Week three of the 30 Day Real Black History Challenge was not as long as some of the others due to my own commencement ceremony and celebration, but there are also some really important things that happened in this week (including the Rachael Dolezal story). There are some great videos and research information. Enjoy.
What happens to those who are left in the wake of mass incarceration and the disproportionate detaining of Black people in our distorted racial caste system. What happens to the children without a father? What happens to those who are searching for answers in a society that has none?
But some of us are more at risk for experiencing trauma than others, and very few are more at risk than Black women. Why? Simply put, oppression and abuse go hand in hand, and given that Black women wield less social and political power compared to other demographics, we’re more likely to experience all types of trauma.
We know by now that Black women suffer disproportionate rates of sexual violence, incarceration, interpersonal violence, and state violence. Black women are more likely to experience poverty, chronic illness, and reproductive and medical violence. We are also more likely to die younger than our white peers. Queer and trans Black women face even higher rates of life-threatening violence and poverty. Black women often must also cope with the high rates of incarceration and state violence experienced by their brothers, sons, and other Black men in their lives. The lingering social and political effects of slavery and Jim Crow segregation also arise in racist and sexist interpersonal interactions, such as microaggressions and abuse.
All of this—from “big T” traumas like sexual violence, to “little T” traumas like the continued vigilance borne of coping with anti-blackness—has real and measurable effects on our physical and emotional well-being. Besides the obvious physiological consequences such as chronic illnesses and shortened life spans, we often experience lasting psychological consequences from the constant stress of merely existing as Black women in a world hostile to our presence.”
A great historical glance at one of the reasons people should NOT refer to a Black person as “well spoken”. It is the aversively racist tone it takes that perpetuates the stereotype that it is a surprise when a Black person speaks intelligently. It is not a surprise when someone speaks with education, with presence, with purpose, with skill. People should not act like it is.
Introspection is necessary in the struggle. All the time.
“…the fact that certain members of the oppressor class join the oppressed in their struggle for liberation, thus moving from one pole of the contradiction to the other… Theirs is a fundamental role, and has been throughout the history of this struggle. It happens, however, that as they cease to be exploiters or indifferent spectators or simply the heirs of exploitation and move to the side of the exploited, they almost always bring with them the marks of their origin: their prejudices and their deformations, which include a lack of confidence in the people’s ability to think, to want, and to know. Accordingly, these adherents to the people’s cause constantly run the risk of falling into a type of generosity as malefic as that of the oppressors. The generosity of the oppressors is nourished by an unjust order, which must be maintained in order to justify that generosity. Our converts, on the other hand, truly desire to transform the unjust order; but because of their background they believe that they must be the executors of the transformation. They talk about the people, but they do not trust them; and trusting the people is the indispensable precondition for revolutionary change. A real humanist can be identified more by his trust in the people, which engages him in their struggle, than by a thousand actions in their favor without that trust.” ― Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed
“Alternative is not a word I would have ever used to describe myself at any point in life. Alternative is not a word I would have used to describe any Black woman or girl, no matter how closely she aligned with an “alternative” aesthetic. Like most people, I believed that alternative culture was the property of whiteness, so I either hid or denied all my alternative inclinations. I told no one that I loved groups like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Third Eye Blind, or that I fed myself on art house films.
This denial made it difficult for me to see that my attraction to artists such as Kelis and the late Lisa “Lefteye” Lopes lied in the fact that they presented themselves in the same way as many whites in the alternative scene. Black girls simply were not alternative. Being alternative in some way meant being white, so Black women and girls in these scenes were not only seen as embracing whiteness, but also eschewing their blackness.
There are many reasons I finally realized Black girls could indeed be alternative and were in fact catalysts behind many alternative trends and movements. One of them was that I realized a lot of the indicators for alternative lifestyles were taken from Black cultures and the cultures of other people of color: tattoos, piercings, scarification, and other forms of body modification, as well as alternative fashion and music almost always originate from Black and Brown people.”
Fast Foward to 2015, on Friday, some residents in a Texas town decided that a number of African-American teenagers had no place in a pool in the 75% white neighborhood.
Police were called after white residents started a confrontation with some African-American guests at a pool party at the McKinney Community Pool. Party Organizers said…
“This lady was saying racial slurs to some friends that came to the cookout. She was saying such things as ‘black effer’ and ‘that’s why you live in Section 8 homes,” Tatiana Rhodes, who says she was attacked by two white women, explained. According to Rhodes, the African-American guests at the party were told by one neighbor to “go back to your Section 8 home.”
One police officer demonstrated how difficult it is to be black in America. While Texas copsbasically had a tea party with white bikers who engaged in a gang war that left nine people dead, McKinney Officer Eric Casebolt decided to go “full Rambo” on the crowd of unarmed African-Americans.”