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Jim Crow – All Growed Up

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Picture it. The year is 1918. The country’s been at war for a little over a year.  Black soldiers are drafted to fight for the freedom of some other people in another country, meanwhile, they are stuck doing the most menial jobs (even the ones who enlist degree’d up are shoveling the shit), and their bosses, all white, get to call them niggers all day, and its nothing they can do about it. Then back at home, in America, the patriotic, good white women and men of the south and putting up record numbers of confederate statues to commemorate the losers of the Civil War (According to a report published by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the erection of confederate monuments coincides with two periods of extreme violence against Blacks – between 1900 and 1920 during the enactment of Jim Crow and between 1950 and 1965 during the civil rights movement.).

Then over in the peachy-keen state of Georgia, in the first week of May, 11 black people, one being Mary Turner, were lynched by an angry white mob. Mary Turn, 19 years old and nearly nine months pregnant, publicly admonished the white mob that lynched her innocent husband. She was subsequently dragged from her home and then framed by mainstream media as leading the plot to murder white farmer Hampton Smith. All of the papers told of how Smith’s watch was found in her home; none of them talk about how the mob dragged her from her home, lynched her, riddled her body with bullets, cut her baby from her belly…the black newspapers report it. So much of history has been digitized, and it’s so easy to look at these actual records. It is so easy to be informed. Free thinking is what you do after you smoke a joint, informed is what you are after you actually read.

Meanwhile, black people, the NAACP specifically, are trying real, real hard to keep Birth of a Nation off the movie screen because they understand how even the presumption that a black man would defile a white woman is the only provocation angry mobs need to justify their terrorism. There is a reason why thousands of black people are leaving the south in droves, trying to make new homes in the north or the west, where, prayerfully, they might have just a moment’s peace. The NAACP, bless their hearts, were keeping records of the violence experienced by blacks, primarily in the south, but not exclusively. You can actually read the NAACP’s records for yourself. Find out history from the niggas who were actually there, making it. All of the NAACP’s records are available at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. They have a cute little finding aid, you just put in the keywords and boom, information literally at your finger tip.

Then on top of all of that, Jim Crow said you can sit nowhere, you can’t go nowhere, you can’t read nowhere, you can’t work nowhere, you can’t live nowhere, you can’t get coffee there, and you can’t get chicken and waffles there, and you definitely can’t golf there, and you can’t sit on this corner, and you can’t even hardly go in your got damn house depending on where your light bill is sent too.

Red Summer of 1919 | Photo: Equal Justice Initiative

Then the next summer, black soldiers are home and they are fired up because they know, America knows, that they done played their part, they went to war, they did their jobs, they helped y’all win, and they didn’t even fuss real hard about it, they put their head down and they got it done. And you know what, it’s coming up on a year and they realize, nothing has changed, so they start signing up for the NAACP because got damn it, they want the rights they got damn fought for. They tired of this shit. No sooner did the NAACP membership go up when angry white mobs across the country, like 25 cities and towns, just started killing people. So many black men and women died that summer/fall, they call it the Red Summer of 1919.

And now I have to ask – who would choose that? Like for real, who would choose that? But if that’s what you define as choice, then that is what they did, they choose to endure ALL OF THAT so you could climb your black ass on TV and say whatever you want. They did all of that for you too.

Anyway, I feel how hard it is living in 2018 but at least I got the Internet and Infinity Wars and Bob’s Burger and Love and Hip Hop and in a few days, Black Panther whenever I want it, to distract me. Can you imagine going through all of this with nothing to distract you?

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Why Voting Is Actually Important…

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I’m mad. And not just the regular mad I’ve been since White people elected their president, I am rabid dog angry, fightin’ mad.

I am angry at the number of Black, seemingly well-educated people who are currently posting these philosophical rants about why voting doesn’t matter, how voting is irrelevant, how voting means nothing, how some radical Black movement is going to come by and save us all.

Side note – The last time a gang of Black people were all on the same page to do some radical shit was the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott, and even then, the wayward negro had to be threatened and cajoled to keep it going. I would love to see a radical movement that brings Black people together across skin color, social, class, gender, and sex lines. I would love to see it, but it’s just not feasible.

Don’t listen to what these intellectuals are telling you online, take your Black ass to vote. Click To Tweet

Yes, gerrymandering, voter suppression, and the dismantling of the Voting Rights Act has significantly reduced the democracy inherent in voting. And yes, those in power have systematically made it much more difficult to vote, especially for people living in low income communities, who often do not have the flexibility to take off work to vote (to learn more about the dismantling of the voter’s rights act, here is a good article), but that doesn’t mean that we have to give up on voting.

Here are six good-ass reasons to vote.

1. Voting is your civic duty.

The first time I voted in a presidential election, the candidates were George W. Bush and Al Gore. For my second presidential election, I had to choose between George (again) and John Kerry. I can tell you that neither of those options gave me wet dreams. I wasn’t that excited to Rock the Vote…but rock the vote I did because, for me, it was important to make my voice heard.

And it sucks because I remember the fervor and passion people had about President Obama’s campaign. People were lined up for hours to vote. Black people, across the country, were fired up in a way that they hadn’t been fired up about voting since Bill Clinton played that saxophone on Arsenio Hall.

Side note: We talked cash shit about Hillary Clinton and that Crime Bill, and as someone who actually lived during that time, I can tell you that most of the Blacks and the Whites were 100% supportive of that Crime Bill. Yes, now we know better, obviously, but I think revisionist history put a stank on Hillary that she didn’t deserve.

A candidate that lights your political fire and gets your panties wet is a rarity, and that’s just real. Voting isn’t usually fun and mostly, you’ll be rolling your eyes as you pull the lever or fill in the bubbles, but it’s like any other chore you have to do – mow the lawn, rake the leaves – you just get it over with.

2. Voting actually does work.

I’d like to pooch on down to Brazil and have a look at their history and current political climate to illustrate my point. First, Brazil was the last country to abolish slavery, is reported to have imported more Africans for enslavement than any other country, and was considered one of the most brutal places to be enslaved (the average life expectancy of a slave was four years). The racism, police brutality, and abject poverty experienced by Blacks in Brazil rivals anything you’ve seen anywhere, including America. The country is currently ruled by President Michel Temer who aside from snatching services from millions of impoverished people, is a blatant advocate of violence as a tactic to suppress social justice movements. The safety of Black life is so precarious in Brazil that most activists have been terrorized into submission and silence.

Who should emerge in the midst of this but Marielle Franco. Marielle Franco, a Brazilian activist turned politician, was an outspoken activist against police brutality and extrajudicial killings, and a staunch supporter of the rights of Black women, and LGBTQIA people. Franco ran for city council and was supported by votes from primarily poor Black women and people living in favelas (these are the poorest of slums). On March 14, 2018, leaving a meeting, she and her driver were murdered by masked gun men – shot down in her car. You know what happened next — 1,237 Black women are now on the ballots for local, state, and federal elected positions in Brazil. These women have been activated to make change. They understand that change begins in the voting booth. They know that’s the place to demonstrate their power. Protests don’t matter because they are ruled by an administration (much like the one in America) that doesn’t give a damn about their little protests and will actually kill you in the street for having the audacity to hold up a sign critiquing the government. Knowing this story, and the story of all those who came before makes it hard for me to understand how people can say voting doesn’t matter. If these Black women, living under the shadow of the murder of their fearless leader can get the courage to not only vote, but to run for office, then I (and you too) can certainly go vote. It is the absolute LEAST we can do. #MarielleResists

3. You do realize there’s more than just presidential candidates on the ballot, right?

After you fill in your bubbles or pull your lever for the President or Senator or House Rep, you have the opportunity to vote for local issues, like allocation of funds for schools, youth programs, or new roads, like sheriffs and judges, like raising the minimum wage which research shows helps everybody. So do you really care about your community or are you just talking about it, because if you actually care, these are the kinds of issues that your vote directly affects, almost immediately?

4. I know you know this, but Black people died for this right to vote, and we shouldn’t forget that.

Listen, I know it’s been said to death but I feel compelled to say it again — Black people died, literally died, for the right to vote. During Reconstruction when Black people were trying to figure out how to survive in a country where they had nothing and no rights to get anything, one of the first demands was the right to vote because they recognized that their power was in their collective vote. Their collective vote was probably one of the only things they had during that time of deep, overt racism, aggression, and subjugation. Their collective vote was the only way they had to demonstrate their humanity. And if you don’t have some reverence in your heart for that, well, that’s a damn shame.

5. If the Supremacists and Republicans are working so hard to suppress your vote, it must be powerful.

Bruce Carter, who founded Black Men for Bernie, was seduced into the Trump campaign and paid good money by Trump and ‘dem to convince Black people to vote for Trump or not vote at all. According to Charles Blow’s op-ed, Russian interference in the 2016 election included direct attacks at the “woke” black vote. And it didn’t help that several prominent voices in the Black community – Colin Kaepernick, Mark Lamont Hill, Killer Mike, Michelle Alexander, J. Cole – were either dead set against Hillary Clinton or publicly denounced the act of voting. During one of Trump’s rallies, he is reported to have said in reference to the huge reduction in Black voters, “They didn’t come out to vote for Hillary. They didn’t come out. And that was a big — so thank you to the African-American community.”

Side note – I think we can all agree by now that Hillary Clinton, 1994 Crime Bill transgressions and all, would have been a far better leader than who White people elected. I think we can also agree that Black men who either didn’t vote or decided to vote third party like stupid ass Marc Lamont Hill, let misogyny outweigh their good sense.

Have you noticed that the same rhetoric used by supremacists to deter Black voters aligns with the rhetoric of the “I’m Black and too woke to vote” crew? If your argument against voting aligns with the arguments of Russian bots, you need to sit down and re-think your entire life because it went very, very wrong somewhere.

6. For now, with this current administration, voting is the most radical thing you can do.

They don’t want you to vote – their policies, their rhetoric, their rejection of your political needs proves that. That makes voting that much more important. Have you noticed that the fervor of the Black Liberation Movement has died down since Trump has been in office? By no fault of their own, their movement doesn’t matter in the same way it did with President Obama in office because these current dummies in office don’t care, at all, they aren’t even pretending to care. However, your local politicians who need your votes to stay in office, they actually might care a little, and the way the world is going, that sliver of possibility is enough for me.

 

Don’t listen to what these intellectuals are telling you online, take your Black ass to vote.

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Lena Waithe and Halle Berry Join BET for Boomerang Sequel

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Beloved screenwriter, Lena Waithe, will be joining Halle Berry in the BET 10 episode comedy series of Boomerang. The network wants to be clear in saying that this is a sequel and not an adaptation or reboot. Waithe will be co-writing the pilot with Insecure’s showrunner, Ben Corey Jones. The series is set to follow the children of Jacqueline Boyer and Marcus and Angela Graham as they try to create their own legacy away from their parent’s shadow.

Waithe commented on the goal of the project and said,

“This is less of a reboot and more of a continuation of the original story. There’s no point in trying to remake a classic. It can’t be done. So, we want to create something fresh that speaks to a new generation. We hope people will come to the show with an open mind and ready to embrace the new world we’ve created!”

Oscar-winning actress, Halle Berry, is also excited for the upcoming series saying,

“I’m thrilled to team up with Lena on this project as she is without a doubt a leading voice of her generation and a trailblazer in her own right. I’m truly excited to be a part of bringing this iconic and beloved film to the small screen.”

Boomerang is going to be one of the first projects announced for BET since former president, Debra Lee, left the company. The new president, Scott Mills, is equally enthusiastic for the collaboration of Berry and Waithe and says, “Partnering an icon such as Halle with a disruptor like Lena is a perfect blend for the creation of a project that tells a classic tale in a relevant voice.”

What do you guys think? Are you excited for the sequel or should they just leave it a movie? Let us know in the comments below.

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The Diversity JUMPED out: Savage x Fenty Fashion Show Gave us all the Inclusion we Needed

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Last night Savage x Fenty by Rihanna ended New York Fashion Week with a bang! The lingerie brand had an array of women from different skin tones to body types. Rih wanted to show the world that ANYONE can wear Savage x Fenty and feel sexy. There were even pregnant models featured in the show. Yes, pregnant. Get into the models and event down below:

 

Rihanna is taking the fashion industry by storm. Let’s hope other fashion brands can follow suit.

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