Tag Archives: LGBT

Black Lives Matter organizers set to post Mother’s Day bail for black mothers across the nation

This week dozens of black mothers who are currently awaiting trial and cannot pay their bonds will be released just in time to celebrate Mother’s Day. The movement entitled, Mama’s Bail Out Day, was organized by many groups including Black Lives Matter Atlanta, Healing Hearts of Families, Southerners on New Ground, Color of Change, and local churches and businesses. Joining forces, the groups raised $250,000 to pay bail for black mothers in 16 cities. These women have not been convicted of any crimes and have been jailed for low level offenses like loitering and small drug possession. 62% of people in jail are there because they cannot afford bail. The system has negatively affected women of color and poor women across the nation with black women making up 44 percent of women in jails.

Arissa Hall, an organizer for the event and project manager at the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, told The Nation that Mother’s Day, with its idealized notions of family and womanhood, is the right moment to force an examination of women in jails.

“All mothers are not celebrated, this is especially true of women who struggle with poverty, addiction and mental-health issues—in other words, the women who fill our jails.”

“Black moms especially have not been granted that title of motherhood,” Hall added going on to describe how slavery shredded kinship bonds. Black women, have historically taken on caretaker roles that have put them in charge of other people’s children and away from their own.

Mary Hooks, co-director of the Atlanta-based LGBTQ organizing project SONG, was one of the first people to brainstorm an idea with other activists on how to combat against the money bail and jail-related fine issues specifically for the LGBTQ community. The activist and organizers understood the ways race, class, and gender identity all play a role in criminalization so they decided to expand on who qualifies as a mother. “When we talk about black mamas, we know that mothering happens in a variety of ways,” Hooks said. “Whether it’s the mothers in the clubs who teach the young kids how to vogue, or the church mothers who took care of me.” Women who are birth mothers and chosen mothers are eligible to be bailed out.

The organizers are still raising money so they can release more women and are planning on possibly having a similar bail out for black fathers for Father’s Day.

To support the Mama’s Bail Out Day movements visit:

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SZA, Kaytranada, Soul II Soul, and more announced in the 2017 AfroPunk lineup

The 2017 lineup for AfroPunk has been released. The unique and unapologetic festival will be held on August 26th-27th in its annual location of Fort Greene’s Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn, New York. So far, the fest will include SZA, Sampha, Willow Smith, Thundercat, Gary Clark Jr., Dizzee Rascal, and more along with veteran artist like Macy Gray and Soul II Soul. Rising producer and DJ, Kaytranada will have his own stage, “Kaytranada and Friends”, which will include performances from Sango, Nao, and Jrocc & Karriem Riggins.

The festivals theme for this year will be, “WE THE PEOPLE”, which includes the following words from the fest:

WE THE PEOPLE:

We, the people built this land. Our flesh and blood is present in its buildings, its roads and its bridges. Our souls are its spiritual cornerstone. Our culture is its foundation. Our being nourishes this land — as our ancestors’ beings nourished it before us — yet the land has not always reimbursed us. We, the people recognize the bullshit of the powerful. The injustices they committed in the past have never disappeared from view. The inequalities they perpetrate are there for all but the blind. The inadequacies they’ve paid forward to a future age are appearing over the horizon. Unless…

We, the people have a code:

  • No Sexism
  • No Racism
  • No Ableism
  • No Ageism
  • No Homophobia
  • No Fatphobia
  • No Transphobia

We, the people commit ourselves to uphold and fight for the rights enshrined in our code. Let us honour those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom, and hold accountable those who curtail our liberties. Let us walk in the footsteps of warriors who came before us, and strive to create a society based on fundamental human rights. Let us rewrite the universal laws and educate the errant minds. We, the people have the will to heal the divisions that threaten to reduce our dreams to ashes. We believe in resurrecting the creative power of our diversity. We open our hearts and minds, and dance to the rhythm of a brand-new future. Together. Brave and compassionate. And beautiful. May the Goddess protect we, the people.

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Check out the rest of the lineup below and visit www.afropunkfest.com for more info:

AFROPUNK BROOKLYN LINEUP (MORE HEADLINERS TBA)

ST HERON STAGE

FEAT SPECIAL GUEST

SAMPHA

THUNDERCAT

SINKANE

KING

& more

 

KAYTRANADA & FRIENDS STAGE

KAYTRANADA

NAO

SANGO

J ROCC & KARRIEM RIGGINS (LIVE)

& more

GARY CLARK JR

MACY GRAY

MICHAEL KIWANUKA

SOUL II SOUL

SZA

WILLOW SMITH

DIZZEE RASCAL

LITTLE SIMZ

BLITZ THE AMBASSADOR

THE COOL KIDS

PRINCESS NOKIA

PROTOJE

LEIKELI47

THE COOL KIDS

THE SKINS

KEVIN ABSTRACT

SERPENTWITHFEET

SAM DEW

SHABAKA AND THE ANCESTORS

SON LITTLE

PURE DISGUST

QUIÑ

LOUDER THAN QUIET

& more

10 Quotes from 10 Unapologetic Women in Honor of Women’s History Month 

Check out some of my favorite quotes from 10 unapologetic women of different ethnicities, professions, and generations!  Happy Women’s History Month.

 

Nina Simone

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To me, we are the most beautiful creatures in the world—black people. So, my job is to make them more curious about where they came from and their own identity and pride in that identity.

Angela Davis

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The roots of sexism and homophobia are found in the same economic and political institutions that serve as the foundation of racism in this country and, more often than not, the same extremist circles that inflict violence on people of color are responsible for the eruptions of violence inspired by sexist and homophobic biases. Our political activism must clearly manifest our understanding of these connections.

Jane Elliot

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We are still conditioning people in this country and, indeed, all over the globe to the myth of white superiority. We are constantly being told that we don’t have racism in this country anymore, but most of the people who are saying that are white. White people think it isn’t happening because it isn’t happening to them.

Linda Sarsour

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Women are intersectional human beings who live multi-issued lives, when we are protected, when we are respected, when we are able to thrive and given the same opportunities as our male counterparts, when we are given space to lead and rise — our nation will rise.

Cree Summer

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I don’t know a single black girl who’s carefree because it ain’t easy being a girl of color, period. God, I wish we were carefree. A lot of political things would have to dramatically change in this planet for a woman of color to be carefree. But I think what they mean by that is more of an aware black girl, a conscious black girl.

Issa Rae

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It’s a bit cliché, but you can’t go wrong by writing what you know. Even if you’re a horrible writer, your own knowledge and experience is unrivaled. Nobody knows what you know like you know what you know. The way you see things is pretty unique.

Reina Gossett

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Historical amnesia is starvation of the imagination; nostalgia is the imagination’s sugar rush, leaving depression and emptiness in its wake.  Breaking silences, telling our tales, is not enough. . . Historical responsibility has, after all, to do with action – where we place the weight of our existences on the line, cast our lot with others, move from an individual consciousness to a collective one.

Sojourner Truth

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Then that little man in black there, he says women can’t have as much rights as men, ’cause Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

Winona LaDuke

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I wanted to get out of Ashland, and I thought it would be pretty cool to go to school in the East. So I asked my guidance counselor what Ivy League schools were. And I applied to Harvard, Yale and Dartmouth – that was it. My guidance counselor told me I wouldn’t get into an Ivy League school. So as my act of resistance, that’s all I applied to.

Betty White

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Why do people say “grow some balls”? Balls are weak and sensitive! If you really wanna get tough, grow a vagina! Those things take a pounding!

 

17 Films and Series to Watch in Honor of Black History Month

In honor of Black History Month, check out my list of films and television series celebrating and exploring black life throughout history including captivating documentaries, quality biopics, and recent theatrical releases. Remember to celebrate Black History beyond these short 28 days!

 

I am not your Negro (2017)

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The potent words of writer, activist, and playwright James Baldwin on race still rings true decades later. This 2017 documentary, directed by Raoul Peck and narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, explores race throughout the years and visualizes Baldwin’s words about close friends, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Medgar Evers. Look for this film in your local theaters or local art house.

African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr (2013)

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Follow scholar, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. as he ventures back in time to discuss the history of African-Americans from the Transatlantic Slave Trade to the Civil Rights era to the Nations first black president.

Black in Latin America with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2011)

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Henry Louis Gates Jr. travels south to explore the largely hidden history of black Latin Americans. Through interviews and discussions in countries, Brazil, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico and Peru, Gates tackles issues of race, colorism, and the slave trade that still affects the black community in the present.

Paris is Burning (1990)

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The birthplace of, “throwing shade” and O-P-U-L-E-N-C-E. Paris is Burning is an early look at the underground LGBT scene centered on fashion, sex appeal, and voguing. Created by people of color, this film delves into the energetic scene and how class, family, and illness affected young gay people of color in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

Hidden Figures (2016)

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This blockbuster hit was deserving of its $100 million earnings at the box office. The film tells the seldom heard story of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Johnson, the three black women who were the brains and strength behind the US sending a man to space.

The New Edition Story (2017)

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BET and the creators of The New Edition Story took their time with this amazing biopic. The 3 part miniseries follows the iconic group from their humble beginnings in Orchard Park projects to their most successful sold out tours. The series doesn’t sugar coat the intense drama that went on behind the scenes, detailing financial rip-offs, drugs, and physical altercations between the members. The acting, story, and of course the music are all on point.

The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 (2011)

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A cultivation of found footage and interviews of Angela Davis, Stokely Carmichael, Louis Farrakhan and others associated with the black power and anti-war movements, all from the perspective of Swedish journalist and filmmakers.

The 13th (2016)

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Ava Duvernay explores America’s exploitation of the 13th amendment and how policies throughout time have disproportionately targeted black men and women in America.

Dark Girls (2011)

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A discussion and stories about colorism and how it immensely affects the lives of black women across the nation.

Barry (2016)

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Follow Barack Obama as he enters Columbia University to world of self discovery, love, and perseverance.

What Happened, Miss Simone? (2015)

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Unapologetic, talented, and beautiful describes Nina Simone. Through vintage interviews, performances, and stories from her family and friends, you’ll learn the vibrant yet dark story of the legendary artist.

Queen of Katwe (2016)

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Based on a true story, Queen of Katwe follows 10 year old Phiona as she overcomes huge hurdles to become a world chess champion.

Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed (2004)

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Shirley Chilsom was not only the first black woman elected to Congress but the first African American and first woman to run a high profile campaign in the US! Watch as she challenges sexism, racism, and patriarchy in this untimely piece.

 

Unsung and Unsung: Hollywood (2008-present)

Unsung opens the door to all the trials and tribulations of some of America’s most talented but underrated black artist. Debarge, Xscape, Big Daddy Kane, The Whispers, Yo-Yo, David Ruffin, and Al B Sure are just some of the artist who have been documented on the show. Also, check out Unsung: Hollywood for stories on black actors, films, and series who were deserving of more recognition.

Madiba (2017)

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This six hour mini-series chronicles Nelson Mandela, played by Laurence Fishburne, and other leaders of the African National Congress who fought to end apartheid in South Africa.

Fresh Dressed (2015)

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Remember Kangol hats and gold rope chains? What about Cross Colours? FUBU, anyone? Fresh Dressed digs up the influential contributions of black style throughout the years and the ups and downs of clothing brands that were for us and by us.

Race (2016)

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Race, the story of American track star Jesse Owens, exemplifies courage and strength in the face of white supremacy. Not only did Owens battle racism in the US but he challenged and then crushed Hitler’s Aryan supremacy fantasy in 1930’s Berlin.

Unapologetic and Proud: Photos of Women of Color at the Women’s March on Washington

The Women’s March on Washington was a monumental event that not only filled the streets of our Nations capital but the entire country and world including Melbourne, London, Nairobi, Paris and Cape Town. People from different religious affiliations, sexual identities, and ethnicities attended the rally to address dark future of the upcoming presidency. Speakers included newly elected California senator, Kamalah Harris, Angela Davis, America Ferrera, Alicia Keys, Janelle Monae, Janet Mock, Scarlett Johansson, Van Jones, Michael Moore, and many more.

The diverse group of speakers addressed issues related to African Americans, police brutality, environmental issues, Native American rights, Hispanic American rights, the LGBT community, and more. What wasn’t so diverse were those in attendance. Majority of the 500,000 attendees were white women with pink hats that stereotypically represented women’s rights. I attended the march and felt like a true minority amongst all of these women. Between the, “I’m with her” signs and the “We are all equal” shirts, I wondered if these women really cared about the other women and men that are not only affected by this presidency but have been affected by sexism, racism, xenophobia, ableism and homophobia throughout their lifetime.

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The diverse group of speakers addressed issues related to African Americans, police brutality, environmental issues, Native American rights, Hispanic American rights, the LGBT community, and more. What wasn’t so diverse were those in attendance. Majority of the 500,000 attendees were white women with pink hats that stereotypically represented women’s rights. I attended the march and felt like a true minority amongst all of these women. Between the, “I’m with her” signs and the “We are all equal” shirts, I wondered if these women really cared about the other women and men that are not only affected by this presidency but have been affected by sexism, racism, xenophobia, ableism and homophobia throughout their lifetime.

In this sea of white women, I managed to get beautiful photos of unapologetic women of color and other attendees at the historical march. Check them out below and visit http://www.womensmarch.com for more info on the event.

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Shop 100+ Black Owned Businesses for the Holidays and Beyond!

That’s right! Over a hundred black owned businesses and items to get your holiday shopping spree on. Apparel, cosmetics, home decor, children items, and more all from talented black business owners and artist! Bookmark this link because buying black shouldn’t be a one time thing. Credit to Essence, Madame Noire, The Culture, Okay Africa, Melanin Makeup, Official Black Wall Street, The Huffington Post, A Black Life, I Don’t Do Clubs, Black Girl Long Hair, and Quirky Brown Love for providing brands to help with the list!

 

Bold Apparel

Sit Back n Relax

The Motherland

Sophisticated

Nerdy and Proud!

Got Somethin’ To Say?

Care Free

Art x Apparel

 Empowerment

Get Ya Sweat On

Accessories

Undergarments

Fun & Games

Art

Social Organizations and Movements

 

Self-Care

 

Hair

Makeup

The Kiddies

Home Décor

Yummy

Stationary

 

Moonlight and American Honey lead in nominations in the 2017 Independent Spirit Awards

The nominations for the Independent Spirit Awards have been released and Moonlight is getting some shine. Directed by Barry Jenkins and written by Tarell Alvin McCraney, Moonlight leads with 6 nominations including Best Feature and Best Director. American Honey directed by Andrea Arnold, starring Sasha Lane and Shia LaBeouf also leads with 6 nominations. The documentary 13th, directed by Ava Duvernay is nominated as well as the James Baldwin doc, I Am Not Your Negro directed by Raoul Peck, and O.J.: Made in America directed by Ezra Edelman.

The Spirit Awards have been the forerunner for future film nominations and winners in other ceremonies including 2014’s Dallas Buyers Club (Best Actor and Supporting Actor), Spotlight (Best Feature), and breakout actress, Lupita Nyong’o, in 12 Years a Slave. Fruitvale Station, Beast of No Nation, and Tangerine have also won big at the Spirit Awards but fell short in the top ceremonies. The organization has supported diversity at least compared to other awards. Whether the awards are diverse or not, it is more important to support the films directed, written, and featuring actors of color while they are in theaters so there is an array of diverse talent and narratives.

Below is the full list of nominations; the awards are set to air Feburary 25th.

BEST FEATURE
Moonlight
Jackie
Manchester by the Sea
American Honey
Chronic

BEST DIRECTOR
Andrea Arnold – American Honey
Barry Jenkins – Moonlight
Pablo Larrain – Jackie
Jeff Nichols – Loving
Kelly Reichardt – Certain Women

BEST FEMALE LEAD
Annette Bening – 20th Century Women
Isabelle Huppert – Elle
Sasha Lane – American Honey
Ruth Negga – Loving
Natalie Portman – Jackie

BEST MALE LEAD
Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea
David Harewood – Free In Deed
Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic
Jesse Plemons – Other People
Tim Roth – Chronic

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Edwina Findley – Free In Deed
Paulina Garcia – Little Men
Lily Gladstone – Certain Women
Riley Keough – American Honey
Molly Shannon – Other People

BEST SUPPORTING MALE
Ralph Fiennes – A Bigger Splash
Ben Foster – Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges – Manchester by the Sea
Shia LaBeouf – American Honey
Craig Robinson – Morris from America

BEST FIRST FEATURE
Swiss Army Man
The Childhood of a Leader
The Fits
Other People
The Witch

BEST SCREENPLAY
Barry Jenkins – Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea
Mike Mills – 20th Century Women
Ira Sachs & Mauricio Zacharias – Little Men
Taylor Sheridan – Hell or High Water

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Robert Eggers – The Witch
Chris Kelly – Other People
Adam Mansbach – Barry
Stella Meghie – Jean of the Joneses
Craig Shilowich – Christine

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Ava Berkofsky – Free In Deed
Lol Crawley – The Childhood of a Leader
Zach Kuperstein – The Eyes of My Mother
James Laxton – Moonlight
Robbie Ryan – American Honey

BEST EDITING
Matthew Hannam – Swiss Army Man
Jennifer Lame – Manchester by the Sea
Joi McMillon & Nat Sanders – Moonlight
Jake Roberts – Hell or High Water
Sebastián Sepúlveda – Jackie

BEST DOCUMENTARY
The 13th
Cameraperson
I Am Not Your Negro
O.J.: Made in America
Sonita
Under the Sun

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM
Aquarius (Brazil)
Chevalier (Greece)
My Golden Days (France)
Toni Erdmann (Germany and Romania)
Under the Shadow (Iran and U.K.)

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD (Best Ensemble)
Moonlight

JOHN CASSAVETTES AWARD (Best Feature Made For Under $5,000)
Free In Deed
Hunter Gatherer
Lovesong
Nakom
Spa Night

KIEHL’S SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD
Andrew Ahn – Spa Night
Claire Carré – Embers
Anna Rose Holmer – The Fits
Ingrid Jungermann – Women Who Kill