New on BGD

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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De-Centering Whiteness Through Radical Accountability in QTPOC Community

by Jezebel Delilah X The Fourth of July is fast approaching and all across the land radical people of color** will take to the internet, ranting about the continued celebration of genocide, colonization, and imperialism. When we preach against the legacy this holiday affirms, and in fact in all of our collective critique, it often feels like our connection is predominately rooted in how hurt we are by the groups that have harmed us, rather than a shared desire to support, love, and heal each other independently. White people or straight, cis gendered folk don’t need to be around in…

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Jovany Eats Her Left Index Finger

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by Nikkiesha N. McLeod At 3:00 A.M., she wakes up from a nightmare, anxiously tosses the covers aside and runs to the window. Completely soaked in her own sweat, she peeps through the curtains, wondering if the man she believed was following her all day was outside waiting to come and take her away. She first spotted his shadow during her lunch break. His presence was odd for the neighborhood: black suit and tie, black shiny shoes, unrecognizable face covered by sunglasses. His shadow followed her into the deli near her job. It stood, too calmly, behind her—a calm which…

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Tired Of My Sisters Getting Killed

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by Monica Roberts ‘The dehumanizing transphobic rhetoric needs to stop because anti-trans hate thoughts can morph into anti-trans hate speech that leads to anti-trans hate violence.’ –Monica Roberts, BGD. May 2014. I wrote those words in last month’s BGD column, and unfortunately they have manifested themselves in real life a month later. After a relatively quiet year so far in terms of US based trans women facing murderous anti-trans violence aimed at us, the month of June has suddenly become a deadly one for my trans sisters of color. First there was 40 year old Kandy Hall, whose lifeless body…

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Chibok Girls and Black Women’s Resistance Work

Chekwube O. Danladi

by Chekwube O. Danladi In April, more than 230 schoolgirls were kidnapped by Boko Haram militants in the north-eastern Nigerian village of Chibok and it all feels very close. My maternal family from Nigeria are based primarily around the federal district to Plateau State to Kano to Maiduguri. We are mostly Hausa speaking and follow a variety of religious traditions. We come from communities in Northern Nigeria like Chibok, and these 200+ girls, who look so much like us, who speak like us, whose voices and names and truths echo our own, are our girls. They are our sisters, our…

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Bathroom Talk

Juliana Delgado Lopera

by Juliana Delgado Lopera Official Version: Ya te desarrollaste, ya eres toda una mujer. You’re a woman. Unofficial Version: At the dining table: Lip-gloss, mascara, Marlboro, green turtleneck, (small) gold hoop earrings, secret babies, secret body parts. At the dining table: I drag Mami to the bathroom by her sweater. Qué pasó? She says, bothered. We’re at my grandmother’s apartment, inside the guest’s bathroom that reeks of Fabuloso. Outside is a cacophony of women’s voices, my tías lighting Marlboro after Marlboro, complaining about the ineptitude of their husbands. Half of the walls are pink because two years before, my grandmother…

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I Was Sexually Assaulted By Someone I Thought Was A Feminist And An Ally

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by Anonymous Years ago, I was in a serious relationship with someone I thought embodied the epitome of allyship.  He believed in collectivism, prison reform and feminist ideals.  When we first met we spent hours talking about social justice, anti-racism and how patriarchy was disappointingly widespread.  A scholar of African American Studies, I thought he was everything I had been looking for—a radical public intellectual and a partner. Six months into our relationship, we had an argument about his incomparable desire for biological children.  He said he required his female partner carry his children, but I was hesitant. Years of organizing with foster youth…

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Brown Girl, Heal

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(For Karyn) By Sadia Hassan The summer I decide to leave Dartmouth, I attend a wedding in Oneonta, New York. My aunt does not know that after the wedding, I will catch a flight to Atlanta to give my parents the news before heading to Seattle to heal out of sight. I do not tell her I am disappearing to save myself from the violence of an institution that can only read me as deficient, disabled, disadvantaged when I am beautiful, brilliant, brave. The only person who knows is Halmaan; a cousin teetering between a slow death via substance abuse…

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Lost Woman’s Battle Cry: Dyscalculia and My War With Math

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by Aries Hines For eleven thousand, three hundred and seventy eight days of my black, queer, fierce femme life, I’ve battled with how easy it was for me to get lost. While in school, math treated me worse than my first love and my favorite x, worse than I could ever treat myself. With every math class I encountered, I felt insecure, incapable, ashamed and, eventually, painfully accustomed to failure. The stress I experienced was traumatic and unnecessary; so, today, I stand here, with red lips and open arms, sharing my experience with learning disability realness. No one ever told…

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#smashthecistem: beyond #yesallwomen and #allmencan

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by Lan Pham On May 23 of this year, Elliot Rodgers undertook a killing spree, in which he shot and killed six people and, then, himself. Rodgers’ stated motivations explicitly included misogyny and racialized hatred of other men. As a response to the misogynistic roots of Rodgers’ violence, the hashtag #yesallwomen arose as a forum for (cis) women to speak out about the oppressions that they experience on a daily basis (the creator of this HT got death threats and has since asked that it not be used, so it’s been replaced with #EachEveryWoman). It was also a rhetorical response…

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