#BlackGirlMovement National Conference, April 7-9

I am in New York City this weekend to attend the first Black Girl Movement National Conference. I am so excited about attending this event/this special moment in history. As a black girl, I feel that issues I have faced in my lifetime are not often addressed. I am extremely proud of my alma mater Columbia University for developing and sponsoring this much-needed meeting on the state of black girls past, present, and in the future. 

If you are interested in checking out this black girl magical moment, click

here

for more details or check it out on livestream

here

.  

Black Girl Movement: A National Conference” is a three-day gathering at Columbia University in New York City to focus on Black girls, cis, queer, and trans girls, in the United States. Bringing together artists, activists, educators, policymakers, and black girls leaders themselves, this first national conference on Black girls seeks to address the disadvantages that Black girls in the United States face, while creating the political will to publicly acknowledge their achievements, contributions, and leadership.Girl Movement: A National Conference” is a three-day gathering at Columbia University in New York City to focus on Black girls, cis, queer, and trans girls, in the United States. Bringing together artists, activists, educators, policymakers, and black girls leaders themselves, this first national conference on Black girls seeks to address the disadvantages that Black girls in the United States face, while creating the political will to publicly acknowledge their achievements, contributions, and leadership.

#29DaysOfBlackness: Outfit of the Day 4.0 (and a Langston Hughes poem)

I got this shirt in 2008 as part of a set of voting-themed clothing, and it is still dope as F*ck!

Shirt: "I, too, Sing America" t-shirt by Ragamuffin Clothing (company has since closed but still love the shirt) || Earrings: Large Adinkra Sankofa earrings by

Seiwa Akoto

I, too, sing America

I am the darker brother.

They send me to eat in the kitchen when company comes.

But I laugh.

And eat well. 

And grow strong. 

Tomorrow, I'll be at the table.

When company comes, nobody'll dare say to me,

"Eat in the kitchen," then. 

Besides, they'll see how beautiful I am and be ashamed.

I, too, am America

--Langston Hughes 

#29DaysofBlackness: "Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou

Dr. Maya Angelou is hands down one of my favorite creatives---poet, author, actress, dancer, activist, and black girl magic practitioner. The first time I heard her poem "Still I Rise" as a young girl,  I was mesmerized by the beauty and power of Maya Angelou's words. My favorite line of the poem is "Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave." These words emboldens me to live my best and most authentic life by highlighting 

the strength, determination, and resilience of my ancestors.

*"Still I Rise" From Frank Morrison Cutest Kids Collection.*

Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?

Why are you beset with gloom?

'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells

Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops.

Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?

Don't you take it awful hard

'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines

Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?

Does it come as a surprise

That I dance like I've got diamonds

At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame

I rise

Up from a past that's rooted in pain

I rise

I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,

Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

I rise

Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear

I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

I rise.

Special Holiday Message For (Some Of) My Friends and Family

In this episode of "The Read,"Crissle gave one of the dopest reads I have heard this year. Because she said it so well, I am going to use her words unfiltered to give a special message to some of my friends and my family for this holiday and for the new year (note: if you feel like I am talking to you, I probably am. Take note so you don't get the wrong end of my holiday cheer this year. Or, disown me, unfriend, delete my birthday, and keep my name out of your mouth).

Here is an excerpt of Crissle's read for family members that may want to open their mouth to make you feel small or less than because they have a problem with how you live your life:

"Do not let anybody start shit with you this year. A lot of us are encouraged to keep quiet, be nice, and just get along or don't say nothing, or respect elders--that's a big one. Or don't rock the damn boat. And don't be like this on Christmas and don't make it awkward. No, fuck them. Niggas shouldn't make you feel awkward. It's not your fault for retaliating. It's they fault for having the nerve to say something to you in the first fucking place. It's not your fault. You not wrong. You should not be admonished for say 'hey fuck you, I'm a grown ass adult and I'm going to do whatever I want. I like my body. I like my hair. I like my life. And you don't get to tell me that it needs to be any different.' Fuck them niggas. Don't let your uncle, aunty, grandma, niece, nephew, play cousin, don't let nobody try you this year. Cuss them niggas out and let them know you are not the one."

(The full episode for your listening pleasure)

White Terrorist Bingo: Planned Parenthood Edition

Head over to your local news outlet and see how many of the key words they pull out during a mass shooting report. Get five in a row and you win

a bulletproof blanket

(adult and kid sizes available). Join the fun, folks. Because demonizing black and brown shooting victims and humanizing white domestic terrorists are all part of what makes America "Great."

(On a serious note: If you haven't already, check out the web series Decoded on youtube. MTV Decoded is a weekly series on MTV News where the fearless Franchesca Ramsey tackles race, pop culture, and other uncomfortable things, in funny and thought-provoking ways. Half sketch comedy, half vlog. New episodes every Wednesday.)

What I Am Reading: World War Z By Max Brooks

Moving forward with my movie-to-book reading series, I am currently reading "World War Z: An Oral History Of The Zombie War" by Max Brooks. I heard a few things about the book after the 2013 movie of the same starring Brad Pitt premiered, particularly that the movie was an adaptation of the book in name only.

I am half way through "World War Z" and I can see why fans of the book were so upset about the movie. The book and the movie are thematically two different stories. The book is a series of different people's accounts of the worldwide zombie outbreak and war, as told to the interviewer/narrator. The movie (which I enjoyed despite my fear of zombies), is an action/adventure zombie movie, which features fast running zombies, armed forces fighting zombie hordes, a worldwide search for a cure, a plane crash, and a tense final scene set in a World Health Organization infectious diseases research laboratory.

I don't understand what Brad Pitt and his production company Plan B were thinking when they wrote, shot, and produced the 2013 movie, under the title "World War Z." The book's plot reminds me a more of Steven Soderbergh's 2011 multi-narrative "medical outbreak" movie "Contagion", which featured an all-star ensemble cast of Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Marion Cotillard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, and Matt Damon, than the  single-narrative "28 Days Later"-type ravenous infected/zombie movie that Pitt and co. created.

Because I was expecting the book to be an action-packed zombie thriller like the movie, I have been a bit disappointed with the book's plot and pacing. So far, there has been more stories of people's reactions to the zombie outbreak than of them fighting, encountering, or fleeing from zombies. But, there are some really interesting stories about people's encounters with zombies and the absolute ineptitude of some world governments in dealing with the initial outbreak of the zombie plague.   

If you are planning on checking out "World War Z: An Oral History Of The Zombie War," I highly suggest you get the

newest audiobook version of this novel,

which features a star-filled voice cast including Common, Alfred Molina, Martin Scorsese, Mark Hamil, Rob Reiner, John Turturro, and many more.  

Book Summary: 

We survived the zombie apocalypse, but how many of us are still haunted by that terrible time? We have (temporarily?) defeated the living dead, but at what cost? Told in the haunting and riveting voices of the men and women who witnessed the horror firsthand, World War Z is the only record of the plague years. 

CB4 - I'm Black Y'all

Woke up this song on my soul. I am about to get very BLACK on my students today. We are going to be talking about power, racism, police brutality, protest, and the criminalization of black bodies in my Social Inequality class and I am coming with Facts--video of Laquan McDonald's police-sanctioned brutal murder, pictures of student-led protests across this nation, and a poignant tweet about the recent Planned Parenthood shooting and the police's treatment of that violent murder versus their treatment of young unarmed black men around this country. STAY WOKE, FOLKS! #veryblackproject

Quit the Job You Hate & Find the Right Career

"It doesn’t matter how far you might rise...At some point, you are bound to stumble. … And when you do, remember this: there is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction."  -Oprah Winfrey

Jesse Williams Speaks The Truth

I wish that I could articulate the many issues that are plaguing people of color in America today as well as Jesse Williams does. He is inspiring, passionate, and informative. Check out the video and let me know what you think.


Every once in a while, a brave soul comes along that is willing to put his career on the line to speak for his people when most would shy a way….Like Mohamed Ali, now is this guy. #RESPECT
Posted by Africlandpost on Monday, August 10, 2015