HD in tumblr-land....

still angry after all these years

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Like all mythology, that of the criminally bad Black mother spread through storytelling—lurid tales told with bitter resentment. Haven’t you heard the one about the jaywalking mother whose son was hit by a drunk driver? Surely you know all about the homeless mother who left her two children in the car during a job interview. And now there’s the McDonald’s mother who abandoned her daughter at the playground.

But what do these stories leave out? Our welfare system is designed to put everyone to work regardless of circumstance. Unfortunately, the low-wage jobs attainable for most mothers lead to a parental quagmire. Between low paychecks and inflexible work schedules, how is one to arrange for adequate child care? With no apparent options, the answer is often that they simply cannot.

Such women, it’s been repeated to you, are bad mothers who deserve to be punished, and increasingly we’re doing just that. Indeed, the mythology of bad Black mothers was never just a part of our cultural folklore—it’s entrenched in our legal system.

Over the last three decades, the population of incarcerated women has grown by over 800%, and women of color have been locked up at disproportionately high rates. African American women are three times more likely than White women to be thrown in jail or prison.

The justice system doles out particularly harsh punishments for infractions that relate to motherhood. Although pregnant Black and White women take drugs at similar rates, expecting Black mothers are 10 times more likely to be reported to child welfare for drug use, according to the Drug Policy Alliance.

Mandatory minimum sentencing has slowly eliminated judicial discretion and exacerbated the racial disparities. In addition, most child maltreatment laws and definitions of neglect are very vague, leaving room for prejudice based on race, class and gender to creep in. One in nine Black children have an incarcerated parent. Who stands to gain from this?

Noah Remnick

Quote is from Debra Harrell and The Mythology of Bad Black Mothers in The Los Angeles Times. Though she is out of jail now, she was subsequently fired from her job and her daughter remains in state custody. @prisonculture shared a link for a fundraiser for her at You Caring.

I am fascinated (as in repulsed) by the people pretending to care about the well-being of her daughter—by ignoring all of the structural inequalities and lack of options for Debra—suggesting that she could’ve been kidnapped playing at the busy child park. If they care then they must care about the structural problems that lead to lack of options. And if they care, then they have a funny way of showing it since when Black girls and even adult Black women go missing, there is less concern, less media coverage and often they are marked off as “runaways.” So now Black girls are capable of being taken? I know Harrell was in a bind that poverty creates and even those all about bootstraps magically have no answer for the fact that McDonald’s fired her because they don’t pay her enough to afford childcare. And she worked

Take a look at Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment by Patricia Hill Collins; she goes further than this article did as to how the mythology of the “inherently” bad Black mother came about and how it unironically co-exists with the “thoughtful mammy” who raises any children (especially White ones) “well,” except her own. Critical read. 

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The Black body, more so of women, have stood on the opposite side of the narrow Eurocentric standards of beauty. Black hairstyles have defiantly rebelled against and even when straightened added creative magic of Blackness and Boldness. 

Black hair, whether relaxed or natural, locked or shaven is beautiful. Black women are beautiful. 

still one of my favorite post. 🙌

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This is my dear friend, Charity Hicks. Charity transitioned recently after being hit by a car in New York. She was there attending a conference that she was going to be speaking at about the water situation in Detroit. I love this video because it speaks to both her work and her deep utter humanity.

Charity is a part of the resistance happening in Detroit right now against the unjust and violent water shut offs, even as she has transitioned on. She is one of the many Detroit organizers that helped to bring this situation out into the world. Her family is a working class family that also had their water shut off—and now is struggling to afford burial costs, time off from work, medical expenses, etc.

You can help her family by donating here: http://www.gofundme.com/wagelove or reblogging this so others can see it. I can’t tell you how important this is to me without doing the ugly cry—but anyway you can help—whether it’s a couple of bucks or a couple of hundred bucks—or a reblog/retweet/etc—it is deeply deeply appreciated and means SO much.

Thank you.

please help

(Source: vimeo.com)

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1970s Cinema Divas

Diana Ross/Cicely Tyson/Diahann Carroll/Pam Grier/ Rosalind Cash/Diana Sands/Teresa Graves/Vonetta McGee/Nichelle Nichols/Tamara Dobson/Paula Kelly/Lola Falana/Lonette McKee/Denise Nicholas/Abbey Lincoln/Judy Pace/Irene Cara/Brenda Sykes

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BREAKING: 64,000 Missing Women in America All Have One Important Thing in Common [TW: Racism, Ethnocentrism, White Privilege]


The news: This is Phoenix Coldon.


Image Credit: Madame Noire

On Dec. 18, 2011, she drove her 1998 Chevy Blazer out of her family driveway in St. Louis County, Mo., at 3 p.m. Three hours later, the vehicle was found at an intersection 25 minutes away in East St. Louis. The driver’s door was open, the car was empty and the engine was still running.

Phoenix was 23 years old. She hasn’t been seen or heard from since.


Image Credit: Google Maps

The Coldons commemorated their daughter’s 26th birthday on May 23, a bittersweet moment considering the circumstances. But her disappearance represents a much larger problem: As of today, more than 64,000 black women remain missing across the United States.

Background: The Daily Mail explored this phenomenon in early 2012, and recently reposted their story to draw new attention to the issue. The statistics, in addition to others published by the FBI and the nonprofitBlack and Missing Foundation, paint a grim picture of race and disappearance in America.


Image Credit: Daily Mail (Note: Image is from 2012)

The numbers: Despite representing 12.85% of the population, black Americans accounted for nearly 226,000 — or 34% — of all missing persons reported in 2012. According to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center, the comparison with other racial groups is unfavorable: Whites and Hispanics are a combined 80.1% of the population, but account for 60% of missing persons.

This is especially troubling when you break down the numbers by age. Black and Missing reports that 37% of missing minors and 28.2% of missing adults in 2013 were black. No fewer than 270,000 minorities have gone missing since 2010, 135,000 of whom were black and 64,000 were black women, according to theAtlanta Black Star.

Image Credit: Black and Missing Foundation

It gets worse: The reasons for these disappearances vary, and cannot all be attributed to foul play. But a telling pattern emerges in how they’re documented by the media, with critics citing a stark racial divide innews coverage of such incidents.

Essence points to a 2010 report titled “Missing Children in National News Coverage,” which found that while black children accounted for 33.2% of missing children that year, the media exposure rate was an unimpressive 19.5%. While black men go missing at statistically higher rates, coverage of black female disappearances is particularly telling in light of the attention similar stories get when white women are involved.

"If you Google ‘Natalee Holloway,’ how many impressions would you get?" Black and Missing cofounder Natalie Wilson told ABC News last year. “If you Google ‘Unique Harris,’ who’s missing from D.C., the story is not the same.”

Image Credit: AP

She added, “We cannot wait until the news cycle. We have to get this information out right away. Our people deserve to be found. We deserve awareness so that their families can get closure.”

The reasons: Natalie and her sister Derrica Wilson started the Black and Missing Foundation in 2008 specifically to raise awareness and provide resources, advocacy and pressure around this issue. Derrica has a background in law enforcement. Among the reasons she cites for disproportionate black disappearance figures are poor training and dismissive attitudes.

"I spent six months at the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Training Academy in Ashburn, Va., where we had only two hours of training on missing persons cases,” she told Essence. “In the field, I’ve seen a majority of black missing children classified as runaways, who don’t get Amber Alerts.”

Plus: “For black adults, police usually link their disappearances to criminal activity, so they aren’t valued as much. Training needs to be enhanced so police forces know how to handle these cases.”

Natalie told the Daily Mail that lack of newsroom diversity also skews the way black missing persons are covered by the media. And while the plight of missing black women has received more coverage of late (albeit notably through international cases, like the 276 Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in April), it’s still not nearly at a conscionable level.

So many remain missing: The families of girls and women like Relisha RuddKamira BaxterCerra LapsleyMakayla Randall and many others still anguish over their missing loved ones. Phoenix Coldon’s family has spent their entire life savings and countless hours searching, posting flyers, distributing mailers, maintaining a Facebook page and appearing on TV and radio shows in a relentless effort to find their daughter.

"Some people say that they are impressed with our efforts to find Phoenix," mother Goldia Coldon told theHuffington Post. ”But I feel that we have not done enough I don’t know what else to do.”

As the numbers clearly indicate, the Coldons are not alone. And so the search continues.

Source: Zak Cheney-Rice for Mic