For Refinery29’s celebration of Black History Month we put together a list of Black men and women you ought to know. Their legacy in civil rights, feminism, and LGBTQ equality lives on today.
Bayard Rustin — A leading Black figure in the civil rights movement and advisor to Martin Luther King, he was the architect of the 1963 March on Washington and was heavily involved in the first Freedom Rides. He was also gay and a registered communist who went to jail for his sexual orientation. Although widely heralded, he was attacked even by fellow activists for his faith in nonviolence, unapologetic queerness, and attention to income equality. President Obama honored Rustin posthumously with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013.
Combaheee River Collective — A seminal Black lesbian feminist group active from 1974-1980. Although officially short lived, its influence has been major. The group is best known for writing the Combaheee River Collective Statement, an important document in promoting the idea that social change must be intersectional — and that Black women’s needs were not being met by mainstream white feminism and therefore must strike out on their own. Members of the collective included Audre Lorde and…Chirlane McCray, now First Lady of New York City and author of the landmark essay “I Am a Lesbian,” published in Essence in 1979.
John Carlos, Tommie Smith, and Peter Norman — The winners of the 1968 Mexico City Olympics 200 Meter Sprint. In one of the proudest and most political moments of sports history, John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised their leather-gloved fists in the Black Power salute. They wore black socks without shoes to represent black poverty and a scarf and necklace to symbolize “those individuals that were lynched, or killed and that no-one said a prayer for, that were hung and tarred. It was for those thrown off the side of the boats in the middle passage.”
We also include in our list Peter Norman, the white Australian silver medalist from that ceremony, to commemorate his solidarity with the two Black athletes. White people are more than indebted to black history, and Norman is an excellent example of a white ally. Although he didn’t perform the black power salute, he publicly supported the duo without regard to personal safety or retribution. Norman was penalized for his alliance with Carlos and Smith and was never again allowed to compete in any Olympics despite repeatedly qualifying. Largely forgotten and barred from major sporting events, he became a gym teacher and worked at a butcher shop. At his funeral in 2006, John Carlos and Tommie Smith were his pallbearers.
The Friendship Nine — This group of nine Black students from Friendship Junior College willingly went to jail without bail in 1961 after staging a sit-in at McCrory’s lunch counter in Rock Hill, South Carolina. They pioneered the civil rights strategy “Jail, No Bail,” which placed the financial burden for racist incarceration back on the state. They’re appreciated today for their bravery and strategic ingenuity. In 2015 their conviction was finally overturned and prosecutor Kevin Brackett personally apologized to the eight living members of the group.
Barbara Jordan — A lawyer and politician, Barbara Jordan was the first Black woman elected to the Texas Senate after Reconstruction, the first southern Black woman to be elected as a US Senator, and the first Black woman to deliver a keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention. Her keynote address is widely considered the greatest of all time, aided by her charismatic and eloquent public speaking skills. She is also remembered as one of the leaders of the impeachment of Richard Nixon. We chose the above quote to illustrate her unique punchy sense of humor.
Pauli Murray — This civil rights activist, feminist, and poet was a hugely successful lawyer who is also recognized as the first Black female Episcopal priest. Like many figures on this list, Murray was acutely aware of the complex relationship between race and gender, and referred to sexism as “Jane Crow,” comparing midcentury treatment of women to that of African Americans in the South. Although she graduated from Howard University first in her class, she was barred from enrolling as a postgraduate at Harvard because she was a woman. Instead, in 1965 she became the first African American to receive a JSD from Yale Law. Once armed with a law degree she became a formidable force in advancing feminist and civil rights. She is a cofounder of the National Organization for Women (NOW). She also identified as having an “inverted sex instinct,” which she used instead of “homosexual” to describe her complicated gender identity and lifelong attraction to women.
i feel like im alone in this but I really want to read more about the bitty/jack FRIENDSHIP. like, sure, pining and obliviousness is fun, but tell me about the time jack stayed up all night to help bitty rewrite a paper that accidentally got deleted and then held that over his head the rest of the semester any time bitty whined about Jack’s dad jokes. write sonnets about the way bitty chirped jack mercilessly for WEEKS for accidentally breaking the drink machine in the dining hall. pls show me all the times jack tried to wrestle bitty.
When you feel like everyone around you is having more fun and spending more time with friends, it can make you feel bad about yourself — even if it’s not true.
This fear of missing out on parties or events is actually very common. It may be particularly acute among college freshmen because “entering into university is one of the key transition points in your life in establishing your identity in a new social environment,” Whillans says. In other words, it’s the first taste of navigating social situations as an adult.
A study published by Whillans and her colleagues on Thursday found that 48 percent of college freshmen in their second semester at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver believed that their friends had made more friends than they had since school began. Thirty-one percent felt the opposite.
If You Think Everyone Else Has More Friends, You’re Not Alone
Its inevitable, high school is gonna end, we are gonna move to different towns. We aren’t going to see these people everyday anymore, we have six months left together. Six more months of lunches 5 days a week at the same table in the same room in the same school. About 150, give or take a few, days until we graduate and leave this school forever. 4 years of our lives is done. And some people might think that this is a dark depressing thought, that in six months we will leave our best friends behind and move on to another part of our life story. But I think there is a difference between me and someone who thinks this is dark and depressing. You, who thinks this is a dark thought who doesn’t want to hear it, you are probably scared, terrified for the inevitable future that awaits you. And thats perfectly fine, be scared to leave your best friends, that fear is going to drive you to make the most out of these last six months together. Its going to make you want to go out and go to games, dress crazily for spirit weeks, not give a crap about what other people in the school think because you are enjoying yourself for the last time with these people. The difference is I am okay with me and my friends splitting up. I have seven best friends and we hang out all the time. I know that these people are going to be the ones I can count on, these people are going to be with me for the rest of my life, most likely the ones I want to have in my wedding. There is going to be distance put in between us and it will be hard to talk. Seven different people, seven different schedules, seven different towns, finding the time for everyone to talk will be so hard but I’m not worried. These are the people that I know I can count on, that will call me out when I’m lying and will help me through a bad day. I know that we might be able to talk everyday, and I think I’m okay with that because I know that these are the types of people that I don’t need to talk to everyday because I know that they will always be there for me. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to try to talk to them, believe me I am, but it means that I will be okay if there comes a point where everyone is too busy to talk everyday. Now with all this being said, and how I am not scared, that doesn’t mean I won’t take advantage of these six months, I will. I will enjoy every moment that we spend together, every lunch, every dinner at my house, every song played on my guitar in my room, every old movie watched together, every car ride blasting music. I’m going to love every minute of it, but I know that I will be okay when it comes to the point where all of that is just a memory. I will be okay when we all leave, yes I will be heartbroken but I know that we will always find our ways back to each other.
I think more seniors need to understand this. People think when high school is over they end a book, they think of there life as a book series, but its not, its one long novel. High school is just a chapter in it, and just because the chapter is over doesn’t mean the main characters cease to exist. Yes new characters come into the story, but the main ones will always be there, maybe not like they were before, and maybe not in the next chapter, but they will come back into the story. It might be years down the line, but the people who are supposed to be in your life, have a way of coming back. These are your best friends, the people you meet in high school and if your lucky they will be there for the rest of your life.
I'm looking for a fic where bellamy and clarke are college students and they both end up in the laundry room in the middle of the night like once a week and get to know each other and i think it ends in smut. thanks!
I have bouts of missing you. It’s a particular fondness that doesn’t bleed, doesn’t feel like oceans of distance covering what we had, but it still pelts the crater in my chest like raindrops against window panes. On the worst of days, the sun is exploding and she dazzles our streets in light but you are not there to paint her colors. Shadows dot the sidewalk where you do not stand and no silhouette looks quite like you. On easier days, the sky is a tarp and I douse myself in gray and I think of you and it’s a considerate thing when nature clothes itself in my feelings as if she understands. But mostly, I am in the middle. Not beside myself and blue, not wallowing in a sad kind of joy; mostly I just think of where you are and ask the weather forecaster to bring you good news. It’s the soft kind of pining, where I just hope for the best. Not just for me, but for you, too.
Any awkward roommate AUs? I just got into contact with my roommate for next year when I start college, and holy heck, and I feel like she doesn't want anything to do with me or like I really annoy her? I feel like an awkward mushroom and just want to write stuff to make it go away... ugh. On another note, hi! Hope your day is going well!
“I don’t know what part
of ‘four people will be sharing the same bathroom’ that you don’t
understand, because you keep leaving your smelly shoes RIGHT next to the
toilet. Unless you want to wake up and find them in the toilet, I would
recommend finding a new place to put them.” AU
is ready for college! They’ve got their roommate assignments and had a
few casual conversations with them, but on orientation week when
Character A steps into their new dorm, they see that Character B has
already completely set up their side of the room with anime
posters/Dungeon and Dragons stuff/furry artwork/etc. Turns out Character
B is a major fan of some stuff that Character A has never even heard
“Hey there, I’m an awkward mushroom and I’m really bad
about talking to people through social media and stuff, but would you
like to maybe go grab bagels and learn about each other? We are going
to be spending the next few months together to it might be good to start
off on a good foot.” AU
Character A has never really
gotten along with their roommate, Character B. Starting off, Character B
never really wanted to try to talk to Character A, and instead just
spent all of their time on their laptop. One night, while Character A is
up and stressing over an exam they have in the morning, Character B
looks over and says: “oh hey, I’m really good at that class. Do you need
me to help you?”
Character A had planned on rooming with
Character C, their best friend from high school, but because of an
intense fight, Character A is assigned a last minute, random roommate.
Not sure what to expect, Character A is surprised on orientation day to
find that Character B, their new roommate, has brought Character A
brownies/organic trail mix/homemade marshmallow-rice squares/etc. as a
sort of ‘I know we haven’t really talked before but here’s this so
please please please like me’ gift.
“Listen…I’ve never had
alcohol before so can we like, forget the fact that we stayed up until
3am spilling our deepest secrets to each other? That was two days ago
and we haven’t talked about it since.” AU
**This ask was originally sent in by @genosha-meiuqer but had to be modified slightly and sent again on anon.