african american blogs

About the cornrows thing...

It really was never about the hair.

Originally posted by mtv

The core of Amandla’s discussion about cultural appropriation had barely settled on America’s consciousness, much less our subconsciousness before this happened…..

and then swiftly this happened.

This “conversation” between 16 year old Stenberg and the now 18 year old Jenner caused a huge uproar. Immediately Amandla not only was accused of being a race baiter and of being the stereotypical “angry black girl” she also became Andy Cohen’s “jackhole of the day” for her counter of Kylie’s cornrows. Many people were astounded that this situation was all about hair. Anyone should be allowed to wear their hair in any fashion they want. Even the styles that have been traditionally worn by black women and girls for decades. The styles that have been worn traditionally by black women and girls for decades, primarily for function, secondarily for fashion. The styles didn’t seem to be on anyones radar or worthy of praise until Miley,or Iggy, Kendall Jenner started wearing them.

 When Amandla Stenberg called out Kylie Jenner’s cultural appropriation many came to her defense. Cries of: shes young (she had allegedly been in a relationship with a now 25 year old man since she was 16), “shes just trying to figure it out” the words of Justin Bieber, and that shes can do whatever she wants flooded the interwebs as the dispute between the girls became the highest trending hashtag.

I agree everyone should be allowed to wear their hair the way they want. A London boy in 2011 shouldn’t have been sent home because his cornrows were believed to be too closely associated with London’s gang culture. White children were also prevented from shaving their heads for fear of its association to skinheads.  

7 year old Tiana Parker should not have had to leave school because of her hair in 2013. She had attended her school for a year before her dreadlocks caused an issue.12 year old Vanessa VanDyke should not have been threatened with expulsion for wearing her hair in the natural form that grew out of her head. 

A Native American boy, 5 years old, was sent home on his first day of kindergarten because his traditional braids did not meet the required dress code for little boys. 

Okay…clearly the issue also lies in the school dress code policies. Policies that seem to make it very difficult for children of color or of other cultures to wear their hair in anyway that is different from their straight haired counterparts.  So no, Amandla’s comment was not a jab at Kylie but instead were the actions of a young woman trying to inform a privileged, young, soon to be adult celebrity with a massive fan base of impresionable individuals, to not be so careless and ignorant to the value that has historically been placed on hair and hairstyles by other cultures. It is possible to appreciate that culture without appropriating it.

  After these events I imagine that amandla would have had one last question:

What would America be like if we, as a society, defended the freedom of children of any and all color to be who they are the same way we defend  young girls/women, like Kylie Jenner, to do what they want? 

UPDATE

Vanessa was featured on the real 11/13/2015 and her Afro still looks amazing.

3

Celebrity Murders 

South African actress Charlize Theron broke our screens when she won awards for a mind blowing performance of notorious female serial killer, Aileen Wuornos, in Monster. Charlize was also harbouring a horrific family murder secret herself. 

On the 21st of June 1991, Charlize’s alcoholic father, Charles Theron, was physically assaulting her mother, Gerda Aletta, and threatening to harm them both. Gerda then grabbed a gun and shot Charles dead in self defence in their Johanasburg farm house. Charlize was only 15 at the time. 

The courts didn’t sentence Gerda 

Super Soldier’s Super Son

Requested

*Steve Rogers-centric

________________________________________________________________

As soon as Steve entered the coffee house, he knew who he was there to meet.

Your dark face still held some of its roundness from infancy, your curls still tight against your skull like Steve remembered. Steve stepped over to the table where you were sitting; you looked up at him with large eyes, a small, nervous smile on your face.

“You can’t be Y/N.”

Your smile grew as you stood. “Hey, Dad.”

Steve wrapped his arms around you, finding that he’d missed this more than he’d known (though this wasn’t the exact feeling he’d missed—after all, the last time he’d hugged you, you’d been a tiny little thing, barely reaching to his waist). “Kiddo, I can’t tell you….”

“I know. Me, too.”

The two of you sat in that coffee house for hours, talking about everything that had happened in the years since you’d been separated. It hurt Steve to see how much you’d suffered during his… absence. When Steve had left, you’d been a young child. During his time in the army, you’d stayed with Steve’s neighbor, Mrs. Feinstein. Every day, they’d watch the news, hoping (and dreading) of hearing any news of Steve. They’d watched the rise of Captain America.

“I thought it was so cool,” you said. “I was the son of Captain America! Of course, I couldn’t ever tell anyone… but sometimes, I would daydream about telling them and they were all in awe of me.”

They’d watched Steve’s progress. And then came the day the progress stopped.

“When… when you went down…” You shook your head. “It was hard. It hurt. And I…”

“What?” Steve prompted.

You bit your lip. “After a few months, I went to the army. I demanded to see you, see something that had belonged to you. I showed documentation and someone recognized me, remembered me from the stories you used to tell. Peggy was her name, I think.”

Steve nodded—of course, it had been Peggy to talk the rest of the army guards down, to allow a stranger into their community.

“She told me about how they’d changed you. She also told me about how… they’d found you. And froze you. I saw your container.” You paused. “I asked… no, I demanded… they do the same to me.”

Steve’s heart froze for a second. “What?”

You glanced at him but dropped your eyes to the table, unable to maintain eye contact, a typical guilty-child move. Steve’s eyes wandered over you—that explained it. He’d felt that there was something off about you.

You were way too young.

“You… had yourself frozen.”

“I’m sorry,” you said, your voice tiny, like how Steve had remembered it. “I just… I didn’t have any options.”

Steve knew, deep down, he couldn’t be mad at you. After all, if you hadn’t frozen yourself, would you even be having this conversation right now?

“I’m sorry,” you said again, standing. “This… this was a mistake. I’m sure I’ve pulled you away from some important superhero thing and–”

“Hey,” Steve said, grabbing your arm. He stood, facing you. “I’m more than a superhero, okay? More than a soldier. I’m your dad, first and foremost. Always have been and always will be.”

You smiled up at him, nodding once.

“Come on,” Steve said, leading you towards the door. “I’ve got some friends I want you to meet.”

________________________________________________________________

The group of superheroes was sitting around the living room when Steve led you in.

“Who’s your friend?” Tony asked.

“Guys, this is… my son. Y/N.”

The air was tense, confused. You shifted slightly on your feet, waiting for the questions you knew were coming.

“Your…” Tony started.

“Son,” Steve said again. His tone dared anyone to question him, insult you.

Tony pursed his lips before nodding once. “Right. I was just confused because he’s… tanner than you. But I totally see the familial traits now.”

Despite yourself, the corner of your mouth twitched. From all the press releases, you knew Tony was the sass master of the group. It was quite a thing of beauty to witness it firsthand.

So you and Steve sat amongst his friends, sharing the story of when Steve, tiny little pre-serum Steve had found tiny little baby you, abandoned in an alleyway one day on his way home. Knowing that if he took you to a hospital, they’d ship you off to foster care, keeping you in the system for the rest of your life. So he took you in and with the help of his neighbor raised you from a sick infant to a bouncing, healthy toddler.

You watched as your father told the story, watching how animated he was when talking about you. It was heartwarming, to say the least.

When Steve began to tell the new part of the story, about how you’d emailed him last week and met up with him today, about how you’d had yourself frozen, only to wake up a year ago, you looked around at the group. They were visibly surprised at the story.

“Well,” Tony said after Steve finished. “I guess it’s true—like father, like son. Welcome to the team, Y/N.”

“Team?”

“Well, yeah. I assumed Capsicle brought you here because he wanted you to join us.”

“Tony, I don’t want him–”

“You mean like, fighting alongside you?”

Tony shrugged. “Why not?”

“I’m not… I don’t have any powers or strength or anything.”

“Neither did your dad, at first.”

ID #92006

Name: Angel
Age: 14
Country: USA

Hi everyone! My name’s Angel and I’ve always wanted a pen pal so here’s some things about me :3
To start off I am an African-American female who’s a huge nerd and animal lover
I’m Bisexual 

I love watching tv and anime, reading and sleeping XD
I’m also in some fandoms like Pretty little liars, 13 reasons why,criminal minds, Sherlock,Harry Potter,Hamilton and I’m getting into some more

I love watching YouTube and the YouTubers that I watch are jacksepticeye, markiplier, Liza Koshy, Rosanna Pansino,sWooZie and many more 

I listen to all kinds of music from rap to dupstep to pop

I have social anxiety so it’s kinda hard for me to make friends so I though making a pen pal would be good for me

And that’s all! I hope that I can make some awesome friends :)

Preferences:
Anyone aged around 14-17
No one who is against LGBT
No racists
No homophobic
I can talk with email or Tumblr

mo.ma
Reclaiming the Photographic Narrative of African-Americans
A new issue of Aperture magazine explores images of African-Americans that not only challenge long-held narratives about race, but also redefine them.
By James Estrin

MoMA collection artists Lyle Ashton Harris, Lorna Simpson, LaToya Ruby Frazier, and others are featured in “Vision and Justice,” a special issue of Aperture magazine guest edited by Sarah Lewis addressing the role of photography in the African American experience. Read more about it via The New York Times’s Lens blog. 

3

Kara Walker, ‘Untitled’, cut paper and collage on paper (2009) 

“Kara Walker had her first major success as an artist with her intricate and compulsive black-and-white paper silhouettes of imagined scenes from slave history in the American south. In 1994, her room-size mural, ‘Gone: An Historical Romance of a Civil War as It Occurred b’tween the Dusky Thighs of One Young Negress and Her Heart’, won her international acclaim, and made her at 27 one of the youngest ever recipients of a MacArthur ‘genius’ grant”

[Text taken from Tim Adams, ‘Kara Walker: “There is a moment in life where one becomes black” ’, The Guardian (September 27th, 2015) ]

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/sep/27/kara-walker-interview-victoria-miro-gallery-atlanta ]

9

The Assassination of Civil Rights Activist Medgar Evers, & The Conviction Of His Killer 30+ Years After His Murder

Medgar’s Life & Activism Before His Assassination

Evers was born July 2, 1925, in Decatur, Mississippi, third of the five children (including older brother Charlie Evers) of James and Jesse Evers; the family also included Jesse’s two children from a previous marriage.[4] The Everses owned a small farm and James worked at a sawmill.[5] Evers walked twelve miles to go to school, and earned his high-school diploma.[6] From 1943 to 1945 he fought in the European Theater and the Battle of Normandy with the United States Army during World War II, and was discharged honorably as a sergeant.[7]

In 1948 Evers enrolled at Alcorn College (a historically black college, now Alcorn State University) majoring in business administration.[8] He also competed on the debate, football, and track teams, sang in the choir, and was junior class president.[9] He earned his Bachelor of Arts in 1952.[8]

On December 24, 1951, he married classmate Myrlie Beasley.[10] Together they had three children: Darrell Kenyatta, Reena Denise, and James Van Dyke.[11] Darrell died in February 2001 of colon cancer.[12]

The couple moved to Mound Bayou, Mississippi, where Evers became a salesman for T. R. M. Howard’s Magnolia Mutual Life Insurance Company.[13] Howard was also president of the Regional Council of Negro Leadership (RCNL);[14] Evers helped organize the RCNL’s boycott of filling stations which denied blacks use of the stations’ restrooms.[15] Evers and his brother Charles also attended the RCNL’s annual conferences in Mound Bayou between 1952 and 1954, which drew crowds of ten thousand or more.[16]

Evers applied to the then-segregated University of Mississippi Law School in 1954 but his application was rejected.[17] He submitted his application in concert with the NAACP as a test case.[18]

In late 1954 Evers’ was named the NAACP’s first field secretary for Mississippi.[5] In this position, he helped organize boycotts and set up new local chapters of the NAACP. He was involved with James Meredith’s efforts to enroll in the University of Mississippi in the early 1960s.[18] Evers’ also helped Dr. Gilbert Mason Sr. organize the Biloxi Wade-Ins, protests against segregation efforts on the Mississippi Gulf Coast beaches.[19]

Evers’ civil rights leadership and investigative work made him a target of white supremacists. In the weeks leading up to his death, the hostility directed towards him grew. His public investigations into the murder of Emmett Till and his vocal support of Clyde Kennard had made him a prominent black leader. On May 28, 1963, a Molotov cocktail was thrown into the carport of his home.[20] On June 7, 1963, Evers was nearly run down by a car after he emerged from the Jackson NAACP office.[13]

The Assassination of Medgar Evers By His Murderer, Byron De La Beckwith & How Long It Took To Get Justice

In the early morning of June 12, 1963, just hours after President John F. Kennedy‘s speech on national television in support of civil rights, Evers pulled into his driveway after returning from a meeting with NAACP lawyers. Emerging from his car and carrying NAACP T-shirts that read “Jim Crow Must Go,” Evers was struck in the back with a bullet fired from an Enfield 1917 rifle; the bullet ripped through his heart. He staggered 9 meters (30 feet) before collapsing. He was taken to the local hospital in Jackson where he was initially refused entry because of his color, until it was explained who he was; he died in the hospital 50 minutes later.[21][full citation needed]

External image

The driveway where Medgar Evers was shot at 2332 Margaret Walker Alexander Drive.

[22]

Mourned nationally, Evers was buried on June 19 in Arlington National Cemetery, where he receivedfull military honors before a crowd of more than 3,000.[14]

On June 21, 1963, Byron De La Beckwith, a fertilizer salesman and member of the White Citizens’ Council (and later of the Ku Klux Klan), was arrested for Evers’ murder.[23]

District Attorney and future governor Bill Waller prosecuted De La Beckwith.[24] Juries composed solely of white men twice that yeardeadlocked on De La Beckwith’s guilt.

In 1994, 30 years after the two previous trials had failed to reach a verdict, De La Beckwith was brought to trial based on new evidence.Bobby DeLaughter was the prosecutor. During the trial, the body of Evers was exhumed from his grave for an autopsy.[3] De La Beckwith was convicted of murder on February 5, 1994, after having lived as a free man for much of the three decades following the killing (he was imprisoned from 1977 to 1980 for conspiring to murder A. I. Botnick). De La Beckwith appealed unsuccessfully, and died at age 80 in prison in January 2001.

The Murderer of Medgar Evers: Byron De La Beckwith

The White Citizens’ Council was founded in 1954 following the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education that school segregation was unconstitutional. Begun in Mississippi, chapters arose in towns across the South and used a variety of economic tactics to suppress black activism and sustain segregation. The councils applied pressure through boycotts, denial of loans and credit, employment termination, and other means. In Mississippi they prevented school integration until 1964.[6]

De La Beckwith became a member of the White Citizens’ Council; however, he thought that more direct action was needed. On June 12, 1963, he assassinated NAACP civil rightsleader Medgar Evers outside Evers’ home in Jackson.

The state twice prosecuted De La Beckwith for murder in 1964, but both trials ended with hung juries. The jurors were all male and all white. Mississippi had effectivelydisfranchised black voters since 1890, and they were thus prevented from serving on juries, whose membership was limited to voters. During the second trial, the former GovernorRoss Barnett (D) interrupted the trial to shake hands with Beckwith while Myrlie Evers, the widow of the activist, was testifying.[1] In the 1980s, the Jackson Clarion Ledgerpublished reports on its investigation of the trial, which found that the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, supported by residents’ taxes, had assisted De La Beckwith’s attorneys in his second trial by using state resources to investigate members of the jury pool during voir dire.[1][2]

In January 1966, De La Beckwith, along with a number of other members of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, was subpoenaed by the House Un-American Activities Committee to testify about Klan activities. Although De La Beckwith gave his name when asked by the committee (unlike other witnesses, such as Sam Bowers, who invoked theFifth Amendment in response to that question), he answered no other substantive questions.[2] In the following years, Beckwith became a leader in the segregationist Phineas Priesthood, an offshoot of the white supremacist Christian Identity Movement. The group was known for its hostility towards African AmericansJewsCatholics, and foreigners.

According to Delmar Dennis, who acted as a key witness for the prosecution at the 1994 trial, De La Beckwith boasted of his role in the death of Medgar Evers at several KKK rallies and at similar gatherings in the years following his mistrials. In 1967, he unsuccessfully sought the Democratic Party’s nomination for Lieutenant Governor of Mississippi.[2]

In 1973, informants alerted the Federal Bureau of Investigation of Beckwith’s plans to murder A.I. Botnick, director of the New Orleans-based B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation League, in retaliation for comments that Botnick had made about white southerners and race relations. Following several days of surveillance, Beckwith’s car was stopped by New Orleans Police Department officers as he crossed over the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Bridge. Among the contents of his vehicle were several loaded firearms, a map with highlighted directions to Botnick’s house, and a dynamite time bomb. On August 1, 1975, Beckwith was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder; he served nearly three years in the Angola Prison in Louisiana from May 1977 until his parole in January 1980.[2] Just before entering prison to serve his sentence, Beckwith was ordained by Rev. Dewey “Buddy” Tucker as a minister in the Temple Memorial Baptist Church; a Christian Identity congregation in KnoxvilleTennessee.[7]

“Where Is the Voice Coming From?” (1963), a short story by the notable writer Eudora Welty, is considered one of the most significant works related to De La Beckwith’s crime. Welty was from Jackson, Mississippi, and she said later:

“Whoever the murderer is, I know him: not his identity, but his coming about, in this time and place. That is, I ought to have learned by now, from here, what such a man, intent on such a deed, had going on in his mind. I wrote his story–my fiction–in the first person: about that character’s point of view.”[9]

Welty’s story was published in The New Yorker (July 6, 1963) soon after De La Beckwith’s arrest. So accurate was her portrayal that the magazine changed several details in the story before publication, for legal reasons.[10]

Byron De La Beckwith was the subject of the 1963 Bob Dylan song “Only a Pawn in Their Game”, which deplores Evers’ murder and the racial environment of the South.

In 1991, the murder of Evers and first trials of Beckwith were the basis of the episode titled “Sweet, Sweet Blues”, written by author William James Royce for the NBC television series In the Heat of the Night. In the episode, actor James Best plays a character based on De La Beckwith, an aging Klansman who appears to have gotten away with murder.

The 1996 film Ghosts of Mississippi tells the story of the murder and 1994 trial. James Woods portrayed De La Beckwith in an Academy Award-nominated performance.

In 2001, Bobby DeLaughter published his memoir of the case and trial, Never Too Late: A Prosecutor’s Story of Justice in the Medgar Evers Trial.[11]

Medgar’s Legacy

Evers’s legacy has been kept alive in a variety of ways. Evers was memorialized by leading Mississippi and national authors, both black and white: Eudora WeltyJames BaldwinMargaret Walker and Anne Moody.[25] In 1963, he was awarded the Spingarn Medal from theNAACP.[26] In 1969, Medgar Evers College was established in Brooklyn, New York as part of the City University of New York. Evers’s widow,Myrlie Evers co-wrote the book For Us, the Living with William Peters in 1967. In 1983, a movie was made based on the book. Celebrating Evers’s life and career, it starred Howard Rollins, Jr. and Irene Cara as Medgar and Myrlie Evers, airing on PBS. The film won the Writers Guild of America award for Best Adapted Drama.[27] On June 28, 1992, the city of Jackson, Mississippi erected a statue in honor of Evers. All of Delta Drive (part of U.S. Highway 49) in Jackson was renamed in Evers’ honor. In December 2004, the Jackson City Council changed the name of the city’s airport to “Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport” (Jackson-Evers International Airport) in honor of him.[28]

External image

Statue at Medgar Evers Boulevard Library in 

Jackson, Mississippi

.

His widow Myrlie Evers became a noted activist in her own right later in life, eventually serving as chair of the NAACP.[29] Medgar’s brother Charles Evers returned to Jackson in July 1963 and served briefly in his slain brother’s place. He remained involved in Mississippi civil rights activities for many years and resides in Jackson.[30]

On the 40-year anniversary of Evers’ assassination, hundreds of civil rights veterans, government officials, and students from across the country gathered around his grave site at Arlington National Cemetery to celebrate his life and legacy. Barry Bradford and three students—Sharmistha Dev, Jajah Wu and Debra Siegel, formerly of Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois—planned and hosted the commemoration in his honor.[31] Evers was the subject of the students’ research project.[32]

In October 2009, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, a former Mississippi governor, announced that USNS Medgar Evers (T-AKE-13), a Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship, would be named in the activist’s honor.[33] The ship was christened by Myrlie Evers-Williams on November 12, 2011.[34]

In June 2013, a statue of Evers was erected at his alma mater, Alcorn State University, to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of his death.[35] Alumni and guests from around the world gathered to recognize his contributions to American society.

Evers was further honored in a tribute at Arlington National Cemetery on the 50th anniversary of his death.[36] Former President Bill Clinton, Attorney General Eric Holder, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, Senator Roger Wicker and NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous all spoke commemorating Evers.[37][38] Evers’ widow, Myrlie Evers-Williams, who also honored her late husband, spoke on his contributions to the advancement of civil rights:[39]

“Medgar was a man who never wanted aberration, who never wanted to be in the limelight. He was a man who saw a job that needed to be done and he answered the call and the fight for freedom, dignity and justice not just for his people but all people.”

Medgar Evers’ Legacy In Popular Culture

The murder and subsequent trials caused an uproar. Musician Bob Dylan wrote his 1963 song “Only a Pawn in Their Game” about the assassination.[40] Nina Simone wrote and sang “Mississippi Goddam” about the Evers case and Phil Ochs wrote the songs “Another Country” and “Too Many Martyrs” (also titled “The Ballad Of Medgar Evers”) in response to the killing, with Matthew Jones and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating CommitteeFreedom Singers also recording the latter song.[40] Eudora Welty’s short story “Where Is the Voice Coming From”, in which the speaker is the imagined assassin of Medgar Evers, was published in The New Yorker in 1963.[41]

Evers’ story inspired a 1991 episode of the NBC TV series In the Heat of the Night, entitled “Sweet, Sweet Blues”, written by author William James Royce. The story tells of a murder of a young black man and the elderly white man, played by actor James Best, who seems to have gotten away with the 40-year-old murder. (The TV episode preceded by several years the trial that convicted Beckwith.) In the Heat of the Night won its first NAACP Image Award for Best Dramatic Series that season.[42]

The 1996 film Ghosts of Mississippi, directed by Rob Reiner, tells the story of the 1994 retrial of Beckwith, in which prosecutor DeLaughter of the Hinds County District Attorney’soffice secured a conviction in state court. Beckwith and DeLaughter were played by James Woods and Alec Baldwin, respectively; Whoopi Goldberg played Myrlie Evers. Evers was portrayed by James Pickens, Jr.. The film was based on a book of the same name.[43][44]

Robert DeLaughter wrote a first-person narrative article entitled “Mississippi Justice” published in Reader’s Digest, and a book, Never Too Late: A Prosecutor’s Story of Justice in the Medgar Evers Case (2001), based on his experiences.[45]

Rapper Jahshua Smith has a song entitled “The Ghost of Medgar Evers,” which can be heard on his 2013 release “The Final Season.” The song contains themes of revolution, political justice, and racial equality and empowerment.