year of the afro

Today in history, March 22nd 1873, Puerto Rico officially, Abolished slavery. Although that date was the official date for the abolition of slavery, enslaved Africans and their descendants still suffered under the conditions of slavery for a minimum of three more years, while slave owners were given money, and land agreements in their favor to compensate for the incoming loss to their revenue. Even after that, previously enslaved Africans and African descendants worked under similarly harsh conditions under the same “employer” for low wages.

It’s now been 144 years later, and I would implore us, Puerto Ricans , to reflect on what the abolition meant, and how the effects of race-based social structure still lingers on in current day Puerto Rico, and the Puerto Rican diaspora. How are conditions like for Puerto Rican’s of African descent, what are conditions like for Puerto Rican’s who’s African heritage is worn on their skin? What can we do to continue fighting against anti-blackness, and ensure a more inclusive, and less discriminatory Puerto Rican culture?

For decades, there have been few photographic images of Harriet Tubman depicting how the abolitionist and Civil War spy looked in her lifetime.

Now there’s one more.

New York City auction house Swann Galleries has announced that it will auction a newly discovered photo of Tubman March 30.

Kate Clifford Larson, author of the biography “Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero,” estimated that Tubman was between 43 and 46 years old when the photo was taken, placing it shortly after the end of the Civil War. At the time, Tubman was living in Auburn, where she had purchased land in 1859 from then-Sen. William H. Seward — land that will soon become the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park.

Larson said that in her 20 years of researching Tubman, she’s been sent dozens of photos of black women by people claiming to have discovered a new image of the soon-to-be face of the $20. But not one has actually depicted Tubman.


final fantasy xiii series + characters.

merry belated christmas @starry-spaceneet xxxx


It’s now officially 2017 so I guess I can post my (supposed) Best 9 selfies of 2016! (・∀・)ノ 

… In reality, I just grabbed random ones b/c 2016 was not my best for pics lol. If you want to see everything I posted selfie-wise, you can go to my tagged/me obvs.

Now to get back to The Twilight Zone & my cucumber gin. Happy New Year, y’all!

Bea Gaddy knew what it was like to be down on her luck. Coming from a family of domestic violence, Bea went between low-paying jobs to homelessness and living on welfare. Her luck took a turn for the better in 1981 when she purchased a 50-cent lottery ticket and won $290. Instead of spending this on herself, she decided she would feed the hungry on Thanksgiving. This would become known as the “Thanks for Giving” feast and year after year, people were touched by Bea’s kindness and would follow in her footsteps.

The “Thanks for Giving” feast was first held on a sidewalk with Bea providing and cooking all of the food. With the popularity growing, more and more diners wanted to attend and local grocers and farms started to provide food. Over the forthcoming years, Bea was awarded with a number of awards including Unsung Hero Award, Afro American Woman of the Year and Baltimore City Council Award. She passed away on 3 October, 2001, due to breast cancer.

Hair Expression of Black America

Black folks have been creative with their hair since forever. But in past eras, particular cuts heated up the hood, and then the NBA reflected and magnified those individual trends. Think all of the NBA’s 1970s Afros or 1990s cornrows.

Our hair is a matter of pride for all black community. And over the years it became a symbol of our struggle for justice! Every afro, every cornrow is a contribution to the common cause!

People need to understand black people have different tribes of themselves and all have different textures of hair like, straight hair, curly hair, wavey, cheetah hair, and natural twisties. And you need to respect every hair style.

This is so amazing and great to know that my locks relate to my culture!

In the kitchen at Oakland Avenue Urban Farm, just north of downtown Detroit, Linda Carter and Shawnetta Hudson are in the final stages of making their newest jam creation: cranberry-apple preserves. Carter is meticulously wiping down tables while Hudson seals the lids on jars. Then comes the logo — a beautiful graphic of a black woman with afro hair made of strawberries. The kitchen is small and basic, but for the past year it has served as the hub of a community-based product called Afro Jam.

“The name Afro Jam and the logo are empowering, independent and strong,” Carter says. “That’s what we want our community to be.”

Carter, the food safety manager at the farm, recruited Hudson from the local community to help her keep up with making and selling the product. Strawberry, peach and blueberry are Afro Jam’s best sellers.

A Detroit Urban Farm Preserves Black History In Jam Form

Photo: Martina Guzman for NPR


I realized that when I had my long relaxed hair, there were many boys that found me attractive. Now, I am about 1 year and 7 months natural with a pretty big afro. I post it on my social media & the boys that once found me beautiful with my long relaxed hair, seem to no longer look at me the same way. And majority of the guys are black, btw. I have no desire to ever want to put a relaxer back in my hair & my natural hair makes me happy, but I can’t help but feel unattractive most times :(

Everything Wrong with Afropunk 2016:

Photos: (L): Photo of myself, taken by Driely S. | ®: Skin of Skunk Anansie, taken by my partner, Tom.

I am someone that, while I thoroughly enjoyed my time that weekend, was also very, very aware of how “un-punk” the festival was. Did I dance, eat, drink, and smile? Yup. I even got photographed a few times, so I can’t be mad at that. But the articles popping up about the festival becoming a “Black Coachella” are not negative.They are true. Here’s why:

Controversial Acts:

This year, Tyler The Creator headlined the Red Stage on Saturday. The rush to get to that area of the festival grounds was chaotic. But I must have been the only one who was thinking in the back of their mind “didn’t Tyler come under fire for some homophobic remarks a few years ago?” Back in 2008, when Afro-Punk documentary maker James Spooner was still involved in the festival, he actually got on stage to call out a band that ended their set with a cover of the homophobic song “Boom Bye Bye”. Because that simply didn’t fly with the vision Spooner had for this festival/movement. So I can only imagine that he must be cringing at the choice of having Tyler headline.

Also on the bill for Saturday was Cee Lo Green, on the Green stage.. who, admittedly, I danced to, because Cee Lo has had some serious bangers in his career. However, I couldn’t be the only one who hasn’t forgotten his deplorable stance on sexual assault. When your booked artist stands firmly against your banner of “No Sexism” which is what you pride your festival on, then you’ve got a real problem, and should re-evaluate what you want Afropunk to represent. Enough said.

And then there is the band Trash-Talk, who I didn’t research before going, and who’s set I didn’t see. But in the aftermath, I kept seeing photographs of a white singer, crowd-surfing and moshing with the audience, and wondering who this could possibly be? Turns out that Afropunk has officially ditched its “you ha[ve] to have a black singer” policy, in favor of simply getting any old hardcore punk band with some black members to keep your credibility up as a punk festival. Ouch. Their only saving grace were the amount of amazing black, female-fronted rock and alternative acts I saw on the Green stage (especially Skunk Anansie).

The List of What You Can’t Bring Into the Festival:

Bags that you can fit more than a cell phone in; although they seemed to be more lenient when you actually arrive with a bag, the official festival website’s FAQs scares you into not wanting to bring anything, lest it be confiscated. Other prohibited items included lawn chairs, your own food and drinks, picnic baskets and coolers, and umbrellas. Now, with that being said, I saw more than a handful of people with chairs, and umbrellas that weekend. I do not know if they were simply being lenient on certain people, or if there were chairs and umbrellas for sale on the festival grounds. But it’s not a good idea to risk having to go back to your car or having it confiscated, if you decide to defy the the organizers.

The Choice of Music Spun by DJs:

I’m not anti-hip-hop, rap, or R&B. I’m not anti-pop. But the lack of alternative & punk music (not even black-made punk music) was very apparent at Afropunk this year. Perhaps it had something to do with the “theme” (they have themes now?); “Power to the Party”. What that means, I have no clue. But there was an abundance of hip-hop and rap that I honestly didn’t recognize (because I’m uncool and can’t keep up), with lyrics about “fuckin’ hoes”, and “suckin’ dicks”, and all that cringe-worthy stuff that shouldn’t really be played at a festival whose banner reads “No Sexism”. I literally found myself stopping in the middle of dancing when I would hear lyrics like that, and glance at my partner like “wtf did I just hear?”

White People:

As the festival gains more popularity, more white people are feeling okay about showing up, with their friends in tow. This is probably the most problematic thing about Afropunk, and could lead to its downfall. There are white people coming into a space that was made exclusively for alternative black people, standing through/ignoring black-made music that isn’t for them, to see artists that they could have seen at any other festival (i.e. Tyler, Ice Cube, Cee Lo, Janelle Monae, Trash-Talk). The future of Afropunk could very well look half white, as time goes on.

Cultural Appropriation:

We all know what this is. But we as Black people don’t seem to think it applies to us. I saw more than a handful of black girls with Native American headdresses on, and more than half the people on the grounds sporting the Indian nostril piercing look (you know the one). This isn’t okay. There isn’t much more I need to say on this. Especially since other festivals have come under fire for this sort of behavior before.

Punk as an Afterthought:

At the end of the day, Afropunk is looking to cash in, rather than serve the people it originally intended to serve. With non-punk or alternative headliners, and pricey admission, it’s become more about aesthetic than anything else. Even with Sunday night’s power jam, featuring Living Colour, Fishbone, and Bad Brains, punk was an afterthought. The fact that George Clinton (who was also on stage with them) had to even say “there would be no Afropunk if it wasn’t for Bad Brains” to hype up the crowd (who were all mostly waiting for Ice Cube), says it all. And it’s too late for the festival to turn itself around.

oh man, now i cant stop thinking about Piper’s hair. I headcanon her as inheriting that gorgeous but sometimes wildly unmanageable mixed-race hair texture from Alya, which is why she usually keeps it short/straightens it into submission. But she also had those cute little box braids when she was younger, and I’d love to see her drift back to more natural hairstyles.

Maaaaaybe bantu knots until she grows it out enough to braid? Or twists???

(If anyone who is more knowledgeable about black hairstyles would like to weigh in, please do. I’m going off what limited experience i’ve gained living with my afro-latina roommate for two years and listening to her plot non-stop about her hair.)