ANNOUNCEMENTS (4.7.14)

Remember tonight is our screening of American Promise at 5pm in HHB 102. Please come out; it is our final event of the semester!!!

BSAC will be hosting their B-SPOT event tomorrow night at 7:19pm in Husley Recital Hall, showcasing the many artistic talents of UAB students and of the members of the Birmingham community.

BSAC is also hosting this week a special event on the Green to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer of 1964 with a cookout and a special screening of the documentary about Freedom Summer on Thursday starting at 5pm. We will be having a booth at this event, so come visit us!!

Other events this week/next week:

The UAB IJM chapter has partnered with LSC to bring you their second annual Justice Week, focusing on ending human trafficking. Their events begin today. Check them out. Also if you enjoy the work they will be doing and want to support it, you can donate to their campaign here.

The Active Minds chapter will be hosting their second Stress Less Week starting next Monday, and ending with their Stride Against Stigma walk next Saturday at 10am.

Have an amazing week, and good luck with finals/graduating!!

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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.

 

3.31.14 Minutes

Hello Everyone! Here are the minutes from our meetings this semester. From now, all meeting notes will be posted on here and on our Bsync page under the file “Meeting Notes for Spring 2014“. If you need anything clarified, please contact the Secretary at jecrens4@uab.edu.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Agenda: 

  • Old business discussed, focusing on the events held earlier in March, including the Marvelyn Brown lecture and HIV/AIDS workshops with the 1917 Clinic.
    • There were over 100 people at her lecture, and fourteen people got tested during our workshop.
    • Also we requested $2000 in funding from the USGA for the Fall semester, but are still awaiting approval
  • New business:
    • Mentoring program:
      • Carlon and Martez will be visiting two high schools, Jackson-Olin and Parker, with Carlon’s letter and our proposed plan for the program.
    • Documentary screening:
    • We will be showing American Promise this upcoming Monday at 5pm in HHB 102.
      • The screening has already been promoted through social media, and through the UAB Campus Calendar.
    • Freedom Summer event (partnership with BSAC):
      • We will have a booth with the following information:
        • Information on AAS major/minor program
        • Information on our organization
        • Information on Freedom Summer
      • We will need help with the display, so contact us ASAP.
    • Election of New Officers:
    •  Martez F. will stay on as President of AASO, Carlon H. will stay on as Vice President, and Brian B. will remain as the VP of Media Relations.
    • Stephanie B. was elected as Treasurer, and Sharkayla T. was elected as Secretary.
    • Gratitude was expressed towards the seniors graduating in the next few weeks.
    • Announcements/Suggestions: 
    • BSAC now has a Facebook page, with event pages for their Freedom Summer event and BSPOT event. Also the documentary for Freedom Summer will be shown on Campus Green.
    • Brian B. now has a radio show on BlazerRadio at 1pm on Mondays.
    • Brian B. suggested that there should be categories for the different events we do, including fundraising, social, academic, and service. He also suggested that AASO have t-shirts next semester.
    • Martez F. suggested doing a smoothie event for fundraising, and charge $3 per smoothie. But this will be in the works.
    • Quang D., the current advisor of BSAC who was in attendance in this meeting, extends help to AASO for our future programs and events.
    • Finally, the Multicultural Council will be holding their 2nd annual Poetic Justice poetry slam on Thursday at 7pm in the Aly Stephens Center. Poets including Martez F. and Elijah D. will be competing for the cash prize.

 

No more meetings for the semester!

Enjoy the rest of the semester and get ready for finals and graduation!

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS (3.31.14)

Hope you have had an amazing Spring Break!

Today, we will be holding our final meeting of the semester at 5pm in HHB 102. We will be discussing a lot, including electing new officers and our upcoming documentary screening!! Come out!! Link

Next Monday, we will be hosting a documentary screening of American Promise at 5pm in HHB 102. Spread the word!! Event info…

Other news…

Today, the Women’s Rights Coalition at UAB is presenting the Vagina Monologues at 6pm in the Blazer RLC. You can still buy tickets at the door, and proceeds benefit the Rape Response program at the Crisis Center.

Active Minds at UAB, a student organization that is devoted to ending stigma surrounding mental illness, is holding a t-shirt sale to raise money for their organization. The shirts are $10 each, and it is going towards an amazing organization. Buying info…

Next week, our campus chapter of International Justice Mission will be hosting their second annual Justice Week, a week dedicated to educating students about human trafficking, starting next Monday. Event list.

Have an amazing week!

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!**