White People: Stop Using the Word Nigga’

“I go to Fall Fest, we’re all rapping, dancing, having a fun time. The rapper says the N’ word, I skip it, but the pool of white people that surrounds me what do they do? They all scream NIGGAAAA.”

– Black Student, UVM

Dear White people,

Stop using the N’ Word.

Why?

Because you can’t.

Is this problematic for you?

Then you should look within yourself to understand why.

I am a Black female and even I don’t use the N’ Word.

So why can’t you use it but black people can?

Ask the Lord.

The rule is as simple as this: If you ain’t black, you can’t use it.

So what should you do if you hear it in your favorite rap song?

Skip over it.

What should you do if your one black friends says it around you?

Don’t indulge in it.

What to do if you Black friend gives you the N’ word pass?

Forget about it.

I didn’t get into the various reasons as to why you can’t use it, because if you’re asking yourself “why”, then you should do some soul searching.

I chose to keep this article short, because it’s plain and simple.

Stop using it.

Enjoy some memes below:

white people and the n word 2    white people using the word nigga에 대한 이미지 검색결과

Natural Hair Expo at UVM

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Our “Bat signal”

As the Bat-Signal calls the superhero batman into action likewise the Natural Hair Expo posting signaled women of color across UVM campus to action. On March 27th, 2017 the Davis Center instantly became the mecca of Burlington, drawing all who sought to improve and learn more about their Natural Hair Journey. But what is Natural Hair?  And what is the phenomenon surrounding it? “The natural hair movement is a movement which encourages women of African descent to keep their natural afro-textured hair” (Wikipedia) . The natural hair movement believe it or not started in the late 1950’s. It was spawned by female artists, dancers,  and college students who followed the civil rights movement. They believed that unstraightened hair expressed their feelings of racial pride. (Fashion History) However, this movement took a slow decline in the 1980’s and picked back up in the late 90’s, early 2000’s alongside the black counterculture movement which involved the rise of Neo Soul and R&B. Being that our school is in the 2nd whitest state in the country, it came as a surprise to many that the Natural Hair Expo was even happening at the University of Vermont.  This couldn’t have happened however, without the Womyn of Color Coalition (WOCC), a club on campus that focuses on empowering, uniting, and encouraging those who identify as Women of color. What do groups like the WOCC and the Natural Hair Expo mean to W.O.C on campus?

natural hair baby

First you must understand that Women of Color are double minorities, and in the case of transwomen of color, triple minorities. Throughout history women of color have been placed in an awkward space, trapped between enclosing walls labeled gender and race. W.O.C face oppressive institutions such as racism, sexism, homophobia, and trans-phobia. It is never just one or the other. The WOCC gives W.O.C an infinity space to speak on the oppressive systems that face us daily, such as sexism and racism just to name a few. But what does this have to do with the Natural Hair Expo? Just that! The Natural Hair Expo broke down many barriers that many Women of Color face daily. By bringing this event to a nearly all white campus, the Womyn of Color Coalition challenged European standards of beauty pertaining to skin color and hair types. This expo not only educated us on how to treat our hair, but it showed us that our hair is beautiful, that we are beautiful! And to end I leave you with a quote from Mikka Taylor, the country’s leading authority on beauty and style for women-of-color.

“When will our hair cease to be political? Every other group of women can do what they want with their hair, and it’s not seen as making a statement. We’re over that, and we wish everyone else would be over it, too.”

 

Rally / March Poem

Whether it was Trump or Clinton

Pence or Kaine

I think we all knew America was going down the drainnbc-fires-donald-trump-after-he-calls-mexicans-rapists-and-drug-runners

For this is a country that only values the rich white male

This is a country where people are swimming in debt while more money is going to the funding of jail

This is a country where blacks have to yell their lives matter

And they are ignored because race is a factor

This is a country where just last year all people were allowed to get married

This is a country where conversion therapy is still a thing

I thought this was the land of the free?

But I don’t think that applies to you nor me

For the rich get richer

And the poor are getting poorer

America just elected a billionaire president, you think it will get better?

They say women are equal to men

But why is it that we can’t prosper the same way rich white males can?

Despite race, sexuality, religion, or gender

It’s time for us as disadvantaged groups to come together as one

And now is the time more than ever since that bigot won

Our rights is what we are fighting for this country to allow

And this fight, this movement, starts with us, right here, right now

Rallying and Marching is nice, but isn’t enough

Our voices must be heard

Our voices will be heard when we see bigots persecuting our Muslim friends

Our voices will be heard when we see racists harassing People of Color

Our voices will be heard when we see homophobes tormenting people of the lgbtqa plus community

Our voices will be heard when we see misogynist mistreating women

Our voices will be heard when we see xenophobes intimidating our foreign brothers and sisters

We must speak up now for the voices that can’t be heard

Donald Trump and his supporters won the presidency

But they will not win America !

The Way They See Us: Black Women in Media

           Throughout history women have been portrayed as inferior to men because of misinterpreted religious and cultural ideologies. According to the Language of Gender, women have three parts to them,  Female, femininity, and feminism. The female aspect is defined as the sex that can bear offspring or produce eggs, the Feminine counterpart is defined as the characterization of possessing qualities generally attributed to a woman, and the Feminist characteristic is defined as the belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes. This construction of the three parts of women have been used to socially, politically, economically, and sexually oppress women throughout the world. This dilemma affects all women, regardless of age, race, or belief, however, feminism alone fails to address the plight of black women, the fact that no matter where they are in the world there is and has always been a stigma against them, women of color. However Black Feminism fosters to the problems that black women face on a day-to-day basis, Black Feminism is is a school of thought which argues that sexism, class oppression, gender identity and racism are inextricably bound together. (Wikipedia)  American media has embodied the “idea” of  black woman in three specific stereotypes: the Mammy stereotype, the Jezebel stereotype, the Sapphire stereotype.  According to American Media these are the three parts to a black woman, it isn’t solely the female, femininity, or feminism aspects , but there is a portrayal of how black women “truly” are.   These three stereotypes have shaped the way black women are perceived in America, and have undermined or prolonged  their influence socially, politically and economically.

      “Black woman are the mules of this world”

Quote from Their Eyes Were Watching God

In American media, Black women are portrayed as having characteristics of the female construct, however women of color aren’t necessarily portrayed as feminine, but as three major stereotypes: the “Mammy”, “Jezebel”, and the “Sapphire”. These stereotypes are seen in hqdefaultmajor movies such as The Help, Monster’s Ball, and in about every one of Tyler Perry’s films. The Mammy stereotype illustrates a black woman who plays a “motherly” role in an all white family home. The Mammy stereotypical role is perceived as maternal, usually overweight, unattractive, non threatening, and deeply religious. In the movie The Help, Viola Davis plays Aibileen Clark, a maid who has the_help01
spent a majority of her life raising white children. Aibileen Clark fits the characteristics of the female diagram and also the characteristics of the “Mammy” because she is a female, and because she is a maid who works for an all white family. Studies have shown that the only time Black women has ever won
an Academy Award were in fact depicted as one of the three stereotypical views of black women in  American Media.

 

            The Jezebel stereotype is the most of the three shown in American media today, the Jezebel character is an overly sexualized black women, who obtains exF5768 001aggerated body parts, such as huge lips, and an even bigger rear end and waist, this character has come to define black women, and how they are viewed. This character is shown in Halle Berry’s
Monster’s Ball,
where she plays Leticia Musgrove, a struggling black woman, who loses her husband, and has a difficult time raising her son, Tyrell, sounds familiar? Like every other movie that has a struggling black woman as the lead role, Monster’s Ball exploits Black women by overly sexualizing Halle Berry’s character to fulfill sexual fetishes of black love. Throughout time Black women have been made into sexual objects because of the falsehood on how they were perceived. For instance, black women slaves were subject to physical and sexually abuse on plantations because they were seen as seductive, and because of their strong desire for the “all so great”  whitemen they so desperately longed for, the sexual abuse that was done to them was seen as being 16-main_2051902ajustified. Halle Berry’s character in Monster’s Ball embodies the three-part female construct and also the Jezebel stereotype that has plagued Black women in American media throughout history.

Tyler Perry films could not be complete without a black women being portrayed as the Sapphire stereotype, the Sapphire stereotype illustrates black women as rude, rowdy, loud, angry, bitter, and obnoxious females. This portrayal of black women inhstcmp-media-4 the media has  socially put black women on the bottom of the social  class. The Sapphire depiction shows apparently “too strong” black women, who emasculate all men, particularly black males, and for this reason Black women are not seen as being  feminine, but aggressive.  In the media Black women are seen as the Sapphire stereotype,which contrasts White women in media, who are seen as beautiful,
young damsels or princesses in need of a man to save

  them. For this reason, it has to be reiterated that white women and black women do not go through the same oppression. Black women are plagued with the oppression 740full-diary-of-a-mad-black-woman-screenshotthat has been placed on women and also the wrongful stereotypes that places catalyst in the eyes of those who watch American Media.

 

 

American media has illustrated  black woman in three specific stereotypes: the Mammy stereotype, the Jezebel stereotype, and  the Sapphire stereotype. Feminism fails to grasp the concept of the problems that Black women face alone, therefore the parts that make up a women of color according to society is female, the three stereotypes, and black feminism, this is because the three-part construction doesn’t illustrate black women, as they are perceived by society. What can we learn from all of this? We should learn not to be quick to judge, not to be quick to believe everything we learn from the media.

Dark Skin

Dark skin, a God given shade, or anathema (curse)? The search for the answer to this question burdened me greatly, to the point that I decided to interview dark skin girls in my school, which is located in Bronx, NY. “What’s the hardest thing about being dark skin?”  I never really asked myself this question, of course I’ve discussed similar topics with friends and family, however I never really considered it. For those who do not know, “dark skin” females are defined as women who are darker than a store bought paper bag. Within the black race, some like to classify their skin tones into these categories, “light skin, dark skin, and some, not all, brown skin. darkskin 3 I questioned girls who considers themselves to be dark skin, and some of their answers were astonishing. “What’s the hardest thing about being dark skin? For me myself, it’s not hard being dark skin, it’s how people view being dark skin. People treat being  “dark skin” as being some kind of disease, people don’t like to be dark skin at all. It’s like the  way people see you, and how people view you as being dark skin.” – Ivory  “People treat dark skin as being some kind of disease…” This line sparked even more questions, do people really see being dark skin as some kind of disease, as a loss, misfortune? I found when researching these questions that it isn’t only Black (African american, African, and Caribbean) people that struggle with this internalized racism, but it is also found in a lot of other cultures as well, for instance the Indian culture. Many dark skin Indians say that they have faced many different types of colorism, or prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group. ” Unfortunately, this diversity in skin color has created a hierarchy of beauty – a hierarchy that tells you that the light-skinned people are the epitome of beauty, while the dark-skinned people fall at the bottom.” – R.Nithya (see article here: http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/06/dark-skinned-in-india/ ) Does that sound familiar?  Indian actress Nandita Das, spoke on the struggles of being a dark skin female in the Bollywood industry, “All the articles about me begin with ‘the dark and dusky actress’ because being dark is considered such an aberration”. So we can see that colorism not only lies within the black community, but in a lot of different darkskin 2cultures. Can this problem be fixed? Could there possibly be a time where dark skin females aren’t only portrayed as the ugly ones but possibly found as being beautiful. Dark skin females need to ignore the world’s hatred, and embrace their God given gift, their beauty, Black is beautiful, and once we can learn to love ourselves and the way we look, we can truly and honestly love others the same.

“I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin, I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin. And my one prayer to God, the miracle worker, was that I would wake up lighter-skinned. And every day I experienced the same disappointment of being just as dark as I had been the day before. I tried to negotiate with God: I told him I would stop stealing sugar cubes at night if he gave me what I wanted; I would listen to my mother’s every word and never lose my school sweater again if he just made me a little lighter.” – Lupita Nyong’O  

darkskin 4

 

Lupita was inspired by Alek Wek, a dark skin celebrated model who was on every magazine cover and famed runways, this inspired her to embrace her own  dark skin beauty, because seeing Alek Wek was like a reflection of herself. Lupita is inspiring young females today the same way:

“When Lupita came out, it made me feel so much better about my skin, I no longer felt ashamed of my skin, if she can be seen as beautiful than I can too.”- Ivory 

You are beautiful, despite the tone of your skin, real beauty lies within your heart, once you take hold of that,  you will truly have self love, and it’s a great feeling.