Friday’s Listens, Looks, and Reads (4.14.14)

Friday’s Listens, Looks, and Reads will be published either weekly or bi-weekly most Friday mornings (EXCEPT this post), with articles, essays, videos, and sites that are about the Black experience (which is diverse) for you to check out.

**If you have enjoyed the articles listed, comment below! If you have an suggestion for an article you have read and like to share with us, please email us!**

Articles, Op-eds, and Essays:

An article from For Harriet on focusing on the mental health of African-American women along with rejecting the “strong black women” myth. Excerpt:“We are medical doctors, PhDs, preachers, businesswomen, lawyers, teachers, and financial professionals. And, many of us are so busy achieving that we don’t properly take care of ourselves. Dr. Teleka Patrick represents the triumphs and the tragedies of being a black woman in America in the 21st century. She accomplished much more than our black foremothers could have ever imagined a black woman could achieve in this country. Yet, care for her mental and emotional health fell completely by the wayside. We, I’m talking specifically to black women here, must look at her life and death and become more mindful of taking care of ourselves. “

Another article from For Harriet focusing on the very recent suicide of popular video blogger Karyn Washington and recognizing that black girls can face difficulties from their own mental health. Excerpt:” Mental health issues, along with the lack of proper treatment, underdiagnoses and the stigma it often carries, is a very serious problem in the Black community.  And this is especially true for our young women and girls.  A recent study conducted by the African American Policy Forum revealed that Black girls have higher incidence of emotional difficulties than other girls, including signs of depression. A separate national study found that 67% of Black girls indicated that they felt sad or hopeless for two or more weeks straight, compared to 31% of white girls and 40% of Latina girls.”

A list from PolicyMic on 7 lies about young African-American men that should cease to exist.

An article from the Los Angeles Times on how black boys are affected genetically due to facing adversity. Excerpt: By the time they have reached the fourth grade, African American boys who have run a childhood gantlet of poverty, shifting family structure, harsh parenting and a mother’s low mood and educational attainment will have signs of premature genetic aging that can deepen their vulnerability to mental and physical illness, says a new study.

Videos:

A video from ThinkProgress on President Obama’s speech commemorating the anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

A video from The Root featuring Left of Black–a segment on how many black female musical artists could be connected to the Black Arts Movement, a period starting in the 1970s where the goal was to create a clear and separate consciousness of blackness.

This is the last FLLR post of the semester. Enjoy the rest of your semester, and good luck with finals!!

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Friday’s Looks, Listens, and Reads (4.06.14)

Friday’s Listens, Looks, and Reads will be published either weekly or bi-weekly most Friday mornings, with articles, essays, videos, and sites that are about the Black experience (which is diverse) for you to check out.

**If you have enjoyed the articles listed, comment below! If you have an suggestion for an article you have read and like to share with us, please email us!**

Articles, Op-eds, and Essays:

A long read from The Atlantic on the perception of struggles between people of different races and how to deal with it. Excerpt: “People who take a strict binary view of culture (“culture of privilege = awesome; culture of poverty = fail”) are afflicted by the provincialism of privilege and thus vastly underestimate the dynamism of the greater world. They extoll “middle-class values” to the ignorance and exclusion of all others. To understand, you must imagine what it means to confront algebra in the morning and “Shorty, can I see your bike?” in the afternoon. It’s very nice to talk about “middle-class values” when that describes your small, limited world. But when your grandmother lives in one hood and your coworkers live another, you generally need something more than “middle-class values.” You need to be bilingual.”

Another article from The Atlantic on the overwhelmingly negative effects of the stop-and-frisk policy on African-American men. Excerpt: “Many have noted that stop-and-frisk practices hinder important constitutional values: the liberty to walk freely down the street; the reasonable expectation of privacy against unjustified invasion of one’s person by government officials; and the equal protection of the laws. But even the best-intentioned white writers often gloss over the actual human impacts of these encounters. Now and again, an individual white elite will have an experience that personalizes this principle of individualized suspicion.”

An op-ed from From Harriet on a mother’s journey to teach her son how to love himself and to appreciate his own blackness. Excerpt: “He was right.  We are drawn to people and aesthetics almost biologically.  At times, our attraction to another human being can be quick and palpable with little thought to race and some would say, even gender.  It wasn’t so much that I was concerned about my son’s “attraction” to the red- head.  Whether my son ends up with a white woman, black woman, white man or Hispanic man, I’m Team Happy.  Happiness is my biggest dream for my son.  I was more concerned with what finding the black girl less attractive said about how he felt about himself. ”

Another article from From Harriet on how reproductive rights, including the right to have an abortion, are vital for Black women in America. Excerpt:Pro-death, anti-abortion public policy and protest are a form of race, class and gender warfare disguised as religious morality crusades to “protect” innocent “babies”. Challenging the abortion as “black genocide” billboard campaign mounted by right wing foundations a few years ago, reproductive justice activist Loretta Ross said, “We decided to have abortions. We invited Margaret Sanger to place clinics in black neighborhoods. We are part of the civil and human rights movement. We protected the future of black children, not our opponents.” Despite their high levels of religiosity, a solid majority of African Americans support safe and legal access to abortion. And African American women have the highest rate of abortion amongst all groups of American women. The reasons are not mysterious—black women are disproportionately poor, under-employed, single and living in highly segregated communities with limited health careaccess which have borne the brunt of the economic depression. Due to slavery and the violent legacy of Jim Crow, black women have a history of coercive control over their reproduction. Thus abortion is an essential right in a white supremacist capitalist economy that neither supports nor values women of color and their children.

An op-ed from The Nation on “black rage”. Excerpt: “Emancipation was supposed to be enough. “Separate but equal” was supposed to be enough. Brown v. Board of Education was supposed to be enough. The Civil Rights/Voting Acts were supposed to be enough. Affirmative action was supposed to be enough. A black president is supposed to be enough. Yet, here we are, facing mass incarceration, food insecurity, chronic unemployment, the erosion of the social safety net, income inequality, housing discrimination, police brutality and the seemingly unending deaths of our young people at the hands of police and armed vigilantes. Pardon the “profound gloom.”What some call depression or pessimism, I would call impatience and rage. Our impatience and rage is what has produced progress. That we are still impatient and angry reflects not black people’s failing but how far America still has to go.”

A long read from Buzzfeed on Jordan Davis’ life and last days. Excerpt: He worked hard to convince the kids at Marietta that he wasn’t the “weird, homeschool kid” according to his mom. He would always say, “I want everyone to know who I am. I want to be friends with everybody.” And now that he was friends with everybody (“the jocks and the skinny-jeans kids too,” according to Lucy), he had to up and leave Marietta for Jacksonville and another new school, Wolfson High.”

Thanks for reading!

Next week, Friday the 11th, will be the final installment of Friday’s Looks, Listens, and Reads for the semester.

 

Friday’s Looks, Listens, and Reads (3.21.14)

Friday’s Listens, Looks, and Reads will be published either weekly or bi-weekly most Friday mornings, with articles, essays, videos, and sites that are about the Black experience (which is diverse) for you to check out.

**If you have enjoyed the articles listed, comment below! If you have an suggestion for an article you have read and like to share with us, please email us!**

Articles, Op-eds, and Essays:

Many articles are from For Harriet, an amazing site dedicated to Black women, today!

  • Article 1: on living unapologetically and without regard of limitations placed on Black women. Excerpt: “The person that I am, I always try to speak from my experiences and identity; specifically my salient ones – African American and Female. I am very aware of the messages that are spoken to and by society regarding our actions, thoughts, and portrayals – the world told me who I should be. And for a while I danced to the drums of others. Happiness was not something I knew. I could not keep up with their rhythms, for their beats did not speak to the blueprint of my journey. I could not see past the dissatisfaction that others placed upon me. “
  • Article 2: on how we should eliminate the Strong Black Women archetype that reduces Black women to one monolith. Excerpt: “The exception, of course, is when Black women speak out for issues that affect men, too.  Our outrage is fine as long as we’re marching for civil rights or protesting new voting laws which seek to disenfranchise minorities.  Our wrath is justified when we decry the modern day lynching of our young Black men under the Stand Your Ground laws.  When we’re rallying against these injustices, our tears are celebrated, held up as emblems of the struggle: grieving mothers, clutching the photographs of our slain sons.  But the moment we speak up for ourselves, we become the Angry Black Woman.”
  • Article 3: on how Shonda Rhimes has written her black female characters on Grey’s Anatomy compared to Scandal. Excerpt: “Earlier in the season before the elopement plot twist, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Stephanie Edwards be a happy Black girl in love. I don’t see enough happy Black girls on TV. I see them yelling and scrapping and throwing shade and snatching edges and stealing sperm and miserably loving other women’s husbands–but I rarely see them glowing. I want desperately to see Edwards’ character not be reduced to a rejected girlfriend.”

An op-ed from The Atlantic on the perception of black men in the inner city who Representative Paul Ryan doesn’t believe is pulling their weight in our country. Excerpt: “Getting angry at the individual cabbie is like getting angry at the wind or raging against the rain. In America, the notion that black people are lacking in virtue is ambient. We see this in our vocabulary of politics and racism, which has no room for the decline in the out-of-wedlock birthrate and invokes Chicago with no regard for Chicago at all, but to deflect all eyes from the body of Trayvon Martin. 

An article from Ebony on how vital opening a museum dedicated to hip-hop in New York would be to music, just like the creation of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. Excerpt: “Personally, as a person who grew-up in New York City, I would relish the Universal Hip-Hop Museum, and wouldn’t even complain about travelling to the Bronx to pay homage to the innovators that changed pop culture over 40 years ago. Indeed, the city was a vastly different place back then. As seen in cinematic classics like The French ConnectionTaxi Driver and Shaft, the so-called Big Apple was rotting, seemingly on the verge of death. While a few decadent souls danced at Studio 54, orgied at Plato’s Retreat or dined at Elaine’s, most regular folks were just trying to get by without losing their cool, or their lives. “

An piece from Salon on how a conversation with Tyler Perry transformed the author’s perspective on his films and him as a Black male storyteller. Excerpt: “During our conversation he mentioned his newest movie, “The Single Mom’s Club.” And it was with our conversation in mind that I ventured out, with more than a little trepidation, to see it this past weekend. I found myself hoping to see growth, desiring to be able to say something good. It turns out that being a critic is much more difficult when the objects of your criticism are paying attention. Still, I told Perry that as long as his films did harm to black women he could count on me to call him out, because we deserve better than that.”

An op-ed from the New York Times on the necessity of representation of people of color in children’s books. Excerpt: “But there was something missing. I needed more than the characters in the Bible to identify with, or even the characters in Arthur Miller’s plays or my beloved Balzac. As I discovered who I was, a black teenager in a white-dominated world, I saw that these characters, these lives, were not mine. I didn’t want to become the “black” representative, or some shining example of diversity. What I wanted, needed really, was to become an integral and valued part of the mosaic that I saw around me.”

A long read from NPR Music on the BeyHive–the dedicated fan base of Beyonce’, which is comprised of mostly black women. Excerpt: “It is true: There are all sorts of Hive members. But to me the ones with the best language, the ones whose Twitter feeds I couldn’t stop reading, were the black girls. What is interesting is that they are also a part of the demographic of black women who are now also being taken to task and called empty, subjective words like “toxic,” for their use and approbation of a technological space that is supposed to be open to all: Black Twitter. But the Hive, to some extent, and Black Twitter at large, is what happens when you don’t have real access to mainstream media, when there are so few black icons who speak to the realities of black life, and when last year (for the first time ever in Billboard‘s history) no black artist had a No. 1 hit song. It is no wonder then that so many young women and men of color, indeed, take it more seriously.

**FRIDAY’S Looks, Listens, and Reads will be off next week due to Spring Break! Have an amazing one!**

Friday’s Looks, Listens, and Reads (03.14.14)

Friday’s Listens, Looks, and Reads will be published either weekly or bi-weekly most Friday mornings, with articles, essays, videos, and sites that are about the Black experience (which is diverse) for you to check out.

**If you have enjoyed the articles listed, comment below! If you have an suggestion for an article you have read and like to share with us, please email us!**

Articles, Op-Eds, and Essays:

An article from The Atlantic on how Academy-Award winner Lupita Nyong’o has come into her own stardom. Excerpt: “Nyong’o adds a complication though; she notes in her speech that “you can’t rely on how you look to sustain you,” and that instead “What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you.” She hopes that her surface will help girls like her “get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside.” But if she seems to reject fashion as simply surface, her own performance on the red carpet is, through her speech, figured as both a performance of outer glamour and an act of compassion for her sisters. She invites their gaze to show them they are worthy of love and attention, too. ”

Another article from The Atlantic on the racist backlash that occurred when Michael B. Jordan was announced to play the Human Torch in a new film adaptation of The Fabulous Four. Excerpt: “You could argue that racial difference is more noticeable, or different in kind, than plot-driven death or blue fur or zombiefication. But then, how account for the fact that in the comics characters like Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Green Lantern have, at various times, been black?”

An interview with author Jessica Gordon Nembard from Colorlines on how co-ops, such as consumer-owned grocery stores, produce foot soldiers for the civil rights movement. Excerpt: “Cooperatives take many forms, from housing co-ops to consumer-owned groceries to worker-owned pig farming. There is no individual ownership. Rather, everyone is in it together and owns together. There’re usually rules about how the money can be used and all members participate in regular study groups. That fosters democratic participation both in the co-op and the community. [And by the way,] those same people who formed that burial society later went on to found the African Methodist Episcopal church.”

An op-ed from The Root on a young African-American woman’s personal account dealing with bipolar disorder this past year. Excerpt: “Recovery is like waking up from a coma with amnesia and relearning yourself. Bipolar disorder— BPD, as I call it now—hides your authentic self somewhere deep inside your mind. I’m looking for old Diamond—pre-onset Diamond. If anyone has seen her, tell her I’m looking for her.”

An article from The Wire on the results from a recent study determining how many people do not see black children as innocent and older than their chronological ages. Excerpt: “The study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, aimed at figuring out the extent to which black children were likely to be treated differently than their white peers solely based on race. More specifically, the authors wanted to figure out the extent to which black kids were dehumanized. “Children in most societies are considered to be in a distinct group with characteristics such as innocence and the need for protection,” author Phillip Atiba Goff of UCLA told the American Psychological Association. “Our research found that black boys can be seen as responsible for their actions at an age when white boys still benefit from the assumption that children are essentially innocent.””

An in-depth interview with Melissa Harris-Perry from ThinkProgress on her thoughts on motherhood in America. Excerpt: “Too often when we have the “working moms” conversation it becomes about mid-level workers in large companies who need flex time and on-site childcare. Those are meaningful workplace policies that greatly facilitate the working lives of thousands of women, but they are also aimed at a rather narrow segment of working moms. The policy agenda I suggested here is not always discussed in terms of moms and their labor force participation, but the effects of implementation would be staggering for reducing poverty and improving quality of life for many working parents.”

 

Friday’s Looks, Listens, and Reads (2.28.14)

Friday’s Listens, Looks, and Reads will be published either weekly or bi-weekly most Friday mornings, with articles, essays, videos, and sites that are about the Black experience (which is diverse) for you to check out.

**If you have enjoyed the articles listed, comment below! If you have an suggestion for an article you have read and like to share with us, please email us!**

Articles, Op-Eds, and Essays:

An article from From Harriet on how there should be more representation of black women in the media, and how respectability politics should be ignored. Excerpt: “A study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology in 2010 offered the thesis that black women are socially invisible. The study had two conclusions: first, black women are more likely than black men or white men and white women to go unnoticed by others in a group or social situation; second, comments made by black women are more likely to go unheard when made to a largely white audience. Both experiments also highlighted that for many of the participants, black women are seen as relatively interchangeable. This means that as black women, dealing with the double burden of race and gender, we have to fight twice as hard to stand out and have our individual and unique voices heard.”

An op-ed from The Root on having identity issues when you are multicultural. Excerpt: “With a biracial president (who identifies as black) and a fast-growing mixed-race population, most Americans understand that racial identity can be complex and that it requires people to make hard, highly individual choices. But deciding on and explaining cultural identity can be complicated, too. Especially when you can claim birth and upbringing on various continents and in various countries and cities—and when the way you have to explain how you identify changes depending on where you are at the time and on who’s asking.”

An article from Salon on the silencing and omission of work done by black feminists when it came to fighting for reproductive rights. Excerpt: “Antiabortion activists think themselves clever when they compare abortion to slavery, but reams of historical records prove their narrative to be rooted in quicksand. They have ignored the stories of men and women being raped, beaten, starved and worked literally to death and the reverberating effects of that most inhumane of institutions. It is indeed preposterous to assert that a free black woman deciding her own fate as her ancestors have done for centuries (including within the context of slavery) is a perpetrator of the crimes from which she continues to suffer.”

A long read from AlterNet.org on the struggle of colorism between black people across the Diaspora when it comes to representation. Excerpt: “Debates and discussions around colorism and shade in America are often cyclical and absolute — light skinned equals privilege, light is Hollywood leading lady, light is the chosen one; dark equals rejected, ugly, undesirable, unimportant. That is indeed a truth, but it is one of many truths. That is the framing of complexion narratives, and that of the legacy of untreated trauma of America’s history where enslaved Africans had babies by slave masters beginning the panorama of complexion on these shores. Historically, the closer to white you were, the better the treatment you received.”

Another article from Salon on how the post-racial reality doesn’t exist, especially when it comes to the recent Stand Your Ground trials in Florida for the deaths of Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin. Excerpt: “Given her particular kind of black embodiment, Creshuna Miles’ decision carries great weight in an American populace that deeply wants to believe in the myth of a colorblind system. The problem here – the lie of post-racialism, to be more precise – is that Miles’ rejection of the racial elements of this case hold more weight precisely because she is a black woman.  Essentially, finding the biggest and blackest of black women to say that there was no miscarriage of justice in this case helps assuage any white guilt.”

An article from the Village Voice on Lorraine Hansberry’s private struggles with her identity and sexuality. Excerpt: “In a steady, eloquent voice, Hansberry points out that “the most oppressed group of any oppressed group will be its women, obviously,” concluding that those who are “twice oppressed” can become “twice militant.””

An article from PolicyMic on a list of 22 thoughts on what means to be black in America. Excerpt: “But in the end, being black in America today means different things to different people. Some black people will even insist that racism hasn’t played a prominent role in their lives.”

**NOTE: Friday’s Looks, Listens, and Reads will be on hiatus until Friday, March 14th, so catch up with the previous weeks until then!!

Friday’s Looks, Listens, and Reads (2.21.14)

Friday’s Looks, Listens, and Reads will be published either weekly or bi-weekly most Friday mornings, with articles, essays, videos, and sites that are about the Black experience (which is diverse) for you to check out.

**If you have enjoyed the articles listed, comment below! If you have an suggestion for an article you have read and like to share with us, please email us!**

Many of the articles, essays, and op-eds this week will center around the same theme of the Michael Dunn trial and around keeping alive the memory of Jordan Davis.

Articles, Op-Eds, and Essays:

A short read from ThinkProgress on how to process the verdict from the Michael Dunn trial. Note: A sentencing for Dunn has been set for May. Excerpt: “The judge declared a mistrial on the first degree murder count, leaving prosecutors the option of seeking a new trial. The Florida shooting was the most prominent fatal shooting of a teen in self-defense since the death of Trayvon Martin drew national attention to Florida’s Stand Your Ground law. The law was also cited in Dunn’s trial.”

An essay from For Harriet on the interesting connection of music to Jordan Davis. Excerpt: The “loud music” coming from the car where Jordan Davis sat was no different than the “loud music” that came from the outlawed drums of our ancestors. The fear isn’t new. It’s historical. When we were enslaved and under violent suppression, African Americans had no choice but comply, to use a stick instead of a drum, to make sure our feet didn’t leave the floor so we wouldn’t be punished for dancing.”

A long read from The Feminist Wire about how America is in love more with black culture rather than black people, concerning Jordan Davis, Trayvon Martin, and many other Black Americans who have been murdered simply because they were black. Excerpt: “All: Please don’t think Lucia McBath, Sybrina Fulton and many other black mothers aren’t full of rage with regard to the lynching and potential lynching of our children and loved ones. Please don’t mistake our dissemblance for complacency with the pervasiveness of what James Baldwin names as “white criminal power,” which too often rewards and/or overlooks white supremacist material fury. We are pissed off!”

An op-ed from the Black Youth Project on receiving justice for Jordan Davis. Excerpt: “No “the man” isn’t some all-knowing figure who sits at the top of a grand post which can only be located by the most high. But we cannot ignore the fact that the system, meaning the basic underlying principles on which this country was founded on, aren’t meant to serve the poor, urban minority. In our opinion the system is broken. In theirs, meaning the prejudice white founders of this country and their current supporters? It couldn’t be working more efficiently.”

An op-ed from RH Reality Check on how to become educated and concerned with the justice system and with the killings of young Black people, like Jordan Davis. Excerpt: “I now fully understand I have the luxury of worrying about things Black parents never do, because they are worried about their kids being targeted simply for living, simply for the mundane actions of teenagers playing music too loud, simply because they are not white.”

An interview from Urban Times with author/activist Sistah Soujah and her experiences with racism in the publishing industry. Excerpt: “It also exposes the fear of competition, thus you hide the higher quality product. It reveals the desire to maintain power in terms of images because of the resistance to prominently display a young, beautiful, heterosexual, African, Muslim man who is intelligent, faithful, disciplined, but not docile. This instead of the multiplicity of images you see of beaten down, incarcerated, broken, black boys or men as predators and beast.”

A long read from Truth-Out on how the discussion of the history of black radicalism should be included when having national conversations on race. Excerpt: “However, what passes for most “conversations about race,” particularly in corporate media, which shape public perception, are narrow or wrong. Right-wing commentators such as Bill O’Reilly blame black people’s problems on “the disintegration of the African-American family” and other cultural pathologies, while liberal pundits typically point to conservatives as the sole racists in the country.”

An op-ed from Black Girl Dangerous on the lessons to be learned from the death of Avonte Oquendo, a 14-year Black boy with autism. Excerpt: “The vulnerability of Black disabled students like Avonté is indisputable yet still invisible and largely ignored. It is imperative to think about the intersections between Blackness and ability in order to provide Black, disabled students with the safety and adequate learning environments that they rightfully deserve.”

Websites to Check Out:

http://www.ourblackproject.tumblr.com

http://www.theellison.com

http://www.blackedouthistory.tumblr.com [many facts have been featured on our Facebook!]

http://www.rebelresearchers.com

Videos:

Jesse Williams, actor and activist, on the Michael Dunn trial

The Daily Show’s Jessica Williams on Stand Your Ground

A conversation among popular Black women content creators on the state of Black television.

YouTuber Chescaleigh on the double standard of using the N-word. Video.

Friday’s Looks, Listens, and Reads (2.14. 14)

Friday’s Looks, Listens, and Reads will be published either weekly or bi-weekly most Friday mornings, with articles, essays, videos, and sites that are about the Black experience (which is diverse) for you to check out.

**If you have enjoyed the articles listed, comment below! If you have an suggestion for an article you have read and like to share with us, please email us!**

Articles/Essays/Op-Eds:

A short read from EBONY.COM on new findings surrounding African-Americans and HIV/AIDS.

Excerpt:  “African-Americans represent only 14% of the United States’ population but account for nearly half—some 44%—of all new infections, report the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. African-Americans also account for about half of the estimated 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States. But only about a third of Black Americans who are positive have achieved “viral suppression,” according to new research published in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. “

An op-ed from AFROPUNK on the issue of mental health for African-American women and how that type of support is much needed.

Excerpt: “I found a therapist who sounded somewhat kind and sane and made an appointment. In the meantime, I got to thinking about mental health and Black women. From my own personal experience, we as Black women are seen as resilient—rocks that cannot be broken. We are single mothers, professors, doctors, lawyers, businesswomen and matriarchs of loving families. We always have a brave face, a kind word and a happy tone of voice—just to ensure everyone is comfortable around us. While Black women can handle anything, I have to wonder at what cost?”

An op-ed from EBONY.COM, which is an open letter to show solidarity towards Janet Mock, a black transgender woman/activist who has faced transphobia in the media in the past few weeks.

Excerpt: “Blankly staring at the words on this laptop, I am constantly reminded that transgender women, particularly transgender women of color, will have their identity challenged, criticized, and policed, even from alleged supporters. And for that Janet, I am sorry. I am sorry that you and your transgender sisters (of color) live in a world that simply will not allow you to navigate in a secure, affirming, and loving space free from cissexism, misogyny, transphobia, and racism.”

A quick list from Mother Jones on 21 things you can’t do while black. Just read the list.

An article from Salon.com on racial taunts and superiority versus inferiority, closely examining Marcus Smart and that infamous boxing match that was supposed to occur.

Excerpt: “The fact that racism hurts is a truth about which many white folks remain purposefully oblivious and which many black folks would rather I not admit.  When I wrote last summer about crying after a white woman called me the N-word on a plane, many black people accused me of being weak and having poor self-esteem because I cared what she thought. But part of what it means to exist together as fellow citizens in a body politic is that at base level we recognize and honor each other’s humanity. We don’t have to like or agree with each other. But we recognize each other as levelly human.”

An small op-ed piece from The Nation on “how to create a thug”.

Excerpt: “I’m a little older, no less angry, but of a different state of mind. I’m not totally opposed to (physically) fighting back. It has its limitations, and violence begets more violence, etc., etc. However, I’m pro self-defense. Given the context of our history, where racist language and violent acts often go hand-in-hand, I see racist language as violent language and violent language as violence.”

A long read from AlterNet.org on the Michael Sam story that has dominated the sports news world this past week.

Excerpt: “And so, like Richard Sherman and countless other ghetto superstars-turned-sports-gods, Sam is afforded mainstream acceptance, but with the price of an “our way or the highway” oversight. Obviously, NFL coaches and executives are watching very closely, but their inability to read Sam reveals their foolishness. Sam now possesses power. He has made himself powerful despite economic neglect, racism, homophobia, and all the other forces he has battled as a young man.”

Until next weekend, have a great Valentine’s Day!