Tag Archives: black women

Tulsa School Sends 7-Year-Old Home From School Because Afros, Dreadlocks Are “Unacceptable”

Oprah's Afro
O magazine Oprah's afro
Check out Oprah's huge-ass Afro on the cover of O Magazine. Read More »
Afro Puffs Banned
girl with Afro
Questionable school dress code bans Afro puffs as a hairstyle. Read More »
On Black Hair And Exercise
bad hair days
One woman's thoughts on black hair and working out. Read More »
girl with Afro

What kind of racist bullshit is this?! A charter school in Tulsa, Oklahoma, sent a seven-year-old Black girl named Tiana Parker home from school because her dreadlocks were considered “unacceptable.”

But dreads aren’t the only  hairstyle that’s not A-OK with Deborah Brown Community School: according to Raw Story, the school policy states that “hairstyles such as dreadlocks, afros, mohawks, and other faddish styles are unacceptable.” Keep reading »

The Soapbox: On #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen; Feminism Is Not Black And White

On Hugo Schwyzer
The Soapbox: On Hugo Schwyzer, Personal Essay Writing & Redemption
Schwyzer's fall and what it says about redemption narratives. Read More »
Schwyzer's Meltdown
Hugo Schwyzer Has What Appears To Be Major Manic Episode On Twitter
Manic episode or more manipulative bullshit? Read More »
Soapbox: Colorstruck
Is Hollywood still colorstruck? Read More »
The Soapbox: On #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen, Race & Feminism

The Internet exploded in feminist calamity yesterday over the racist, sexist, patriarchal, abuse-laden behavior of Hugo Schwyzer, an allegedly a self-described* mentally ill (former) professor of women’s studies at Pasadena City College. Schwyzer divulged information that is classically tucked away behind the buttressed walls of systemic white privilege. Anecdotally, it’s akin to the ENRON scandal, the ACORN scandal and the unprecedented shit show that was the financial collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008. Thematically each of these exposed, in an exceptional way, the clandestine systemic privileges that sustain long-term oppression: economic, racial, civic or otherwise.

Schwyzer, a self-identified male feminist made his claim to Internet fame by reworking and packaging up modern male feminism and selling  it to online publications like The Atlantic and Jezebel, for whom he was a paid contributor, and Feministe, which featured an interview with him. Two of these three are notorious for their insensitivity and, on more than one occasion, outright disregard for the importance of intersectional feminism – that is the focal point where feminism and another powerful system meet, say for instance, race. These cyber tropes, which have staked claim as the premier source for all things feminist, prioritize clicks over everything else, as beautifully explained by blogger Flavia Dzodan. In matters of the heart, their feminist ideology dematerializes – often at the expense of women of color and other marginalized women.

Keep reading »

The Soapbox: Natural Hair, Like Recycling, Is Not A Lifestyle Choice For Everyone

Oprah's Afro
O magazine Oprah's afro
Check out Oprah's huge-ass Afro on the cover of O Magazine. Read More »
"I Love My Hair"
Watch "Sesame Street" school black girls on the beauty of their hair. Read More »
On Black Hair And Exercise
bad hair days
One woman's thoughts on black hair and working out. Read More »
The Soapbox: Natural Hair, Like Recycling, Is Not A Lifestyle Choice For Everyone

For the last several years, natural hair “trends” have been on the rise for African-American and other women in the U.S. Just last week, Oprah graced the cover of O Magazine donning an enormous Afro, much bigger than the one she wore in the late ’70s when she first started on primetime. Oprah’s gesture pays tribute to the millions of women who have tossed relaxers and weaves to the side and embraced their own hair — their natural hair.

As I wrote last spring, women of African decent, and some others too, sometimes use a product called a perm to make their hair “more manageable.” These began as a trend in the 1920s so blacks (both men and women) could more readily assimilate into white culture and evade the detriments of racism. If you’ve ever read or watched The Autobiography of Malcolm X, you’ll remember the scene in which he dunked his head in a toilet bowl to find reprieve from the smoldering “conk” (what a perm used to be called) he was using to straighten his hair.

Oprah’s hair was a wig designed by lock guru Andre Walker but the idea of it still persists – Afros, and other natural hairstyles are here to stay … or are they? Keep reading »

Oprah Winfrey To Receive Presidential Medal Of Freedom

todays lady news
  • Oprah Winfrey is among this year’s honorees to receive the Presidential Medal Of Freedom, the nation’s highest honor for civilians. Winfrey will be one of four Black recipients of the medal. Astronaut Sally Ride, the first woman in outer space and the first known gay astronaut, will posthumously receive a medal. [The Root, LGBTQ Nation]
  • One in three young women are using withdrawal as their contraceptive method, according to a new study in the Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. LADIES! Do y’all want to get pregnant? NOT A RELIABLE METHOD! [US News & World Reports]
  • Comic bros says sexism is no big deal. [Think Progress]
  • Here are some possible new rules the Pentagon has come up with to curb sexual assaults in the military and hold perpetrators accountable. [New York Times] Keep reading »

Kickass Woman Of The Day: President Of The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences, Cheryl Boone Isaacs

Jodie On Female Directors
Jodie Fosters says studio execs see female directors as a risk. Read More »
Casting The Film
My picks for who should be in the movie. I was ignored. Read More »

The film industry is one that desperately lacks female influence, so Cheryl Boone Isaacs’ election as President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a particularly cool victory. In its 86-year history, the Academy has only had two other female presidents — the most recent being almost 30 years ago. Cheryl Boone Isaacs is also the first ever African-American president for the Academy. Keep reading »

Kickass Woman Of The Day: The Youngest Person To Ever Pass The Bar, Gabrielle Turnquest

Judge Judy On Law School
judge judy photo
Sexism in law school only made her tougher. Read More »
Kickass Woman: NFL Ref
sarah thomas
Meet Sarah Thomas, a prospective National Football League ref. Read More »
Kickass Woman: Producer
Ebony Oshunrinde, 16-Year-Old Hip-Hop Producer
Meet Ebony Oshunrinde, a 16-year-old hip hop producer. Read More »

American student Gabrielle Turnquest was recently called to the Bar of England and Wales after passing her Bar exams. This is a great achievement for anyone, but Turnquest happens to be a little more impressive than the average person to pass the Bar exams.  She just happens to be 18 years old, making her the youngest person to be called to the Bar of England and Wales in its 600-year existence. Keep reading »

UPDATE: A Questionable School Dress Code Bans Afro-Puffs

On Black Hair And Exercise
bad hair days
One woman's thoughts on black hair and working out. Read More »
Slutty School Girls
On dress codes and "Slutty Wednesday" at one NYC high school. Read More »
Know About Black Women
10 things every non-black person should know about black women. Read More »
White Women, Black Mags
essence
Should white women be on the covers of black mags? Read More »
girl with Afro

UPDATE, 4:45p.m.: Via Jezebel, Horizon Science Academy has posted an apology on their web site and said it will “correct the information” in its dress code, as well as send out an updated version. [HorizonLorain.org]

School dress codes are generally a great thing for kids. The mission statement of the new dress code at The Horizon Science Academy in Lorain, Ohio is a very promising one; the goal is to decrease the pressure on students to fit in with their clothing. It diminishes socioeconomic differences between students and creates a sense of unity at school. All good ideas, but this dress code in particular has a very strange and racist stipulation: it inexplicably bans afro-puffs and small twisted braids. Keep reading »

Debate This: Should Black Women Allow Others To Touch Their Hair?

Know About Black Women
10 things every non-black person should know about black women. Read More »
On Black Hair And Exercise
bad hair days
One woman's thoughts on black hair and working out. Read More »
Black Stereotypes
Stephen Colbert gets schooled by Melissa Harris-Perry. Read More »
black women's hair

This week, Antonia Opiah, the founder and editor of the black hair site Un-Ruly.com, launched a temporary exhibit on black hair texture. Noting that non-black people have long held a fascination with black hair, and that she’d frequently been asked by total strangers if they could touch her head, she created “Yes, You Can Touch My Hair.” For two days, she invited anyone and everyone to come to Manhattan’s Union Square for the opportunity to — with permission — touch a variety of black hair. As Antonia explained in an op-ed for Huffington Post, the “Yes, You Can Touch My Hair” exhibit was an effort to “‘take one for the team’ and further explore the tactile fascination with black hair.”

But are projects like this helping or hurting black women, whose hair has traditionally been the object of so much fascination by whites? Is it another way for our culture to objectify and fetishize black women, or is it a step in the right direction?  I spoke with Deena Campbell and Nicole McGloster – the Digital Editor and Editor in Chief, respectively, of VIBE Vixen (one of our fave sites!) — to get their thoughts on the campaign and what it means for black hair and black women.

Check out our chat, after the jump. Keep reading »

The Soapbox: On Black Women, Exercise And Our Hair

Good Hair Vs. White Hair
The ladies of Madame Noire chat with The Frisky about hair. Read More »
Know About Black Women
10 things every non-black person should know about black women. Read More »
Magazine Racism
Psychology Today asked "why are black women less attractive?" Read More »
bad hair days

One day in college, during track practice, I wore a bandanna to my work out. I was having a spectacularly bad hair day and that thin piece of printed cloth made me feel safe from criticism. My coach, who was a hard ass, wasn’t having it and ordered me to take it off immediately. I ran back to the locker room, did my best to make my mane look presentable but still, I cringed as I walked back to the track, embarrassed of what my teammates would think.

Like many black women I know, I have always had a tumultuous relationship with my hair. If it didn’t look good, I didn’t feel good and often it dictated whether I would have a good or bad day. But my own criticism of my hair wasn’t something I could have ever controlled; it was something that started with my ancestors, long before I was born. Keep reading »

Beyoncé On The Cover Of Ms. Causes Controversy

Beyonce's A Feminist
Beyonce says she's a "modern-day feminist." Read More »
On Beyonce
And the luxury of playing "Mrs. Carter." Read More »
Beyonce Lightened
Beyonce skin lightened ad
Whoa, this doesn't look like Beyonce at all. Read More »
Baby Number 2?
Jay-Z and Beyonce
Is Beyonce pregnant again? Read More »
beyonce ms magazine

Ms. magazine is one of the oldest, if not the oldest, feminist magazines in America. The mag has occasionally featured celebrities on the cover; Wonder Woman was its very first cover girl, while other cover stars include Meryl Streep, Cher, Cecily Tyson, Ani DiFranco and Pam Grier.

But the mag’s latest cover girl, Beyoncé, is causing controversy for all kinds of reasons. Keep reading »

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