June 2016: African American Mentions, News, and Highlights

Salkis Re – Artist

In Native Son, Wright writes: “Goddammit, look! We live here and they live there. We black and they white. They got things and we ain’t. They do things and we can’t. It’s just like living in jail.” Vince Staples reminds us that the inner city still imprisons many. We should never forget that for some living in those conditions the day-to-day lived experience is one of anxiety and moral ambiguity. Some are so burdened by life that the choices they make are colored by the feeling that they “prolly finna go to hell anyway.”

  • How Barbershops Can Keep Men Healthy: The barbershop can be a safe haven for black men, a place for honest conversation and trust — and, as physician Joseph Ravenell suggests, a good place to bring up tough topics about health. He’s turning the barbershop into a place to talk about medical problems that statistically affect black men more often and more seriously, like high blood pressure. It’s a new approach to problem solving with broad applications. “What is your barbershop?” he asks. “Where is that place for you where people affected by a unique problem can meet a unique solution?”
  • ‘The Ohio State University Professor Elaine Richardson re-enacts her journey of being ensnared into human trafficking as a young teen, to a cycle of abuse, addiction and prostitution, to recovery through earning her Ph.D. supported by the undying love of her mother and caring professionals.
  • Salkis Re – As an artist, my purpose is very clear. I want black women to feel soft and beautiful and delicate. Why? Because the entire world looks at us like aggressive sidekicks. We are the portrayed as the easy ‘bed post” for every man’s emotional whims. We are the charity cases and the butt of every comedic joke. There is, and always will be a delicate tone within my artwork in order to clarify and counteract the erroneous displays of what the world assumes us to be. Link – http://www.iloveherart.com


  • The Psychological and Economic Damage of Brown vs. Board of Education: Such people should take heed of an observation made by brilliant Journalist/Historian, Lerone Bennett, Jr., in his 1967 must-read book, The Negro Mood“There is little or no hope for the Negro in this country if he continues to accept, uncritically and completely, the values and goals and ideals of his oppressors. To cite only one example: the Negro who accepts the ideal of blondes must, and inevitably does, hate himself. And again: the Negro who accepts completely the success and power ethic must also hate himself, for there is no defense for an unavenged defeat in a power ethic. Hence, it is that some Negroes hate themselves and their history because their forefathers were slaves and not slave owners.”  Link to story: http://seattlemedium.com/the-psychological-and-economic-damage-of-brown-vs-board-of-education/
  • On the Mess “Petty” Makes – The popularity of “petty” also makes me wonder who has the authority to claim the insignificance of a thing, thusly painting whoever talks about that thing irrational, “petty.” What is there for Black women to talk about that won’t end up being ignored? Even when it comes to matters of life and death, to assault and sexual violence, Black women are silenced.  When no one showed up to march for #RekiaBoyd, the world showed us that Black women’s lives didn’t matter as much to them as Black men’s. It seemed as though the death of Black women was inconsequential, nothing worth noting — and that talking about it would derail the work that had been done to fight for Black men. As if, in comparison, Black women weren’t as affected by white supremacy as Black men. As if Black women hadn’t been at the forefront of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement since its inception. Their voices were only heard when they spoke of male victims.
  • The NFL Player Pursuing at Ph.D. in Mathematics at MIT: Urschel played in all 16 games for the Ravens in 2015 and was a starting guard in seven games. Urschel spent the off-season completing his first semester in the mathematics Ph.D. program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He took four courses and had a perfect 4.0 grade point average. He has co-authored a paper which was published in the Journal of Computational Mathematics.
  • WHY THIS 6’6, 35-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN DECIDED SHE’S WORTH THE WAIT: Deciding that she was worth the wait was only half the battle. Taking a vow of purity not only cost her relationships, but also friendships from those unwarrantedly offended by her lifestyle choices to not have sex. She also doesn’t drink, a decision she made after her older brother was killed in a drunk driving accident and watching her father battle with alcoholism. “There have been people that I thought were friends that could not handle the fact that I chose not to do certain things. When it comes to something like virginity or not drinking, I am not a judge of anyone. I want people to choose whatever they want to do and personal choice is a beautiful thing. But if you don’t want to be my friend because of the choices that I make, I can’t really complain about it because you weren’t really a friend in the first place.”
  • Book Recommendation: Brother Bill: President Clinton and the Politics of Race and Class by Daryl A. Carter: Clinton stood at the nexus of intense political battles between conservatives’ demands for a return to the past and African Americans’ demands for change and fuller equality. He also struggled with the class dynamics dividing the American electorate, especially African Americans. Those with financial means seized newfound opportunities to go to college, enter the professions, pursue entrepreneurial ambitions, and engage in mainstream politics, while those without financial means were essentially left behind.
  • “If you listen to shit about niggas being in a position where they have no hope, there should be nothing at peace about that,” Kendrick Lamar said in an interview with Pitchfork. “There’s a way to do it where it’s listenable and likable, but it shouldn’t just be some happy stuff.” Hell Can Wait (HCW) is the perfect aesthetic expression of that sentiment. The sometimes-soulful production is laced with lyrics that cut to the bone.
  • “Do You Think You’re Beautiful?”: Navigating A Bearded, Black, Disabled, Fat Womanhood – The reward for confidence when you are Black, plus-sized, hairy, and undesirable is often abuse, whether verbal, physical, or mental. It is a constant threat of violence to you and your body. It is a constant threat of not having a job, and thereby, losing housing and food security. It is unending sexual harassment and assault because I should “know better” than to confuse people with my body or I should be “grateful” someone touched me. I’m not grateful for this. I’ll be grateful when people treat me like a human being by my definition of my humanity. Link to Article – https://www.philadelphiaprintworks.com/blogs/news/117518085-do-you-think-youre-beautiful-navigating-a-bearded-black-disabled-fat-womanhood
  • Howard University Offers Tuition Rebates To On-Time Graduates: Howard University is refunding some graduates half of the tuition that they paid this semester in an effort to encourage more students to complete their education on time. Tuition at Howard University for the 2015 – 2016 academic year is about $23,00, or $11,500 a semester. Graduating seniors whose families paid out-of-pocket for the spring term will be eligible for a 50% rebate that equals roughly $5,750. More than a hundred soon-to-be graduates will be eligible for such a rebate. The rebate program was unanimously supported by Howard University’s board of trustees.
  • Ranking the Best HBCU’s: Florida A&M University was rated the best HBCU in this survey. Yet its graduation rate is 39 percent. The rankings appear to be a bit simplistic. Obviously, state college and universities have an advantage in the affordability category. This is probably why Morehouse College, Fisk University, Tuskegee University and other private schools didn’t appear at the top of the list.
  • Journal Article: Chains of Psychological Enslavement:Olivia Pope and the Celebration of the Black Mistress in ABC’s Scandal by Cassandra Chaney and Ray V. Robertson – The diva; her beauty is characterized by western standards (long, straight hair, slim build, light skinned). She appears independent but chooses to target men who can raise her social status (trades sex for social status). The gold digger barters with her sexuality for economic and material gains. The freak seeks to satisfy her sexual desires. Considered a bad girl who gains male attention by being overly sexual, she is sexually liberated and empowered and seeks out sex for physical satisfaction not for a relationship.
  • Schott, Foundation for Public Education is pleased to release our latest series of infographics, this time focusing on the barriers facing Black girls in our public schools. Only through using both a race and gender lens can we see — and fix — the unique systemic problems that Black girls must deal with on a daily basis. Unfair discipline practices. Disinvestment from curriculum. Lack of supports for girls who face familial responsibilities. High rates of exposure to sexual harassment and violence. Lack of resources for counseling and addressing trauma. These are barriers that should — and must — come down. And only through grassroots organizing can we win the change needed to ensure that all our children have an opportunity to learn and succeed in both classroom and community.



Girls for Gender Equity

Girls for Gender Equity is an intergenerational grassroots organization committed to the physical, psychological, social, and economic development of girls and women.

African American Policy Forum

The African American Policy Forum (AAPF) is an innovative think tank that connects academics, activists and policy-makers to promote efforts to dismantle structural inequality.


National Women’s Law Center

The Center has worked for more than 40 years to protect and promote equality and opportunity for women and families. They champion policies and laws that help women and girls achieve their potential at every stage of their lives — at school, at work, at home, and in retirement.


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