Shut up and Listen !

I'm not trying to educate you
but maybe you could just think about opening your


King with the nappy hair rising the fist #Chicago #summer #streetart


King with the nappy hair rising the fist #Chicago #summer #streetart

Melissa Harris-Perry's Passionate Defense of Single-Mother Against Attacks of other Black Women - Atlanta Black Star


[Transcription courtesy of Sophia Petrillo. Many thanks!]

bell hooks: Your question, my sweet, your name?

Audience Member: My name is Tanya Fields, I was actually on Melissa’s show last month. I’m a low-income mom living in the-

bh: Yes, I saw you.

TF: And my daughter’s first board book was “Happy to Be Nappy!” [laughs.]

bh: All right!

TF: The words that guys are saying right now are so sustaining. As a low-income Black mother, I’ve been struggling to find my voice. And so I’ve been using my platforms- Twitter, Facebook… and talking about this, being a whole person. What it means to be unmarried with three baby daddies and four kids.

bh: Hmmmm!

TF: The pushback that I am often feeling is not from the white folks in the community, it is from the other sistas who tear me down, [Audience clapping] tell me that reason I am low-income is because I didn’t have the insight to choose good men. That I should have kept my hand out and my mouth closed, and my legs closed and kept my hand out. And so I’m trying to figure out, as we talk about this Plantation Culture, as I try to rise above my circumstances and literally create meals that the babies in my community can eat, how do we- it stops you from wanting to have that voice. I have people who tell me, “When you talk about being low-income, don’t talk about feeding your kids on food stamps! You don’t need an audience for that! Suffer in shame and silence. The situation that you are feeling is your own and is a product of your own bad choices.” I am pregnant with my fifth child and just had this man walk out on me. How do you wake up every morning and- I consider myself a Black Feminist, but some days it’s just so hard to get out of the bed and face other Black people. [Audience clapping.]

bh: [to Melissa Harris-Perry] I said, take it… I actually said, “Take it, Mom!”

MHP: Um, so, that, um, that is exactly what the whole thing is designed to do. The language you used, ‘sit alone in your shame, and suffer alone.” So… [Audience clapping. Conversation inaudible as MHP leaves stage and has off-mic exchange with TF.]

MHP: It’s just to say that- You know, I could turn into my academic self which says that the reason that people who are most vulnerable to being in your exact same circumstance are the ones who most want to shame you. Is because- it’s the same reason that, um, it’s the sorority girls on campus who say that you have to, like keep yourself from getting raped by not drinking. And it’s, it’s, um it’s the same reason that the churches that are growing among Black folks are the prosperity, health and wealth ones instead of Liberation Theology churches, right? And it’s because it is much easier to believe that we can solve inequality by pulling up our pants or keeping our legs closed. And so it allows you to wipe away all of the structural realities that require collective action and that require work that goes over and past your own life. So if it’s just your individual decision-making, then I’m safe from it. So as long as I make a different decision, I will never be vulnerable to poverty, [Audience clapping] or to heartache, or to pain. And I will just say, y’know, your point about making all the right choices so- I can remember, the point at which I became a single parent. And I was like “But whoa, wait a minute. I did everything right, and I got my degree first, and I got married, and-“ No, actually, I got my degree first, then I got married, then I bought a house, then I got pregnant. I’m supposed to be all good. And that mothfucka was like- “Peace. Out.” And went, and just was, and there I stood, with a baby. Now after, there was a baby, and a degree, and as a homeowner, so the shame- I didn’t have to, right, because it’s not really about being a single parent, it’s about being poor. The thing you’re supposed to be ashamed of is being poor. And so, it’s though- I will just say that that shaming, it is a defense mechanism to keep people from having to do the hard work of organizing. And it is the most dangerous thing in marginalized communities- the most dangerous thing. Because then we do not organize, because we can just say that if only you had made different choices then everything would be fine. [Audience clapping.]

bh: I think we have to remember constantly that shaming is one of the deepest tools of imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy, because shame produces trauma. And trauma often produces paralysis. [Audience vocalizing agreement] So when the sister said that there are days when she just can’t get out of bed, lots of us experience that sense of paralysis. So that, that healing, I have to go back to, I’m not gonna belabor it, but emotional well-being, because we’ve got to have some mechanism to resist what is out there. To resist the constant shaming.



Lord this should have more notes. I’m sure a lot of sistas feel her pain.

me 99.9% of the time defending myself to the world fucking shit.

(Source: bgcslave, via theuppitynegras)

“…people want everything from blackness, but the burden.”


Dr. Greg Carr

Discussing the “New Black” and work from Dr. Greg Tate

(via mydearestlola)



'Stained' by KA Williams

holy shit, that’s a Slave ship on the ground .. deep is an understatement .



'Stained' by KA Williams

holy shit, that’s a Slave ship on the ground .. deep is an understatement .

(via blackmagicalgirlmisandry)

African American is a specific ethnicity. Not everyone who is Black is African American.


People need to get that.

(via unpopularr)



Privilege in less than 140 characters. #notfairandlovely

And there you have it



Privilege in less than 140 characters. #notfairandlovely

And there you have it

(via tookes)


City Of God: 10 Years Later (x)

(via clairebearology)


African ethnic group of the week: The Fulani people

Fulani people are one of the largest ethnolinguistic groups in Africa, numbering approximately 40 million people in total. They form one of the most widely dispersed and culturally diverse of the peoples of Africa. The Fulani are bound together by the common language of Fulfulde, as well as by some basic elements of Fulbe culture, such as The pulaaku , a code of conduct common to all Fulani groups. The Wodaabe (Fula: Woɗaaɓe) or Bororo and Toroobe are small subgroups of the Fulani ethnic group.

African countries where they are present include Mauritania, Ghana, Senegal, Guinea, Gambia, Mali, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Niger, Chad, Togo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan the Central African Republic, Liberia, and as far East as the Red Sea in Sudan and Egypt. With the exception of Guinea, where the Fula make up an ethnic plurality (largest single ethnic group) or approximately 40%+ of the population, Fulas are minorities in every country they live in. So, most also speak other dominant languages of the countries they inhabit, making many Fulani bilingual or even trilingual in nature. Such languages include Hausa, Bambara, Wolof, Arabic, 

Historically, the Fulani played a significant role in the rise and fall of ancient African empires such as Ghana, Mali, Songhai and the Mossi states. They greatly contributed to the spread of Islam throughout Western Africa. More recently, slavery and colonialism dispersed Fulani throughout the Middle East, the Americas and Europe. 

Fulani people were among the first Africans to convert to Islam. Between the eighth and the fourteenth century, Fulbe-speaking people of Takrur had produced a class of Muslim clerics, the Torodbe, who would take on proselytizing activities across the entire western Sudan. Increasingly, the memory of their previous pastoral religion was lost, except in some sub-groups such as the Bororo or Wodaabe (i.e., “Isolated”), who remained animists and nomads. Between the eleventh and the seventeenth century, the Fulbe gradually extended their grazing territory from over much of the West African savanna up to Borno. They usually took no part in the political life of the surrounding entities, and were sometimes subjected to heavy taxes.

Read more/ Source 1| 2| 3| 4

(via ourafrica)


I cannot recommend this video enough. This woman breaks it down perfectly.

The Stories That Europe Tells Itself About Its Colonial History

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“She said once she was shocked that her son while being taught Belgian history, was taught nothing about Congo. She said “They teach my son in school that he must help the poor Africans, but they don’t teach him about what Belgium did in Congo.” Of course, all countries are evasive about the past for which they feel ashamed, but I was shocked by what seemed to me not evasiveness but an erasure of history

If her son doesn’t learn that the modern Congo State began a hundred years ago as the personal property of a Belgian king, who was desperate to get wealthy from ivory and rubber, if her son doesn’t learn that the hands of Congolese people were chopped off for not producing enough resources to meet the king’s greed, if her son doesn’t learn that the Belgian government later led Congo with a deliberate emphasis on not producing an educated class, so that Congolese could become clerks and mechanics but couldn’t go to university, if her son doesn’t learn that more recently, even though it was the Americans who installed the Mobutu dictatorship, Belgium was a major force behind the scenes propping him up, if this young Belgian boy, knows nothing about these incidents, then, at some point, they would perhaps no longer have happened because the past after all is the past because we collectively acknowledged that it is so. 

This young Belgian boy would grow up to see Africa only as a place that requires his aid, his help, his charity with no complications for him. A place that can help him show how compassionate he can be, and most of all, a place whose present has no connection to Europe. 

It is not that Europe has denied its colonial history. Instead, Europe has developed a way of telling the story of its colonial history that ultimately seeks to erase that history”

(Source: fredjoiner, via ourafrica)