A Hummingbird in the Palm: The Impact of Racism on Black Women’s Mental Health

Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Younger. Flowers grown in Teresa Younger's Garden. By Joyce Angela Jellison Hounkanrin • I hate mornings, yet I make a promise to myself to be up early. This morning I have no choice in the matter; someone is incessant in their attempts to reach me. The phone, which I keep under … Continue reading A Hummingbird in the Palm: The Impact of Racism on Black Women’s Mental Health

Call-to-Action: Decolonizing Classrooms in Virginia

Art by Stephanie Younger By Skyla Bailey •  A Message to Virginia Department of Education (VDOE): Our history classes constantly teach students to think of European History when they think of “American” History. However, African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Latinx Americans are all part of America. Students of Color in Virginia want to … Continue reading Call-to-Action: Decolonizing Classrooms in Virginia

Black People Can’t Wait Every Four Years for Our Liberation

https://twitter.com/blaquewomanist/status/1306006253756387328 By Stephanie Younger • Demanding labor from Black youth is rooted the anti-Black idea that our worthiness relies on what we do and how much we do, which affects the fight for our liberation. White feminists often bully young Black feminists into electing our way towards liberation. There are so many Black youth like … Continue reading Black People Can’t Wait Every Four Years for Our Liberation

Colleges Pretend to Care about Black People

Students celebrate the resignation of University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe amid allegations of racism. (Photo: Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images) By James A. Perry Jr. •  The presence of elitism, capitalism, racism, and sexism are still ubiquitous within the apparatus of higher education. Higher education leaders need to move beyond rhetoric involving diversity, equity, and … Continue reading Colleges Pretend to Care about Black People

Call-to-Action: Making Classrooms Equitable for Black and Brown Students In Virginia

By Skyla Bailey •  As Black and Brown youth, we are tired of being considered second place, tired of having the education system fail us, and tired of being behind. We want to have all schools in Virginia to become equitable sanctuaries where every student can flourish. This petition is an essential call-to-action. We ask … Continue reading Call-to-Action: Making Classrooms Equitable for Black and Brown Students In Virginia

Who is Solidarity For: Intra-Racial Solidarity for True Black Liberation

Photo Courtesy of NewMobility.com By Kahlia Phillips •  “Who is solidarity for?” was a question posed by Ebony Donnley, the partner of Ericka Hart, in an IG live show and I’ve been pondering this question ever since. Our priorities around who we, as Black people, engage in solidarity with are not in order and it’s … Continue reading Who is Solidarity For: Intra-Racial Solidarity for True Black Liberation

Reflections on Black Suffering, Grief and Re-imagining Freedom

Photo Courtesy Unknown By Alexandra Brown • This reflective piece is a summary and critical analysis of a conversation between author, activist, and Afro-Pessimist philosopher, Professor Frank B. Wilderson III and Chairman of ‘Before Columbus Foundation’, Justin Desmangles. The discussion was entitled, ‘Re-Imagining the Black Body: Race, Memory, and the Excavation of Freedom Now’.  I … Continue reading Reflections on Black Suffering, Grief and Re-imagining Freedom

An Open Letter to the “What About”s

Photo courtesy of The Graphics Fairy By Tani Washington • It seems that every year, when Black activists speak up against large-scale inequity and systemic brutality against people of color, there are those who attempt to qualify this suffering through questions that point to the sufferings of other, usually non-marginalized, groups. This kind of response … Continue reading An Open Letter to the “What About”s

A Call-to-Action to “Well-Intentioned” White Liberals From a Black Girl in the Forner Capital of the Confederacy

Photo Courtesy of Teresa Younger. Art by Stephanie Younger By Stephanie Younger • 10 days ago, I climbed up the lee statue at a protest in Richmond, VA. This was unplanned, but I spoke in front of a Large Crowd of people. I began by READING an excerpt from Dr. Martin Luther King's "Letter From … Continue reading A Call-to-Action to “Well-Intentioned” White Liberals From a Black Girl in the Forner Capital of the Confederacy

Maintaining Solidarity in the Black Community in the Face of COVID-19

Photo Courtesy of Inclusion Solution By Giovanna Adams • We’ve all heard the sentiment over and over again. It feels good to hear and it feels good to say, doesn’t it? Those words are comforting and encouraging during a time when we are all facing uncertainty and insurmountable burdens. It really is a nice sentiment, … Continue reading Maintaining Solidarity in the Black Community in the Face of COVID-19

Analysis: The Movement that Cancelled R. Kelly

Photo Courtesy of Jufu Han/Detroit Free Press By Stephanie Younger • CW: This article has descriptions of sexual violence. Could a hashtag topple the career of a popular artist? Hashtags have the power to raise social consciousness about the exploitation of marginalized communities, to give them a platform that influences public discourse, and to ultimately … Continue reading Analysis: The Movement that Cancelled R. Kelly

The Backlash Against “Karen” Memes is Peak White Feminism

Wikipedia's Definition of the "Karen" Meme. Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Younger. By Stephanie Younger •  In late January, during my break in between college lectures, I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed when I suddenly came across a blog post, in which the author, a white woman, claims that "Karen" memes are "misogynistic," and … Continue reading The Backlash Against “Karen” Memes is Peak White Feminism

Equity Beyond COVID-19: Why we Shouldn’t go Back to the Beginning

Photo Courtesy of iStock/RuslanDashinsky By Giovanna Adams • As a global health crisis has entered all of our lives, we’ve seen the impact on equity in education, challenges to our daily economics, and have only begun to see the ramifications on our psyches from social distancing and for some, social isolation. We must all recognize … Continue reading Equity Beyond COVID-19: Why we Shouldn’t go Back to the Beginning

Facing Anti-Black Racism at the Hands of “Gun Reform Activists”

Photo Courtesy of Team Enough via Twitter By Stephanie Younger • There were good and bad experiences that I had as a young Black organizer between then and now, leading up to where I am today. When I was 15, I was taught to maintain resilience in the face of an empowering, defining moment in … Continue reading Facing Anti-Black Racism at the Hands of “Gun Reform Activists”

Why I Am not “Voting Blue No Matter Who”

Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Younger By Stephanie Younger •  When I learned that 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden won 10 states on Super Tuesday on March 3rd, I couldn't help but think of his political legacy of fighting for segregation, and enforcing the criminalization of Black and Brown people. Appalled by the amount of Virginians … Continue reading Why I Am not “Voting Blue No Matter Who”

The Mataculebra, the ultimate expression of slavery in the carnival of Tenerife

https://youtu.be/_VJPMGDLCwo No dejamos de sorprendernos con la capacidad de la sociedad española para normalizar actos brutales de contenido racista, disfrazados de un presunto contenido antirracista. Este es el caso del Mataculebra que se perpetra en el Puerto de la Cruz de Tenerife. El vídeo habla por si solo y no diremos más de los que … Continue reading The Mataculebra, the ultimate expression of slavery in the carnival of Tenerife

Token

Photo Courtesy of Deun Ivory/LLC By Summar McGee • I am a black girl at a PWI.  So I get a lot of kudos.  The people congratulate me for “making it” out of poverty Through an “education”  and to as close to whiteness as I’ll ever be.  Summar McGee is a Black woman, Student & Writer from Mississippi.

Analysis: The Ways we Talk About Gender Stereotypes Do not Represent the Struggles we All Go Through

Photo Courtesy of Phuong Tran/ACLU of VirginiaPhoto Courtesy of Teresa Younger By Stephanie Younger •  Do the ways we talk about gender stereotypes represent the struggles we all go through? In Katherine Toland Frith and Barbara Mueller’s article entitled, “Advertisements Stereotype Women” written for the book, “Advertising and Societies: Global Issues,” they write about how … Continue reading Analysis: The Ways we Talk About Gender Stereotypes Do not Represent the Struggles we All Go Through

Is it Open Season on Natural Hair?

Teresa Younger's then-5-year-old Stephanie Younger in Summer 2007. Photo Courtesy of Teresa Younger. By Teresa Younger •  Complete with unsolicited comments,touching attempts from strangers, and pressure to do away with your coils right now, or you risk the shame of being prevented from attending your graduation or losing gainful employment? Is natural hair controversy a … Continue reading Is it Open Season on Natural Hair?

4 reasons why Alcoy’s Black Pages are Violence

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMc0jhIxnVQ By Elvira Swartch Lorenzo •  No importa lo que tú creas que estás tratando de representar. No importa que creas que así haces felices a los niños. No importa si es una tradición. Si te pintas de un color que no es el tuyo es racista. La controversia del blackface llega cada navidad como el turrón. … Continue reading 4 reasons why Alcoy’s Black Pages are Violence

Ways the Mental Health Stigma Harms Black Youth

Words by Stephanie Younger. Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Younger By Stephanie Younger • CW: This article contains mentions of self-harm • In the Black community, talking down to, speaking poorly of, publicly humiliating and criminalizing Black youth as a whole is acceptable. In the Black community, body shaming, and devaluing dark skin and type 4 … Continue reading Ways the Mental Health Stigma Harms Black Youth

Analysis: How Racial Profiling Affects Black and Brown Women and Youth

Courtesy of Kathleen Foster By Stephanie Younger •  Are all people in America served and protected by the law? In the documentary, “Profiled - The Mothers of Murdered Black and Latino Youth,” director Kathleen Foster utilizes the power of art, amplifies the voices of Black and Latin American women and youth, and directs attention to … Continue reading Analysis: How Racial Profiling Affects Black and Brown Women and Youth

Queer Windows in Dembow Music

Portrait of La Shakata Astoa. Photo Courtesy of Carlos Rodriguez By Princess Jiménez •  Promo of Mango Podcast In the Dominican Republic, where supposedly moral society and the Church often espouse virulent homophobia and transphobia, an unusual alliance has appeared among the very poorest: singers and producers of popular music genre Dembow are working with … Continue reading Queer Windows in Dembow Music

An Excerpt from the E-Book, “The Therapeutic Alliance Handbook”

Courtesy of Traycee Truth/Amazon The following excerpt is from Traycee Truth’s e-book, the Therapeutic Alliance Handbook. •  “Usually, it is customary to begin an essay/journal of this sort of measure with a precise definition regarding whiteness, yet what are the intersectionalities of this concept? Within most contemporary and progressive circles, it is assumed that the cultural … Continue reading An Excerpt from the E-Book, “The Therapeutic Alliance Handbook”

The School System is Failing Black Students

Words by Sharayah Alkire. Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Younger. By Sharayah Alkire •  Throughout American History systems have been built up to bring down Black people in many ways. Some of these systems have been legal and widespread, being used across the nation. One of these being the school's systems. As a result of redlining … Continue reading The School System is Failing Black Students

Op-Ed: The Role of Black Women in the Fight to Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment

Photo Courtesy of The Economist By Belan Yeshigeta •  Women have often been given the short end of the stick when it comes to equal rights, and it is no secret that African Americans are still prejudiced against to this day. The unique experience of being apart of both of these marginalized communities is one … Continue reading Op-Ed: The Role of Black Women in the Fight to Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment

Oppression Expression: Answering Zora Neale and Mother Lorde

Photo Courtesy of Carl Van VechtenPhoto Courtesy of Jack Mitchell/Getty Images By Kristin Couch •  Reading Zora Neale Hurston and Audre Lorde led me to question myself about the stance I take on activism. These writers represent two polar ideals of being that I have struggled to find identification with. Zora Neale, my humanist hero … Continue reading Oppression Expression: Answering Zora Neale and Mother Lorde

To All the Men Who Have Fetishized Me Before

Words by Kimberly Davis. Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Younger. By Kimberly Davis •  “I’m a gentleman lives in _____________ looking for a long term relationship dating also hanging out. I believe in treating a woman with respect and honor I am 5”11 prefer African American and Hispanic types of women no offense at all just … Continue reading To All the Men Who Have Fetishized Me Before

An Excerpt From the Upcoming Novel “Of Cats and Women”

Photo Courtesy of Brittany Jeter/Of Cats & Women By Brittany Jeter •  The Following Excerpt is from Brittany Jeter's upcoming novel, "Of Cats and Women." "Var always been dismissive to Joy, and Joy always been the type of girl who takes up space without even trying. Vita knew Var hated that shit about her so … Continue reading An Excerpt From the Upcoming Novel “Of Cats and Women”

Mother Nature Does Not Discriminate, America Does

Photo Courtesy of Huffington Post By Kayla Austin •  The aftermath of the natural disaster that was Hurricane Katrina is a display of the effects of environmental racism, redlining, and the neglection of people of color and those facing poverty. Katrina is one of the worst natural disasters to occur in the history of the … Continue reading Mother Nature Does Not Discriminate, America Does

Remembering 1619 and Restoring Justice: We Safeguard the Peace the Enslaved Africans Dared Only Dream About

Illustration Courtesy of Rikki Pierce By Sarah Mathew •  In 1619, my second great grandfather was kidnapped from his home in Angola and forced onto a Portuguese slave ship, just to be stolen by English pirates. After all this, he was finally delivered to the English settlement of Point Comfort where he, along with 20 … Continue reading Remembering 1619 and Restoring Justice: We Safeguard the Peace the Enslaved Africans Dared Only Dream About

Remembering 1619 and Restoring Justice: I am the Reality of my Ancestors’ Dreams for the Future

Illustration Courtesy of Rikki Pierce By Gloria Amado •  400 years ago, my ancestors were kidnapped from their homes. Not only was there fear from their original captors, the Spanish, but they were then seized by a Dutch warship and brought to an unknown land. They were sold as property and worked until they collapsed. … Continue reading Remembering 1619 and Restoring Justice: I am the Reality of my Ancestors’ Dreams for the Future

You are Never Too Little to Make a Difference

Photo Courtesy of Leigh Vogel Photo Courtesy of Leigh VogelPhoto Courtesy of Leigh Vogel By Havana Chapman-Edwards •  My name is Havana Chapman-Edwards and I am 8 years old. I am here today because sometimes democracy looks like disagreement. I can’t sit in my classroom learning about our government when the government isn’t taking my … Continue reading You are Never Too Little to Make a Difference

Black Mama’s Bail Out Day Is Freeing Incarcerated Black Women In Richmond, Virginia For Mother’s Day

Photo Courtesy of Southerners on New Ground By Taneasha White, Brooke Taylor, Sarmistha Talukdar and Rebecca Wooden Keel •  Mother’s Day inspires images of family, bonding and care. May 12 is right around the corner, and many of us will be spending the day with our family. However, we forget that many Black womxn will … Continue reading Black Mama’s Bail Out Day Is Freeing Incarcerated Black Women In Richmond, Virginia For Mother’s Day

Reflecting on Intersectionality One Year After The March For Our Lives

Photo Courtest of Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS By Mei-Ling Ho-Shing •  According to the Oxford Dictionaries, Intersectionality means, “the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage." This term is very well-known in … Continue reading Reflecting on Intersectionality One Year After The March For Our Lives

Living at the Intersections of Anti-Black Racism and Queerphobia

Words by Anonymous. Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Younger. Anonymous •  In the third grade, I remember standing in the lunch line waiting for cheap spaghetti and old milk. I would look at the other girls in line and think about how pretty they were. And then I’d tell myself to stop being gay. "Stop it, … Continue reading Living at the Intersections of Anti-Black Racism and Queerphobia

Black Youth Have Been Combating Gun Violence for Generations

Photo Courtesy of Erin Edgerton/VCU Capital News Service By Stephanie Younger •  I'd like to start this article by thanking Mobilizing Youth Project and Women's March Youth Empower for inviting me to speak at the Town Hall For Gun Violence Prevention. At the town hall, I shared my story of being on the organizing committee … Continue reading Black Youth Have Been Combating Gun Violence for Generations

An Open Essay About My Experiences with the White Moderate

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Qqve74iKW4 By Stephanie Younger •  In Dr. Martin Luther King's "Letter From a Birmingham Jail" (1963), he wrote, "...I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride towards freedom is not the White Citizens Counciler, or the Ku Klux … Continue reading An Open Essay About My Experiences with the White Moderate

Reconstruction Over Reformation: The Argument Against Liberal Feminism’s Relevance in 2019

Words by Roshaé M. Lowe. Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Younger. By Roshaé M. Lowe •  Liberal feminism (often interchangeable with humanist feminism1) has very little relevance today. Times have changed and gender is no longer regarded as the lone oppressive factor for women. With the rise of the theory of intersectionality, feminism has broadened its scope to allow … Continue reading Reconstruction Over Reformation: The Argument Against Liberal Feminism’s Relevance in 2019

Teach Black Children to Swim

Photo of Olympic Swimmer Simone Manuel. Photo Courtesy of 2016 NBC Universal Media/LLC By Zakkiyya Anderson •  Teach our Black children to swim Take them to the ocean and show them life has no bounds Teach Black children to read and to explore more than the outside of their broken door Give them tangible hope Dreams that aren't just riddled in fables … Continue reading Teach Black Children to Swim

What You Need: My Experience Being Dismissed by my Doctor

Illustration Courtesy of Mary Syloria By Fallen Matthew •  Life just keeps getting better and better for me. I have been afflicted with inexplicable symptoms and anxiety surrounding them for the past decade—all of which were either downplayed or dismissed by my MD, an upper-middle class white man generations removed from mine, despite a CT … Continue reading What You Need: My Experience Being Dismissed by my Doctor

How Policies Around Gender Binaries Affect the Representation of The Black Womxn’s Olive Within Family Planning Commercials

Courtesy of Shepard Fairey/Amplifier Art By Jameelah Lewis •  "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me," these are just a few that every person bullied followed by to stay strong, but the question in play here is, how do you stop a bully? It seems that African-Americans are picked … Continue reading How Policies Around Gender Binaries Affect the Representation of The Black Womxn’s Olive Within Family Planning Commercials

5 Ways “Nice” Racism Shows Up in Progressive Communities

Photo Courtesy of John Hamilton/Visual Editor By Daylisha Reid •  I grew up in a family with liberal viewpoints. As a child I had a basic, uninformed understanding of politics: Republicans are racist and influenced policies that benefited the wealthy, and kept the poor stagnant; Democrats are not racist, they are progressive human rights influencers … Continue reading 5 Ways “Nice” Racism Shows Up in Progressive Communities

What Armed Teachers and Increased Police Presence Means for Black Youth

Photo Courtesy of Joe Raedle/Getty Images North America. By Mei-Ling Ho-Shing •  On February 14, 2018, my school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, came face-to-face with gun violence. On that day I was on the 2nd floor of the Freshman building, the same building we lost 17 of our MSD Eagles. I hid behind my teacher’s desk … Continue reading What Armed Teachers and Increased Police Presence Means for Black Youth

A Look into the Women Behind Intersectional Feminism

Photo Courtesy of Liza Donovan/Amplifer Art By Sharayah Alkire •  By Black mothers, in many forms, are a large part of our literature, movies and society in general. They are the women standing at the forefront of the civil rights movement, they are the mammys, the house negroes, the women who fought, struggled and clawed … Continue reading A Look into the Women Behind Intersectional Feminism

Havana Chapman-Edwards on Activism and Girl Power

Photo Courtesy of Jessica Holmes and Megan Landmeier Photography/Teen Vogue BY STEPHANIE YOUNGER •  7-year-old student activist Havana Chapman-Edwards (@TheTinyDiplomat) was the only student at her school to participate in the national school walkout to honor the victims of the 1999 Columbine school shooting. Her story went viral and captured the attention of CNN, Refinery29, … Continue reading Havana Chapman-Edwards on Activism and Girl Power

Black Girls Should Matter at School

Photo Courtesy of Mark Strandquist/Performing Statistics By Stephanie Younger • My advocacy for juvenile justice reform is influenced by the discrimination I experienced in school. Feeling unaccepted by my white peers and profiled by my teachers, I quickly internalized the notion that my Blackness wasn’t desirable. I was so consumed in the self-hatred I internalized … Continue reading Black Girls Should Matter at School

‘Justice Parade For Youth’ Organized by Youth

Photo Courtesy of Mark Strandquist/Performing Statistics BY STEPHANIE YOUNGER •  On Saturday Nov. 3rd, the Richmond community joined RISE For Youth, Art 180, and Performing Statistics, to "honor the voices, dreams and demands of youth affected by the school-to-prison pipeline." The community, composed of speakers, dancers, singers, poets and other performers gathered outside of Hotchkiss … Continue reading ‘Justice Parade For Youth’ Organized by Youth

“Lift Us Up, Don’t Push Us Out:” Art 180 Opens Exhibition About School Push-Out

BY STEPHANIE YOUNGER •  Art 180 is an RVA-based organization that gives marginalized young people the opportunity to create change by expressing themselves through music, poetry, dance, and more. On Friday, October 5th, they opened "Lift Us Up! Don't Push Us Out!" a mixed-reality exhibit that raises awareness about the school-to-prison pipeline, the youth and … Continue reading “Lift Us Up, Don’t Push Us Out:” Art 180 Opens Exhibition About School Push-Out

The Story Behind the Hashtag “#HelpNotDeath”

Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Younger BY STEPHANIE YOUNGER •  At an art build for the National March For Justice and Reformation for Marcus-David Peters, I met Princess Blanding, a co-founder of Justice and Reformation to interview her about how the murder of her brother, Marcus-David Peters motivated her to take action. The Richmond Police Department … Continue reading The Story Behind the Hashtag “#HelpNotDeath”

Patrisse Khan-Cullors on Art, Intersectionality, and Her Memoir

Photo Courtesy of Dana Washington/L.A Record Magazine BY STEPHANIE YOUNGER •  On June 11, I had the unforgettable experiences of meeting Patrisse Khan-Cullors (@Osopepatrisse), briefly after she accepted the "Next Generation Award" at the ACLU National Membership Conference. I recently interviewed the artist, organizer, and writer, who founded Dignity and Power Now, co-founded Black Lives … Continue reading Patrisse Khan-Cullors on Art, Intersectionality, and Her Memoir

When Black Girls are Robbed of their Innocence

Illustration and Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Younger. BY STEPHANIE YOUNGER •  I'd like to start this article thanking Art 180 for giving me a platform to share my story with racism and online harassment through this painting at their gallery "Everything is Connected." My painting embodies both the fact that Black youth have been rallying … Continue reading When Black Girls are Robbed of their Innocence

Why I Didn’t Participate in the National School Walkout

Mural by Hamilton Glass. Photo Courtesy of Teresa Younger. BY STEPHANIE YOUNGER •  I am writing this as a Black student activist who was turned away and excluded from speaking by the student organizers of the Virginia National School Walkout Protest, that took place at Brown's Island in Richmond, Virginia yesterday; on the 19th anniversary … Continue reading Why I Didn’t Participate in the National School Walkout

20 Things Black Girls Should Never Have to Hear or Experience

Photo Courtesy and Art by Stephanie Younger BY STEPHANIE YOUNGER •  The following list is based on real micro-aggressions and instances of racism I've experienced, written on the mixed-media piece I created in a VCU Future Studio program at the VCU Arts' Department of Sculpture + Extended Media, and exhibited at Art 180. It symbolizes … Continue reading 20 Things Black Girls Should Never Have to Hear or Experience

It’s Important to Listen to Black Girls in the Fight Against Gun Violence

Photo Courtesy of Church Hill Peoples' News BY STEPHANIE YOUNGER •  Today, I had the opportunity to speak at a March For Our Lives demonstration in Richmond addressing the fatal school shooting at Majory Stoneman Douglas High school in Parkland, Florida. My speech shed some light onto how gun violence disproportionately affects women, queer and … Continue reading It’s Important to Listen to Black Girls in the Fight Against Gun Violence

14 Black Girls, Women & Non-Binary People Every Womanist Should Know About

By Stephanie Younger •  Many institutions fail to educate Black History and Women's History from the most marginalized voices in the Black community. Black women, girls and non-binary people are often discredited for our contributions to the feminist movement and the civil rights movement. Civil Rights is often centered around cisgender and heterosexual Black men, … Continue reading 14 Black Girls, Women & Non-Binary People Every Womanist Should Know About