Today, the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics was held in South Korea. The opening ceremony is the commencement of a week-long event that is the most watched sporting event across the globe. Even though I am not a sports fanatic, I think it’s important that we tune in. This year there are several firsts for persons of color in the United States and in other countries. Geographically, darker skinned persons are closer to the equator, which means most of us live in areas of warmth. The farther you go from the equator, the less black/brown people you see which is probably why it is uncommon to see persons of color competing in winter/snow/ice sports. A few years ago, a friend of mine asked me if I was interested in going on a ski trip and this was my reaction:
Personally, I have an aversion to cold weather and snow, so I was not interested! There’s this notion that all black people must feel this way and of course, that’s not true. But once it hits around 60 degrees in the deep south where I’m from, we pull out our faux fur snow boots from Shoe Carnival, bubble jackets from Wish.com, and thermal shirts from Old Navy just to take out the trash.
Anyway, I said all that to say that despite the stereotype, black people are still showing up and out at the 2018 Winter Olympics. As a kid, I remember being awe watching the figure skaters twirl in their beautiful outfits with such grace, I never thought I could be one since, at that time, none of them looked like me. According to Buzzfeed, “Of the 2,952 athletes competing at this year’s Winter Olympics, only 41 (1.39-percent) of those athletes are black”. Isn’t that something?
This year Maame Biney, the first African-American speed skater to qualify for Team USA will be in the competition. Also, the first Nigerian bobsled team which consists of Seun Adigun, Akuoma Omeoga, and Ngozi Onwumere will be in the running for the gold. Next, Elana Meyers Taylor will return for the third time to represent the U.S. in bobsledding, the most ever for a woman of color. Shani Davis is also a returning medalist who will be competing in the speed skating competition, representing the U.S. Akwasi Frimpong is another highly anticipated first-time Olympian who is representing Ghana in the sport called Skeleton. This is only a brief list, but needless to say, black people across the globe are showing out per usual and I’m excited to see it.
The Olympics are being broadcast on NBC and it’s available to stream online 24/7. You can watch from your laptop, phone or any internet enabled device. Check it out by clicking HERE.
BET Awards 2020 | REVIEW
Beyoncé Drops New Song “Black Parade” [LISTEN]
Beyoncé celebrates Juneteenth with her new song “Black Parade“. Take a listen.
Also, listen to the extended version exclusively on Tidal.
Noname Drops “Song 33” in Response to J. Cole Diss
Chicago musician Noname has responded to J. Cole in her latest release “Song 33.” If you recall, two days ago we broke down the Noname/J.Cole beef and why many were calling Cole’s controversial song “Snow on Tha Bluff” misogynist and patriarchal. Noname appears to address the diss track and more on her latest release “Song 33.”
As soon as you press play the track hits you right in the feels. A sample saying “Oh, I have ambitions, dreams / But dreams don’t come cheap” opens the song, then immediately we listen to Noname discuss the patriarchal society in which Black women are forced to exist – a society that undervalues and ignores Black women. She said Oluwatoyin Salu’s name.
I saw a demon on my shoulder / it’s looking like patriarchy
Like scrubbing blood off the ceiling and bleaching another carpet
She takes aim at J. Cole for staying silent while Black women routinely “go missing,” yet immediately having something to say when she called him out on it.
One girl missing another one go missing / One girl missing another
But niggas in the back quiet as a church mouse / Basement studio when duty calls to get the verse out
Noname lists all the brutalities happening to Black people and Black women while at the same time, calling him to action. She reminds us Black women are going missing.
I guess the ego hurt now / It’s time to go to work / Wow
Look at him go / He really ‘bout to write about me when the world is in smokes?
When it’s people in trees?
She then criticizes the internet at large for being too easily distracted by the “beef” and losing sight of “the new world order.”
It’s trans women being murdered and this is all he can offer?
And this is all y’all receive? / Distracting you from the convo wit organizers
They talkin abolishing the police
This the new world order
Noname has always been an outspoken champion for Black women’s rights, often bringing attention to crimes committed against Black women that regularly go unheard. In her response to J. Cole, the musician again uses her platform to not only highlight the inherent patriarchy that causes so many Black female victims of violent crime to go unnoticed and forgotten, but to also galvanize Cole, to publicly and boldly challenge him and everyone listening to be the vanguards of a more just and equitable society.
Noname’s call to action is one that has been repeated by women of color for years. Tarana Burke (below), a woman of color and the founder of the “Me Too” Movement, initially began saying the phrase to remind women of color that they are not alone when they struggle with coping with sexual harassment and sexual assault.
Kimberlé Crenshaw (below), another woman of color and an outspoken feminist and civil rights activist, coined the term “intersectionality” to explain the myriad obstacles Black women face in society and how those obstacles compound on one another to create a unique brand of discrimination against them.
As we take each and every day, but especially this Juneteenth, to reflect on the painful history of the United States and remember the priceless cost of freedom, we must heed Noname’s call and begin to acknowledge the ways we Black Americans are not free, the ways Black women are not free.
And we must do it in a QUEEN TONE!!!