When They Ask To Touch Your Hair, AGAIN

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Activists, Allies, Artists, Authors, Field Notes, Parents, Prisoners, Scholars

Many of us women, people of color, and members of the LGBT+ community dread these first few days of the new year. The prospect of returning to campuses, nonprofits or companies where we are isolated, harassed, and blocked from success can be disheartening. In my own life, discrimination fanned the flames of doubt and shame I internalized through living in a society where I rarely saw anyone who looked like me-or loved like me-enjoy professional success.

If you’re steeling yourself against microaggressions, mansplaining, or other inappropriate discriminatory behavior, remember two things.

1. It’s Not You.

Discrimination is not something you can prevent with professional excellence, code switching expertise, or fitting into racial or gendered norms of behavior. It is driven solely by perpetrators’ allegiance to White supremacist, sexist and/or homophobic beliefs. (Whether that allegiance is subconscious is not your concern). Discrimination is illegal precisely because it has nothing to do with your actions.

2. You Are Not Alone.

Chances are you are not the only person at your campus or organization that desires a more inclusive atmosphere. To the extent that your feedback is solicited or you have decision-making authority about diversity-related programs, suggesting more trainings and cultural events might jumpstart the constructive conversations about equality and inclusion your organization needs.

I am hopeful for progress. The more we speak up, the swifter change will come. Happy New Year.

Yours in Solidarity,

RJH PhD

New “Black Panther” Trailer is all Motherships and AfroFuturism

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Allies, Artists, Black Resistance Screening List, Students, Teachers

Today director Ryan Coogler and Marvel Studios dropped another edge-snatching preview of the most anticipated superhero film in the diaspora’s history. It seems Coogler’s visionary film crew and talented cast (which includes Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, and Academy Award nominee Angela Bassett) are channeling Parliament Funkadelic and Sun Ra with a side of LaBelle. The trailer’s soundtrack draws from the Godfather of hip hop, Gil Scott-Heron, and his everlasting track The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.

Black Panther arrives in theaters Black History Month 2018.

#PrettyPeriod

Posted 3 CommentsPosted in Uncategorized
Photo Courtesy of Pretty.Period.
Photo Courtesy of Pretty.Period.

Pretty. Period.” is a trans-media project created as a visual tribute to brown skin. The blog features portraits submitted by women who see themselves as part of the movement, it also includes contributions from photographers all over the world. Doctor Yaba Blay‘s project is a response to the current colorism dialogue, celebrating beauty in every shade. Dr. Blay’s states, “While there is so much to say when it comes to dark-skinned beauty, I really want to focus on the PERIOD in ‘Pretty. Period.’ No explanations. No defense. Just pretty.”

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For Patsey and Her Descendants

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Activists, Allies, Artists, Black Resistance Screening List, Field Notes, Prisoners, Students, Teachers, Uncategorized
(L.) Patsey from 12 Years a Slave Francois Duhamel/Fox Searchlight (R.) Lupita Nyong’o Kevin Winter/Getty Images
(L.) Patsey from 12 Years a Slave Francois Duhamel/Fox Searchlight
(R.) Lupita Nyong’o Kevin Winter/Getty Images


Happy Women’s Empowerment Month!
In Lupita Nyong’o’s inspiring speech accepting the 2013 Best Supporting Actress “Oscar” for her impressive performance in 12 Years a Slave, she acknowledged the presence of the true life Patsey (whom she portrayed in the film) and asserted powerfully “no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.”  Her Academy Award show statements culminated an overwhelmingly successful international run on red carpets and award show stages in which she wowed the world with her graceful beauty, impeccable style and stunning intelligence.  Joyful, cosmopolitan, and Ivy League educated, Ms. Nyong’o fulfills a durable wish we have as the descendants of Patsey and the vicious dehumanization by the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade that her character embodies.

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