This post is reprinted from The Huffington Post with the permission of its authors.
What’s the biggest myth about street harassment? That men of color comprise the majority of offenders.
It’s a myth as old as this nation: the idea that Black men are more likely to be sexual predators — especially of white women. Consider D.W. Griffith’s “The Birth Of A Nation,” that builds an entire narrative on the idea of the black brute. From the Scottsboro boys to Emmitt Till, history as well as popular culture, the justice system and virtually all other facets of American society still hold the deeply entrenched notion of Black men as people to be feared.
But the myth doesn’t stop with history. In a recent New York Times article, a White woman living in a mostly Caribbean community (Crown Heights, Brooklyn) gets physically assaulted by a Latino man and wonders if it’s her fault, as if moving into a mostly Caribbean community was the city-dwellers equivalent to “asking for it.” A few years ago, a woman, also writing for The New York Times, reported on her experience doing aid work in the Congo and hearing repeatedly from other European aid workers that sexual harassment, violence, and rape in those areas “is cultural,” instead of, as she duly notes, “a tool of war.” The myth that Black and Latino men are innately sexually aggressive is one that extends beyond our national borders. Keep reading »
Yetsreday ESSENCE magazine bestowed Lupita Nyong’o the Best Breakthrough Performance Award at their 2014 Black Women in Hollywood luncheon for her Oscar-nominated performance in “12 Years A Slave.”
While receive this honor, Lupita gave an acceptance speech which was both heartbreaking and inspiring. She spoke about Black beauty and the times as a young adult that she felt unattractive for being so dark-skinned. She only saw lighter-skinned women on TV; as a child and adolescent, Lupita shared, she used to pray to God to make her skin lighter so she could be as desirable as them. Today, as a successful actress, she hears from young women who feel that same way right now.
Here is Lupita Nyong’o's full speech from last night, via ESSENCE. It’s extremely touching and well-worth a read: Keep reading »
It was a Tuesday afternoon and I was on my therapist’s couch. I described for her an incident over the weekend when I felt sad, deeply sad, for seemingly no reason at all. I had felt reclusive and shy and wanted to stay in my bed; when my husband encouraged me to go to a birthday party that night that I actually wanted to go to, I had started crying. I’m a sensitive person, sure, but even while I was crying I knew my tears didn’t make much sense.
I shared some other strange behavior changes lately. I’ve been more hungry than usual, more often and ravenously so. I get snappish when I can’t eat immediately (hangry, I believe, is the technical term). I’m usually pretty easygoing, but lately I’d been having random mood swings. I was beginning to feel embarrassed about my behavior.
“You’re emotional … your appetite has changed …,” she paused. “Have you considered that you might be pregnant?” Keep reading »
Today would have been Trayvon Martin’s 19th birthday. Martin, however, is not celebrating that birthday today because he was shot and killed by George Zimmerman nearly two years ago in February 2012. Today is also the day that boxing promoter Damon Feldman has tastelessly and unapologetically chosen to announce that rapper DMX has been selected to fight Zimmerman in a “celebrity” boxing match, the scheduled date for which will be announced next week. But I hope that the whole disgusting affair is canceled before that announcement can be made. Keep reading »
The subway can be pretty crowded at night, especially coming into Brooklyn from Manhattan. We’re usually packed in like sardines before spilling out onto the platform in little clusters as we head deeper into the bowels of the borough. The scene was no different last Saturday night. After my evening of listening to raucous hip hop at a club, drinking my weight in malt liquor and tagging a few local businesses, I decided to head home. I was on the Brooklyn bound 3 train, ready to tuck into bed after a night of the blackest of black activities, when I saw her step onto the train at the Franklin Ave stop. Read more on The Gloss…