New on BGD

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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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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