we all know double standards exist, but for women like amber, they’re a way of life. just take a peek into her mentions and the sexist vitriol will leave you reeling. hoe, slut and gold digger are the mildest insults she’s called daily by complete strangers. why? because the way patriarchy is setup, women aren’t allowed to embrace their sexy, have fun with their friends, post twerk videos and be wives and mothers worthy of respect.
last week, a group of activists brought black spring to the windows of forever 21.
the demonstration was sponsored by never 21, an organization created to raise awareness around the young black lives ended by those charged to protect and serve. in the video, the protesters surprisingly, drape “black lives matter” tshirts on mannequins and hang a banner without security and employees noticing. kudos to the young activists committed to bringing the conversations around black spring to the masses.
in the wake of the grand jury’s decision not to indict darren wilson for mike brown’s murder, many have taken to the streets to protest. if you’re in dc, stay connected to actions across the city via twitter with the hashtag #dcferguson. make sure you blast this new tink joint with your fist raised in the air on your way.
have a good weekend!
these thoughts from my partner about the protests occurring since michael brown’s murder reminded me that many folks may want to join the movement to end police brutality, but aren’t clear on the importance of political organizing or the steps to take.
i’m sending encouragement and love to those new to movement building and share the recommendations below on how to capitalize on this critical moment:
1. know the facts. it’s important that we know the facts surrounding not just mike brown’s murder, but also those of countless other black men and women who have fallen victim to the police. for quick references, check colorlines, the root, salon and an amazing article titled “this is why we’re mad about the shooting of mike brown” on jezebel.
2. be critical. what do claims of looting and mike brown stealing cigarellos from a convenience store (that didn’t call the police) have to do with his murder? be a critical consumer of information and notice how those in power will criminalize a victim before taking decisive action to pursue justice.
3. go beyond mainstream media. some of the most comprehensive accounts of what’s happening in ferguson aren’t coming from fox news or cnn, but folks who are on the frontlines and reporting live. these twitter accounts are my favorite sources: @antoniofrench, @felonious_munk, @awkward_duck and @trymainelee.
4. use social media wisely. hashtags are an invaluable resource. by simply clicking #fergusonsolidarity, #ripmikebrown, #mikebrown, #handsup, #dontshoot and countless others people around the world can get the latest news and stay connected. it’s also a channel to display demands to elected officials.
5. plan an action. but first, pay attention to those in ferguson. take the lead of those on the ground in ferguson when planning a solidarity action in your city and determining your demands. i highly recommend checking out the dream defender’s tips on the subject.
6. remember power concedes nothing without a demand. this brings me to my next point: rallies can galvanize the masses and bond those pursuing justice; however, they should not just be chanting sessions. while you have a microphone and people’s attention, state your demands clearly. here’s a list of the initial demands from community members in ferguson that was shared on twitter:
7. brace yourself. if you plan to play a leadership role in a direct action or protest, plan beyond the actual event. those protestors who are inspired to do more will need to know your next steps. don’t lose the momentum.
8. make a financial contribution. reach out to those on the ground in ferguson via your direct connections or social media and find out how you can help fund their movement. there are suggestions going around on twitter if you’d like to learn more.
9. stay woke. there are interlocking systems of oppression facing black and brown communities throughout this country, and your hometown or neighborhood could be the next ferguson, missouri. get involved now with organizations serving youth, pursuing food justice, seeking to end police brutality and other causes to serve as an agent of change.
10. never forget. now that your consciousness has been raised about the plight black people face in american society, never forget. righteous indignation should propel us to pursue social justice by any means necessary. as a voter, consumer and community member, seize your power.
let’s stand in solidarity with the residents of ferguson and force the world to end the system of white supremacy by recognizing the value of black lives.
cities around the country held marches and rallies yesterday to protest the murders of unarmed black men and women. sparked by michael brown’s killing by a police officer in ferguson, missouri, news reports are saying 1,000 people marched through dc demanding justice.
the footage below is from dc’s protest that was lead by the local chapter of black youth project 100.
social media activism certainly plays a role in raising people’s consciousness (i’m thankful for this outlet while i’m visiting my small hometown); however, i encourage people to do something more. the world is watching, and it’s time to speak truth to power.
check my blog soon for ways to get involved in the movement to end police brutality and violence against black communities.
nigerian revolutionary group boko haram has been accused of abducting 276 girls from a boarding school in nigeria. almost 50 of the young women were able to escape and have reported that some of their counterparts were forced to marry members of the militia. this story of children torn from school, a space that’s supposed to be safe, breaks my heart and fourteen-year old eden duncan-smith shared the thoughtful piece below explaining how little a black woman’s body is worth.
“For less than a week at Starbucks…even less than a graphic tee at Forever 21…less than a meal for two at McDonald’s or even a bus pass for a week’s trip to school and back…The lives of each of those girls were sold for cheap. Dirt-cheap!
When I Rep. Ted Poe of Texas’ address to the United States House of Representatives on April 30th in which he said, “In Nigeria, $12 is the cost of a bride slave. Recently, around 200 girls went to school and never came home. They were kidnapped and, for $12 apiece, sold to the Islamic militant terrorist group Boko Haram. They were forced into marriage and raped–modern sex slavery,” I felt exhausted trying to wrap my mind around how in 2014 with all the Jedi mind- tricking, surveillance camera-ing and Google mapping that this world has at its disposal that Black bodies can still fall off the face of the Earth.
I accepted a long time ago the little Black and Brown girls are the very least of the concerns of most people in the world (even though there are more us in the world than any of y’all). It just bugs me out that aside from being able to identify the group Boko Haram as the enslavers and profiteers that no one knows where to find them.
As a young actress, I am bought and sold all the times. Each time I am cast for a role, I know that the decision for me to fill a role is based on my personality, my disposition that day, how I look (whether it be my hair length, color & texture, how tall I am, my waist size and if my breasts are too large or small). But my family and I are in control over how I am exploited and to what degree I am exploited. If I want to stop this game, I can. It is a job for which I am compensated. There is nothing consensual about slavery. These girls had no say so about their exploitation.
…I am exhausted. I am exhausted to think that I could be next. Yup, even me. I could be sold for a lunch meal at Red Lobster and no one would even notice. Look at organizations like GEMS and Children of the Night. It could happen and I a Broadway and Movie Star could be the next Amber Alert on your Facebook and no one but my mom would even care. I wonder if at next weeks World Economic Forum in Nigeria if anyone will care. Where is your outrage or are you also exhausted?”
reposted from bknation.org
the day after an injustice you wake up and wonder if it was a dream. you search your memory to recall the events from the day before. you remember the news reports, the twitter feed, the facebook posts. they all remind you of the verdict: not guilty. the day after an injustice you feel restless. rally? prayer vigil? scream? no solution to mend a weary soul comes to mind. the day after an injustice you go to church and wait for the pastor to deliver a message that will make sense of hundreds of years of oppression and violence, but it doesn’t come. you walk around the city aimlessly, looking for something, anything to help numb the pain. the day after an injustice you think about your grandparents and ancestors who experienced injustice with no retribution their entire lives. you think about all the stories they told you about segregated schools, lynchings, white mobs and backbreaking labor and know that nothing has changed. the day after an injustice you turn to your mentors, james and grace lee boggs, dorothy roberts and bell hooks to help explain this world. the day after an injustice you feel the blow to your will to fight, but arrive at a renewed spirit to continue the struggle in the name of those who fought before you. the day after an injustice you re-dedicate your life to ending inequity because that is the only reason you were born.
rest peacefully dearest trayvon. we will always remember.