MyBrownBaby Fresh links to stories I was digging this week…
How Reality TV Has Changed Our Daughters
Janelle Harris for TheRoot.com
I’ve learned that despite surrounding her with the feminist energy I thought she would absorb by osmosis, just growing up in a household with a mother who so vehemently advocates for the power of women isn’t enough. I need to be more explicit in my counteraction of what reality TV is telling her generation. It needs to be even more deliberate, even more in-your-face than the culture that’s peddling antagonism, hostility and distrust of girls who look like her, who she more than likely shares commonalities with than she needs to be wary of.
Race and Overreaction: On the Streets and in Schools
Mica Pollock and Tanya Coke for The Atlantic.
Federal data released in March 2014 show that black students are suspended at three times the rate of their white counterparts. Research from the collaborative reveals that these disparities routinely aren’t explained by more serious misbehavior by black and brown children: White children doing the same things often get less punitive consequences. Excessive discipline comes at a steep cost. Studies show a single suspension in the ninth grade is correlated with a doubled chance of dropping out and that suspended or expelled students are three times as likely to end up in the juvenile justice system. In both schooling and policing, then, young people of color—especially black girls and boys—are disciplined and punished excessively far too often for minor behaviors, with consequences lethal to their life prospects.
John Lee Fisher for Medium.com
“Get away from me,” she said. “My father told me not to play with niggers!”
That’s when I realized that being called nigger was not a compliment. There was something about the way she said it, the way she sucked on the syllables like chewing tobacco and spit them out. My heart sunk. My soul emptied as she walked away. I felt completely and totally alone and also ashamed.The circle of life and death.
I’m Going Back to Indian Wells
Serena Williams for Time.com
It has been difficult for me to forget spending hours crying in the Indian Wells locker room after winning in 2001, driving back to Los Angeles feeling as if I had lost the biggest game ever—not a mere tennis game but a bigger fight for equality. Emotionally it seemed easier to stay away. There are some who say I should never go back. There are others who say I should’ve returned years ago. I understand both perspectives very well and wrestled with them for a long time. I’m just following my heart on this one. I’m fortunate to be at a point in my career where I have nothing to prove.
Boobs, Booze, and Black People Hair: A Thorough Review of ‘Black or White’
Ijeoma Oluo for The Stranger
This movie is two hours of black people walking up to white people and yelling “BLACK” and white people yelling “WHY YOU GOTTA MAKE IT ABOUT RACE” over and over again. In this movie, most young black men are the thugs you fear. But if you are a benevolent drunk white dude, you can see past that and understand that every violent crack-smoking black man is really just a sad kid who never learned how to read. White men who yell “street nigger” aren’t really racist, they just love boobs. And if we all just beat the living shit out of each other, we’ll realize that fighting is dumb, black men make horrible parents, and old drunk white dudes really are our best option.
Novelist’s ‘Disgruntled’ Heroine Is Drawn From Her Own Childhood
An interview with Asali Solomon for NPR’s Fresh Air.
“Disgruntled: A Novel” is rich with perceptions about race and class. It also explores the impact of divorce, and what it’s like to have a parent use politics and philosophy as a justification for irresponsible behavior. And finally, it describes the alienation of a child who has had an adult philosophy imposed upon her — a scenario Solomon knows well. “It is very hard to be a child living a righteous lifestyle and explain that to your friends and still be a part of things,” she says.
Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.