Petition: Making Classrooms More Equitable for Black and Brown Students In Virginia

Making Classrooms More 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 … Continue reading Petition: Making Classrooms More Equitable for Black and Brown Students In Virginia

How I Found My Own Garden

Photo Courtesy of Shontrice Carin Barnes By Shontrice Carin Barnes •  Ever since I could remember, writing has been a huge part of my life.  All throughout my childhood, I had kept journals of random things that I would write. Stories, poems, songs, random thoughts… words were some of the only ways I knew how … Continue reading How I Found My Own Garden

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

Pain Poem

Photo Courtesy of Marisa Mack By Alexandra Brown •  What is the difference between absence and loss? How would you articulate the 'loss of loss' and the 'absence of absence'? What if, in your attempt to articulate, they both become synonymous? What if, you are in a state of sorrow and lament for something that … Continue reading Pain Poem

Reflections on Black Suffering, Grief and Re-imagining Freedom

Photo Courtesy of... 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

A Letter of Urgency

Photo Courtesy of Conversations With By Alexandra Brown •  I wish to begin by sharing a prose I wrote in response to the murder of George Floyd. Institutional, systematic and structural racism, feels like I am dying a slow and painful death. When I learnt of the murder of George Floyd, it was like trauma … Continue reading A Letter of Urgency

Sista, Be Free

Photo Courtesy of Diana Simumpande/Unsplash By Tanya Barnett •  Come close so you can hear me.You’ve endured for too long. The time has finally come to shed the shackles. No more shrinking.No more hiding.No more playing safe.No more accepting abuse.No more lying to ourselves.No more ignoring the pain. It’s time for you to be free … Continue reading Sista, Be Free

Giving Birth While Black

Stockphoto Photocase By Joyce Angela Jellison Hounkanrin • "Do you want her?"             The white nurse’s name was Millie and she proposed this question with regard to the impending birth of my daughter.             I had voiced one fear. I was scared to give birth, (a co-worker had shared with me she had fallen off … Continue reading Giving Birth While Black

The Secret Language of Black Women

Stock Art By Joyce Angela Jellison Hounkanrin • What is embedded in the language of Black women? What belongs exclusively within our mouths? Briefly translated, there are secrets we have transported from the Middle Passage and kept secreted beneath our tongues; in the folds of our spirits; in the curves of our smiles; and in … Continue reading The Secret Language of Black Women

Reconciliation

Ajak Deng. Photo Courtesy of Alex John Beck. By Tanya Barnett •  How do I reconcile my blackness in the 21st century? Do I yell at the mountain tops that I am BLACK or do I act like my blackness doesn’t matter so I don’t offend white people? How do I reconcile my blackness in … Continue reading Reconciliation

My Blackness

Ajak Deng. Photo Courtesy of Alex John Beck. By Tanya Barnett •  Dear world, no longer will I shrink away from my blackness in an attempt to make you finally love me. Oh you had me fooled. Hoodwinked. Bamboozled. You made me think if I permed my hair you would love me. You made me … Continue reading My Blackness

Church Sestina

Photo Courtesy of Frederick D. Nichols By Addison Walton • CW: This content contains descriptions of murder and white supremacy. Come to church in your Sunday best!Let your mama press your hair.Your daddy polished your good shoes.New and black and shiny.He did it with love. Your mama kisses your head and puts in a pink … Continue reading Church Sestina

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 Black Feminist Resource List

Black feminism and intersectionality is what liberates us all. In light of the recent events of state sanctioned violence against Black people, I created a list of resources, that consist of books to read, Movies/series to watch, media platforms and organizations to support. - Stephanie Younger Books Ain’t I a Woman? by bell hooks (1981)In … Continue reading A Black Feminist Resource List

The Pain Of Anger

Andrew Burton/Getty Images By Ryan Edward Perry • I was talking with one of my best friends today. She has recently, to my delightful surprise, become quite outspoken and engaging regarding social justice and the current state of American culture and the movements that have risen in that space. My friend, who is of Afro-Latinx … Continue reading The Pain Of Anger

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

Photo Courtesy of Teresa Younger By Stephanie Younger • On June 3rd, I spoke in front of a crowd comprised of thousands of protesters at the Lee Statue in Richmond, Virginia. I began by READING an excerpt from Dr. Martin Luther King's "Letter From a Birmingham Jail" (the part where he said that he is … Continue reading A Call-to-Action to “Well-Intentioned” White Liberals From a Black Girl in the Capital of the Confederacy

The President Called My People “Thugs”

Art & Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Younger By Lux Aghomo • The president called my people "thugs." They riot, loot, run through the streets for justice, really just tired. The Hate You Give Makes us Wanna set this country on fire. In 2014, people came together to chant "I can't breathe," in 2020 we're still … Continue reading The President Called My People “Thugs”

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

6 Anti-Racist Steps White Liberals Need to Take

Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Younger By Stephanie Younger • As a young Black female organizer, there have been times where white liberals have invited me to work with them. Each time this happened, and as time passed, I realized that I was experiencing tokenism, that I was consistently being spoken over and stereotyped. So, I … Continue reading 6 Anti-Racist Steps White Liberals Need to Take

Remembering my Father

Teresa Younger as a toddler with her father Robert "Bob" Leon Wilmer. Photo courtesy unknown. By Teresa Younger •  Given the deep divides apparent in society today, it is refreshing to re-read Poet Laurent Maya Angelou’s “Human Family” poem as a reminder of our endless similarities. “Human Family” was featured in an Apple ad during … Continue reading Remembering my Father

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”

Gone.

Photo Courtesy of Raina Cornish Raina Cornish •  Gone.You left.I stayed.I waited.But you, you left. I was ready to give up my name for you But you left. You came back.I let you in. Let your words poison my mind.“I love you.”“I need you.”“Only you.” I let you do what you wanted to me because … Continue reading Gone.

Why This New Black Female Voter is 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 This New Black Female Voter is not “Voting Blue No Matter Who”

Hermosos Tontos

Photo Courtesy of Raina Cornish By Raina Cornish •  Woman- noun ; an adult human female.  Human. But to man we are property. Coware. What women do when a man raises a fist to her.. If a woman is too strong, she wants to be a MAN.  If a woman doesn’t listen to her husband … Continue reading Hermosos Tontos

What I Want to See for the Future

Photo Courtesy of Euro News Amaya Madarang •  Every older generation says, “Remember how we thought there’d be flying cars in the future.”  And everyone laughs and nods their heads.  “Look at us now!” the adults reply, mockingly.  Again, everyone laughs.  But, really what’s funny is that people still think that there will be flying … Continue reading What I Want to See for the Future

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

Be Silence

Illustration Courtesy of LA Johnson/NPR By Nchedochukwu Ezeokoli •  undisturbed the air rang clearly with the loudness of nothingness lingering ever so gently  filling the empty spaces between the spaces filled solely with atoms of life she spoke to me disrupting the stillness mind raced in fetching images of trauma past lived repressing images of … Continue reading Be Silence

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.

Water

Photo Courtesy of Ray Collins By Sahana Kapumba • Water H20 A transparent liquid that is drunk and swam in for recreational purposes Water 60% percent of my black body Water If we already have so much why do we need more? Why do I need to overfill myself with this colorless liquid If its … Continue reading Water

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

The Terrifying Adventure of Autonomy

Photo Courtesy of Johan de Jager By Jourdan Lobban • “Defiant!” “Fresh!” “Rude!” “A bad girl!” Those titles followed me all through my childhood and into my teen years. Anytime I did something bad, I knew what was coming. Lectures in yelling style, laced with fury, and if I didn’t shape up in time, the … Continue reading The Terrifying Adventure of Autonomy

Riding Rising Waters

Photo Courtesy of Tom Swinnen By Jourdan Lobban • It was endless  The sea of self-doubt Rejection Beating me  With its ruthless water  Every chance it got  It was brutal How it told me  Over and Over “You’re bad, Worthless.  Rude, Evil,  A sinner who needs saving.” All the while  I hung my head low … Continue reading Riding Rising Waters

Review: Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future

Photo Courtesy of David Alberto Carmona Coto By Jourdan Lobban • Jourdan Lobban is a goddess with an edge. She aims to live life in all of its rising tides and calm waters, with some books, writing journals and dancing to a variety of clean (and mildly explicit) music.

Why We Skip the Middle

Photo Courtesy of Godisable Jacob By Jourdan Lobban • After becoming frustratingly bored reading my latest book, my commitment was no more. Instead of powering through the dry spell, my fingers practiced the ultimate sin, which skipping through the book.  And instead of reading for the plot, I was fishing for the romance sections that … Continue reading Why We Skip the Middle

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”

Broken Tree

Words by Kiarran T.L. Diaz. Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Younger. By Kiarran T. L. Diaz •  I will never know your happiness History only saved your pain Sleeping Ancestor, When we meet Will I represent your dreams, Or your shame? Ancestors tell me Where you sleep Where does your soul lie Do you laugh? Or … Continue reading Broken Tree

Song of Harvest

Words by Shelby Moring. Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Younger. By Shelby Moring •  She’s so relaxed. That hazy daydream of myself that I conjure, praying on her to materialize any day now. She doesn’t exist apart from me, but she’s so far in the future, that it almost seems impossible to reach her sometimes. What … Continue reading Song of Harvest

Nine Phases: Black Women Crying in the Bathroom

Words by Krystal Tang. Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Younger. By Krystal Tang •  Take initiative - Okay here I go! I did it. Oh I did it slightly wrong...a different way? I didn’t do it right? Oops. Let me learn. Give me another chance? Teach me so I can grow.... “No”.  Gets belittled, screamed at, no … Continue reading Nine Phases: Black Women Crying in the Bathroom

Spots on the Rug

Words by Joshua Redd. Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Younger. By Joshua Redd •  The House. The Red One. Right there on Macdonough. You can leave me on the corner, I’m fine. I live at the address, but the house isn’t mine. The rules of ownership are entitled to the mother, the sister, the dogs, the … Continue reading Spots on the Rug

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

Birmingham Burning

Photo Courtesy of Chuck Stewart By Ayana Graham •  I’ve foreseen spirits, visitations of death, fire eating off sheeted breath, Sometimes I see the outline of God’s back turned to me Wretched hands stroke the lynch knot and bear the karma of the lost little girls There was no good outcome, I was born as … Continue reading Birmingham Burning

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

Botham Jean: When Your Politics Present a Challenge

Photo Courtesy of Joshua Redd By Joshua Redd •  Amber Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison on October 1st, 2019 for the murder of Botham Jean on September 6th, 2018. The murder of Black folks by the hands of officers is nothing new. What made this case extremely peculiar was that he was … Continue reading Botham Jean: When Your Politics Present a Challenge

What My Mama Told Me

Words by Sinenhlanhla londiwe Meyiwa Magcaba. Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Younger. By Sinenhlanhla londiwe Meyiwa Magcaba •  What my mama told me My mama told me to grow up And be beautiful like our sunset, But what she forgot to tell me  Was to pack a gun for the world I was growing into had … Continue reading What My Mama Told Me

My Name Resides in Shabby Conformation

Words by Sinenhlanhla londiwe Meyiwa Magcaba. Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Younger. By Sinenhlanhla londiwe Meyiwa Magcaba •  My name resides in shabby conformation I take a few steps but then Fail to find the strength to face them Spank! I feel a hand on my bum I turn to shriek but words do not come … Continue reading My Name Resides in Shabby Conformation

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

Crown Her With Many Crowns

Iesha Evans being arrested peacefully protesting in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on July 9th 2016. Courtesy of Jonathan Bachman/Reuters. By Ryan Edward Perry •  I did not always appreciate my Blackness. I used to be one of those “I’m not Black, I’m O.J.” types that purposefully eschewed the culture in favor of a more centrist approach … Continue reading Crown Her With Many Crowns

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”

Fire and Mud

Words by Kiarran T.L. Diaz. Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Younger By Kiarran T.L Diaz • Dirt on my tongue  Each time I swallow my protests  It travels past my throat  And down my esophagus  Each time I walk into a room And see stolen work caged and imprisoned Dirt in my mouth  As I listen … Continue reading Fire and Mud

Black Music

Words by Baletica Genous. Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Younger By Baletica Genous •  The nerve of white men To read my email To read my email To read my email And still misspell my name He giggles and shrugs and says "its just so different" He’s never heard it before "Just where does that name … Continue reading Black Music

Stage 2

Words by Nelle Jones. Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Younger By Nelle Jones •  angry black girls clenching desks with tight fists holding their breath a breeze passing through their hair the pale hand of yet another ghost angry black girls the blacker the berry, sweet blood from biting lips holding one's tongue angry black girls … Continue reading Stage 2

Two Poets

Quincy Evans with his artwork. Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Younger. By Quincy Evans •  Excuse me, I’d like to re-introduce myself. I’m a good time. A misunderstanding. A plea and a red flag all at once. I’ll forever be that boy who gets really excited when the sky is in pretty colors. You slip into … Continue reading Two Poets

Mightier

Photo Courtesy of Victoria N. McGovern By Tene'sha Crews •  “The pen is mightier than the sword” A sword that has grown from hate and drawn blood, Blood spilled onto books and the hearts of families Has sunk deeper into human veins than into a land’s mud. The girl is mightier than the hate, The … Continue reading Mightier

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

My Name is Pronounced ‘Revolution’

Photo Courtesy of Robert Alexander/Getty Images By Simonne Elease Willis •  i trace america's outline on a map, flinch when i reach the thirteen. a single prick on my fingertip. a single drop of blood falls. (the shape of a dog bares its teeth) another drop of blood falls. (the shape of a crow tilting … Continue reading My Name is Pronounced ‘Revolution’

Leopard Print

Photo Courtesy of Verily Magazine By Sinenhlanhla londiwe Meyiwa Magcaba •  When someone talks about leopard print, one would think high fashion, cat walk or maybe even a-lister, but that is not the kind of leopard print I want to talk about today. I am talking about leopard print on a human body, from the … Continue reading Leopard Print

I am Sick and Tired

Words by Sinenhlanhla londiwe Meyiwa Magcaba. Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Younger. Sinenhlanhla londiwe Meyiwa Magcaba •  I am sick and tired of trying to fit in this paradigm that was erected in a manner that has no consideration for my being even a glitch. I am sick and tired that in my own country I … Continue reading I am Sick and Tired

Beauty is A State of Mind

Words by Graciela Barada. Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Younger. By Graciela Barada •  When I was about ten or eleven years old, I became overly conscious of my body and the lens through which the world saw it. Arguably, everyone deals with fluctuations in their self-esteem, particularly in regards to body image and especially during … Continue reading Beauty is A State of Mind

Perpetual Home | A Pro-Choice Poem

Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Younger By Tene’sha Crews •  I was once told, that my body is my only perpetual home One that I rightfully and eternally supposedly own. A home in which I paint the walls whatever colors I want And plant whatever flowers I choose to display up front. My home where I … Continue reading Perpetual Home | A Pro-Choice Poem

Uterus Support: A Letter to Some of My Dudes

Photo Courtesy of Planned Parenthood of New York City Action Fund By Mia Birdsong •  I sent this to many of the cis-het men I know. One of them (thanks, Mordecai!) asked me to make it a Medium post so he could share it. Thank you, Sharon Dolan for the inspiration. Hi, my cis-het dude … Continue reading Uterus Support: A Letter to Some of My Dudes

My Raw Thoughts On Depression

Words by Kenidra R. Woods. Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Younger By Kenidra R. Woods •  Depression. You and I were once close. And it's so ironic that you were the one who hurt me the most. And I don't mean to boast, but I'm doing better without you. There's nothing you could say or do … Continue reading My Raw Thoughts On Depression

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

Trigger Warning

Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Younger By Quincy Evans •  At 13, she is already held responsible if her shoulders are showing in school, she is sent home on behalf of the boys who are distracted. She grew up like this. By 16, it’s supposedly her fault if she wore the wrong skirt, drank too much, … Continue reading Trigger Warning

An Affirmation to Black Girls

Photo Courtesy of Peathegee Inc/Getty Images By NaVosha Copeland •  Hello, mother, Hello, friend, Hello, sister, How you been? I love you so much. You’re so strong and so kind and so sweet. Your melanin mixes so well with your bright white teeth. Your high cheekbones And chocolate brown skin Greets me, warms me, and … Continue reading An Affirmation to Black Girls

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

The Mandate for Black Men

Words by Anonymous. Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Younger. Anonymous •  Peace and love, how y'all feel? Sisters, how y'all feel? Brothers, y'all alright?-Erykah Badu Black men have to grow a politic around gender based violence. Y'all need to know how to talk about this. Black men, you have a responsibility to grow your understanding of … Continue reading The Mandate for Black Men

It Has Happened Again

Words by Tene'sha Crews. Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Younger. By Tene'sha Crews •  “It has happened again.” That thought echoes through my mind once more. I close my eyes and I pray. I pray for the family friend that the sun no longer gets to warm. I pray for the mother whose child she can … Continue reading It Has Happened Again

Being Color-Blind Doesn’t Solve Racism

Photo Courtesy of CNN By Raina Cornish •  Racial profiling, “color blindness”, racist crimes, hatred. These are all issues that are making the world more divided than ever. People always say that we need to stop history from repeating itself, but how can we stop it if we continue to add fuel to the fire … Continue reading Being Color-Blind Doesn’t Solve Racism

Don’t Forget

Words by Tene'sha Crews. Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Younger By Tene'sha Crews •  In the distance burning in the dark I see the flashing red and blue lights And then I think about the color of this paper and how all it’s missing is white And then I think about my country and if our … Continue reading Don’t Forget

A Poem About Hair

Photo Courtesy of YouTube.com/SolangeKnowlesMusic By Tene'sha Crews •  Had Her Hate for Her Hair been cultivated or passed down? Passed through words like “nappy” and “needing of a perm Ignoring the monthly visits of that scalp stinging burn Like first it was grandmother, then mother, now it’s your turn To gradually detest your natural strands … Continue reading A Poem About Hair

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

A Love Letter to Black Girls and Femmes

Photo courtesy of Rachel Stewart Jewelry By Jourdan Lobban •  February 2nd was Groundhog Day, although one little critter can’t possibly change the swirling halo of frigid cold we must all endure (insert sad face). It’s also one of the few precious days making up Black History Month. For 28 days (29 in leap years) … Continue reading A Love Letter to Black Girls and Femmes

For Black Girls Who Are Tired, but Rest Isn’t Enough

Photo Courtesy of Black Minds Matter Project By Atari Gems •  I'm exhausted. My mother tells me to slow down. Drink more water. Cut back on the things. Limit time on social media. Go to the gym I’m passionate about. However seems like the work keeps stacking and stacking. I step back and scale it … Continue reading For Black Girls Who Are Tired, but Rest Isn’t Enough

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

My Confessions

Photo Courtesy of Ayiba Magazine By Kolby Whack •  I am a nonconformist. Semi conservative liberalist, Broken binary Gender role hating, Masculinity equals femininity generalist non institutionalized Institutionalized soldier 2 + 2 = 5 if you give me the paper Time is an illusion, and atoms create evens But Eve is Adam, her rib is … Continue reading My Confessions

Masculinity Over Everything

Photo Courtesy of Erin Edgerton By Chelsea Higgs Wise •  It’s been a few days since the Women’s March RVA and as motivated as I am to build; my passion is to amplify narratives of persistence for Black women. I understand that dismantling the patriarchy will take bulldozers of disruption as well as barriers of … Continue reading Masculinity Over Everything

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

Why I Am More Included in the Womanist Movement

Photo Courtesy of Victoria N. McGovern “Womanist is to feminist as purple is to lavender.” - Alice Walker At age 13, the fact that adults would teach me to value my appearance over everything else, especially at an age where I was extremely self-conscious about the way I looked as a Black girl people would … Continue reading Why I Am More Included in the Womanist Movement

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

Why ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is Problematic

Photo Courtesy of Hulu By Kiarran T.L. Diaz •  In the age of "wokeness," TV shows, and media alike are rushing to find a way to sell their ideas to people who are tired of the nonsense. Different shows, movies, and books try to align themselves with diversity by trying to take shortcuts left and … Continue reading Why ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is Problematic

Fight for You

Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Webb By Stephanie Webb •  Fight for you Fight against the indifference and the determination to assimilate Fight against your self-intolerance and the rage against your individuality No, you don’t want to I understand You feel trapped in this existence Lost in the mindset of normalization Yes, your efforts mean something … Continue reading Fight for You

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

‘Justice Parade For Youth’ Organized by Youth

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 Community Center to raise awareness about … Continue reading ‘Justice Parade For Youth’ Organized by Youth

Review: The Hate U Give

Photo Courtesy of Erika Doss/20th Century Fox By Stephanie Younger •  A movie entitled, The Hate U Give--based on the acclaimed YA novel by Angie Thomas, debuts with a then 9-year-old Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg), her younger brother Sekani (TJ Wright), who was one year old, and her older half-brother Seven (Lamar Johnson), who was … Continue reading Review: The Hate U Give