I am traveling alone through the islands of Hawaii and I am a young woman. I am not worrying about getting raped every moment of my journey, unlike writer Tara Burton, who wrote about her fears in an article for Salon called “Dangers of Traveling While Female.” I don’t feel as if my life or body is in any imminent danger simply because I’m in new surroundings with people I may not know. After all, it has usually been in the most familiar places back home — my residential neighborhood, at school or local night clubs — where I have been stalked, street harassed or treated like an object.
While traveling, I don’t feel as if the likelihood of such dangerous encounters increase. As a matter of fact, oftentimes, I feel safer. When people hear that I am traveling alone, they seem to feel a sense of responsibility and concern for my safety and well-being. They take an immediate interest in my boldness; and all of a sudden, I become a woman worth protecting. Keep reading »
I recently got into a interesting conversation with a few White women I know, who happen to date Black or minority men, and it really highlighted a need to explore the complexities of such unions in greater depth. Though I do support the right to love anyone, regardless of color (or gender/gender identity), I also believe that the challenges of interracial relationships are often obscure and infrequently discussed. To put it bluntly, many White people simply have no idea what they are getting into when they begin relationships with people of color. To raise awareness of the issues such individuals may encounter, I decided to write this list. I hope it can be helpful! Keep reading »
Dear Iggy Azalea,
I was a Black child of the ’90s who grew up on hip-hop and R&B. Some of my favorite adolescent memories were set to the soundtrack of the likes of Toni Braxton, Tupac, Sade, Lauryn Hill and Nas. I may have only been seven-years-old when DJ Kool announced, “Let Me Clear My Throat,” but I was always right on time with the chorus as the beat dropped. I Hammer-timed and sang along to “Baby Got Back” while shaking my booty in the mirror. These “Black” music genres gave me an identity to be proud of. It taught me how to display and be proud of my culture and heritage. These “Black” genres were dominated and represented by people who looked like me — and those “Black genres” were at the top of America’s music charts. It was a true phenomenon to behold; a very recent freedom acquired by Black Americans after a long history of musical and cultural theft by Whites. I am the byproduct of that freedom: confident, strong and unapologetically Black. Sadly, today’s Black youth will not have the chance to see themselves in the music created by their people — a cyclical, unbreakable White tradition of theft and appropriation has once again taken that from them. And you are part of the problem. Keep reading »
“You fucking stupid bitch,” a man screamed followed by the slam of a car door. Feet thumped and the passenger door swung open. The incoherent pleas of a woman could be heard.
Then the loud sound of skin making contact with skin reverberated through the late night, down the empty street. My brother, sister and I rushed to our window to peak through the blinds to see what was happening. My fingers pulled the blinds down and I peeped out into the darkness; I could see a young, dark-skinned woman, crying and begging like a sinner seeking forgiveness at the feet of a Jesus statue for some unknown, unrighteous sin. Except, the man standing in front of her wasn’t frozen in stone. With all the force he could muster, he launched a kick that landed square in her stomach.
“Call the cops,” my brother ordered. Keep reading »