Of course Josh Duggar has supporters. This is to be expected, even with the grievous accusation of sexual molestation. What saddens me is not the fact they forgive him, but that they seem to misunderstand exactly how forgiveness works. Forgiveness does not constitute justice.
Giving honor to Kayla Newman, the Black girl who invented the phrase “on fleek,” and my Indian eyebrow threader, I would like to make an announcement. Yesterday, someone told me my brows were on fleek. iDied and rose again as Beyonce. It was the first time anyone has ever told me my eyebrows had reached fleek status. I felt like I’d reached a pinnacle of Black fabulosity, one that’s been elusive to me since birth.
You see, no one ever taught me how to do my eyebrows.
Sassy is a bit of a trigger word for me. Sassy is one step above b*tchy on the attitude scale. It only works if you’re funny and there’s a laugh track available. This is why you mostly see this type of character in comedies. Otherwise, the label of being a sassy Black woman comes with few benefits. You’re either expected to be able to entertain at the drop of an Ebonic phrase or you’re feared and despised. When sass becomes assertiveness, when a quick retort stings more than it tickles the funny bone, when there is more butt naked truth aimed outward than self-deprecation turned inward–your sassy Black girl wears out every bit of her welcome.
To understand the significance of Sweet Auburn, you have to know a bit of Atlanta lore. The Sweet Auburn district near downtown Atlanta is a historically Black area near Auburn Avenue once marked by its prosperity. It’s also known as the “birthplace” of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The street houses King’s childhood home and Ebenezer Baptist Church. Both are institutions in Black Atlanta.
The festival honoring the region is the largest one of its kind in the Southeast; but most importantly, it’s as Black as the back side of my hand.
From the very microscopic moment a woman becomes a mother, she has already begun to sacrifice something. It might be her lunch one sunny afternoon hugging a porcelain throne. The sacrifice could be her life-long love of Doritos. It might her energy. And once a baby arrives, it’s almost certainly her body, her sleep, and sometimes her mental health. Mothers know what it means to sacrifice. And because we understand this, most Mother’s Day tributes rightfully involve thanks to our mothers for their sacrifices for us.
But to be honest, the hardest part of motherhood is not the sacrifice.
R&G (Grown) singer Kem has been in the game for over a decade now. An artist in the tradition of Black jazz and easy-listening greats such as Al Jarreau and George Benson, his voice is rich and melodic. It makes him a shoo-in for the genre. However, unlike most artists who cater to a certain niche within R&B, Kem enjoys regular radio airplay. What’s the secret? Kem keeps making the same song over and over again.
And your two-stepping aunties are here for it. All of them.
Let me explain why “Don’t bring race into it” makes no sense to me. As simply as I can put it, I am Black and I bring myself to all my conversations.
Yesterday, I had myself a little life moment. Question: You ever feel yourself getting wound so tightly that when the last squeeze comes, you’re powerless to stop the tears? Yeah. That kind of moment.
Social media has a way of intensifying and amplifying the voices of all terrible, marginalized opinions. Even if the odious turd saying “Freddie Gray got what he deserved” only represents 1% of the country’s opinion, he is right now in YOUR Twitter mentions stinking up the place. He becomes part and parcel of The Problem. He cannot be ignored. So you engage and it makes your blood boil. You hop from status to status, ranting and trying to get the other side to see your point. But this is the Internet and that’s not how things work.
As there is a month for everything, April is Month of the Military Child. I am the daughter of two military veterans. My childhood was shaped indelibly by my experience as a military dependent. I am clearly no longer a child, but I still bear vestiges of the girl I once was. She lurks in these words, in the fears and in the fearlessness I have toward the world.