Profile for Tiffanie Drayton

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Wanderlust: I’m Not Afraid To Travel Alone

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 »

Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy Is Not Tarnished By His Family, But By The Absence Of Equality In America

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Legacy Is Not Tarnished By His Family, But By The Absence Of Equality In America

It seems that USA Today is concerned with the preservation of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy; or at least how his family has profited from it. Their editorial board published an article titled, “Martin Luther King’s Heirs Milk a Legacy” essentially detailed the amount of money the King family has made after his death (an estimate of $50 million) and the “embarrassing” ways which they have gone about reaping those profits. The conclusion? King’s family is tarnishing his legacy and disallowing millions access to his great words. Keep reading »

The Soapbox: On The Sacrifices Expected Of Immigrant Nannies

The Soapbox: On The Sacrifices Expected Of Immigrant Nannies

I have a deep-seated resentment of White parents who specifically hire Black immigrant women or people of color as nannies. Whenever I go to the park or take a stroll through New York City on any day of the work week and see large groups of Black or minority women pushing strollers with little blonde or brown-haired children in the seats, I cringe. As the holidays approach, the sight becomes even more troublesome for me. This isn’t because there is something inherently wrong with people of different races being caretakers for White children, but because I know far too well the intricacies of that dynamic, namely the many sacrifices these women of color often make to secure and keep such work, and the unfair and demeaning conditions sometimes imposed on them by their White employers. See, I was the child of an immigrant, Afro-Caribbean live-in childcare worker. And I know what she faced. Keep reading »

7 Tips For White Women In Interracial Relationships

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 »

An Open Letter To Iggy Azalea Regarding Her Appropriation Of Black Culture While Ignoring The Issues Faced By The Black Community

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 »

Over-Policed & Under-Served: How The Phrase “Fuck The Police” Was Born

Over-Policed & Under-Served: How The Phrase "Fuck The Police" Was Born

“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 »

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