Representation is a major key. Seeing an image or a character that directly correlates to your very special narrative can be so liberating and inspiring. There's...
Representation is a major key. Seeing an image or a character that directly correlates to your very special narrative can be so liberating and inspiring. There's something special, though, about animated characters of color who push the boundaries while in their two-dimensional and third-dimensional worlds. While they're living in this imaginative worlds, avoiding a break in the fourth wall, they've got us captivated. Since we were mere youths, cartoon characters have been impacting our lives on a level that we don't realize until we get older.We've gathered 28 of the illest animated characters this side of the drawing board. From the serious to the sassy, the chill to the proactive, these characters had such a role in shaping the generations that have tuned in every week. Sit back, scroll through the list, and get your nostalgin' on.Susie Carmichael (Rugrats)Photo: WiffleGifAnimated and ahead of her years.Jodie Landon and Mack Mackenzie (Daria)Photo: TumblrAnimated and educated.Huey, Riley, and Robert Freeman (The Boondocks)Photo: WiffleGifsAnimated and revolutionary.Gerald Johanssen (Hey Arnold)Photo: GIPHYAnimated and swagged out.Penny Proud and Dijonay Jones (The Proud Family)Photo: TumblrAnimated and aspirational.Franklin (Peanuts)Photo: Reddit Animated and OG.Lana Kane (Archer)Photo: FXAnimated and trained-to-go.Keesha Franklin (The Magic School Bus)Photo: GIPHYAnimated and inquisitive. Afro Samurai (Afro Samurai)Photo: GIPHY Animated and 'bout it.Valerie Brown (Josie and the Pussycats)Photo: GIPHYAnimated and groundbreaking.Gaia (Captain Planet)Photo: GIPHYAnimated and earthy.Garnet (Steven Universe)Photo: GIPHYAnimated and enigmatic.Cyborg (Teen Titans)Photo: GIPHYAnimated and technologic.Fat Albert (Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids)Photo: TenorAnimated and ample.Michiko Malandro (Michiko and Hatchin)Photo: GIPHYAnimated and bad-ass.Doc McStuffins (Doc McStuffins)Photo: TumblrAnimated and adorable.Waynehead (Waynehead)Photo: GIPHYAnimated and classic.Monique (Kim Possible)Photo: GIPHYAnimated and candid.Fillmore (Fillmore!)Photo: TumblrAnimated and dexterous.Yoruichi Shihōin (Bleach)Photo: TumblrAnimated and fierce.LaShawn, Khalil, Pee Wee (Bebe's Kids)Photo: TumblrAnimated and rambunctious.Numbah Five (Codename: Kids Next Door)Photo: TumblrAnimated and resourceful.Static Shock (Static Shock)Photo: GifSoupAnimated and righteous.Cita (Cita's World)Photo: GifSoupAnimated and legendary.Who are some of your favorite animated characters in television or film? Share with us in the
I’ll never forget the first time I drank wine.It was a hazy summer night and I was surrounded by the strong, colorful black women in my family. I was heading off to...
I’ll never forget the first time I drank wine.It was a hazy summer night and I was surrounded by the strong, colorful black women in my family. I was heading off to Atlanta in a couple of days to start my undergraduate journey at Clark Atlanta so the night was well-needed and almost a necessity. As the women joked and sipped their wine, I grew curious. I wanted to see what all the hype was about. So, I did it. I took a hearty sip of the crisp white wine they were drinking. That action was immediately followed by a gag. With a frown on my face and an after-taste on my lips, I vowed I would never drink wine a day in my life.Flash forward seven years later and I’m one of the biggest wine enthusiasts you’ve seen thus far.Photo: FOX NetworksI pour up without a second thought. Responsibly, of course.The clink of my wine glasses and that intense glug-glug-glug sound after a long day of adulting is a feeling unmatched. It’s a unified easing that many of us can relate to. That’s why when I hear about black women producing their own libations, it brings a smile to my face. The five winemakers listed are some of the world’s latest and greatest, pushing an existing market forward with new faces and stories. Check them out!SuoPhoto: SuoWith a name that translates to “unite” or “stitch”, Suo is one winery that definitely needs to be on your radar. It’s run in part by Ntsiki Biyela, South Africa’s first black female winemaker, and her partner Helen Keplinger of Napa Valley. They combine their knowledge and love of wine to “make the wine world smaller, highlighting exchange, and inspiring wine lovers everywhere to discover something new”.Truvée WinesPhoto: CentricRobin and Andrea McBride are sisters with quite an interesting story. After learning of one another’s existence almost 20 years ago, the women have teamed up to share what they know about winemaking and a good glass of wine. They want wine lovers to not only bask in the rich flavor of their wines but also to embark on the “rare opportunity to marry a strong emotional story with truly exceptional liquids."Rideau VineyardPhoto: Madame NoireThis historic New Orleans vineyard has received a lot of praise in the last few years. Estate owner Iris Rideau has been featured in many publications and won many awards for her vineyards, garnishing the Best White Wine award at a Los Angeles fair years ago. She hosts events like dinners and wine pairings frequently at the vineyard with a nod to her Creole roots and comforting spirit. Her Cellar Club has become a coveted membership community within the New Orleans area.Silk BushPhoto: Harvard Business SchoolThe Silk Bush Winery isn’t your average vineyard. Run by Selene Cuffe, an activist and savvy businesswoman, Silk Bush is an experience all in itself with wildlife roaming naturally, beautiful landscapes surrounding the area and a winery that has attracted plenty of attention. Her company, Heritage Link Brands, is the largest wine importer and producer of African descent in the world.House of MandelaPhoto: House of MandelaThe winery focuses on the relationship of nurturing one’s spirit and nurturing the grapes used to produce a soothing glass of wine. House of Mandela is very socially-responsible, using only fair trade practices when producing and “embodying the philosophy of corporate conscientiousness”. Not to mention, it is run by Maki and Tukwini Mandela, who are of direct lineage to the late Nelson
We are only two months into 2017 and I feel that we are in some strange times with everything that is occurring nowadays. According to 'Ol' Boy in the White...
We are only two months into 2017 and I feel that we are in some strange times with everything that is occurring nowadays. According to 'Ol' Boy in the White House (I refuse to call that man my President), drugs costs are becoming cheaper than candy bars out here, the "Cash Me Outside" Girl is flourishing by displaying bad behavior and exploiting AAVE and Migos just scored a #1 album for the culture. It's easy to get lost in the constant stream of media overload and forget about your own self-care as a person of color, especially as a black man. When I speak to some of my black male mentees, they express their concerns about the situations taking place and want to take action. I urge them to take the action that they feel is necessary and even point them to resources in addition to reminding them to tend to their own self-care. As a black male, I feel that we aren't always given the space to just express how we feel or opportunities to reflect on how situations affect us. Here are just a few tips that I believe are helpful for self-care for a black male in a strange world:1) Seek therapy (even when there isn't anything wrong). This year, I decided to add mental health to my vision board and decided that I would seek therapy on a monthly basis (especially because its covered in my benefits!) which garners confused looks on the faces on some of my mentees and family members. When I tell people that I'm going to counseling, the questions "what's wrong with you?" or "you're paying someone to talk to you?" usually come up. I talk about counseling with my peers and mentees to try to normalize this once taboo subject. I've heard the narratives about our community not seeking counseling because its a "white thing," yet sometimes you need to challenge these old tropes. Honestly, its one of the best investments I made this year. I've been challenged to "own my ish" and come to terms with some pretty uncool things. Despite the tough conversations, I do feel that I'm moving in a much more positive direction in life. Racial Battle Fatigue is real, y'all!2) TravelWhen I was coming up, my mother always used to say, "get out of Jacksonville. There's more to life than just Florida." I am so indebted to my mother for many things, yet this is a jewel that I continue to live during adulthood. In recent years, we've been inundated with IG photos and videos depicting the black travel movement that show people who look like me traveling the world. It doesn't need to be exotic locales as domestic travel is just as important as traveling internationally. There's something about changing your scenery and exposing yourself as a black man in this world that is invigorating and enlightening. Just don't book a flight on Spirit!3) ReadingDespite being a doctoral student who has a lot to read between classes, I find time to squeeze in a few minutes of leisurely reading on a daily basis. Currently, I'm reading Dr. Michael Eric Dyson's Tears We Cannot Stop and just finished scouring Cupcake Brown's A Piece of Cake. Whether it's the news (not you, fake news!) or a great article posted on one of your favorite websites, reading really is fundamental out here. Every morning before work, I take about 30-45 minutes to read what's happening in domestically, internationally, musically, and in my field of higher education. Not only do I read this information, I have discussions about it with my students, peers, and partner. Just be careful about who you share your information with, because not everyone wants to know about Migos' song, "T-Shirt."4) Laugh and SmileNot too long ago, I got hipped to a movement called #blackmensmile which brings me joy every single day. Learn more about the movement here. One quick review of their IG, you'll see many photos of brothers smiling or caught in mid laugh. It offers a needed counternarrative to Black men only being stone faced or scowling. The Mayo Clinic notes that laughing has long term benefits such as: increased personal satisfaction, improved mood, and an overall improvement to your immune system. In my opinion, these long-term benefits can lead to an increase in overall life satisfaction. We are in strange times and there is too much foolishness happening to not laugh at the ridiculousness.5) Find your life Board of DirectorsWhen I look around at my friend group, I must say that I'm more than humbled by the people who the Most High decided to put into my life. These are the people who are truly ABOUT ME and FOR ME! You have to find people in your life that are about your success and growth during a period where many of us are trying to figure it out. My Board of Directors challenge me and hold me accountable for my actions and dreams. If I say that I'm going to do something (i.e. go get my doctorate), I have someone calling me out to see if I submitted the application. And it works vice versa for them. This isn't a large group of people, just a select few that will push you to your limits. Mind you, I do understand that there is some privilege in a few of the tips, however, I am open to helping other brothers find the resources necessary to support their self-care. No one man can be an island out here no matter what messages are being pushed out to
I never get too political. I think because when I began writing a blog, I was only focused on documenting my sex life and my journey through submission. I saw my...
I never get too political. I think because when I began writing a blog, I was only focused on documenting my sex life and my journey through submission. I saw my personal blog as a free for all; anyone who feels strange because for their sexual inklings or if someone just wants a good laugh, by all means stop by and take a gander. This has been therapeutic for me and an open diary; I wanted other women who identify as a sexual submissive to know that they are not alone. Lately I can't keep quiet anymore about what has been weighing on me not only as a woman but as a black woman. My intention is never to create a divide however the more I get involved in activism and helping my community and uplifting fellow people of color, I have become more aware than ever of the great divide between Women of Color and White Women. Don't get me wrong I've always known about systemic racism and the long lasting effects of slavery on black people. I also am fully aware of the ongoing effects of mass colonization of indigenous peoples. However, the differences have become too much to bare and I'm to the point where I no longer want to waste my time bickering with non-POC nor do I feel like it is my job to educate them, when we live in an age where information is right at our fingertips. Last month, all around the world, feminists gathered and marched for equal rights of women. To oppose the de-funding of Planned Parenthood, to bring awareness to the rights of Trans Women and to overall resist the fascist regime that Donald Trump is trying to implore. Unfortunately this amazing March brought out the worst in a lot of so-called feminists due to them not wanting to acknowledge the intersectionality of feminism. The feminist movement began with white women, white women who wanted equal rights for (drum roll please) other white women. So how can a movement be inclusive when it was developed by white women for white women? Now, I know what a lot of my readers are thinking-"times have changed women's right are all of our rights. We're sisters". No it doesn't work like that. Non women of color need to recognize that feminism never included a marginalized group and the issues that women of color face are way different than what white women face on a daily. White feminists protest for equal pay; women of color have to protest for equal pay because 1) we’re women and 2) we aren't white. Right there we have 2 strikes against us. I saw posts about people praising how non-violent the marches were, but no one (except women of color) wanted to acknowledge that this nonviolence and peace was because law officials don't feel a need to police a predominately white event. Only at a feminist movement headed by white women would you see women hugging and giving out high-fives; whilst they forget that police brutality toward people of color has reached all new heights. If this was a Black Lives Matter protest or No DAPL police would have been armed and ready. White women are ignoring these facts and now have the audacity to tell women of color we are being divisive, by calling out the double standards in feminism. This post really comes from all of the negativity I have seen on social media, when a non-white woman decides to speak out against the lack of exclusion toward women of color at the marches. Yes we turned out in groups protesting for our own reasons, yet instead of a majority of white women wanting to be educated, they thought it was the right time for a photo op. Touching hair, and ceremonial dress like they were at a museum than at a protest for injustices for women. Feminism has to be intersectional; WW need to try a little harder to check their privilege and learn something. While they were applauding Scarlett Johansson’s speech, I was wondering why she was even speaking at the march honestly. Not too long ago she took a role in the film “Ghost in a Shell”, the problem? The leading in the film should have been a Japanese woman. How do you call yourself a feminist when you took a job that should have gone to a woman of color? Sorry there’s no coming back from that in my eyes. Your feminism card has been revoked. To me to be a feminist you need to be concerned with the economic standing of all women and you want wage equality for all women, not just white women. In my city, the same women who were marching have said they believed Blue Lives Matter. How are you a feminist when you won’t even acknowledge the wrongdoings of police officers toward the black community? As a woman shouldn’t you care that police are killing people’s sons and daughters at an alarming rate? Females as well as males are being targeted by police. Instead of arguing that we’re being divisive in feminism; maybe you should try being quiet and listening, come to terms that feminism is intersectional and go out and do the work to make more feminists see that even a positive movement like the Women’s March is rooted in white privilege and white centered causes. Learn about the issues affecting women of color and march with them, not just for one day. For feminism to work real feminism we have to acknowledge what is wrong, listen, and do our damndest to get right for this
Toni Morrison's novels singlehandedly changed my life. Audre Lorde's ideas taught me how to do away with any ideologies that furthered my oppression. February 18th is Morrison's and Lorde's shared birthday. While Audre Lorde rests in power, today, Toni Morrison turns 86, and in honor of their impact, here are 12 quotes by Morrison and Lorde to remind you to persevere and resist. "I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We've been taught that silence would save us, but it won't." -Audre Lorde"If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive." - Audre Lorde"In our work and in our living, we must recognize that difference is a reason for celebration and growth, rather than a reason for destruction." - Audre Lorde"Only by learning to live in harmony with your contradictions can you keep it all afloat." - Audre Lorde "We have to consciously study how to be tender with each other until it becomes a habit because what was native has been stolen from us, the love of black women for each other." - Audre Lorde"Life is very short and what we have to do must be done in the now." - Audre Lorde “Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.” - Toni Morrison“You do not deserve love regardless of the suffering you have endured. You do not deserve love because somebody did you wrong. You do not deserve love just because you want it. You can only earn - by practice and careful contemplations - the right to express it and you have to learn how to accept it.”- Toni Morrison"You are your best thing"- Toni Morrison"The ability of writers to imagine what is not the self, to familiarize the strange and mystify the familiar, is the test of their power."- Toni Morrison"Wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down." - Toni Morrison“I tell my students, ‘When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else.' " -Toni MorrisonLoving Blavity's content? Subscribe to our daily newsletter
It was the first week of fifth grade and I was excited to finally be in Mr. X ‘s class after years of older cousins telling me how great he was. He wore bright, colorful Tommy Hilfiger jackets and kept his shades on the top of his head all day. He was an older white man with blonde highlights and a convertible. Impressive stuff to an early '90s kid.He was sitting in an armchair facing the class, his preferred style of teaching. I yawned.Almost immediately, he put his water bottle down while staring at me and said in a low voice, “What did you just do?!”I stared back, still unsure if he was talking to me. My classmates had known me to be more or less of a goodie two shoe and looked between us baffled.“I...I yawned ?...”He pointed at me, shaking finger, red-faced and screamed, “If you think you’re going to be funny, I’ll send you straight to the office!”I remember telling myself not to cry while blinking back tears. I stared down at my shaking hands. My classmates averted their eyes out of respect. We were all shook. Later that day he came up and apologized, “Hey listen, I didn’t know who you were. And It was wrong of me to yell at you without knowing you. And I’m sorry.”It was my first time being yelled at by a teacher. My first time experiencing direct aggression from a white person. And my first time being apologized to by a grown person of any color. The day was getting away from me quick.Disoriented, but grateful that my teacher didn’t hate me, I accepted his apology and went to the bathroom to try and work out what had just happened. He didn’t know…who I was, so… that’s why (!) he yelled at me. Um, well, who was I? And what if I wasn’t that person? Studies now (finally) show that black girls are over policed and more frequently seen as magnets for minor, or perceived, disciplinary infractions in school. Mr. X had asked around and some phantom authority figures had vouched that I was a “good student”. And had he not received that kind of feedback? It would’ve been completely fine that my yawn, as mundane as it was, be projected as a weapon against his authority. It would have been acceptable for him to scream at me and send me to the office for something that happened inside of his own head. Who I was, was a black girl – someone that wasn’t allowed to move like my other classmates unless the teacher knew that I was a good student, or polite or could read well before hand. Noting this, I put a wet paper towel over my red, strained eyes and decided in that moment that I was going to continue to move in the world freely like the rest of them. And so , it was the first time this extreme racial microaggression happened but it wouldn’t be the last.This memory was one of many that came flooding back to me that was inexplicable at the time, but hit with the urgency of a panic attack while watching Sandra Bland dragged out of her car for asking, “Why do I have to put my cigarette out?”. Because In the mouth of a black woman the question was so egregious the justified response from hostile “white authority” was to slam her head against a Texas highway, stalk her, and tase her out of camera’s view. I watched it knowing that I had grown into a black woman who would’ve asked the exact same.Unlike the other irrational deaths of unarmed black civilians by police officers that continuously ticked along on my feed that year, this one felt different. It wasn’t my cousin or my brother or my father. This one was me: too many questions and a tone that didn’t sit well that wouldn’t be considered anything out of the ordinary in a non-black female body. She yawned, smoked a cigarette, didn’t smile while being attacked, laughed too loudly, asked why she was under arrest, asked why she was being sent to the office... repeating loop. repeating loop. repeating loop.I cried like someone watching their own murder, and so, I wept for her life like I was weeping for mine. I said a prayer for her and the brown women and girls like us. The ones that ask questions.Who was she? She was a black woman, and whether directly or consequently, she died for it.And her name was Sandra Bland.And the sitting president wants to bolster police presence to control “the blacks."And she would have been 30 this year on February 7, like I am.And I’ll remember her name, and say it, until the day I die: like I remember my
Whether you fell victim to Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up or feel a brain fog when there's too much junk in your space, you have probably heard the term "minimalism," by now.Merriam-Webster defines minimalism as a style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity.Basically the premise is simple, too many thingamabobs in yo' life will not always guarantee happiness. Enter in Netflix's latest documentary du jour...Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things, and its tagline is "More, newer, cooler: That's the American Dream. But these creative people see the dream as being more about happiness.That's cute and all...but I think the American Dream has been taken out of context more often than not, I think that initially the premise of the American Dream, in all of its first-world glory was this...that you could come from nothing and work you way up to something in "the land of opportunity." But the American Dream was never particularly all-inclusive, and these days my definition of the American Dream is just being able to achieve a standard of living that means I get to actually use my overpriced degree, eat something green at least once a week, and not living at home till I'm 80, and oh also not be penalized for being brown-skinned.I started watching the documentary because I've been trying to declutter my soul ever since graduating college, and I realized that after my first job out of college I was prone to spending fifty bucks a month on drinks and walked away with no savings after a year of working, so I'm intrigued by the idea of not attaching self-fulfillment to material acquisition.Minimalism, featured the usual narratives and imagery that has been associated with a minimalist lifestyle; the story of two millennials who hit quarter life crises before age 30 after climbing the corporate ladder, who then decided to hang up their suit and ties and write a book about it, now Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus travel the world speaking about decluttering and living with only the essentials; like four shirts and two pieces of furniture.Entrepreneur and world-traveler Colin Wright is also featured in the film, in this particular scene he calls himself “homeless,” then corrects his use of the term, because you see he is not technically homeless. He travels to a different countries throughout the year and lives like the locals. So you can say Wright is homeless-lyte.At this point in the film, is where I stopped watching. The film is about 90 minutes long, give or take, and halfway through the film the only images of people of color, were seen in cutaway footage of Black Friday pandemonium, depicting people of color snatching doll babies out of the hands of tots and stampeding store aisles for limited edition Nikes.You see my dilemma?I could be being hyper sensitive or perhaps just hyper aware, but there must be people of the melanin-owning variety who also like to live simply and who want to cultivate more happiness than possessions in their lives.Why is it that in a documentary that is supposed to be an appetizer for someone who has never had a taste of minimalism, there was no one who looked like me. While there were plenty of social critics and scientists explaining the detriment of fast-fashion and conspicuous consumption, and a white couple that sells off half of their possessions in order to live on a farm and own a tiny house on wheels.I can definitely appreciate the diversity depicted in the versions of minimalism, because while the many of the core principles are the same, followers can choose what living a life of simplicity means, for some it means living in the open air and owning the barest of necessities and for some people it means creating a capsule wardrobe.What Minimalism failed to touch upon, however, is the fact that it is indeed a privilege to advocate for abandoning your desk job and packing only one suitcase to go spend your life as a nomad. As a working-class black woman, with $70,000 in student loan debt I can't exactly tell my family that I’m selling my laptop and phone and moving into a room on wheels in pursuit of happiness.Much in the same way that people of color aren’t the only ones trampling people in the quest for doorbuster sales on Black Friday. The same way white people are not the only wants who aim to remove materials from their lives that do not bring joy. It would have been nice to see a broader scale of the kinds of people who practice minimalism. What does minimalism look like for those who live in the inner city? What does it look like for those who can’t vacate their nine to fives or who cannot afford the quality versus quantity mantra of capsule wardrobes?I can think of many of my friends or family who would like to adopt a life that values people more, and things less, but minimalism has all too often felt like a movement that has a hint of exclusivity sprinkled in it and we need more portrayals of minimalism that makes room for more than just one version of reality.Minimalism...it’s not just for white
..and we just can't wait (for Donald) to be king!That's right! Donald Glover is reportedly about to take on the role Simba in Disney's live-action remake of the Lion King.The remake's director, Jon Favreau tweeted the following today: I just can’t wait to be king. #Simba pic.twitter.com/wUYKixMBJI— Jon Favreau (@Jon_Favreau) February 18, 2017Variety has since confirmed Glover is in talks to play the role.The Lion King, released by Disney in 1994, is one of the highest-grossing animated films of all-time.This move will add to Glover's ever growing resume, which includes his FX show, Atlanta, as well as starring as Young Lando in an upcoming Star Wars Han Solo
By now you’ve scrolled through your TL on Twitter and saw hashtag #HurtBae or attempted to sit through all 6 minutes of Kourtney Jorge ) and her ex-Leonard, — well, mostly Kourtney — asking her ex the tough questions. In short, Scene’s video is emotionally taxing for anyone who has ever been in a relationship/situation, been cheated on or felt the tears and awkward tissue moments during the video. Finding the outpouring of emotion on your TL was easy, but another deep dive into comments and RTs meant plenty of other conversations about monogamy and relationships as we know it. The saying goes “men ain’t sh*t,” but where is the truth in all of it (or for many us on Twitter, where is the lie)? Is monogamy a fool’s errand? Not just because of stereotypes about men, but in our dating culture. We are a dating culture of swipes and connecting on social; Many of us are used to connecting with multiple people with ease and "exploring our options." On the other hand, for anyone hurt over #HurtBae, you could find another post on #WeMetOnTwitter. It isn’t earth-shattering to note that there are two sides; Black love isn’t an anomaly and neither is a dysfunctional or unhealthy relationship. However, #HurtBae makes it clear that our idea of what makes a healthy relationship an “alternative fact.” Twitter user @_zolarmoon presented another argument for many of us who were angry for #HurtBae: While some took offense, she brings up a valid point: Why is it still taboo to “love and let love”? Many of us know married couples, and people together that are just that, together. What Muva moon (@_zolarmoon) points out is how our idea of what a relationship should start by talking honestly about what you and your partner want. Period. What #HurtBae does is remind us that in society, many of us might have a more static approach to relationships that’s hurting us, regardless of if we want monogamy or not. But can we knock the angry responses on Black Twitter? Even in media, you’re hard pressed to find a polyamorous or open relationship that isn’t unhealthy or a part of a TLC special being projected as “unique.” It’s bad enough we have great female black lead characters in so called “monogamous” relationships on major television networks who can’t seem to find partners who won’t piss us off every other episode ( i.e. Olivia Pope, Mary Jane and Charlie Bordelon). Yes, we know that TV isn’t reality, but media plays a part in the socialization and recycling of ideas.We are just now just really starting to see same-sex couples being intimate on mainstream television (Thank you, Shonda Rhimes), but it also seems we are a ways from viewing open/polyamorous relationships as “OK.” Again, healthy black love isn’t an anomaly, but representations of variations of those relationships matters. Author Daniel Bergner in his book “ What Do Women Want?: Adventures in the Science of Female Desire” found that we are taught different ideas about sexuality from birth. Duh, right? But what’s even more interesting is a German study that cited how monogamy long-term often kills a woman’s sex drive. So maybe women like Muva Moon aren’t just here to shake things up. Maybe, as a community, we have to come to terms with redefining what a healthy relationship should be (even if we are team
Many of are still shell-shocked that Beyoncé didn't take home any major trophies last night for her opus that was Lemonade. Luckily for us, we got an outstanding performance from her, and her 5-year-old daughter Blue Ivy arguably turned out to give the most standout moments of the show.Here's why Blue Ivy was the real star of the 2017 Grammy Awards. 1. When she arrived at the show in a Prince-inspired ensemble, complete with a Gucci suit.Photo: EW2. When she cheered after her mom's acceptance speech.Photo: Giphy3. When she crashed the Carpool Karaoke segment, instantly becoming the star.Photo: Giphy4. When she couldn't help but show off her bedazzled purse.Photo: Giphy5. When she hit dem folks during Bruno Mars' performance.Y'all Blue ivy out here hitting dem folks to Bruno Mars pic.twitter.com/bFU3UlDTv8— 2 ? (@Truthbytony) February 13, 20176. When she had to inspect Nick Jonas' drink when he came by to say hello."That is not lemonade" pic.twitter.com/UkdZUXKgcs— 📿 (@ktgonkt) February 13, 20177. When Rihanna got to chat with her.blue ivy and rihanna pic.twitter.com/a7XPltRnSt— marco (@wegonslayx) February 13, 2017Blue Ivy, you are the queen bee! Photo:
When word first came that there would be a Women’s March in Washington one day after the inauguration, I was excited. There was something about being around a community of individuals who, for the most part, wanted the same rights and lobbied behind positive, reinforcing messages for women. Not to mention, key figures in our society like Janelle Monae, Raquel Willis, Janet Mock and the Mothers of the Movement would be in attendance. I just knew my experience would be one for the books. While it was quite a moment in my memory’s Rolodex, I can’t say it was for reasons I anticipated. My idealistic hopes for this sort of “kumbaya” moment with women in my city were admittedly naive. In a sea of white women, women of color were truly the minority and so were our voices. What was supposed to be a rally for those who have been silenced so many times before, quickly became another metaphorical wiring of our jaws. As the hours passed and marchers became restless, they acted out, chanting over congresswomen, activists, and celebrity guests. Oddly enough, most of those women were WOC. The moment I heard women claiming to be “for other women” disrespect Angela Davis by complaining and chanting “we want to march” over Janelle Monae’s “Say Her Name” cries, I couldn’t be bothered. I marched for a bit and I headed home shortly after.I left feeling inspired; it was partially from the invigorating statements from women who looked like me and whose struggles mirrored mine. Moments like the Women’s March just solidified my truth that I am a womanist first and a feminist second.The term “womanism” has been credited to poet and activist Alice Walker. As with most movements in this country, black women were left out of the narrative. With feminism, groundbreaking legislation and rulings were being made but it wasn’t to our benefit. Racism was still running rampant. As evidenced in the 2016 election, some white women would rather put their race first than the advancement of their gender. While feminism caters to the belief of equality amongst the sexes, womanism is a bit more specific. It caters to the idea of equity and intersectionality, emphasizing how these things affect black women in particular. Our rights, our morals, our culture, our mission – it’s all protected and prioritized under the womanist lens.Walker is quoted saying that womanism “is to feminism as purple is to lavender”. Womanism is deeper. It’s more focused. It’s more concentrated. It puts all of my efforts at the forefront. I don’t have to worry about being silenced because womanism is rooted in giving a voice to the voiceless. Historically, it empowers us black women to learn our story, take pride in our trials and tribulations, and force the rest of society to pay attention to our bold voices.I thank women like Patricia Hill Collins, Alice Walker, Audre Lorde, Octavia Butler, Patricia Bell-Scott, Warsan Shire and countless others who have used their words to further the message. I thank entertainers like Janelle Monae, Ava DuVernay and Shonda Rhimes for creating avenues for women like myself. I thank my college professor for even introducing me to this concept.Walker’s words reign true. I am a womanist. I am the lavender. All black women who believe in the power of our narrative are. I’m a womanist first and a feminist second because I’m for us. I’m for our voices. I’m for our movements. I’m for laws that put our concerns first. I’m not afraid. I’m not weak. I am a magical black woman who loves magical black women.