install theme

“Have I ever showed you my little blackamoor heads from Cartier with their enameled turbans? I’m told it’s not in good taste to wear blackamoors anymore, but I think I’ll revive them.”


Becoming Visible: The First Black Lesbian Conference, San Francisco (1980)
paperscreenprint23 in HIGH x 17.5 in WIDE(58.42 cm HIGH x 44.45 cm WIDE)source: Oakland Museum of California, “All of Us or None” archive project.

Frantz Fanon - Black Skin, White Masks Advertisement (1967)

Difficult Dialogues Around Marriage Equality


Since my (re)posting and celebrating the issues raised in Llanor Alleyne’s’s Some People of Color Aren’t Wedded to the Idea of Gay Marriage article onTumblr, Facebook, and Twitter, I’ve received several personal notes basically questioning my belief in Marriage Equality. 

Personally, I’m in favor of marriage equality for anyone who wants to get married, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. I’m enraged that something so fundamental isn’t a federal law; and we have to do this state by state by state. It’s egregious and should be unacceptable. At the same time, I’m very aware that marriage equality doesn’t mean FREEDOM for LGBT people. As a Black feminist lesbian, I don’t want to have to get married to get health insurance. WTF?!?! That should be a right for all… And, I’m aware that health insurance isn’t the only benefit received in marriage. I’m only using that as an example because so many people point to it.

My issue and concern is the inherent racism in the mainstream LGBT movement(S)… I think we can and should celebrate the victories while also holding folks accountable for their ongoing racist marginalization in the name of ending oppression. I view Llanor’s article as one way (not the only way) to hold folks accountable… I’m appreciative of her presenting dissenting voices. No, her article doesn’t speak for everyone, but it does speak for many whose voices aren’t usually heard in this discussion, most especially in the mainstream media.

It reminds me of the (now) age-old discussion on the word feminist, an identity which I PROUDLY claim. At the same time, I know many Black, Latina, Asian, Arab, Indigenous women who wouldn’t be caught dead using that term and it’s not because they don’t believe in gender equality, or because their succumbing to patriarchy/sexism. It’s because of the herstorical and contemporary reality of racism in the mainstream (read, white) feminist movement. While I don’t agree with their assessment, I understand the place from which they stand.

If there aren’t spaces for us to have these sometimes painfully difficult dialogues, then we will not get anywhere… We need to have spaces for dialogue between dissenting voices with the goal of getting people to consider different opinions… The goal is not to be right, at least I strive for it not to be with me. The goal should be to change people’s behavior.


At 91, Recy Taylor May Finally See Alabama Acknowledge Her 1944 Rape - COLORLINES
Here’s an excerpt from my latest article:

Recy Taylor was abducted and raped at gunpoint by seven white men in Abbeville, Ala., on Sept. 3, 1944. Her attack, one of uncounted numbers on black women throughout the Jim Crow era in the South, sparked a national movement for justice and an international outcry, but justice never came. Now, decades later, there may finally be some solace for Taylor, 91, as Alabama state Rep. Dexter Grimsley tries to make his state issue a formal apology.
Reached by phone on Monday, Grimsley confirmed he is drafting a resolution for a state apology to Taylor. “The circumstances merit it,” he said. “It’s something that should be done. Recy Taylor found herself in a situation that wasn’t responded to, the way that the law would respond to something today.”
The FBI is currently investigating dozens of civil rights-era murders, mostly of men. But the sexual violence visited upon women like Taylor has never commanded the official attention of the FBI and other federal and state officials who have tried to right the crimes of our past.
“From slavery through the better part of the 20th century, white men in the segregated South abducted and assaulted black women with alarming regularity and often impunity,” explained historian Danielle McGuire, whose new book “At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance” was the first history of white-on-black sexual violence and black women’s organized resistance to it. “They lured black women and girls away from home with promises of work and steady wages; attacked them on the job; abducted them at gunpoint while traveling to or from home, work, church or school; and sexually harassed them at bus stops, grocery stores and in other public spaces.”
New awareness of Taylor’s case, and of the pervasiveness of many more cases like it, has begun attracting new bands of supporters who want justice for past crimes of sexual violence against black women—from members of an online social network for social change, to the NAACP Alabama State Conference, to a black lawyers’ association in Michigan, to individual letter writers and callers from all over the country who have contacted Taylor’s family.

Lorna Simpson first became well-known in the mid-1980s for her large-scale photograph-and-text works that confront and challenge narrow, conventional views of gender, identity, culture, history and memory. With the African-American woman as a visual point of departure, Simpson uses the figure to examine the ways in which gender and culture shape the interactions, relationships and experiences of our lives in contemporary multi-racial America.
Another Thorny Crown, Margaret Bowland
Artist: Margaret Bowland  

Powerful, sad, and thought-provoking. 
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