Fighting privilege, prejudice and ignorance

“If you choose to do social justice work, you are going to screw up – a lot. Be prepared for that. And when you screw up, be prepared to listen to those who you hurt, apologize with honesty and integrity, work hard to be accountable to them, and make sure you act differently going forward.” (http://everydayfeminism.com/2013/11/things-allies-need-to-know/?upw)

 

feminism5ever:

PSA to all activists: 

Please stop using ableist slurs to combat oppression.

Here are some better words that describe oppressors without bringing down the disabled community: narrow-minded, naive, unsympathetic, ridiculous, disgusting, ignorant, irrational, pathetic, repugnant, thoughtless, unjust. (And of course: racist, misogynist, transphobic, homophobic.)

I know that Black creativity has saved your life many times before. I know, because I’ve seen it happen. I’ve listened as non-Black people in my communities raised on Hip Hop talked about how it was the only relatable, empowering culture they found that also educated and radicalized them as a youth. It was formational. I’ve watched people become politicized, shaping their new political identities after bell hooks, Audre Lorde, Assata Shakur, Angela Davis and Frantz Fanon. I’ve watched as folks become activist celebrities using radical ideas from Black Power and Civil Rights movements to shape programs that do not benefit Black people. I’ve watched as people make livings and loads of social capital off of DJing Black music, dancing, walking and dressing like Black people, selling the Black aesthetic to others. I’ve heard that friends use Nina Simone and Sade to sing them back from depression, Rihanna and D’Angelo to get them in the mood. So many people in my communities, lately, have been using Octavia Butler to renew their hope for radical futures. Without Black people, what would your lives be? You might be thinking, you know, it’s so much more complicated than all this, race is complex, we’re all part of the human family, etc., etc…

Black art is not free for all damaged souls. When Nina sang about strange fruit, she was talking about a lynching…of Black people. When Black rappers say Fuck the Police, they speak to a state system of lynching…Black people. Your pain and isolation, however real it may be, is not the same as being Black. Your self-adoption into hip hop and djembe drumming and spoken word, makes our art forms all about you. You, however well meaning, have stolen Black labour and invention and used it for your own purpose. It warps the medium and changes the message, the magic, the healing. From now on, consider how the cost of consuming, appropriating, regurgitating, and getting your life in multiple ways from Black art, Black culture, and Black peoples’ creative genius detrimentally impacts our lives. Being Black in an anti-black world means experiencing daily attacks that threaten our dignity, our happiness, our freedom, and often our lives; and in order to enjoy Black culture, you’re going to have to take action to help get these back.

But because Black people’s labour, language, intelligence, creativity, and survival arts have always been considered free for the taking, you probably didn’t feel ways about using it. You probably didn’t think twice. Black culture is the most pilfered, the most ‘borrowed,’ the most thieved culture, and we’ve seen this happen time and tie again.

Nadijah Robinson

Quote is from her essay Black Art Is Not A Free For All on Black Girl Dangerous. Read it all. Truly exquisite writing, especially as non-Black people continue to use, consume, pilfer, plagiarize and be appropriative of Black cultural production and art while simultaneously suggesting that Black culture, especially that Black American culture, does not exist. 

I’ve also watched non-Black people suggest Black people contribute “nothing” to anti-oppression theory or praxis while their ENTIRE FRAMEWORK for approaching it is via Black cultural production or Black women’s epistemology.

Like…the cognitive dissonance proffered via perspectives shaped by anti-Blackness is astounding.

grizzlykurtz:

witchesbitchesandbritches:

lifeundefeated:

Yea it’s clearly our “generation that’s making homosexuality a trend.” Seriously, pisses me off when people say that. look at this! It’s always been around, it’s not a trend, it’s real. It’s beautiful.

These are really beautiful images.

History Lesson: In America from about 1700-1920 there was a social rule that said that women did not have a sex drive. According to men, all women ever were asexual and only ever had sex because their husbands wanted it and as a good doting wife they would open up for him. That said, lesbians flourished in this time! Because it was believed that women did not have sex, when two women would share a house and finances together (called a Boston Marriage, look it up!) nobody thought anything of it. Because clearly they werent homosexuals since clearly women were incapable of being independently sexual. The more you know!

(Source: babycocodill)

sheer-powder:

“We’ve been ‘cool’ for a very long time, and in that sense our culture has been taken for a very long time. How do we define when we’ve arrived? It’s not when a young, white girl in Berkley is wearing nice garlands or those nice buddhist beads, or wearing bindi. I don’t feel like my life in anyway has been improved because she has the ability to do that and thinks that’s okay. My life hasn’t improved. The life of my mother has not improved. Our voice as a community within this economic system has not improved. 
A good friend of mine, she’s south Indian, and she grew up in Connecticut. Her mom would make her wear her bindi and go to school. She would get harassed by kids… she would be harassed so much that what she would do, is that because she was so ashamed to have that bindi on her head, she would leave her house, wipe it off… and then come home and put it back on.
To the point where a child would have to think about such a deliberate attempt to refute their own culture I think is pretty profound. If there’s a white girl wearing a bindi walking down central avenue in the heights, she’s not considered a dot head, even though she has a dot on her head.
For me, the feeling is disgust and anger. The way I look at it if I see it, I just get so mad because I think, how dare this person be able to wear that, or hold that, or put that statue in her house and not take any of the oppression for that. How dare they. That’s not fair. We have to take so much heat and repression for expressing ourselves.
I’m going to rip that thing off your head, and I’m going to scrub that mehndi off your hands, because you don’t have the right to wear it. Until the day when you walk in our shoes, and you face what we face… the pain, and the shame, and the hurt, and the fear, you don’t have the right to wear that. It is not your right, and you’re not worthy of it. I feel like it’s so superficial and it’s so disrespected. One day, wake up, be me, and then you’ll see how powerful what you’re wearing is. ”
—Raahi Reddy, Yellow Apparel: When the Coolie Becomes Cool 

sheer-powder:

We’ve been ‘cool’ for a very long time, and in that sense our culture has been taken for a very long time. How do we define when we’ve arrived? It’s not when a young, white girl in Berkley is wearing nice garlands or those nice buddhist beads, or wearing bindi. I don’t feel like my life in anyway has been improved because she has the ability to do that and thinks that’s okay. My life hasn’t improved. The life of my mother has not improved. Our voice as a community within this economic system has not improved. 

A good friend of mine, she’s south Indian, and she grew up in Connecticut. Her mom would make her wear her bindi and go to school. She would get harassed by kids… she would be harassed so much that what she would do, is that because she was so ashamed to have that bindi on her head, she would leave her house, wipe it off… and then come home and put it back on.

To the point where a child would have to think about such a deliberate attempt to refute their own culture I think is pretty profound. If there’s a white girl wearing a bindi walking down central avenue in the heights, she’s not considered a dot head, even though she has a dot on her head.

For me, the feeling is disgust and anger. The way I look at it if I see it, I just get so mad because I think, how dare this person be able to wear that, or hold that, or put that statue in her house and not take any of the oppression for that. How dare they. That’s not fair. We have to take so much heat and repression for expressing ourselves.

I’m going to rip that thing off your head, and I’m going to scrub that mehndi off your hands, because you don’t have the right to wear it. Until the day when you walk in our shoes, and you face what we face… the pain, and the shame, and the hurt, and the fear, you don’t have the right to wear that. It is not your right, and you’re not worthy of it. I feel like it’s so superficial and it’s so disrespected. One day, wake up, be me, and then you’ll see how powerful what you’re wearing is. ”

—Raahi Reddy, Yellow Apparel: When the Coolie Becomes Cool 

Anonymous asked
White girl here. I've always been into fashion and I recently got very into some Japanese street style brands and styles. On tumblr I often brows for inspiration but it has started to creep me out. A lot of these so called kawaii blogs post a lot of uncredited pictures of random unnamed Japanese girls in different fashions. It feels like girls fetishising other girls just for being Japanese. As a feminist I find it very dehumanising of these women and especially after reading what you guys write

thisisnotjapan:

Thanks. It doesn’t just feel like that for us—it is like that. Whether or not there’s sexual intent behind the fetishizing is irrelevant. It’s still incredibly dehumanizing. Sometimes the cumulative effect is even worse than when white men do it, because women are often in social circles consisting mostly of other women, so we can’t escape the fetishizing as easily.

theblacksophisticate:

atane:

zuky:

nezua:

Flappers shaming Miley Cyrus.

Oddly enough we could say that Miley Cyrus is following solidly in the appropriative footsteps of white flappers, who in the 1920s grabbed national attention and stirred alarmism concerning the end of civilization because they partied to Black music, wore their hair short like Josephine Baker (who fled US racism to become a superstar in Europe), and imitated dance moves from Baker and other Black dancers. The famously flapperesque Charleston was lifted from the African American dance called the Juba, which had West African roots and was danced in secret in the South and the Caribbean. The dance sped up when it reached Harlem, giving birth to both tap dancing and the Broadway hit called The Charleston, which spread like wildfire from there. White people didn’t sway their hips this scandalously prior to that era, making flappers roughly equivalent to white twerkers of the Jazz Age.

This is 100% true. The period from the jazz age to the beat generation, comparatively speaking was the height of cultural appropriation of black art. The beat generation used lingo popularized by Lester Young. They then appropriated the style, dress, and lingo of bebop musicians like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, down to the beret, glasses, and soul patch. Bebop musicians, Parker and Gillespie in particular, were the blueprint of their image. Norman Mailer wrote an essay titled “The White Negro" that tackles this phenomenon. I’m no fan of Norman Mailer, but at least he admitted that white people were stealing from blacks. He wrote it in 1957.
With regards to the flappers, apart from Josephine Baker, they also liberally borrowed from black vaudeville performers. They would copy dance moves from black performers, and then introduce it as their own. Many dances attributed to whites are from black vaudeville performers who were forced to perform on the chitlin’ circuit because of segregation and Jim Crow laws.
It really is astonishing how nothing has changed in this regard. For example, people to this day still call Benny Goodman “the king of swing”, when what he did was procure charts for arrangements from Fletcher Henderson, a black man. Goodman’s biggest hits were from Henderson. It’s amazing how much credit Goodman gets for another man’s work. Of course Goodman became “the king of swing”, while Fletcher Henderson remains a footnote in history. How a white man becomes the king of something innovated by blacks is astounding. Benny Goodman is called “the king of swing”. Paul Whiteman is called “the king of jazz”. Elvis Presley is called “the king of rock n roll”. Is Eminem the king of rap? What about Justin Timberlake and Robin Thicke with r&b? Miley is soon on her way to become “the queen of twerking”.
Anyway, apart from getting his charts from Fletcher Henderson, Benny Goodman got his ass handed to him by Chick Webb at the Savoy Ballroom when they had a battle of the bands. Goodman is often noted as being one of the few white men in the segregation era to have black men in his band, and the narrative is typically presented as if he did it out of benevolence. He did it because there was no way to get around the fact that swing music was the domain of black folks, and he poached the best black players he could find to bolster his band, and black musicians went with him because as a white man, he was able to pay them more than black bandleaders, and they wouldn’t have to deal with indignity while traveling. Many hotels refused black bands, so they often had to sleep in cars, bus terminals, or crash at the homes of hospitable blacks. A big portion of Duke Ellington’s money went towards renting out train cars and making sure his orchestra had a place to sleep while on the road because hotels often turned them down because they were black. These were issues Goodman wasn’t going to face. Black musicians certainly didn’t go with him because he was the best. Goodman even later hired Henderson to arrange and play in his band. He wasn’t doing it because he loved black people. Black people were the ones creating and innovating. Where else would he get the best charts and arrangements? Now that the smoke has cleared and the dust has settled, Goodman gets all the credit. Funny how that works.
This stuff has been going on for a long time. Miley is the 2013 version. Twerking has been around for a long time, but Miley convulses on national tv and all of a sudden, dictionary definitions of twerking are made. Definitions complete with no mention of black people, like all this happened in a vacuum. It’s history repeating itself over and over again. I see the same thing happening with afrobeat music.

The more you know.

theblacksophisticate:

atane:

zuky:

nezua:

Flappers shaming Miley Cyrus.

Oddly enough we could say that Miley Cyrus is following solidly in the appropriative footsteps of white flappers, who in the 1920s grabbed national attention and stirred alarmism concerning the end of civilization because they partied to Black music, wore their hair short like Josephine Baker (who fled US racism to become a superstar in Europe), and imitated dance moves from Baker and other Black dancers. The famously flapperesque Charleston was lifted from the African American dance called the Juba, which had West African roots and was danced in secret in the South and the Caribbean. The dance sped up when it reached Harlem, giving birth to both tap dancing and the Broadway hit called The Charleston, which spread like wildfire from there. White people didn’t sway their hips this scandalously prior to that era, making flappers roughly equivalent to white twerkers of the Jazz Age.

This is 100% true. The period from the jazz age to the beat generation, comparatively speaking was the height of cultural appropriation of black art. The beat generation used lingo popularized by Lester Young. They then appropriated the style, dress, and lingo of bebop musicians like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, down to the beret, glasses, and soul patch. Bebop musicians, Parker and Gillespie in particular, were the blueprint of their image. Norman Mailer wrote an essay titled “The White Negro" that tackles this phenomenon. I’m no fan of Norman Mailer, but at least he admitted that white people were stealing from blacks. He wrote it in 1957.

With regards to the flappers, apart from Josephine Baker, they also liberally borrowed from black vaudeville performers. They would copy dance moves from black performers, and then introduce it as their own. Many dances attributed to whites are from black vaudeville performers who were forced to perform on the chitlin’ circuit because of segregation and Jim Crow laws.

It really is astonishing how nothing has changed in this regard. For example, people to this day still call Benny Goodman “the king of swing”, when what he did was procure charts for arrangements from Fletcher Henderson, a black man. Goodman’s biggest hits were from Henderson. It’s amazing how much credit Goodman gets for another man’s work. Of course Goodman became “the king of swing”, while Fletcher Henderson remains a footnote in history. How a white man becomes the king of something innovated by blacks is astounding. Benny Goodman is called “the king of swing”. Paul Whiteman is called “the king of jazz”. Elvis Presley is called “the king of rock n roll”. Is Eminem the king of rap? What about Justin Timberlake and Robin Thicke with r&b? Miley is soon on her way to become “the queen of twerking”.

Anyway, apart from getting his charts from Fletcher Henderson, Benny Goodman got his ass handed to him by Chick Webb at the Savoy Ballroom when they had a battle of the bands. Goodman is often noted as being one of the few white men in the segregation era to have black men in his band, and the narrative is typically presented as if he did it out of benevolence. He did it because there was no way to get around the fact that swing music was the domain of black folks, and he poached the best black players he could find to bolster his band, and black musicians went with him because as a white man, he was able to pay them more than black bandleaders, and they wouldn’t have to deal with indignity while traveling. Many hotels refused black bands, so they often had to sleep in cars, bus terminals, or crash at the homes of hospitable blacks. A big portion of Duke Ellington’s money went towards renting out train cars and making sure his orchestra had a place to sleep while on the road because hotels often turned them down because they were black. These were issues Goodman wasn’t going to face. Black musicians certainly didn’t go with him because he was the best. Goodman even later hired Henderson to arrange and play in his band. He wasn’t doing it because he loved black people. Black people were the ones creating and innovating. Where else would he get the best charts and arrangements? Now that the smoke has cleared and the dust has settled, Goodman gets all the credit. Funny how that works.

This stuff has been going on for a long time. Miley is the 2013 version. Twerking has been around for a long time, but Miley convulses on national tv and all of a sudden, dictionary definitions of twerking are made. Definitions complete with no mention of black people, like all this happened in a vacuum. It’s history repeating itself over and over again. I see the same thing happening with afrobeat music.

The more you know.

(Source: melanskyyworld)

jennki asked
Hey, about the MCALC app.. Does it work if your periods are irregular? Or do you have to know it your cycle is 28 days or.. whatever people with a regular cycle have?

amorinadeanna:

Honestly, I haven’t been able to get it to work at all :(

I’m trying to use US instead of metric for my stats because that’s how I know them.  But the stats are default in metric and once I change the settings, it won’t let me calculate.  I need to convert them but haven’t gotten around to it yet.

If any followers know the answer to this question, please let us know.  In addition, I will update this once I’ve managed to get the app to work.

~Dina

shedskinbelight:

dear non black women, understand that your questioning a black man’s preference for black women is inherently antiblack and laced with misogynoir. no one asks white men why they prefer white women, or asian men why they prefer asian women. stop feeling entitled to black men’s bodies and affections.