Over the next 27 days, a group of activists, bloggers, lovers and fighters will dedicate a space of their social presence to changing the narrative around Sandra Bland. Sandra Bland’s face, her impassioned voice, has resonated with so many because we see ourselves in her. And ever louder, over the din of voices trying to dismantle the humanity she never stopped asserting–#SandySTILLSpeaks.
The Blackest moment I’ve had all summer came not from rage but from #BlackJoy. For this, I am grateful. I love summer for the magic of things that can happen outdoors when you combine good friends, good food, good music…and a beautiful garden.
You are trying to eat your dinner in a public restaurant peacefully and someone’s kid is going buck wild screaming. The parents look like wrung dishrags, limply observing as if they are the helpless tot in the situation. You know what you want to do: shake both the parents and the kid until order is restored. Instead, you fume, because you do not want to go jail over someone less than 3 feet tall. If this is you, then Darla Neugebauer is your shero.
They will say Sandra Brown should have known her safety was in quietude. They will preach about compliance as if limply accepting perceived injustice has ever stopped Black bodies from going limp. They will point at her tone, her tone, her tone, all thorny Black girl attitude. He was perfectly polite to her. All she had to do was what he asked. They will cluck their tongues and wag their fingers about the tragedy of the warning he would have given her. Maybe they will not say she deserved it but they do not have to.
Sandra Bland did not have to be “nice” to live.
Like many Black folk, I grew up in a tight-knit church. There is a saying among church folk that the people you meet there and fellowship with are to be your “church family.” For better or worse, this has been my experience. Family can both hurt you and love you whole. I left my home church in Tampa at 18 for several different reasons, none of which I’m emotionally prepared to delve into. Nothing has been the same ever since.
Cecile Emeke is an emerging director, artist, and writer from London whose work centers on the Black European experience. She’s best known for creating films and online documentaries. What sets her apart from other artists is the innovative way she provides a space for marginalized, non-American Black voices from across the globe. Her work is raw, honest, and unflinchingly critical of the post-colonial world she inhabits. In short? she’s dope.
Like making a batch of pancakes on a lazy Saturday, education is a team effort. It takes one person to pour the water into the flour, and another to sprinkle a little cinnamon. The result is golden. I have had so many great teachers sweeten my life with their service, and I’m happy to #RaiseAHand to celebrate my favorite teachers!
Motherhood, and by extension, pregnancy, seems like a mysterious club sometimes. Sure, the information is readily available to the public with a few clicks to WebMD. But I don’t know many women–myself included–who delve into the nitty gritty of having babies before it’s their turn. All the things I learned after getting knocked up made me wonder why I never knew it before.
That’s when I realized: We don’t really like to hear pregnant women discuss being pregnant beyond the happy expectant mommy spiel. And we never, ever, ever, want real talk about the delivery.
When I first heard Kirk Franklin, he got on my last available nerve, the one I had put on layaway for occasions such as this. Who was this baby-cheeked man hippity-hopping all in front of the choir on the “Stomp” video? I am a lover of Black Gospel music in the vein of the inimitable Mississippi Mass Choir: all power singers and vocal theatrics. Hype men not needed. I attribute Franklin’s style to hip-hop, which is why your granny still hates Kirk Franklin for ruining Gospel music to this day. He might as well be Diddy, and here’s why.
Instead of bringing up all of the endlessly regurgitated facts from the rape allegations against Bill Cosby, I am electing to mull over some painful takeaways from the debacle.