What If We Were Free?: Riley Curry and Blackgirl Freedom

rboylorn for Crunk Feminist Collective

Children are unpredictable which is what makes them wonderful. They are expressive and creative and hopeful and forgiving, and until they are taught to be otherwise, free. But black children are not often allowed to be free. They can’t afford to be free. Their parents have to teach them the rules of being a black child, not for respectability, but for survival. So for many black children, their behavior is restricted from an early age. They are conditioned, especially in public, to be seen and not heard. These lessons and warnings, however, are missed on a toddler. She doesn’t understand that people are reading and scripting her through stereotypes (misogynoir for blackgirls), and she is not concerned about the ways her ease and comfort make others uncomfortable. She’s free and I, for one, celebrate her freedom as rebellion against those who don’t want her to be as free as she is, perhaps as free as she’ll ever (get to) be.

“Are you the nanny?”: The awkward encounters of a mixed-race family in the suburbs
Krystal A. Sital for Salon

It’s hard to be new anywhere, but I’m tired of being the one to carry the embarrassment and the self-consciousness of these inquiries. So when Amelia seeks me out one day, squealing with a new discovery, “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” and the inevitable gazes find me, this time, I do something that has been stewing in me since my first encounter with discrimination. This time I want to put them in their place.

My baby daughter, Emelina, claws at my chest as she always does whenever she smells me, and with the swiftness of a ninja (and months of practice), I unclip my nursing bra, let loose my ample bosom, and bring her mouth to my nipple while saying to Amelia, “Beautiful job. Do you want to color another picture for Mommy?” I allow my eyes to travel from woman to woman until they drop their gaze. Let them feel the shame for a while.

I Lost My Pregnancy. And Gained a New Perspective on 20-Week Abortion
SARAH RUSSO for DAME magazine

If my daughter had failed to grow a heart or a brain, if she had Neimann-Pick or Tay-Sachs, I might have chosen to terminate; to save myself and to save her from even more pain than we had already suffered. I say might because I can’t know definitively what I would do until presented with that situation. And I can say that to you because I am honest with myself, because I have no illusions about the emotional conflict that a woman experiences even during a healthy pregnancy. I can also confess that at this time, I may not make the choice to have an abortion. But I am adamant that I am the only person who has the right to make that choice. Not a legislator, not anyone but me. Women are not idiots. We are not children in need of management; not frivolous little creatures who need our decisions made for us. We make hard choices every single day for our families, our survival, for our health, for our children.

Lawyer Wants To Make Malia Obama His Bride By Paying Her Dad In Cows And Sheep‏
Valerie Williams for Mommyish.

In a story that honestly sounds like a sick joke, we have a Kenyan lawyer who has been pining for Malia Obama since the 2008 election when she was only nine years old (hence, the sick part) and wants to make her his wife. In exchange, he is offering President Obama and the First Lady a dowry of several farm animals. Yes, he is serious. No, I cannot even. I am not mocking Kenyan wedding traditions. I know this is their way of life and I do not judge it. I am mocking the ridiculousness of anyone thinking they can purchase the teenage daughter of the American president as his bride.

Once Homeless Teen Mom Is Now Valedictorian Who’s Been Awarded Over $600,000 in Scholarships
Diana Ozemebhoya Fromosele for

Trameka Pope, a Chicago high school senior, gave birth to a baby girl the summer after eighth grade and decided then that she wasn’t going to become a statistic. Now she has more than 26 college-acceptance letters and has been awarded more than $600,000 in scholarships, People magazine reports. “I was told that God don’t make mistakes and he wouldn’t give anyone a child who wasn’t ready for one.”

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Denene Millner

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.

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