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Despite the struggles and sacrifices, systemic discrimination, entrenched racism and electoral fraud exist to the present moment, but most of us have been brainwashed into believing the Civil Rights movement brought freedom, liberty and democracy to Black America. Because the old propaganda tricks which have been used to delude the U.S. masses throughout the history of the country are still employed to this day. Blacks are forced to engage in a relentless exercise of psychological warfare with those who insist on creating a white savior pathos, from Jesus to Tarzan. And sometimes Blacks lose the battle and themselves. That is why I write about race.

I don’t write about race to disparage whites or to pour salt on old wounds. I am deeply aware of the contributions whites have made and many still make in order to secure the fundamental rights of others.  There have always been those who played a prominent, active, supportive and moral role. I needed to make the acknowledgement because I write about race, unapologetically, historically and realistically.

I write about race because it shaped our founding and is the heartbeat of this nation. The election of Barack Obama struck at the very foundations of the racial impulses and offenses which are a part of our nation's DNA.

I write about race because whites who make the headlines and the newscasts are those who resist civil rights most blatantly and aggressively.

I write so racist fools like Richard Cohen don’t simply get a free pass to be insulting and insinuating just because they can.

I write about race because of my grandson, who constantly searches for an image of himself and at just seven years old, has already decided that his country is hate-filled and intolerant.

I write about race for him and anyone else who can confront truth and honesty about who and why we are.

name change please?

Just encountered this community and was baffled by the name. Presumably this is some sort of common African-Americanism.

I would like to suggest a name change to "AfricanDiaspora". Feel free to comment/discuss.

Sep. 22nd, 2013

Well here's my attempt to awake blackfolk from its slumbers.

Here in Australia it's Grand Final time, where our two major football codes are having their equivalent to the Super Bowl (it's always on the last weekend in September).

For the first time ever the Fremantle Dockers, a team out of Western Australia, has made it. I fully expect Melbourne to be swamped with purple people from out west this time next week.

And though I can't say for sure this is a first, they have on their team what I'm fairly certain is the only (mixed race) African-American in the entire league.

Zac Clarke is actually from Melbourne, black dad, white (Australian) mom.

And a bit of trivia: I don't follow the football too closely until the end of the season when it gets exciting, so I don't have a team. But my favorite player is Harry O'Brien from the Collingwood Magpies, who's very vocal about the racism, sexism, and homophobia found in his sport. It's very unusual, particularly on that last count. He's also easy on the eyes. My co-worker's next door neighbor here is a documentary filmmaker originally from New York named Jeff Daniels who's doing a film on him.

"Publicly, there have been statements of support, but privately, in many locker rooms, footy boardrooms and newspaper offices, he will continue to be portrayed as an eccentric dissident.
It is the only way that the hairy-chested footy culture knows how to deal with an enlightened human being who dares to challenge the conventional wisdom of their world."


O'Brien battling depression, suicide issues...

Daniels had previously done a doco on the plight of Chinese Uighurs, and Beijing felt so strongly about censoring the film, they hacked into the Melbourne International Film Festival's website and changed the dates and times for the viewings so people couldn't go. It made international headlines.

Director says film censorship backfired.


Help me become a math teacher!

A few years ago, my family staged an intervention to convince me it was time for me to go back to school. I got a full scholarship to college when I was 16, but left at 18 to take care of my family (mother and nephews). My mother has passed and the boys are now grown, healthy, and productive. I've wanted to be a teacher since I was 12, and I'm only a few semesters away from getting my certification (I've applied to graduate in December of 2014). I was awarded a scholarship to Mount St. Mary's College in L.A. I raised the funds to get out here from Maryland, but now I need a car to complete my participant observation and student teaching requirements. Please donate to and/or share my IndieGoGo campaign to help me complete the final steps in achieving my dream. Thanks a lot!

Ebony Magazine

The September edition of Ebony magazine features 4 different covers each with the headline: We Are Trayvon. The first cover features Martin’s family–Sybrina Fulton, Tracy Martin and their son Jahvaris Fulton. Three others versions feature prominent AA men and their sons wearing a grey hoodie: director Spike Lee and his son, Miami Heat player Dwyane Wade with his sons, and actor Boris Kodjoe and his son.

Yes, there are people who were making snarky comments in the press and there was a false story floated that Tea Party members were going to boycott the issue. *A false story people*. But I dont care about that.None of this is about that.

I just wanted to post this because of the power of the image. I have a beautiful nephew who is only a few years younger than Trayvon Martin.

And he owns a hoodie.


Nairobi Dev School

Saw this on Geek Feminism: Martha Chumo, a Kenyan girl who couldn't get to the US to go to Hacker School, decided to start a school in Nairobi for East African software developers. She's trying to raise $50k to get the school off the ground, so maybe think about donating and/or linking it around :)

Get Paid To Be Social

Originally posted by tillery36 at post
“To try is to invite uncertainty. Where confidence goes, success usually follows.”

Did you hear the critical news?

Now you can share videos on FaceBook
& YouTube and get paid for it!

Click me to get started:


Dead Giveaway - a teachable moment?

How can a song be so problematic yet so catchy? Also *dead* at the link to the cover song at the end.

This story has been covered on various NPR stations over the last couple of days, not so much focused on the rescued women but the politics of presenting/ portraying the hero in the media has sparked discussions of race and class. So much to say about this. What are your thoughts on the coverage/ subsequent internet meme-ification?

Black women and uterine fibroids

I'm about to be tested for this so I thought I'd post this in case some people have similar symptoms. African-American women are three times more likely than other ethnicities to have them.

What are uterine fibroids?

From the government

And don't worry if you have your hair permed...

But there is positive coorelation with child abuse before the age of 11

Foul Language on the Bus

I was riding the bus today and a bunch of young black guys (25 years old and younger, I believe) were ranting about life. That was fine, but their language was so horrendous. "Bitch" this and "Nigga" that and "shit" this. They went on and on, getting louder and louder, until the conversation turned to how they never wanted to "bang basic bitches" and instead, would turn to teachers and deans and school counselors. Yeah, that was an actual conversation.

Normally I'm immune to this kind of language, but near the front of the bus, a little girl (maybe about five or six) sat with her father. I gave eye-rolls to the dad, and he seemed to understand that I didn't approve of the language, but the little girl...just the look on her face. At first I thought she was oblivious to it all, but as the language got worse and the situations more graphic, I could tell she knew it was "bad."

I was torn between checking these guys and my fear of being attacked, verbally or physically. At the end of it, I felt slightly abnormal and disappointed with myself. This little black girl, who basically is new to the world, was assaulted by a bunch of young black men. Why? They saw her. The knew she was there. They had an entire conversation about how women in Chicago get "split" from ear to ear in gang violence. As a positive.

What would you have done in this situation?

Educationally Yoked?

I posted this question earlier today on my facebook page and it made for interesting discussion but I'm curious to know what Blackfolk think:

Over the last few days, I keep running across these articles that suggest that women with higher ed degrees basically 'belong' with men with degrees. One of them went so far as to say that a woman with a degree would be "bored" with a man without some higher learning. How important is being equally educated? Is making a big deal out of it (or a conscious decision to make it a dating/marriage requirement) a cultural thing?

Posted via m.livejournal.com.

Extra extra friendly zoo

Close Encounters An Outdoor // Nature Blog

Go cheek to whisker at Argentina’s Lujan Zoo

The wisdom—and track record—of the zoo is hotly debated

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Many of the animals here are former illegal house pets that are given to the zoo after outgrowing their homes. Image by Zoo De Lujan

With the weather getting warmer, it’s time to get back outside and reconnect with the wildlife—and no place will let you get closer to the wildest of wild things than Lujan Zoo in Argentina. Located just outside Buenos Aires, Lujan Zoo provides zoogoers the opportunity to bottle feed a bear, cuddle a tiger, or rub noses with a lion, and, if these pictures are accurate, walk away un-mauled. While many visitors assert the animals are clearly drugged, the zoo insists the tameness is entirely natural, a product of raising each cub from birth and teaching them to be calm, permissive, and uninterested in eating humans.

Read more...Collapse )


Would you all go here or do you think it's a front for the United Animal Federation? IDK I might pet the lion. tiger, or bear, but no way in hell would I feed it from my mouth or sit my toddler down with a bunch of cubs. Yes, they are adorable and cuddly but just one of them is as big as the baby.

The Trouble With 'Borrowing' Black Music

Huff Po had an interesting discussion today on Justin Timberlake's latest album success. Watch it here.
Thoughts on whether you agree with the idea posed in the discussion that being white and doing 'black music' takes away from black artists like it did 50 years ago?


Y'all See This?

I can't remember if this was ever posted here or not, but that Dear White People trailer won the IndieWire/Tribeca Film Festival's Project of the Year.

Original Video:

How do you think this would fare as an actual short/full-length film?

23 and me update

they got rid of the ancestry painting and replaced it with a more expanded ancestry composition.
who is nutmegdealer?Collapse )

Have you seen this photo series?

"Because of them, we can"


and a favorite...

Continue On

So glad to see so many of you still here! I agree, we need to get the ball rolling again, even if it is just to reconnect on a social level.

There was a point when I would have said that I "moved on" from LJ. But I never have. I download it on every new piece of tech I have. I haven't outgrown it, nor you as we have all merely grown UP together and continue to grow!

In a way, I love that Blackfolk served it's purpose for me. And I realize that my purpose for it was extremely different than maybe a lot of other purposes. And I think that's what made it great, and made it so widespread. That it was just a platform. A trunk for many different branches to sprout from. Well the leaves are gone and some branches are cracked and broken. But the Trunk is still solid and strong. Blackfolk will continue to be everything I need it to be, everything YOU need it to be, and everything WE make it. Post about whatever you like; We're still here reading.

what happened to blackfolk?

so this community is pretty much dead, then? :(

anyone here? caller, are you there?
Abortion itself is not reproductive freedom, abortion is one of many technologies that can help make reproductive freedom a reality. Some other technologies are other types of contraception and methods that increase fertility. If we mistake abortions themselves for "freedom" we could incorrectly conclude that black women, who have more abortions per capita than white women, must be more "free" when it comes to control of our wombs.

The reality is, in fact, the reverse of this.

This diary is, in part a response to this attempted exoneration of planned parenthood founder, Margaret Sanger, from accusations of racism and supporting eugenics. (I think there is strong evidence that she did support some kinds of eugenics. Moreover, white people who were not racist in that time period were very rare. I do think, nonetheless, that she cared about black people and wanted to "help." But, she can do both of those things and still be racist. And her being racist dosen't mean planned parenthood is a bad organization.) And, we could spill a lot more ink arguing about if she was racist or not, if she supported eugenics or not, but really this would miss the point.

Because even if she is not connected to the eugenics movement other people were, it was a real thing it was related to abortion access for poor and minority women, and it isn't totally dead.

So, what we really need to talk about are the reasons why so many black people have deeply ambivalent feelings about the "success" (as it is sometimes called) of falling birth rates among black women in the US. This very sudden and drastic decline in black babies being born has happened mostly through increased rates of abortion among black women to the point that black women make of 30% of all women who get abortions every year despite being 12% of the overall population. True success would look more like falling birth rates and falling abortion rates. Abortion is an important tool, but it is not without costs.

Part of this is because many pro-life groups have ignored black women in their quest to "save" the unborn from abortion. I remember a few years back there were some ads on the train from a pro-life group (one of the more sinister ones that pose as family planning clinics that try to convert women who know they want an abortion in to their way of seeing things) these adds advertised "free help for pregnant women" and pictures of sullen-looking white teen girls. Often, it'd say something like "I just didn't know what to do but ____ clinic helped!" A quick phone call on my part confirmed that they did not do abortions, rather they would do an ultra-sound then show the young mother her "baby" -- show manipulative films and generally make women feel like abortion was very wrong and very bad. They didn't provide any real pre-natal care either not so much as a packet of folic acid tablets. (what a scam)

The thing is these ads that only showed white women were in a city where only 35% of the population is white, and moreover, the young people in the worst economic circumstances are almost universally black and Latino. (the ones who'd nee "help") So, most organizations from churches to free clinics feature very diverse advertisements in this city.

But, no, not these pro-life people.

Now, I don't think that they were sitting there rubbing their hands in a dark room saying "muahahaha we'll only save the white babies!" In fact, I know of a few black women who were bamboozled by them. So, they take all comers. But, I do think that the images that they choose say something about their world view. And it's a reflection of broader social values not just those of pro-lifers. Like the way that missing white children get so much more attention in media than missing black and Latino kids. It is part of the cultural mirror that shows us our values. (and the flaws in those values)

What the cultural mirror shows is this endless destructive drumbeat of a simple message "you are not valuable or important. you are not worth saving." And it's not universally coming from "the right" either.

For example, health care providers can be insensitive about the way that they present options to black women. It can be quiet hard to get help if you are having fertility issues as a black women. I have experienced this indifference myself. Many doctors think the only fertility problem black woman have is having too many kids.

I first found out about this issue reading Killing the Black Body by Dorothy Roberts. It's a really great book that brings out statistics and ethnographic studies to add missing dimensions to this issue.

The fundamental thing however is that black lives (black children) have not been valued in the same way as white children. So some of us wince when the high number of black women having abortions comes up. Too often, black children are seen as a problem. A black woman who is pregnant faces a lot of pressure to have an abortion (along with messages that she is a bad person for having and abortion it's a no win situation, very much like the slut/prude divide women of all colors face.) --This pressure comes from poverty, it comes from media, it comes from health care providers. And a single black mother will encounter outright disdain. What images has media linked to the phrase "single black mother" in your mind? Are any of them positive or beautiful? Most likely not. How dare she have a child! --I have had to work hard to rebuild those image in my own mind. Now I think of all of the wonderful "single black mothers" that I know and their amazing cute kids.

There is a long ugly history:

The U.S began to heavily support population control policies abroad, arguing that population control was vital in the fight against communism. Domestically, the success of the Civil Rights movement in challenging segregation caused many politicians to become increasingly fearful of African American political power. Instead of offering a political argument, they coded their concerns by claiming that Black ghettos would continue to grow, and that a growing welfare class predominately concentrated in inner cities would cause crime rates to skyrocket.

As a result, conservative support for federally-supported family planning grew. Former president Richard Nixon said in 1970, “It is my view that no American woman should be denied access to family planning assistance because of her economic condition.” He established the Office of Economic Opportunity to fund family planning programs, particularly in Latino and African American communities, arguing that such programs would reduce health and welfare costs.

The establishment of family planning programs in mainly Black and Latino urban areas in the South caused a division between white conservatives. On one hand, some whites wanted programs that implemented eugenical ideas about reducing the populations of people of color. On the other hand, a strong portion of the conservative white American population was threatened by the idea of all women controlling their fertility. They were especially concerned that white women would have access to family planning intended for women of color. In clinics throughout the South, white women were actively discouraged from using these services, such as in Louisiana and Arkansas. This split among conservatives over family planning was not healed until after Nixon, when Ronald Reagan helped launched the “Moral Majority” to put conservatives back in power in 1980.

(source A Short History of African American Women and Abortion, Muna Abdullahi)

At the same, time too many black women do not feel empowered enough to insist on contraception with their partners. And access to health care makes contraception such as the pill harder to get as well. This goes right back to a total failure to teach black girls that they are beautiful, special unique and valuable. That their bodies matter. It is very hard for parents to fight the tide of negative images and messages girls encounter.

So, rather than trying to cover up our countries history of eugenics and its decedent modern racism we really need to talk openly about what real reproductive freedom would be.

Real reproductive freedom means never feeling bad about asking your partner to wear a condom. It means easy and affordable acces to birth control such as the pill. It means choosing to have an abortion of you need one. It means having a child if you want to and are ready to care for that child. It means equal access to fertility treatment, and doctors not questioning your desire to have a child. It means no more women who think about what might have been if they had the baby or if they didn't have the baby because they subverted their will to avoid being a "single black" statistic-- or to avoid being a "sinning selfish slut."

Dov Hikind is a Very Odd Duck

(This is a post I made on Facebook earlier today)

Holy hell what is wrong with people?

I am one of those who believe that the best of people can do something racist and not be a racist. They feel and express true remorse for what they did/said.

New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind I’m not so sure about. He decided to dress as a black basketball player at a Purim party held at his home. He wore black face. Let’s sit with that one a moment. Blackface. As in Al Jolson and old timey minstrel shows.

He finally issued an apology today, "I am sincerely sorry that I have hurt anyone. I apologize for the pain that I have caused anyone by this incident, and by any remarks that I have made in connection with it". Personally I found it a bit anemic in the face of all some of the statements he made before

Let's take a look of some his other statements since the story broke. These are all direct quotes:

From his official blog in a post (that is still up) entitled, "It's Purim. People Dress Up, "I am intrigued that anyone who understands Purim—or for that matter understands me—would have a problem with this. This is political correctness to the absurd. There is not a prejudiced bone in my body.

He told local radio news 880 WCBS, "“If I was black, on Purim I would have made my face look like I was white"

On the Internet talk show the assemblyman said, "Maybe I would be a gay person on -- by the way, would that be OK, Zev? If I played a gay person next year?"

And Finally a direct quote he made that was reported in today's New York Times, "Next year I was thinking I’d be an Indian,” he said. “But you know, I’ve changed my mind about that. I don’t think that’s a good idea. Somebody will be offended.”

You can never truly know what is in someone heart and mind but I'm sensing that despite his apology, he still doesn't get why people were offended by his donning blackface.

Ho-ly Hell, what is wrong with people?

Diversity in Technology Industry

Last night I went to a Black History Month Celebration/ diversity panel put on by a Blacks in Tech group at the local Googleplex where everyone-- with the exception of five people and the hosts of the event-- in a room of at least 80 people was black. A few were within a couple of generations from the African continent or the UK. Used to being one of a few POC and often the only WOC in professional technology spaces I was stunned.

Stunned in a "Wow, who knew there were so many black professionals this space?" way. Topically the panel's conversation wasn't so much focused on specific technology. The panel focused on careers in tech entrepreneurship and promoting the values of Science, Tech, Engineering, Math (STEM) endeavors to the youth. The message was 'This is where we are. Blacks are overwhelmingly consumers of tech products but there are not many involved the creation and building of technology and their applications. We need to do better at helping each other grow in STEM careers, and building STEM awareness should start in the home, ideally to youth before they reach the 3rd grade.'

I am glad that discussions like that are happening. However I also feel that they tend to lead to obvious conclusions with no actionable plan to improve the numbers of black professionals in these fields. See the example below.

Parents make the extra effort to educate your kids!
The problem with this edict is that this completely ignores the fact that the parents themselves don't have the STEM education, along with socioeconomic factors in play which lead to parents not being there in the first place.

With exceptions of course, these kids are predominantly raised in working class or lower middle class households headed by single parents or a guardian. Those parents need to work constantly just to make ends meet and cannot afford tutors and tech camps while they are working and so kids are left to their own devices... unless there's some kind of accessible after school community program to engage in to 'keep the kids off the streets'. Many of these community programs available only offer basic activities like sports or games with the option to do homework or whatever until the parents get done with work.

Going above and beyond is not stressed to these programs by the parents and not stressed to the parents by those running the programs, due to funds, limited time, or interest. That's something that needs to shift before any growth can truly occur.
What are your thoughts?
Whitney Houston's brother says HE'S to blame for introducing the singer to drugs like crack cocaine back in the '80s ... not Bobby Brown ... and last night he came clean to Oprah.

Michael Houston sat down with his mother Cissy and spilled his guts to Her Royal O-ness on "Oprah's Next Chapter" ... admitting he was the first person who did drugs with Whitney.

Michael says he feels extremely guilty for Whitney's death -- but says he didn't realize how deadly drugs could be when he first brought them to Whitney's doorstep ... explaining, "You gotta understand at the time ... the 80s ... it was acceptable."

Houston adds, "It's painful ... I feel responsible for what I let go so far."

Whitney died in Beverly Hills last February after a drug binge that included cocaine, Xanax and marijuana.

"Acceptable"? Really, Mike?

Visit the TMZ Store: http://tmzstore.com


Personal Histories

I wanted to pass this along in case anyone might be interested.

I stumbled on this guy names Dan Curtis who is a Professional Personal Historian. He is a member of something called the Association of Personal Historians (http://www.personalhistorians.org/index.php). Since I had never heard of them before I had to do some digging. Looking through their website I was struck by the alarming lack of people of any color in their examples or among their membership.

We are a people with a rich history that is the story of America yet you would think we did nothing of any note until the Civil Rights Movement. From Civil Warriors to Buffalo Soldiers to both waves of the Great Migration ours is a story that is never told in history classes and what little is out there is segregated to the ghetto of Black History Month.

If anyone if interested n capturing family histories (either their own or someone else's) this might be a good resource. Dan Curtis published the 50 Best life story questions (http://dancurtis.ca/2011/01/26/the-50-best-life-story-questions/) and I have posted them below.

If you could do one thing over in your life, what would it be?
What makes you happy?
Looking back on your life, what do you regret?
What do you believe to be true?
What is the secret to a happy life?
What do you believe happens to us after we die?
Who’s had the greatest influence on your life and why?
What are the qualities that you admire in your friends?
What is the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do?
How would you describe yourself?
If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
What’s important in your life?
If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it?
What’s a secret ambition of yours?
Who in your life would you like to thank and for what?
What principles have guided your life?
Where do you find serenity?
What makes you sad?
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in your life?
How would you like to be remembered?
If you had only one day to live, how would you live it?
How would you describe your spiritual beliefs?
Who is the most important person in your life today and why?
What was the worst job you ever had and why was it so bad?
What’s your idea of a good time?
What’s wrong with the world?
What’s one big question you’d like answered?
What is it that you absolutely couldn’t live without?
How would you describe yourself as a child?
What’s the greatest gift you could give to someone you love?
What does love mean to you?
What was the best job you ever had and why was it the best?
If you had to evacuate your home immediately and could take only one thing, what would it be and why?
What do you still want to accomplish?
What’s right with the world?
What’s one thing you’d like to change about yourself?
How would you describe your perfect day?
What event in your life would you like to live over and why?
What are you avoiding?
What are your best qualities?
What’s the most romantic thing you’ve done for someone?
Who are your heroes and why?
What are your failings?
What’s the kindest thing you’ve done for someone?
What is more important to you, challenge or comfort and why?
If your life were a motion picture, what would the title be?
Who in your life would you like to forgive and for what?
What would you place in a time capsule that would tell a relative 1oo years from now who you were?
After church leaders announce plans to protest at site of school massacre, Anonymous posts the personal information for dozens of members of the extremist group, including names, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers.

A group attached to the online hacktivist group Anonymous claims to have hacked the Web site of the Westboro Baptist Church in response to plans by the controversial church to picket the funerals of those massacred Friday at a school in Newtown, Conn.
As part of a campaign dubbed #OpWestBoro, KY Anonymous said yesterday it posted the personal information belonging to members of the extremist organization, which is best known for conducting protests designed to disrupt the funerals of members of the military killed in action. The data dump included the names, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and physical addresses of dozens of alleged members of the religious organization. The group did not indicate where or how it acquired the data.
The hackvitist group announced the move after several Westboro Baptist Church members announced the group's intention to target Newtown, which was the site of a school shooting Friday that claimed the lives of 26 people, 20 of whom were children ages 6 to 7.

Along with the data, KY Anonymous posted a video (see below) in which it pledged to derail the church's efforts.

In addition to military funerals, the church group has also targeted the funerals of prominent civilians, including that of Steve Jobs.
In a related action, a petition has been posted to WhiteHouse.gov asking President Obama to have Westboro Baptist Church legally recognized as a hate group. Posted Friday, the petition already has more than 46,000 signatures, nearly twice the number needed for it to attract the president's attention. The petition states:
Their actions have been directed at many groups, including homosexuals, military, Jewish people and even other Christians. They pose a threat to the welfare and treatment of others and will not improve without some form of imposed regulation.


Apologies if this doesn't fit here, but the deadline is December 12, 2012 so I wanted to get out the word quickly.

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