politics of black hair

The Black girls who u refuse to reblog are still valid and still matter.

Size 20 Black girls
Scene/alternative/nerdy Black girls
Black girls with acne or scarring
Dark skinned Black girls who aren’t fuckable to u
Monoracial Black girls with Black features
Disabled Black girls
Black girls who say “fuck respectability politics”
Black girls with 4c natural hair
Black girls who critique the Black community and the damage it has done to us..
Etc…

Like. Black girls matter whether you like us or not.

Speaking “White” AAVE & Black Hair Politics

Hello, I’m writing a web series based on the Sherlock Holmes series, but the main character is a black teen girl called Shirley Holmes. Her older sister Malin is also an important character, and as a white person, I just wonder if I’m overstepping the line when it comes to certain things. Her character doesn’t revolve around her race (she has goals, hobbies, a past, a family, strengths, weakness, etc. that are unrelated) but I might be commenting on her blackness and how she sees it?

Shirley wears her hair natural & uses some AAVE grammar and words. But Malin works in government – she’s working towards becoming prime minister someday – and straightens her hair and speaks like a very white Canadian. Even though none of the scripts directly comment on this, it’s mainly just a costume/dialogue choice, I feel like I might be inadvertently saying that if you’re black and working in government, you have to conform to these racist ideals, or I’m judging her for conforming to them despite the fact that my people are the ones who created anti-black standards in the first place?

I don’t know, I’m thinking of cutting these details out, but do you think I should take a different approach and directly comment on some double standards?

There is no such thing as “speaking white.” Whiteness is unfairly attributed as the neutral dialect with prescriptive grammar. Just because she speaks in the dialect of her population’s majority doesn’t mean she is speaking in a “white” way.

“Why do you speak/sound so white?” is a way White and non-white people alike have tried to scrub away at PoC’s identities, discrediting them as x race for not conforming to what they assume we should all sound like. At the same time, it applies they’re not really American, Canadian, or whatever it may be since this way of speaking is owed by White Westerners, apparently. You perpetuate this micro-aggression in the language of your ask, so I felt the need to address it.

Personally, as a Black American, I speak in the majority dialect of my Midwestern area, but I also speak AAVE at times when i’m with sisters, and fellow Black friends and family. This is called code-switching and it’s natural for everyone. You don’t speak the same way you do with your boss as you do with your mother, best friend, or crush. Depending on the relationship or environment, the language changes.

Malin isn’t necessarily conforming when she speaks the major Canadian dialect at work. Most people’s language would switch from casual to professional in a work setting anyhow. It could potentially be a more drastic change depending on how often she speaks AAVE in personal settings, but I don’t see these changes as being self-denying. Sadly, It’s called keeping a job in so many cases. Prescriptive grammar and language is expected in certain work settings, especially public, government and political ones. But hey, this may not be far off from how she speaks outside of work anyhow.

Like for me, majority of the time I speak the major dialect. That’s just how I was raised and the language I was taught and surrounded by at school in the suburbs, and in my father’s home. However, majority of elementary school was spent in the city where AAVE was spoken more, and appeared in my mother’s side of the family, in her home, and so on. My language is not a constant stream of AAVE in this X setting nor a constant stream of the Queen’s English in that setting. It’s a mix of both as I’ve grown up using both. And that’s just who I am, and many other Black people in America!

As for Malin’s straightened hair; does she feel the need to straighten her hair for work? Sometimes people just prefer to keep their hair straight. It isn’t always that deep. But if she does have a reason for it, such as feeling her natural hair is going to hold her back from reaching prime minister, address that. This is a legitimate concern that doesn’t make her a bad person; look at how much afro hair is demonized in society. Sometimes straightening one’s hair is about survival, back then and now. Black people have gotten fired, suspended and expelled for having locs and afros, or for refusing to straighten or cut said hair. I’d just read somewhere how Michelle Obama would not be nearly as successful or respected if she wore her hair naturally curly. That can’t be too far from the truth from the way even her children were called “unfit to represent America” when they had twists in. Children! Source + a useful article: Black Hair, Still Tangled in Politics. 

You need to do more base research on writing Black characters to avoid harmful portrayals and language against us. I’d pursue our “Black” tags, research and resources pages.

And now for Lesya, who can give a Canadian perspective!

~Mod Colette

With how the Canadian government basically requires a university degree unless you’re working in the advertising department, and even then I’m not 100% sure a university degree isn’t required, her speaking like anything other than university attending individual would be eyebrow raising. There’s natural code switching, as Colette said, and so many people have a “work voice” that it would make sense from that perspective. 

Honestly I’m not sure the percentage of AAVE in Canada, so I would be careful about just throwing it in the story under the assumption all Black people in North America speak AAVE in their communities. While I’m sure you know Canada is different from the US, I would very very very specifically look at black Canadian history to find out what the culture is like up here. From a quick wikipedia, a decent chunk of our Black individuals have Caribbean origins, so take that into account. 

I would strongly suggest looking at the paths people like Michaëlle Jean, Rosemary Brown, and Leona Aglukkaq, who all reached very high levels of government. While Leona Aglukkaq is Inuit, there would be a certain amount of overlap in the general principle. I would also take a look at Viola Desmond, whose story highlights Canada’s relationship with segregation. We’ve done a very good job sweeping that under the rug.

Honestly, this looks very… American based. Which I get, because most social justice is from an American perspective therefore most knowledge of racial issues will be from that perspective, but something about it doesn’t jive with me. Part of this is because I am Native, not Black. But from the study of Canadian racism I’ve found, it tends to take on different forms here. 

Canada’s racial history is much different from American racial history, so the relationships Black individuals have with their Blackness is likely going to be similarly different. We have our segregation rules, and we have our unofficial methods, but between the heritage differences and how there was less physical violence, there’s going to be some dynamic changes.

Just something to keep in mind as you research. Most Black issues that get publicized are American issues, and they are very important to cover, but I wouldn’t transplant the racial environment of one country to a different one. Look up Black Canadian issues specifically, and tell their story instead of a Black American story.

~ Mod Lesya 

black illustrated fairy tales:FYI

I work in a book store and was brought in these kids books called “Jump at the Sun Fairy-Tale Classics” that re-draw fairy tale classics as with characters of colour! 

Prices online are a little high, but the original prices on the little paperback picture books are $4.50ish (CAN)

Princesses and Princes are featured with locs, cornrows, natural hair and a variety, as well as slightly varying skin tones. Everyone in the stories are people of colour. Here’s a couple of the covers I found online:

White men receiving praise for something men of colour have been doing long before white society accepted it. This has been on my mind since the popularization of the “man-bun”.

youtube

“What if America loved black people as much as it loves black culture?”
Wonderfully worded. 

Creepypasta #921: I’m Sorry I Cant Help You, Dear

Length: Super long

“Come on! We’re late” cried Isabella from outside my house. I looked out the window and held out my open hand to signal “wait.”

I grabbed my backpack and ran down the stairs and out through the door to meet one of my childhood friends. She was a fair-skinned, polite and easy-going girl who liked to keep her black hair with a pink bow. I smiled at her for a greet and she casually smiled back. This has been our routine every school day since our first year in high-school, when her parents realizing she was old enough to go to school by herself let her ride with me on our way. I unlocked the chain on my bike and we rode off.

School was pretty dull. Math is hard as ever, Social Science a badger, and Reading as boring.

I ran, as the last bell for the day rang, to get ahead for the cafeteria line. I bought three brownies and a bottle of orange juice. I was halfway through my second brownie when I got to the field where I would usually wait for Isabella and Ford. Ford, by the way, is a pretty stout guy, with a very fat brain for jokes.

It wasn’t long when Ford arrived. We sat down by the field to watch the soccer practice game. A few minutes in and Isabella came. She smiled and sat down with us. Goal! The red team just scored a ball. We clapped.

“Hey! Let’s go to the culture fair” Ford said, smiling eagerly.

“Yeah sure! I wanted to go there too” I answered enthusiastically. I’ve always loved trying new things.

“Isabella?”

“Sure!”

“Alright then!” I said, satisfied. “How about we go in 5 minutes? I’ll just finish my drink.”

~

The culture fair was held in the university just two streets down our school. As it was open to anyone, we saw a couple of our teachers lined up for a burger stall and some schoolmates walking all around. It was a cheery atmosphere. We went and tried different booths. There was a marksmanship booth, a puzzle booth, a quiz table, and even a potato enthusiasts stall.

There was one booth with a tent set up. The tent had starry patterns and some sort of tribal inscriptions. “Fortune-telling” the sign outside read. 

“Let’s go check it” Ford said.

There were three people lined up in front of us. Just when the customer inside was done with her consultation, Ford’s phone rang.

“Aww man! Sorry, guys, looks like I have to go. My dad’s here waiting in the car. See ya!”

We said our goodbye’s and see ya’s.

It wasn’t a long wait until we were up. We peeked inside before entering. There in the far side of the fabric-built room was a middle-aged woman politely signalling for us to enter.

“Good afternoon, ma'am” I said.

“Good afternoon, dear. Please take seat and relax.” she kindly answered.

She promptly began her reading. She reached out a hand in my direction and asked for mine. Upon the first touch of my hand, her light-mood face seemed to shift to a wearier state. She carefully examined the lines on my palm. I remember comparing it in my mind to how a forensics investigator would examine a crime scene.

After examining it, she let go and reached for a small, obviously worn-out, brown book. She flipped through a couple of pages and whispered very faint phrases to herself. She put down the book and looked at me with those now weary eyes.

She gave a long sigh.

And another.

She began to clear her throat.

“Dear, have you seen supernatural things?”

“No” I politely answered.

“Have you seen anything you think is unnaturally mysterious?”

“No. Uhmm. No, I don’t think so.”

“Well- dear, I’m-” she stuttered. “I’m really sorry. You went here to get a reading on your future but I’m afraid I have disappointed you.”

She paused. I stared silently.

“There is something that clouds my vision of your life.” she reluctantly continued. “Now, dear, I give you the choice, the full option, of whether you would like to know or not what clouds my vision.”

Scared as I was, as I admittedly am very easy to scare, I was naturally intrigued on what she had to say.

“Please go ahead, ma'am.”

“Are you sure, boy?”

“Yes.”

“Certain?”

“Certain.”

She looked at me questioningly and at the same time very wearily.

“Let me warn you. This is grave. What I see is very grave.”

“Please tell.”

As she opened her mouth to speak, she suddenly stopped and cleared her throat and wrinkled her forehead as if she was thinking of another thing to say.

“Someone-” she finally began. “Someone is following you” she said.

“What?” I cried. Chills ran through my back and a cold shiver passed my arms.

“Someone is following you. Every-e-everywhere you go."she said with an obvious stuttering of fear. "I’m sorry I cannot help you, dear. I strongly suggest you go ask a man of the church to help you. And pray harder if you pray. And stay close to people who you think can protect you.”

This ominous warning scared the shit out of me. I was too scared and too confused with what I felt that I stood up and bid the lady goodbye angrily. Just as I was exiting, Isabella, who I had actually forgotten was with me due to all the mysterious tension, stood up and walked towards the exit too. She went out first. As I exited I briefly looked back and saw the fear-stricken face of the woman.

I remembered something about what she said earlier and decided to ask.

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black hair

i could go off about baltimore, but that has been my facebook life for this whole week and i’m tired. plus, that picture below of urbanbushbabes and chesca leigh says a lot of shit better than i could say. 

instead, i want to talk about black hair. not in any in-depth back-to-africa way. and not in any relaxer-shaming way. just in an honest way. on the stupendous buzfeeed podcast “another round”,  which features tracy clayton and heben nigatu, tracy and heben discuss a letter from a listener who says, “it’s like i can’t get some people to look passed what my hair looks like and see me for me… it’s so frustrating.” and as they are talking about perceptions of different kinds of black hair, heben responds in a way i had never really considered, “even from black people… like it’s just weird to assume someone’s politics from their hair. i never do that.” 

i totally do that! and i had no idea i was doing it. part of it is a “natural hair solidarity” thing. i look at girls in braids and fros like people with whom i share something. because we do share an affinity for the same style. but i need to remember that it stops there. to assume one’s politics off of a hairstyle is bonkers and i vow to try to climb out of that hole of unnecessary stereotyping.

BSD Novel: Dazai Osamu and the Dark Era (Chapter 4, Part 2)

Thank you to @nakaharachuyaa @mlntyoonqi @bananasaurr for proofreading! Here’s a very brief reprieve from most of the pain and suffering.

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anonymous asked:

May I please request a marvel (and band of brothers) ship? I'm a pansexual girl with long brown hair and black eyes. I'm a political science major, and also very interested in animals (especially cats & horses) and science. I'm kind of chubby and a bit insecure about it. I've got depression & anxiety. I'm pretty smart, kinda awkward, love traveling and music, and I watch a LOT of movies and read a lot. I'm not super outgoing but I'm very loyal once I make a good friend. Thank you so much! xx

Marvel - Bruce Banner

Originally posted by petils

He totally understands your depression & anxiety, being that he suffers from it himself. He finds your love for science a total turn-on and he loves seeing you work so passionately with it! He’s not very outgoing either so you guys would be a very chill couple, the kind that could lie around all the time and just enjoy one another’s company <3

Band of Brothers - Dick Winters

I believe his personality would mesh well with yours since he’s a pretty low-key guy. He’s very caring and would also help you deal with whatever you’re feeling. He’d always be there for you and would be the light of your life <3

3

Visual artist Nakeya Brown‘s series on the politics of black women’s hair has been getting much attention lately as the photos make their way from New York to Michigan to D.C. and beyond. 

Her first series, “Refutation of Good Hair,” was born out of a personal journey to let her own hair grow into its natural state of curls — void of any chemical processing to make it straight — at the same time she was becoming a mother. 

“It was an opportunity to reflect upon how I understood myself and of how my daughter would be understood and defined,” she said.