empowering women of color


Markus Pr1m3

@markusprimelives is an iconic artist on the soulful scene. His images of empowered women of color have been circling  various social media sites  for years, sometimes unacknowledged . This episode is an opportunity to get to know  a bit more about the soul behind your favorite africentric soulful art. If you can see yourself represented in his images, chances are high that you will appreciate this conversation in a uniquely intimate way…”

Listen to the interview at thesoulpick

Artist  instagram / twitter /  tumblr /  bigcartel shop


TW for racism, bullying

NY Teen Overcomes ‘Dark-Skinned’ Taunts to Earn $10,000 Scholarship

“Nosa Akol, 17, was called “burnt toast,” among other hurtful names, but now the Binghamton, N.Y., teen will be the recipient of the 2015 4-H Youth in Action Award, which includes a $10,000 scholarship.

 “Burnt toast.”

“Dark as night.”

“Your mother kept you in the oven too long.”

These were the kinds of racially charged comments that Nosa Akol walked into on her very first day of middle school, which would mark the first time in her life she’d ever been subjected to bullying.

The results were damaging. Nosa admits to The Root that insecurities started to take over. “I felt really insecure,” the 17-year-old student from Binghamton, N.Y., recalls. “Middle school [is] kind of where people start breaking off into their groups, and that’s where I first experienced bullying, and that’s where my insecurities began taking over and just really started to deteriorate me mentally, emotionally and physically.”

Originally from South Sudan, Nosa, who has a rich, dark skin tone, came to the U.S. with her parents when she was 5 years old.

“Growing up in Sudan, everyone there has the same skin tone; no one points that out. And then, growing up in America, everyone has a different skin tone, so [my parents] wouldn’t, even if I had told them about it, there wouldn’t be any understanding. They wouldn’t really know how to deal with it,” she explains, saying that for this reason, she kept the bullying bottled up inside her.

But Nosa’s story is one of triumph and overcoming her insecurities. The Binghamton High School student, who joined Citizen U 4-H as a freshman, has been announced as the 2015 recipient of the 4-H Youth in Action Award, the highest honor in the organization.

Still, the humble teen says she’s still processing the fact that she was chosen for the award, which will also make her the recipient of a $10,000 scholarship to a college of her choosing.

This triumphant day might have not come if Nosa had let the bullying get to her. According to the teen, the torment got so bad and had such an impact on her, she would make up excuses so she wouldn’t have to go to school. “I didn’t want to wake up in the morning and go to school. I’d come up with excuses as to why I had stay home,” she acknowledges.

Right now the college-bound teen is hoping to study political science and international agriculture, her mind set on using her degrees to empower women in South Sudan.

“I know that agriculture just does not stop at farming … so I want to find a way to take agriculture and turn it into an education for the women of South Sudan and make that into a business, and hopefully by empowering the women, it empowers the entire community and makes a change and a difference to try and end the violence there,” Nosa tells The Root. “I like to travel, so I don’t think I’d ever stay in one place, so hopefully I’d be able to work in many other countries as well as South Sudan … I just want to travel and help people.”

The ambitious teen also hopes that her story can inspire other kids who want to do something to help their communities, showing them it is possible to effect change, even as youth.

“This generation, we can’t wait for the generations before us or the generations after us to make a change; it’s up to us if we want a better world for ourselves,” she points out.  “We need to stand up and we need to do something about it.”  

Read the full piece and watch the video here

The True Definition of Intersectionality

“The concept of political intersectionality highlights the fact that women of color are situated within at least two subordinated groups that frequently pursue conflicting political agendas…Among the most troubling political consequences of the failure of antiracist and feminist discourses to address the intersections of race and gender is the fact that, to the extent they can forward the interest of “people of color” and “women” respectively, one analysis often implicitly denies the validity of the other.  The failure of feminism to interrogate race means that the resistance strategies of feminism will often replicate and reinforce the subordination of people of color, and the failure of antiracism to interrogate patriarchy means that antiracism will frequently reproduce the subordination of women.  These mutual elisions present a particularly difficult political dilemma for women of color.  Adopting either analysis constitutes a denial of a fundamental dimension of our subordination and precludes the development of a political discourse that more fully empowers women of color.”

(emphasis added)

Kimberle Crenshaw, Mapping the Margins:  Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color (1993), pp. 1251-1252

HELLO from my hiatus

There’s a lot to catch up on, but in recent news, I spent all day today livetweeting the 1st Annual Empowering Women of Color Conference at Columbia Law School!

The panelists were amazing and the whole day was awesome, and anyone who wants to know how it went can look at the twitter feed here! https://twitter.com/EmpoweringWoC

“Always” acrylic on canvas painting by Los Angeles artist Michelle Robinson. This piece available for purchase at www.create-ture.com. Follow Michelle - Instagram @mister_michelle

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This 7-year-old Florida girl won over $16,000 she’s going to use to publish her comic book “The Adventures of Moxie Girl.”

All of us have insecurities. However, I can identify with those of hair. A young girl in Florida won a contest this week for a female comic book character. She and her mother came up with a hero named Moxie, who gets her strength from her hair. It was a way that helped to build her confidence, and inspires other young girls aw well.

It’s important to keep girls, especially minority girls in the face of the public. When you see someone like you succeeding, what will stop you?