Black Women

“The Help” Reflects the Racial Divide, Then and Now

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Sharon Kyle: In a culture where “whiteness” is rarely mentioned and hardly ever critically examined it is not surprising that the women in my church saw the story as heartwarming and uplifting. I, on the other hand, saw this as just another story of the black experience as viewed through the white lens.

Redistricting and California’s African Americans

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Jasmyne Cannick: The bottom line is that they can draw all the Black voter-friendly districts they want but if Blacks continue on this mass exodus to the South, there won’t be enough Blacks left to vote anyone into office and the ones that are left won’t have the same adoration for the political process as their ancestors.

Provincetown’s Not Safe for Black Lesbians

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Rev. Irene Monroe: The sexual and homophobic harassment many of us LBT sisters endure from many of our heterosexual brothers of African descent back home in our communities, or imported from one of the Caribbean Islands has, too, become an inescapably reality at P-town.

Black Women Jobless Rate

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Carl Bloice: Unemployment is up. Joblessness has increased for African Americans. Black women are being hit especially hard. The question now is whether the people running the country really care? And if they do, why are they avoiding the subject?

Black Atheists in the Pulpit

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Sikivu Hutchinson: Congregants of Zion Hill Baptist Church in South Los Angeles probably thought Pastor Seth Pickens was certifiable when he proposed a community dialogue with the L.A. Black Skeptics Group.

Ray-Ray, Boo, Chico, Pookie and Today’s Political Economy

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Carl Bloice: ‘The president and his aides know that the G.O.P. approach to the budget is wrongheaded and destructive,” New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote March 11. “But they’ve stopped making the case for an alternative approach; instead, they’ve positioned themselves as know-nothings lite, accepting the notion that spending must be slashed immediately – just not as much as Republicans want.

To Be Atheist, Feminist, and Black

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Sikivu Hutchinson: Sadly, there is still a fair amount of ignorance and bigotry toward black non-believers in African American communities due to the stereotype that atheists are immoral, rudderless, and not authentically black.

Womanist and Saying Who We Are

Pat Parker

Rev. Irene Monroe: The secular use of “womanist” is by African-American women who have either left the Black Church because of its gender bias and homophobia, or who do not come from the Black Church religious experience. These women use the term to identify a culturally specific form of women-centered politics and theory.

Joe the Plumber: A Political Inspiration?

Steve Hochstadt: Simple virtues and political cliches won’t solve our problems, which can’t all be blamed on “liberals.” Getting off our butts to cheer our congressman was not what Wurzelbacher wanted. If these conservatives do Take Back Illinois, they won’t know what to do with it.

Essence Magazine’s True Color

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Rev. Irene Monroe: There has been a color change at Essence. After forty years of having sisters from the African Diaspora as its fashion directors, the new one — Ellianna Placas — is white. And the news is sending seismic shock waves to many of its subscribers here in the U.S. and across the globe.

Are Black Women Too Hard?

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K. Danielle Edwards: If you’re a black woman, those odds are you’ve heard some incarnation before of this statement: “Black women are too hard, too tough, too difficult.” It may have been part of the lead-in to the punch line of a joke. It might have been words shouted out in anger with an ex. It could have been the “company line” mindlessly uttered by black men who choose not to date black women.

When the Brothers Blast You and the…

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To be rendered invisible and unworthy of consideration by men who look like our fathers, brothers, cousins, uncles and the best of who we are – heroes like El Hajj Malik El Shabazz, Marcus Garvey and Martin Luther King, Jr. – is beyond offensive.

Is Obese the New “Thick”?

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The idea of being “thick” has been in circulation in the black community for generations. It’s been presented not only as a good thing, but a preferred package. It’s a combination of booty, hips and thighs, set off by a comparatively narrow waistline.