Tag Archives: black women

The Soapbox: Ciara’s “Inelegant” New Hairstyle And The Politics Of Black Hair

The Soapbox: Ciara's "Inelegant" New Style And The Politics Of Black Hair
Soapbox: Natural Hair
The Soapbox: Natural Hair, Like Recycling, Is Not A Lifestyle Choice For Everyone
It's not a lifestyle choice for everyone. Read More »

Saturday evening on her Instagram profile, R&B singer Ciara debuted a new hairstyle: waist-skimming loc extensions. The style, a temporary version of the loc-ed hair many Black people of all genders sport, sparked discussion both among fans and style outlets.

One in particular, People magazine’s StyleWatch section, posted a story Tuesday about Ciara’s newest mane and stirred a dialogue about far more than trendy summer hair colors. Associate Style Editor Brittany Talarico noted that Ciara is set to wed fiancé Future in a “very elegant affair,” then said immediately afterward in parentheses that the wedding was “another reason [People thinks] she’ll ditch the dreads.”

While the phrase has since been removed, the undertones of Talarico’s words were not lost on some Black readers. YouTube comedienne, natural hair guru and Upworthy curator Franchesca Ramsey pointed out People’s words on her blog shortly after the article was posted. A Black woman with dreadlocks herself, Ramsey noted that the article suggests Ciara could not possibly want to keep her loc extensions for an “elegant” wedding—meaning the locs extensions themselves cannot be elegant. Keep reading »

The Soapbox: Black Nerds, Escapism, & Why We Need More Diverse Books

SB girl reading

“You guys know about vampires? … You know, vampires have no reflections in a mirror? There’s this idea that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. And what I’ve always thought isn’t that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. It’s that if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves. And growing up, I felt like a monster in some ways. I didn’t see myself reflected at all.” — Junot Díaz

As a kid, I never tried to sneak out of the house. It’s not that I was a stickler for the rules (sorry, Mom) — it’s just that all the wonders I could ever want to explore didn’t exist outside the confines of my home. They were waiting for me when I woke up each morning, tucked neatly into the hallway bookshelves whose ever-expanding ranks housed J.K. Rowling, Leo Tolstoy, Judy Blume, and Sarah Dessen. Keep reading »

An Open Letter To The Louis Vuitton Manager Who Allegedly Said “Black People Are Slaves Who Eat Dirt”

louis vuitton

I understand that an employee at the Louis Vuitton Townhouse in London’s Selfridges department store, after being subjected to many of your humiliating, infuriating, racist rants, recorded one of your many outbursts. In your recently outed diatribe, you allegedly state: “Black people are slaves who eat dirt off the floor.” I’m hopeful you’ve come to realize the gravity of your predicament, considering your actions on behalf of Louis Vuitton will be tried in court on the grounds of racial discrimination and harassment; restitution for which could cost your employer millions of dollars. It’s hard to imagine you’ll work in the industry again, but my concern for your future work-placement is less pressing at this particular moment. Your hate and ignorance is also of lesser importance.What is more deeply troubling is the prevalent racism found in the high fashion industry of which you are a representative — well, were, anyways. Keep reading »

Women Of Color Ask To Be Included In Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” Program

todays lady news
  • Women and girls of color are asking to be included in President Obama’s new program “My Brother’s Keeper,” which is aimed at young men of color. Over a 1,000 women and 200 men have signed letters saying young girls should be targeted in the program, too. [Washington Post]
  • The New York Assembly passed the “Boss Bill” yesterday, which updates anti-discrimination laws by forbidding employers from discriminating against employees over their reproductive health decisions. Just another reason why I love New York! [RH Reality Check]
  • Hillary Clinton believes America should have federally mandated family leave (ya think?) but doesn’t expect that “politically, we could get it now.” Sadly, I think she’s probably correct. [The Atlantic] Keep reading »

Ruby Dee, Actress & Civil Rights Activist, Dies At 91

ruby dee
  • Ruby Dee, an actress in the 1961 film “A Raisin In The Sun” and a prominent civil rights activist, died yesterday at age 91. She was a friend of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, and she appeared at the famous March On Washington in 1963.   She appeared in two of Spike Lee’s earliest films, “Do The Right Thing” and “Jungle Fever,” and was the first Black woman to star in major roles in a prestigious Shakespeare festival. Dee, was married to the actor Ossie Davis and together they received a joint National Medal of Arts from President Clinton. [New York TimesColorLines]
  • Louisiana’s governor has signed a restrictive abortion bill into law which requires that doctors have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of their clinic. It also mandates a 24-hour waiting period for abortions. [RH Reality Check] Keep reading »

Mommie Dearest: Mom Breastfeeds At College Graduation, Heads Explode

MD-graduate-breastfeed

Sigh. Here we go again.

People are currently in an uproar over a photo of a mother breastfeeding her daughter taken while at her college graduation. 25-year-old Karlesha Thurman posted the photo to the Black Women Do Breastfeed Facebook page, which reposted it for her, and it quickly went viral. Many people were shocked and appalled at what they saw.

Here’s what I saw. I saw a woman who managed to make it through an undergrad program with a young baby and still managed to figure out a way to breastfeed. I saw a woman who is also a mom and a student doing her thing and being proud of it. I saw someone normalizing something that should already be seen as “normal” in our society, but sadly isn’t. Keep reading »

Here’s Michelle Obama’s Speech At Maya Angelou’s Memorial Service

michelle obama maya angelou
"She Wanted All Of Us To Be Phenomenal"

Michelle Obama spoke this weekend at the memorial service for beloved author Maya Angelou, who died on May 28 at age 86. Her tearful and touching speech remembers Angelou for celebrating Black women’s beauty. “Oh, how desperately black girls needed that message,” the First Lady said. “As a young woman, I needed that message.”

Read Mrs. Obama’s full speech after the jump:
Keep reading »

An Open Letter To The Gawker Essayist Who Wrote About Dating White Women While Black

An Open Letter To The Gawker Essayist Who Wrote About Dating White Women While Black
First Black GF
Girl Talk: On Being My Black Boyfriend's First Black Girlfriend
Tiffanie Drayton on being her Black BF's first Black girlfriend. Read More »

Dear Ernest Baker,

In your recent personal essay on Gawker titled “The Reality of Dating White Women When You Are Black,” you stated unequivocally that you are not a “sell out” because you are a Black man who chooses to seriously date only White women. As a 24-year-old Black woman with very similar life circumstances, I can assure you that after reading your piece — although you may not believe that you are a “sell-out” or that you are riddled by “self hate” —the man who wrote that piece is both. Keep reading »

Maya Angelou Dies At 86

maya angelou

Maya Angelou, a poet and civil rights activist, has died at 86. Angelou is most well-known for her memoir I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings about growing up poor and Black in the South and she leaves behind a trove of poetry, plays, and other books. Angelou was active in the Civil Rights Movement and worked alongside Martin Luther King, Jr., Coretta Scott King and James Baldwin. She was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for a book of poetry in 1971, read a poem at President Bill Clinton’s 1993 inauguration, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama in 2011, and a lifetime achievement award from the National Book Foundation in 2013. In her later life, Angelou was an educator at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Her death was confirmed by her literary agent  this morning. [Charlotte.TWCnews.com; New York Times]

Defense Secretary Asks Military To Review Rules Targeting Black Women’s Hairstyles

todays lady news
  • Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has asked the military to review new Army rules regulating hairstyles which mostly target Black women. The new regulations ban dreadlocks, twists and larger cornrows. [New York Times]
  • Jessica Valenti has a moving essay about having a preemie baby and her own complicated feelings about later-term abortions. Ultimately, though, Valenti says seeing up close how complicated pregnancy and childbirth decisions are have made her more pro-choice than ever before. [Guardian UK] Keep reading »
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