

1. Perpetuating Black Female Inferiority: Both Ebony and Essence magazines have featured the most negative stories about Black women and Black people in the past five years. You would think we can’t or are incapable of doing anything right. It also doesn’t help that they rarely ever feature Black academics, writers…

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14 Caribbean Nations Sue Former Colonizers for Slave Trade

Originally posted on TIME:

Fourteen Caribbean nations have resolved to sue their former colonizers — Britain, France and the Netherlands — for lingering harms that they attribute to the slave trade.

The AP reports that the leaders of the Caribbean Community, a regional consortium, adopted a 10-point plan that would seek an official apology, a cancelation of debts and assistance for cultural and educational institutions.

The regional consortium has hired British human rights firm Leigh Day to pursue the case. Leigh Day previously secured $21.5 million for Kenyans who were tortured under Britain’s colonial era government.

[AP]

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10 Ways in Which the US is Exceptional and Wishes It Wasn’t

Kay (KR):

Let’s be honest: There is a lot that needs to be done for the U.S. to truly embody its “greatest nation on Earth” mantra. It’s tragic that there isn’t more authentic institutional will toward seeing our systems and human capital being leveraged in a more meaningful way. However, I know it’s easy to complain without action or contribution toward making the nation greater. Even if one’s contributions are only a small drop in the very large pond of life, those contributions are far greater than the inertness of bitterness and apathy.

Please see Filip Spagnoli’s post reblogged below…

Originally posted on P.a.p.-Blog // Human Rights Etc.:

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The sources are here.

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Same As It Ever Was

Kay (KR):

The “Same As It Ever Was” post has stuck with me for several days. I spoke to an aunt about the lack of African American economic progress as a demographic in the U.S., and she discussed how racism is institutional in the United States from the board room, courtroom, educational system and beyond. It’s systemic, predatory, and ultimately views the interests of Black people to have access to life, liberty and the pursuit of property as a collective to be an affront to the interests of long-term white supremacy. I know that this is true, though there may be many who choose to overlook the facts that support this reality because taking a counter position benefits them. From slavery and slave rebellions to Jim Crow Laws to Black Wall Street to Regina Kelly v. John Paschall in Hearne, Texas to Emmett Till, Jordan Davis and others who where unjustifiably exterminated and to the enduring tragedy of unequal protection under the law (see Stand Your Ground Law controversy), we are not meant to thrive. We are not meant to be equipped compete and systematically from before conception to the moment we take our last breath, as a collective, we are at a disadvantaged. Our own pathology in certain segments of our “racial” group (including self-hatred, violence, misogyny, lack of strong community, family and personal values, criminality in the face of socioeconomic apartheid, and etc.) only then further to aid the forces against us in the interest of white economic/resource dominance.

Am I saying that the challenges and limitations experienced by some is true for all “Black” Americans” on a micro scale? Absolutely not. There are those who are able to navigate the system and excel; the oft invisible upper echelons of black society. The truth is, however, that even with the successes of a few, far too many of us experience poor quality of life outcomes. It’s sad to watch people who share my “race” perish from not only a lack of knowledge but also from a lack of access to power/resources. What can be done? How can someone change what they lack the power to change? Does one die trying or does one divest from the woes of the collective in the interest of self-protection?

A segment of black women who have realized how stacked the deck is against the Black collective and, more importantly to some, black women and children in specific, have chosen to save themselves and those they love. I can’t harbor resentment for them for taking this position. It makes perfect sense on so many levels; self-preservation, intentional communities, intentional allies where otherwise there would be none.

But I am not sure that I can turn and walk away without exercising my awareness and disapproval of the matter. Something inside of me would die a thousand times over and on top what has already been lost. I come from a long line of truly strong women who have endured and asserted themselves even while they have not possessed and/or exercised enough savvy to overcome the diminished outcomes intended for them. How can I not defiantly and indignantly stare back at that which stands menacingly before me and refuse to retreat?

Originally posted on dimunitivediva:

imageWe ain’t meant to survive, ’cause it’s a setup-Tupac Shakur

Earlier this evening Florida jurors deadlocked in the Jordan Davis slaying. Michael Dunn was convicted on the lesser charges of second-degree attempted murder and firing into the SUV that Davis and his friends were in. There have been many comparisons to the George Zimmerman trial. While the outcome of that trial left me despondent, my reaction to the Dunn verdict was more restrained. It’s not that Davis’ life is any less valuable in my eyes. I just know better now. I’m no longer foolish enough to believe the hype. When I recall various episodes in our history I wonder why I ever had faith in America to begin with.

His name was George Stinney. I cannot see his face without feeling overcome with grief. George has shown up in my FB timeline frequently over the past year. The…

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A Change Is Coming: Black Secular Women On The Rise

Originally posted on dimunitivediva:

I had an amazing weekend! The Seattle Seahawks defeated the 49ers and clinched their spot in Super Bowl XLVIII. The Seahawks victory was the cherry on top of a day that started out  well. This past Sunday I had the privilege of participating in a roundtable discussion, sponsored by Black Freethinkers and People of Color Beyond Faith. For over an hour we shared our experiences as secular black women, the challenges of being atheist in a community that is overwhelmingly religious, and the issue of sexism in the various communities that we belong to. Partaking in the roundtable was both positive and timely for me.

As a black female atheist I’m generally surrounded by those whose religious views do not mirror my own. While I certainly respect the freedom of individuals to believe or not believe as they see fit, I can’t front. When I see the way Black women in particular remain…

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