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

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

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

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

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”

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Mandate for Black Men

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 gender based violence because Black women need you … Continue reading The Mandate for Black Men

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

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

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

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

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

“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

Black Lives Matter Activist Nupol Kiazolu on Womanism

Photo Courtesy of Agaton Strom Photography BY STEPHANIE YOUNGER •  The murder of Trayvon Martin ignited a fire within a then 12-year-old Nupol Kiazolu "that [she's] never felt before." "I couldn’t fully articulate how I felt at the time, but I knew I was angry," she wrote in a post on Instagram. "A few days … Continue reading Black Lives Matter Activist Nupol Kiazolu on Womanism

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