Tag Archives: black women

EBONY Declares Today #NationalAfroDay In Honor Of Vanessa Van Dyke

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 »
Afro Puffs Banned
girl with Afro
Questionable school dress code bans Afro puffs as a hairstyle. Read More »
"I Love My Hair"
Watch "Sesame Street" school black girls on the beauty of their hair. Read More »

Earlier this week, we fell in love with 12-year-old badass Vanessa Van Dyke (and her supportive momma!) for not letting her private school enforce racist beauty standards on her hair. The Orlando, Florida, student complained about bullying from students over her Afro and school administrators responded by demanding that Vanessa straighten or cut her Black hair or face expulsion. The school’s dress code said hair must be a natural color and not be a “distraction,” but they only said Vanessa’s ‘fro was a distraction after she complained about the bullying. Fuck you, Faith Christian Academy! In honor of Vanessa Van Dyke, EBONY.com has declared today, November 27th, #NationalAfroDay.  Women and men rocking natural hair are invited to submit their photos to Ebony, where they will be posted on a special “We Are Hair For Vanessa Van Dyke” Facebook page. Show Vanessa Van Dyke some love for staying true to herself in the face of bullshit. [EBONY.com, Facebook.com: We Are Hair For Vanessa Van Dyke]

Florida School Threatens To Expel Black Student Unless She Straightens Or Cuts Her Hair

black student Vanessa Van Dyke threatened with expulsion over natural hair

Faith Christian Academy in Orlando, Florida, has forced 12-year-old Vanessa Van Dyke, a Black student who rocks a mane of natural hair, to either straighten her hair or cut it off — or be expelled.

The school claims her hairstyle is in violation of the school dress code, which says, “Hair must be a natural color and must not be a distraction.”  It gives examples of inappropriate hair such as rat tails, mohawks and shaved designs.  The “distraction” is apparently Vanessa’s complaint to grownups at the school that she was been teased over her hair. Keep reading »

True Story: A Photoshopping Site Stole My Selfie Off Instagram And Gave Me A “Makeover” [UPDATE]

UPDATE, 5:40p.m.: @photoshop_fantasy has issued an apology on their Instagram page, although it appears all the same images are still up :

Hello lovely followers! We want to apologize for the inconveniences this account has caused with the unadvised photoshops. We deleted them and promise to not do these again without permission. What we did was wrong and we are sorry, and we certainly didn’t intend to hurt anyone. Thank you for your comprehension!

UPDATE, 5p.m.: @photoshop_fantasy has finally removed Carrie Nelson’s photo from their Instagram page. 

Last week, the Internet exploded in a debate about women and selfies. Are they feminist? Are they empowering? Are they a “cry for help”? For anyone not up-to-date, Amelia has written a solid summation of the dialogue thusfar.

I feel indifferent toward selfies. I have no problem when friends, acquaintances, or strangers post them, but I rarely share them myself. I’m not much of a photographer, and when I do take photos, I rarely position myself as the subject. But sometimes, I take selfies. Sometimes, when I think I look pretty or silly, or when I just want to express a feeling through my face, I take a selfie and share it online. It’s not part of my everyday life, but it’s an occasional fun indulgence for which I feel no guilt.

This past Sunday was one such day when I felt like taking a selfie. For the past few months, I have been struggling with depression, anxiety, and overcoming trauma, so it is often difficult for me to force myself out of bed, particularly on a cold weekend morning when my bed is so warm and comfy. Without thinking much about it, I snapped a selfie with my iPad. I took a photo of myself in bed, still disheveled from a restless night of sleep. More than anything, I was curious to know what I looked like in that particular moment. What I saw was a face that captured so much of what I have been feeling recently: exhaustion, sadness, and determination. Somehow, I managed to make all of those emotions visible and beautiful, in one snapshot of my face. Plus, the wisps of hair across my forehead added a casual charm that made me feel just a little bit sexy. I opened the photo in Instagram, added the Earlybird filter (perfect for early morning selfies), and captioned the photo “Good morning #bedselfie #sundaymorning #stillsleepy #nomakeup.” I posted the photo to Instagram, without sharing it on any other social networks, and went on with my day. Keep reading »

Oh, For Eff’s Sake, Michelle Obama Is Not A “Feminist’s Nightmare”

Michelle Obama

One of the most intriguing characters on “Scandal” is First Lady Mellie Grant. She’s not just a WASP sent from Central Casting, or a put-upon wife of a philanderer. Mellie gave up her Yale and Harvard-bred ambitions for the full-time job of photo ops and glad-handing as the First Lady. Just like Lucy Ricardo always wanted husband Ricky to just give her one opportunity to be in a show, Mellie Grant wants to influence policy and make big moves wherever she can. At every turn, she is stopped, often angrily, by her husband the President and his apoplectic Chief Of Staff. Both men remind her, every episode it seems, that the First Lady is supposed to be pretty sidekick, not a policy wonk.  In one episode, Mellie is witheringly informed her job is to be “ornamental.”

Watching Mellie Grant on “Scandal” has made me look at Michelle Obama differently for sure. It’s not hard to imagine she, too, feels a bit trapped in a golden cage. We don’t exactly know whether Michelle Obama feels like her intellect is being wasted, but we do know from Jodi Kantor’s book, The Obamas, a portrait of the Obama marriage, that Barack’s high-level staff has bristled in the past at Michelle’s involvement. But  also we know that Michelle dedicated her first year as First Lady to acclimating her two children to their new home and school and has spent many years since promoting healthy eating and exercise. All this has been summed up by Michelle Cottle, a Daily Beast scribe in a piece for Politico Magazine, as a feminist failure. Keep reading »

Renisha McBride’s Parents Speak Out About Murder Charges Against Theodore Wafer

Renisha's Murder
renisha mcbride
Family claims Renisha was shot because she's a Black woman. Read More »
Theodore Wafer Charged
Prosecutors Charge Theodore Wafer, The Man Who Killed Renisha McBride, With 2nd Degree Murder
Man who killed Renisha McBride charged with 2nd degree murder. Read More »
Racial Politics
racism trayvon martin
Racial politics in America need a good, hard look. Read More »
renisha mcbride
Renisha McBride's Parents Speak

Earlier today we learned about the charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter against 54-year-old Theodore Wafer in the death of 19-year-old Renisha McBride.

On November 2, the Michigan man shot McBride in the face through a closed and locked screen door at his home when she knocked on his front door earlier this month after getting into a car accident nearby. Wafer claims his gun went off accidentally and also that he believed she was an intruder. Prosecutors said there was no sign of a forced entry at all.

After two weeks of frustration for civil rights activists, Detroit prosecutors have finally charged Wafer.  MSNBC spoke today with Renisha’s mom and dad, Monica McBride and Walter Simmons, who have stayed out of the public eye these past few weeks. Keep reading »

Lily Allen Responds To Allegations Of Racism Against Black Women In Her “Hard Out Here” Video

Lily Allen is back with a new music video
It's Hard Out Here For A Bitch!

This week, Lily Allen debuted the video for her new song “Hard Out Here,” to extremely mixed reactions. Some, like our own Rachel, saw her song about pop music’s policing of women’s bodies and double standards about sexuality as a “feminist anthem.”  Others are deeply offended by her use of mostly women of color backup dancers, arguing that satire is not an excuse for using their bodies in disrespectful ways.  Keep reading »

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