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Alabama County Elects 5 Black Women

A glimmer of hope

This Alabama County Just Elected 9 Black Women To Become Judges

In a great stride for representation Tuesday, nine black women were elected to become judges in majority Democratic Jefferson County, Alabama, The Birmingham Times reported.

The black women who came out on top in the district and circuit courts are all Democrats. Javan Patton, Debra Bennett Winston, Shera Craig Grant, Nakita “Niki” Perryman Blocton, Tamara Harris Johnson, Elisabeth French, Agnes Chappell, Brendette Brown Green and Annetta Verin are to be sworn in next January.

French, who was re-elected to Jefferson County’s Circuit Court, told The Birmingham Times that she believes her hard work and years of experience helped to propel her to elected office.

“I think the people don’t necessarily just support you just because of your race and gender. I think voters expect more than that. They look at our qualifications and make a decision about who they can trust with the leadership position,” she said.

Tuesday night was a big night for women of color across the states ― not just in local politics, but in federal positions, as well. Three women of color, Catherine Cortez Masto, Tammy Duckworth and Kamala Harris, were elected to the Senate. Stephanie Murphy and Pramila Jayapal were also elected to the House. Next year, there will be 38 women of color serving in Congress, bringing us a little bit closer to shattering that glass ceiling.

Also on HuffPost

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter, The Post-Racial Life

 

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With the Rise of Trumpism – Black Women Racially Harassed at American University

This one is a bit odd. American University in Washington, DC is best known as a school for Foreign Affairs, and has had a pretty diverse student body for decades. My father got his Masters here, and that was back in the late 50’s. I have attended seminars there. This probably is a result of the type of racist behavior encouraged by the Chumph, with some of small population of picayune brained white people acting out – sometimes violently.

Image result for American University

Black Students Say They Were Harassed With Bananas At American University

“I wouldn’t let people drive me out, but it’s kind of sad that this kind of thing still happens.”

Students at American University in Washington D.C. have condemned the school over what they said was an inadequate response to racially-charged incidents on campus this month.

In one case, a rotting banana was left at the door of a black student’s dorm room. In addition, someone drew a penis on a whiteboard attached to her door.

“I wouldn’t let people drive me out,” Neah Gray, the freshman who found the banana, told the newspaper. “But it’s kind of sad that this kind of thing still happens.”

In another incident, someone threw a rotten banana at a black student, according to the American University Black Student Alliance. The organization said that the actions were part of a pattern of behavior at the university; last year, racist epithets were written on the dorm doors of black students.

The university described one of the incidents as “not characterized as bias related,” and announced that “conduct charges” were taking place through the “Student Conduct process.” It was not clear which incident the university was referring to.

On Friday, the administration also announced plans for a town hall meeting to be held that very night.

That response didn’t sit well with many students, who said they weren’t given enough notice to attend the meeting.

Black women are under threat on campus ― they are being used as target practice,” Jada Bell, the Black Student Alliance’s outreach coordinator, told BuzzFeed. “We’re literally being attacked and assaulted on campus, and there’s nothing being done about it by the administration.”

As a result, the university’s student senate issued a resolution late Sunday not only condemning the incidents, but also the school’s response.

American University student Ryan Shepard said signs were later posted around campus:

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2016 in Domestic terrorism, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Most Educated Group in America? Black Women

Which group in America, by ethnicity and gender is the highest educated?

Black women.

Black women are now the most educated group in the United States

Black women are now the most educated group in the United States, according toreports by the National Center for Education Statistics.

By both race and gender there is a higher percentage of black women (9.7 percent) enrolled in college than any other group including Asian women (8.7 percent), white women (7.1 percent) and white men (6.1 percent).

Also black women earned 66 percent of bachelor’s degrees, 71 percent of master’s degrees, and 65 percent of all doctorate degrees awarded to African-American students in the United States between 2009 and 2010.

Two critiques of that –

  1. Brothers – get your isht together
  2. Sistas – Forget the basket weaving degrees in HR and “Business”… I would love to see many, many more of you in the STEM Fields
 
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Posted by on June 2, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter, The Post-Racial Life

 

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Harassment of Black Air Passengers

Been through this a few years ago when I was on several business trips to see some folk in Milwaukee. Dressed in business conservative high end suit, the first time for an overnight meet and greet, the second for 4 days to meet on a project. Stopped the first trip leaving the airport by local neo-nazi dressed cops in the car line, carrying nothing more than my briefcase and overnight bag and questioned about where I was going. On leaving, stopped again at the security line, and asked to go to a room, where the only other passengers were an Indonesian man, and another black person. Subjected to the hand wand scan, and a search of my bags. The second trip, same routine on leaving, only brown or black passengers in the exam room, and the guy started to bring the dog over. I asked to see his supervisor, which after some gruff a higher up came in. I explained to the higher up the situation, let slip who I had come to see, and explained if I was further harassed it was going to get damned expensive for his bosses, and I intended to bring it up with the next trip with the Mayor. At which point he conceded his officers had been overzealous. The project involved me moving to Milwaukee for a year. After that experience I looked into the social background of the city. I wound up killing my part of the deal.

I used to fly 4-8 flights a week, over 200,000 miles a year, have been to every major Airport in the US, and some places where I flew in on a 4 or 6 seat Cessna prop plane. You will, with those numbers occasionally get stopped by the “random” system by which passengers are selected at random for a wand swipe. A pat down should be extremely rare, unless you are travelling from certain countries overseas. Since they keep the names of the people searched, you should never get stopped in the same destination airport twice if you are a business person.

I’m a black woman; that doesn’t mean I have a bomb in my hair

Being a black woman while flying has meant harassment: constant rummaging through my hair for nonexistent weapons

Following yet another awful terrorist attack, this one partially in an airport in Belgium, the topic of air-travel security and civil liberties is once again in the news. But my personal experience flying as a black woman shows we still have a long way to go in balancing security and the rights of individuals– especially when those individuals aren’t white.

I fly frequently. Between performances, workshops, retreats and conferences, I’m typically on a domestic flight at least once a month. So I am no stranger to TSA flight requirements. I take my laptop out of my bag and put it in a separate tray. Take off my shoes. Remove my belt. Empty my pockets. Throw out my water bottle. Pack liquids under 3.4 ounces. Then, I stand with my hands over my head for scanning. And while I do my best to comply with TSA rules and policies, I am always stopped. Always. Why? Because their scanning machine says my hair may be, or possess, a security threat. Sometimes they need to “just take a look” – so I stand still while they walk around me in a circle to get a closer look at my hair. Increasingly, a TSA agent will need to pat down my hair, rake their fingers through my tresses and squeeze my scalp. And, of course, the so-called “security threat” is never found.

My hair is a critical part of my self-expression, my artistic practice, a celebration of my heritage and my connection to spirit. So when TSA runs their dirty-ass latex gloves through my hair, it’s an insult. It’s racist. And it needs to stop.

A couple of months ago I headed to San Francisco from New York City for an annualEchoing Ida retreat. Unsurprisingly, but infuriatingly nonetheless, my hair needed to be inspected by a TSA agent at John F. Kennedy International (JFK) airport. I had had enough. Like many millennials, I took to social media to vent my frustration. When I landed on the West Coast, I opened my Facebook app to find that a bunch of my friends had commented, mostly black women. Many were outraged and others mentioned how they too go through this experience with TSA, wondering what we could do about it….

The TSA’s current practice does little to respond to an agreement it made with  the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California (ACLUNC) last year.

The agreement was reached after the ACLUNC filed an administrative complaint on behalf of Malaika Singleton, Ph.D. – a black woman with locs who experienced a hair pat-down after going through TSA scanning at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and again at Minneapolis International Airport (MSP) in December 2013. According to the agreement, TSA offered to ensure that “training related to nondiscrimination is clear and consistent for TSA’s workforce” as well as specifically track hair pat-down complaints “from African-American females throughout the country to assess whether a discriminatory impact may be occurring at a specific TSA secured location.”

Armed with this information, I vowed that the next time one of these TSA agents tried to touch my hair, I would remind them about the ACLU agreement, take names and file a complaint. I didn’t have to wait very long. I had my opportunity on Sunday, March 13, at the Raleigh Durham International Airport (RDA) in North Carolina.

I was on my way home after attending and providing healing services at the BYP100 National Membership Convening. As usual, TSA needed to check my hair after scanning. I respectfully said no. When the TSA agent told me it was required, I asked for her supervisor. (Ironically, while I’m waiting, another TSA agent compliments me on my hair.) When her supervisor arrived, she said I had two options: 1) get my hair patted down where I was standing or 2) get my hair patted down in a private room. My heart was pounding. My ears were hot. I was steaming mad. It took everything I had to keep my composure. Despite my anger, I calmly explained: “I don’t want my hair touched. Every time I go through TSA security I get stopped for my hair, and other black women experience this too.” The agent replied, “It’s not just black women; Latina and Asian women get this treatment as well.” She said that if I refused, I would not be able to board my plane. It was 20 minutes until boarding and I didn’t want to miss my flight. After taking her name and letting her know that I would be filing a complaint, I “allowed” (can I even call it that?) a TSA agent to pat my hair down, only after I instructed her to change her latex gloves. She squeezed my bun, raked through my scalp. And what did she find? Nothing. What a surprise.

Being a black woman while flying has meant harassment: consistent and constant rummaging through my hair searching for nonexistent threats and weapons. I understand that in a post-9/11 era there is a desire to be cautious — especially given the most recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels. I too desire safety and security; however, I am not convinced that my hair is deserving of so much suspicion. While the rare instance of hair smuggling is not completely unheard of, there have to be solutions to this security query that don’t involve a breach of civil liberties, racial profiling and humiliating pat-downs.

There are no bombs in my bun. Ain’t no weapons of mass destruction tangled in my fro-hawk. I’m not smuggling drugs in my braids. No firearms are concealed in my pinned-up pompadour. No hidden weapons under my headwrap. I promise not to use my bobby pins to stab anyone. Nor will I use my head scarf to choke passengers. My twist-outs are harmless. My high ponytail will not kill you. My black kinky hair in all of its styles (trust, there are many) does not compromise homeland security.

My hair is my crown and glory. Raised by a single mother who had a hectic schedule, I became responsible for doing my hair at the tender age of 9. So you know I take my hair seriously. I’ve done every hairdo under the sun: from bobs to bangs, Aailyah swoops to the T-Boz “Crazy Sexy Cool” cut. Short and long. A full head of hair and a frohawk. Perms, weave and natural. The list goes on. My hair is a big part of who I am. That the TSA is ill-equipped to deal with it in a routine and non-invasive manner is symptomatic of systemic racism….More

 

 

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Bar Kicks Out Two Black Women…Bad Move

Kicking two black women out of a bar is bad for business…Unless they are drunk, obnoxious to other customers, or violent (which goes for any patron). Men drink more on average, it’s true. But they drink more than that when there are women around to try and impress and socialize with. Which gets us back to most smart bar owners encouraging women to patronize their establishments as a good business move.

Kicking two black women, for apparently no good reason…Who turn out to be Attorneys for the ACLU…

Is a really bad business day.

Fresno bar kicks out two black women — and it turns out they are attorneys for the ACLU

ACLU attorneys Abre' Conner and Novella Coleman (Twitter)

A Fresno, California bar is under fire for kicking out two African-American attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union who were trying to have a night out singing karaoke, according to the ACLU.

Attorneys Abre’ Conner and Novella Coleman went to a bar called Brig. The two women were hoping for a night of karaoke and planned to sing the R&B classic, “Waterfalls,” by TLC.

“But before our song was called, a bar employee came up and said we had to buy drinks to sing karaoke,” they wrote on the ACLU’s website. “Another bartender lunged at us within inches of our faces and shouted ‘Buy drinks!’”

This despite the fact they had already bought drinks, they wrote.

“A second bartender — a very tall and large man — shouted louder and louder that we were loitering and that the bar wasn’t a hangout place,” they wrote. “Over and over again he pushed his body up against Abre’ — who is just 5’4” tall — to force her out of the bar.”

The bar is described as a “dive” on Facebook.

Conner and Coleman wrote that they were the only black customers in the bar.

“We pointed out that the bar staff was only using the rule against us and we seemed to be the only two Black people in the bar,” they wrote.

The police were called, and the police made the women leave.

“The bartender and police claimed to be exercising the business’ supposed ‘right’ to refuse service,” they wrote. “This sounds too much like when the country still had ‘colored’ sections and racially segregated water fountains. But this happened in March 2016.”

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2016 in The Definition of Racism

 

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Death by Incarceration – Why Are Black Women Arrested For Minor Violations Dying in Jail?

Somehow a 16 year old 100lb black girl is more threat to the system than a white 40 year old mass murderer…

16 Year Old Gynna McMillen

Why Are Black Girls and Women Dying in Police Custody?

Gynna McMillen was brought into the Lincoln Village Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, on January 10, 2016, after police were called to her mother’s house about a “domestic incident.” The next morning she was found unresponsive in a cell. What happened to her? Why is she dead after less than 24 hours in the detention facility? These are questions being asked by Gynna’s family and others concerned about the deaths of Black people in police custody.

Slowly, investigators are releasing information, and what we know so far is horrifying. Gynna McMillen, a 16-year-old Black girl, died in a detention center where staff used martial arts to restrain her when she refused to remove her sweatshirt. Gynna McMillen died while isolated in a cell. Gynna McMillen died alone: No one followed the protocol to check on her every 15 minutes.

Black children have always faced disproportionately brutal treatment in jail. “Opportunities Lost: Racial Disparities in Juvenile Justice in Kentucky and Identified Needs for Systems Change,” a 2009 issue brief written and published by Kentucky Youth Advocates, details disproportionate contact with children of color at every level of the juvenile legal system, from complaints against youth to arrest and detainment. Despite representing only 9.5 percent of the Kentucky youth population, African-American youth are more than twice as likely as white youth to have complaints filed against them, four times more likely to be detained during any point in court processing and more than four times as likely to have their cases referred to adult courts.

In 2013, the rate of African-American youth detained in juvenile detention, correctional and/or residential facilities was 495 per 100,000, the highest of any racial or ethnic group, according to National Kids Count data. For African-American girls specifically, the rate was 78 per 100,000, according to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

While the arrest rate has declined for boys in the juvenile legal system, it has not fallen as sharply for girls. African-American girls represent 33.2 percent of girls who are detained, although they are only 14 percent of the population. Many incarcerated girls have experienced one or more traumas, including abuse, poverty, mental illness and being funneled through child welfare systems. Instead of receiving the help they need, girls are routed into the juvenile legal system because of their victimization. Sometimes, their response to trauma is itself criminalized. As Monique Morris wrote in America’s Wire, African-American girls are often criminalized for qualities associated with survival, such as being loud and defiant….Read The Rest Here

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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The Educated, Professional Black Man and Dating

Found this article and though it encapsulated modern black professional dating, although it was published 2 years ago.

Hate to tell this guy, but even making substantially more than some professional black women I’ve gone out with – it can be difficult. I drive a modest car, having gotten out of the childhood stage of driving the high end cars a long time ago to impress anyone. Other than a job interview or meeting a new client for the first time, I don’t get chance to wear the nice suits anymore due to the “full time casual” nature of the tech industry. Don’t talk about the other homes or properties or possessions until things begin to go well, and avoid talking money. I rent a house to be near work. Have no intention of retiring off to shuffleboard city. Seems that even at my age, many black women are looking for Mr. Perfect – and the least imperfection derails things.

Met an attractive black woman a few weeks ago on a website who lived locally. After exchanging mails back and forth she asked for my real name. Obviously to do a background check, which is not that uncommon with professional women in DC. I suggested she look at my LinkedIn page instead, which discusses some of my work and for whom I worked for – and some of my professional relationships proving that. Told her I had worked in some places that require security clearances, and one which required ongoing background checks and random drug testing. Most people in this city know what that means. Ergo – no criminal background, decent credit, and no drugs or excess alcohol. Told her point blank that some of the work I have done cannot be discussed on an open forum, and as such isn’t going to be on the resume. Several reasons for that, one being under non-disclosure working for companies which don’t want certain financial or business transactions to be public, or a company operating in “Stealth Mode” prior to a public announcement.

She bailed apparently insulted that I knew her program.

 

Well-Traveled, Intelligent Black Man, 34, Seeks ‘Sista’ OK With Him Making Less Money

He’s got a degree. Check. A job. Check. Money. Well, that’s where Terrell Jermaine Starr’s dating story stops adding up.

BY:

When I tell my friends that the last time I had a girlfriend was during my freshman year in college in 1998, they respond with disbelief.

For them it’s bemusing to fathom that a man who is well-traveled, gainfully employed, bilingual, degreed, childless, not living in his mother’s basement and debt-free could go 16 years without being in a relationship and years at a time without having sex. What people don’t understand is that my income isn’t as high as many would expect, and it makes me feel insecure about how women may view my current professional station in life.

I only began working full time in my 30s; I spent all of my 20s traveling around Eastern Europe—mainly through Peace Corps, Fulbright and language study-abroad programs—and earning degrees. I consider myself a very late bloomer who has just recently realized I can make a living keystroking breaking-news stories and Brooklyn Renaissance-ing my way into a literary career. As intellectually fruitful as my 20s were, my worldly and academic sojourns did little for my bank account. All my education and travel were fully paid with scholarships, so I guess that means something.

But I wasn’t climbing any corporate ladders and adding zeros to my salary year after year during my 20s, like most women my age were doing, so I find myself financially incompatible. I can’t say that I’ve dated dozens of women who’ve told me as much, but my female friends have given me the impression that someone like me doesn’t bleep on their “He is dating, and perhaps marrying, material” radar.

Most of them are making six-figure salaries, or near that amount, and insist that their partners make at least as much. I’m a senior editor at a website—not an entry-level money earner, but I’m not making six figures, either, so I’m pretty much out of their league with regard to dating. Of course, I’m acutely aware of the fact that many black women have “dated and married down” economically, but I surmise they’ve grown weary of doing so. Complaints about men taking advantage of their financial status pervade most conversations I hear over why many women prefer to only date men who are their economic equals. For the record, I’d have no issue dating women who earn more than I do, and I’m not exclusively pursuing women with deep pockets, so don’t tweet me your foolishness.

When I took to Twitter several days ago to ask my female followers if they would date a man who earns less money than they do, all replied, “Yes.” In fact, many of them balked at my claims that I have a hard time dating because of my income. I’ve also been told that my background in Russian affairs and European wanderlust lead many black women to assume that I only date white women. To the contrary, I’m only interested in sistas. (At the egging on of my former boss, I wrote a funny piece about my type of woman called “Sophistiratchet” a few years ago that I encourage you to read, if you have a sense of humor.)

Most women are also shocked that I’ve gone as long as five years without sex. While I’m as sexual a being as any man, women aren’t disposable to me. I’ve never been able to engage in sexual relationships without establishing some emotional intimacy. Yes, such men do exist.

Some of you will quickly dismiss me and conclude that I’m penning this piece as a cheap attempt to evoke sympathy from female readers. That’s not the case. I’m writing about this because women have repeatedly asked why I, a man who wants to date and eventually marry, find it challenging to do so. There is, indeed, a swath of men in the dating pool who feel they are boxed into a space in which their incomes have yet to catch up with their professional statuses, thus making them less appealing.

For every woman who says she wouldn’t mind her partner making less money than she, there are just as many who do mind. Men like me who are professional late bloomers can conceivably find such dating pools nearly impossible to access when women at this age are beginning to think long term. And I repeat: I don’t have an issue with my financial status; it is something, however, that I find many women care about, and it makes me not even try to put myself out there at all because I feel I won’t measure up in their Excel dating-requirements spreadsheet.

You don’t hear us discussing it often because we’d have to admit to our fears of not feeling valued because we aren’t where we are “supposed to be in life.” Think about it: Thirty-four-year-old men aren’t supposed to be five years removed from an internship and expect to find a woman who will view them as potential relationship material. Most women my age have children and may see a man who makes less than they do as another mouth to feed. I’ve been told this, in so many words. Remember that society views me as “old” and “late in the game,” too. Being a man doesn’t make that any less challenging.

While I’m more than happy with myself, most women could care less that I speak several weird languages they’ll never understand, am a good person, have a promising writing career and can carry on a stimulating conversation, if they don’t find my income attractive. I’m not begrudging women who demand that their partners make as much as or more than they do. Most reasons I’ve heard are perfectly reasonable; money is very important. But this notion that I should have no issues dating is dismissive of all the points I’ve made.

To be clear, I’m not suggesting that all high-income women fit into the dilemma I’ve described. I am saying that my background—sans income comparable to or more than that of my potential partner—doesn’t make me the automatic catch my female followers on Twitter claim that I am.

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2016 in and the Single Life

 

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