New on BGD

Skins Like Ours: Racial Violence and the Collective Consciousness

by Esther Harvey Across the world, Black and brown bodies are being gunned down in their homes by state authorities. Maybe this is too ineloquent, or blunt, a way to phrase this painful truth; at least, I do not hear these words being spoken, not by mainstream news sources or political officials. That is a hard truth to realise, and it sends a message: the lives of people of colour do not matter and can be callously thrown away at the whim of state authorities. Furthermore, when this truth is consistently presented to me as a seemingly unalterable pattern—the massacre in Gaza, the…

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All Grown Up Under Hip Hop

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by anna saini Everything started out fine between White Feminism and me. I grew up Brown in white suburbia. I learned to speak English. I sang “O Canada” and pledged allegiance to the Queen of England. I earned A’s and five stars and Student of the Month and teacher’s pet. I was a young lady (of color) in the making, a testament to second-wave feminist ideals of empowerment through education, opportunity, and self-actualization. It was decades later that I came to understand what Feminism meant, but White Feminism already set her site on me. It was around 1988 when the…

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Four Person-to-Person Things I Do to Address Anti-Blackness con Mi Gente

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by CarmenLeah Ascencio [caption id="attachment_2422" align="alignright" width="196"] My Mothers.[/caption] When my mothers married in 1989 I did not know that their union as a (non-black) Nuyorican and a black American was an anomaly for blacks and Latinxs in the U.S. I knew that their queerness was deviant, but not their black and brown love. I grew up thinking that black and brown love was innate, as I saw it in my family, my community and the history of unified black and brown liberation movements in the urban North East. It was not until I was older that I realized how…

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Remembering Zoraida: Why We Must Build an Anti-imperialist, Multi-Issue Immigrant Rights Movement

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[caption id="attachment_2409" align="alignleft" width="282"] Zoraida Reyes[/caption] by Kitzia Esteva-Martinez Zoraida Reyes was a trans woman and immigrant rights movement builder, working to weave transgender struggle and queer liberation into immigrant rights spaces. Zoraida was murdered, her body dumped in a parking-lot at a fast-food restaurant on June 12, 2014. The police have called her death “suspicious,” but have yet to declare it murder. Zoraida was my friend. She taught me to have dignity in my queer and migrant identities. Losing her is a tragedy and I want my entire community to fully feel the impact of her death, her murder,…

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I’m From Ferguson and I’m Tired and Fed-Up

by Diamond Latchison I’ve grown up in and out of the Ferguson-Florissant area of St. Louis, Missouri for nearly 17 years of my 21 years of life. I have seen the police act as though black people don’t matter. I’ve seen police mistreat black people in every aspect of racial profiling, including what we call ‘driving while black’. My father and brother have been victims of police harassment for ‘driving while black’, arrested multiple times because of it. My mother was arrested and held a day and a half in county jail because she had one tail-light out while she…

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Things To Stop Being Distracted By When A Black Person Gets Murdered By Police

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[caption id="attachment_2375" align="alignleft" width="224"] Mike Brown[/caption]   by Mia McKenzie A Black person is murdered by cops, security guards or self-appointed vigilantes every 28 hours in the U.S. The killing of an unarmed Black teenager named Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO, which has resulted in protests in that town and harsh police push-back and brutality against even more of its citizens, and which, via social media, has gotten the attention of people around the world, probably isn’t even the latest occurrence, at just three days old. Talking to people on Twitter about Mike Brown and what’s happening in Ferguson right…

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In Trepidatious Whispers: Speaking My Solidarity with Palestine

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by Pastor David Lewis-Peart  Friends and colleagues have called me anti-Semitic. An employer, too. I’ve received emails, held difficult conversations, been warned about repercussions related to my career by well-meaning friends. In all of this, I have been confused. I’m confused as to how my caring about the fate of others; how a Facebook repost here, any sign of solidarity there; how expressed upset over civilian deaths dismissed with “a right to defend” can be misconstrued as bigotry. I care about the Palestinian people because all of our lives matter. That’s exactly what my whole personal walk and professional work…

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Stones: A Story About Queer Black Men, Health, Alienation, and Loss

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by Crunch “They been hurtin’ for some months now, doc.” He said, talking outside of himself the way that folks can sometimes do when pain and time force them to be away from their bodies. Red didn’t like this—none of it—not the pain, not the possible problem, not the god awful lights that seemed to burn away any conviction held, not the doctor and her cold tongue. That’s why he smoked before coming. “Your kidneys?” “Is that what’s back here? I never knew where they was or what they did for real. I just knew that they was somewhere in…

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What HIV Testing is Like When You Are Queer, Black and Undocumented

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By Alan Pelaez Lopez   I can no longer cross borders— my lungs, alma, and mind, can no longer swim, so I have to hop; saltar and play hide-and-seek in what once was my land   Last fall, I received a call from an old partner I had not spoken to in six-months. In the middle of debating whether to answer or not, I accidentally accepted the call and heard his voice. I went to get tested and I’m HIV positive, you need to get tested, he quietly explained. He sounded tired, filled with the kind of panic that comes after…

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Shooting Stars: Another Shot Down In Our Streets

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by Kei X. Griot (Transcript) For little brother Lee Weathersby III, big brother Lamar, all those lost, all unnamed   Have you ever seen a black rose? Ebony petals Obsidian like the night. Ever clipped a rose or heard a drive by? Released the spirit of a flower into the sky? Heard a brother screaming out for help? Stayed inside, outta sight, without offering? Fear of being the next in coffin. Pick a rose, place it on the corner. How many been shot on my block on 94th? How many souls left cold in the heat? Ruled homicide without a…

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Capitalism, Racism, and Disableism: a ménage à trois that fucks all of us over

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 by Rory Judah Blank I live in Portland, a hip, growing city at the northernmost edge of Oregon. A haven for artists, activists, foodies, and queers, it’s the most bikeable city of its size in the United States…and also the whitest. To encourage bicycling, Portland placed the most coherent commuter corridor directly through a historically Black neighborhood. In North Portland, Williams and Vancouver Avenues run adjacent to Emmanuel Hospital where, in the 1970s, the City of Portland razed 300 black-owned homes and businesses, uprooting what was a flourishing Black community. Today, I watch as my poor/working class and Black neighbors…

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#TimeTitles and the Continuing Brilliance of Black Twitter Parody Hashtags

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By Mia McKenzie Y’all: I have a bit of a Twitter addiction. I’m working on it, but one of the reasons I find myself on Twitter SO MUCH is that really funny things happen and I love really funny things. For example: This past Wednesday, TIME Magazine ran a pretty ridiculous story unnecessarily explaining the word “bae”. What in the world does bae mean, anyway? they asked. And then went on to give “a primer on slang that Pharrell likes enough to put in the titles of his songs”. This was eye-roll-worthy for a couple of reasons. First of all,…

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Rollersets & Realness: Black Womanhood Defined as Drag Performance

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by Shaadi Devereaux I’m sitting on a plane now, in my flyest pair of kitten heels, hoop earrings, and a Hollywood Glam Lena Horne inspired rollerset to die for. The guy behind me refused to let me even begin to lift my luggage, before jumping up to stow it. I’m an unapologetic Black Trans woman who loves letting men hold doors for me almost as much as I enjoy decimating them in the boardroom. I make no qualms about my love of being a femme, even as I plant my stiletto square in the eye of cisheteropatriarchy. Coming down from…

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On Being Fat, Brown, Femme, Ugly, and Unloveable

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by Caleb Luna Falling in love is dangerous for brown boys because, under white supremacy, we are not people to love. Falling in love is dangerous for brown boys because people don’t see us as individuals to love. Colonization indoctrinates us into the romantic idolization of thinness, whiteness, and masculinity—in ourselves and others. How do I, as a fat, brown, femme, decolonize my desire so I can desire myself? How do I love myself in a world that tells me I am not lovable? How can I decolonize my desire so I won’t ever again compulsively glance at a skinny…

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