when you looking at your bank transactions like
"what the fuck did i spent $50 on at walmart?"
There are so many writers of color out there, and often what they get when they bring their books to their editors, they say, ‘We don’t relate to the character.’ Well it’s not for you to relate to! And why can’t you expand yourself so you can relate to the humanity of a character as opposed to the color of what they are?Anika Noni Rose in Vanity Fair, via this excellent Buzzfeed article on diversity in publishing. (via leeandlow)
A white college student from a private college goes into a poor neighborhood and volunteers four hours a week and that’s considered exemplary. [Whereas] a poor kid who lives in that community and takes care of all the kids in that neighborhood four hours every day is not seen as a volunteer.Patricia Hill Collins (via ethiopienne)
To women with daughters
hoping to raise subservient
Hand your daughter
before you give her
a kitchen knife.
Or better yet,
let her choose
her own weapon.
Teach her how to
manage a bank account
before you enlist her
to domestic service.
with a strong voice,
so that she may
those who may feel
her place better
than she does.
So no one
can make her
decisions for her.
Allow her to choose:
her own colours,
her own way,
her own likings.
She may not like
dresses after all,
what’s the harm?
to be independent,
to pursue her dreams.
You were not born
believing that your
body is a factory,
so why would
you impose the idea
on one of your own?
If you tell your daughter
that she is
in any way
less than a man,
the problem is that
she will eventually
I don’t usually discuss the story behind a piece of writing, but this one stands out.
My parents had a few families over for dinner recently and I wanted to help in the kitchen to the best of my ability. So I was putting clean dishes away, clearing out the ones from inside the sink, etc.
As I did this, one of the ladies said to me from behind me: “It’s wonderful that you’re helping your mother out, but don’t you dare do this when you’re married, or else your wife will never do any work! ”
It could have been a joke, but it wasn’t. Because she proceeded to cite examples of wives who did not do “what they were supposed to do.” Essentially, she was telling me that it’s perfectly fine to help my mother in the kitchen, but unacceptable to do the same for my wife when I’m married.
The problem with this is that she has two young daughters of her own, and she is raising them with this backwards mentality that men should be excluded from domestic work simply on the basis of biology, which is completely unacceptable.
Boys aren’t princes and girls aren’t slaves. There is nothing more special about a man which puts him above a woman. There is something incredibly wrong with this mentality, the fact that it persists and is being instilled into children from a young age.
— Nav K
Love this(via oliviaarti)
You may not agree with a woman, but to criticize her appearance — as opposed to her ideas or actions — isn’t doing anyone any favors, least of all you. Insulting a woman’s looks when they have nothing to do with the issue at hand implies a lack of comprehension on your part, an inability to engage in high-level thinking. You may think she’s ugly, but everyone else thinks you’re an idiot.Hillary Clinton (via neonchills)
http://m.newyorker.com/talk/2011/09/12/110912ta_talk_danticat?mbid=social_retweet (via melissathornton)
Edwidge Danticat, Flight: Memory Keepers for So-Called 9/11 “Jumpers.”:
My family in Haiti has been removing rubble from a school that was shattered during the earthquake of January 12, 2010. In the process, they have found bones, human bones. Because they are not scientists or DNA experts, it is impossible for them to trace the bones back to the bodies to which they once belonged: active, lively people who spoke and laughed and danced and loved.
Whose bones are these? they wonder. Do they belong to the bright student who was always first in her class, to a parent with whom a teacher had an appointment? Are they the teacher’s bones?
Listening in on phone conversations about the bones, I think of fossils dug up thousands and even millions of years after death. There is Lucy, the three-million-year-old Ethiopian; Otzi, the five-thousand-year-old Ice Man; and the casts of entire families buried beneath Pompeii.
It is the burden of the survivors and the curious to decipher final moments, whether they occurred a year, ten years, or a thousand years ago. Do they speak to the reality of a particular time, to the nature of death itself, or to an individual’s final instincts during his or her last moments on earth? In cases where we have a personal connection, we want to know whether our loved ones suffered. Did they have any regrets about things left undone, words unsaid? After two years, after ten years, there are still people around to look back and to remember. However, after a hundred, a thousand, or ten thousand years, the bones and images will have to speak for themselves.
The image that lingers most in my mind from September 11, 2001, is that of human beings attempting to fly—men and women catapulted from or fleeing a volcano-like inferno of fuel, fire, heat, and smoke, then cutting across a clear blue sky, down toward the ground. Some were alone. Some were in pairs. Some tried to make parachutes of ordinary things—curtains, clothes. One woman held on to her purse, perhaps thinking that she might need it on the very slight chance that she landed safely on the ground.
Televised tragedies make death—that most private of departures—public, national, global. No deaths were more public on September 11, 2001, than those of the so-called “jumpers,” a word that many have rightfully called a misnomer, because these were certainly not the deaths these people would have chosen for themselves.
We are often told that we must not compare tragedies, but how can we not when we experience them in the same body and with the same mind? Past horrors give us a language with which to define new ones. Worldwide terrors become personalized.
My father, for example, who woke me from a deep sleep in another part of New York, to tell me that the World Trade Center had been destroyed, died four years later, of pulmonary fibrosis—a disease that also struck many 9/11 first responders. He had spent part of that day in downtown Brooklyn, picking up people fleeing Manhattan and chauffeuring them home. That eerie coincidence is one more thing that links September 11th to all the other horrors that my father endured in his life, including a brutal dictatorship.
My father was extremely critical of the television stations that showed the so-called jumpers. Yes, the images were shocking and deeply unsettling, but they also rendered undeniable the true horror of that day, even though, like bones, they mostly tell one story, the final one. The job of reconstructing lives belongs to the living, the memory keepers, which is what all of us became that day, willing or unwilling witnesses, unable to look away.
A few days after September 11th, when I ventured near the still smoky ashes of the World Trade Center, I kept thinking about a clear blue sky that had rained lives. I got on a bus filled with other ordinary New Yorkers whose eyes were still teary and red, and whose mouths and noses were covered with dust masks. Besides the shared sensation of having been shattered, though, there was also a feeling of community: having gone through this with the city, wherever in the world you had been born you were now a lifelong New Yorker. Those of us who were from countries that have always been, in their own ways, terrorized could now be counsellors to our previously sheltered friends, but only barely. For, no matter how much we immerse ourselves in communal grieving, we all carry within ourselves our own private memorials of loss and an increasing fear of future ones.
Watching any disaster, from near or far, makes us aware that memorials are not only places but also experiences. Acts of remembrance can surface out of daily rituals, even interrupted ones. A place setting left unused at a dinner table. An oversized shoe into which we slip a foot. A prayer whispered over unclaimable bones.
Though I occasionally suffer from a fear of flying, during the past ten years getting on an airplane has become for me an act of remembrance. Each necessary surrender to every new, sometimes frustrating security measure is an acknowledgment that I, too, am attempting to glide on wind currents on borrowed wings while also hoping—praying—to land safely on the ground.
The New Yorker
“Black men and boys” have been the target of the war on drugs’ racist policies—stopped, frisked and disturbed—“often before they’re old enough to vote…Those youths are arrested most often for nonviolent first offenses that would go ignored in middle-class white neighborhoods…Here are white men poised to run big marijuana businesses, dreaming of cashing in big—big money, big businesses selling weed—after 40 years of impoverished black kids getting prison time for selling weed, and their families and futures destroyed. Now, white men are planning to get rich doing precisely the same thing?” ~~Michelle Alexander
If you haven’t read her book “The New Jim Crow” please do. You will not regret it.
I have no mercy or compassion in me for a society that will crush people, and then penalize them for not being able to stand under the weight.Malcolm X | The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1964)