All Articles Tagged "black women"

Encourage A Black Woman Today With The MBIB #AllTogetherBeautiful Challenge

July 28th, 2015 - By Brande Victorian
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Brande Victorian and Claire Sulmers in the MBIB #AllTogetherBeautiful Social Newsroom During EssenceFest

MadameNoire Managing Editor Brande Victorian and Claire Sulmers of The Fashion Bomb in the MBIB #AllTogetherBeautiful Social Newsroom During EssenceFest

In a world where everyday it seems things can’t get worse for us as a people sometimes you just wanted to feel supported, uplifted, and celebrated as beautiful. Proctor and Gamble’s My Black is Beautiful initiative is offering a way to make that happen with an #AllTogetherBeautiful social challenge encouraging Black women to publicly acknowledge other Black women in their circles who are all together beautiful, and have them do the same so the love just keeps on going.

So often we think of beauty as a purely physical thing, but the #AllTogetherBeautiful campaign is about redefining the standard of beauty “as a standard that defines beauty by integrity, strength, character and spirit, as well as values positive actions, and celebrates those who are reaffirm this standard everyday.” That sentiment filled the room at the Imagine a Future celebration dinner here in New York City in mid-June and flowed through all of Proctor & Gamble’s events at Essence Festival Fourth of July weekend. Through you and the fabulous women in your circle the positivity can continue to live on via social media by joining in the challenge yourself. All you have to do is follow these three steps:

1. Record a video that celebrates a woman whom you believe is “All Together Beautiful”

2. Share this video across your social media pages using the hashtags #MBIB & #AllTogetherBeautiful

3. Challenge another woman by tagging them on social media to do the same for someone else

For more info, visit www.myblackisbeautiful.com and check out some of the highlights of the #AllTogetherBeautiful festivities to date below.

Sevyn Streeter sings "4th Street" with Hello Beautiful Editor Danielle Young and MN Managing Editor Brande Victorian at the Imagine a Future Celebration Dinner

Sevyn Streeter sings “4th Street” with Hello Beautiful Editor Danielle Young and Brande Victorian at the Imagine a Future Celebration Dinner

Famed choreographer Laurieann Gibson teaches us the Move with Confidence dance at EssenceFest. For the full step-by-step instructions, check out this video here.


India Arie discusses the biggest influence on how she sees herself in the #AllTogetherBeautiful Social Newsroom During EssenceFest with Jessica Andrews.

LeToya Luckett spills her beauty secrets in the #AllTogetherBeautiful Social Newsroom During EssenceFest with Ty Alexander of GorgeousinGrey.com.

Laurieann Gibson offers advice on moving with confidence throughout life with Christen Rochon of DivasandDorks.com.

Does Derek Luke’s Wife Make You Feel Some Type of Way?

July 27th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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"Derek Luke and wife pf"

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It seems that people are just learning that Derek Luke, our beloved Antoine Fisher, grew up and didn’t marry a Black woman. Though Luke and his wife, Sophia, have been photographed often, out in public together, some still didn’t know. Or maybe they did know and still felt the need to express some angst about his interracial marriage when the actor posted a picture on his Instagram page.

Apparently, the comments got under Luke’s skin and he issued this message in response.

I never usually entertain the opinions of others because everyone is entitled to they're own opinion. (Positive or Negative) But we're in the year of 2015 & when should it be a "problem" to date outside of your race? Why is that an issue AGAIN? I'm doing the unusual & going through my comments & the comments I see about my wife being another race is bugging me out. Who one chooses to date is that persons business. Instead of focusing on (Happiness) & (pure Love) for some reason some folks are still focused on (Color). Doesn't make any sense to me. But I guess that's the ignorance of OTHERS. My wife may not be Black but she is mine. And she's mine with a heart of gold. People are so quick to judge but can't even distinguish the difference of another's race. Sophia Luke is Hispanic. She's not white, she's not black, she's not Chinese, she's Hispanic. And she's mine!!

A photo posted by Derek Luke (@iamderekluke) on

Aside from the fact that I don’t understand why Black women are mad he married a (clearly Brown-skinned) Latina, there are some other things to dissect here.

Honestly, I never understood why people get on a celebrity’s personal, social media page and start popping off about their spouses. Even if Derek Luke were going to marry a Black woman, the chances that it was going to be you are slim to none. Emphasis on the none.

And the fact that people feel the need to express every opinion on social media is another issue entirely. Quite often, for the sake of your sanity and even your pride, it’s better to just keep scrolling. Typing angrily away, on a celebrity profile, is a lose-lose situation. You’ll either look crazy or, as is increasingly happening these days, the celebrity will mention you specifically and proceed to drag you…publicly.

But all that being said, I’m not going to pretend that I don’t understand the feelings that would influence a woman, particularly a Black woman, to start tough typing on someone’s page, even if she’s misguided in this action.

Luke said it’s ignorance. And from the protective husband perspective, I’m sure that’s how he sees it. But I’d argue that it’s more a consciousness.

It’s the same way we roll our eyes, groan or suck our teeth when we learn our celebrity crush has married a White woman. For many of us, it has less to do with that particular couple but the mistreatment we’ve experienced as Black women.

And I know, you know what I mean.

Mistreatment in that our features are only celebrated on White women.

Mistreatment in the way society, particularly the media, beauty and fashion industries, continuously lift White and fair skinned, straight-haired, thin-featured women as the beauty ideal.

Mistreatment in Black men telling us we should be more like White women, like all White women are submissive, devoid of attitude and a mind.

So, while I’m sure Derek is with his wife because he truly loves her, for a lot of Black women, she represents something else.

And as real as that perception is, at the end of the day, it’s not Derek’s, society’s or even Black men’s collective job to make us, Black women, feel good about ourselves. It would be nice to be reaffirmed by others but we have to do that for ourselves first.

There’s something very unfair about projecting our insecurities onto other couples. I personally don’t know Derek Luke’s dating history. I don’t know if he abandoned Black women once he got on. And I really can’t afford to care. As a former eye-rolling, teeth-kissing, Black girl, it’s just better to assume that it’s love. And if it’s not, sucks for him. #KanyeShrug But to worry myself with his life, his love and his decisions is really just a waste of time and energy.

What’s At Stake When We Ignore Mental Health?

July 24th, 2015 - By Charing Ball
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Sandra Bland

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If anything, the Sandra Bland case speaks to two particular problems we have here in America: First, there is the criminalization and mass incarceration of the Black community; and secondly, the need for more mental health treatment, as well as awareness.

Just as it is possible that Bland was murdered, it is also possible that she was also severely stressed, if not depressed. Let’s look at the facts: she was looking for work, sad about the world (particularly racism, police brutality, and violence) and had previous bouts of depression. It is true that she had finally found a job and appeared to be in good spirits. At the same time, just as those dominoes were starting to line up for her, here comes the criminal justice system to knock them all down. That is systematic racism for you…

I can’t speak for anybody else (or even Bland because we just don’t know what happened in that jail cell). But if I were in a depressive state, I could see my wrongful arrest being the final straw on the back of an already mentally burdened camel. And yet, it seems that even acknowledging the possibility that Bland might have been triggered by her wrongful detainment to take her life is both offensive and shameful to some folks. “Suicide is for the weak.” “Mental Illness does not exist, at least not in our community.” I’ve seen sentiments like this written online and said out of the mouths of other Black people. We have people who use the defense that “black women would never” and the strong black woman narrative as a way to deny the alternative view of this case.

While it is true that regardless of her fate, Bland had no business in jail in the first place, our denial of her mental state and how it played into her demise is an example of how our continued neglect of mental health in our community contributes to the criminalization, and even deaths, of people just like Bland.

I am reminded again about how deep our reluctance to talk about mental illness runs when I seen the reaction to a video of a Memphis woman having a psychotic break, abusing a 19-day-old baby. The video is heartbreaking, and I advise you to not watch it. With that said, the video went viral over the weekend, which means a lot of you have probably already seen it. And a lot of folks have been asking for this woman to be buried under the jail. To summarize, the 13-minute video features Faith Moore speaking religious gibberish while repeatedly tossing her newborn across the room. An older child is also seen in the video, sitting on the mother’s lap, crying and trying her best to keep her mom from attacking the baby again.

According to WHBQ My Fox Memphis, the video was recorded by Christian Banks, the father of the newborn, who told the news reporter that he filmed the episode because he needed “evidence.” He also said that the reason why he had not intervened and tried to save the baby from the abuse, but instead goaded the mother on by telling her to “go head” was because he was scared. Thankfully, the children are safe and in the custody of another family member.

As Moore’s mom told the local Fox affiliate, Moore had been off of her medication since finding out she was pregnant and giving birth. The woman’s mother says that she was concerned about what the medication would do to the baby. Moore is now receiving help. Meanwhile, a warrant has been issued for Banks for aggravated child abuse. He had been arrested twice for domestic violence previously, including an incident in which he hit Moore so hard with a telephone, it left a bruise.

In this instance, the authorities stepped in and did the right thing. Not only were the children placed into safer spaces, but Moore was given the treatment she desperately needed. But that is just one case. And the reality is that our criminal justice system, and prisons, in particular, are filled with people with mental health issues. Many do not deserve to be there and are not receiving the help they need so that they can function better in society.

Unfortunately, the bias we show to people with mental health issues, including our inability to acknowledge the fact that someone might actually be mentally ill, helps the system to further alienate, if not do more harm, to these people. I can’t tell you how many comments I’ve read from folks who, in spite of her mental illness, thought that Moore should be locked away or worse.

Whether the mentally ill person is a victim of the system, or of their own delusion, jail is not the place for them. Sandra Bland was likely hurting from within and needed help. Instead, what she found was her life – as well as her mental state – compounded even more by the system. And ultimately that complication cost Bland her life. The question is: Where would Moore and her children be if authorities would have merely locked her up?

Nicki Minaj Skirts Race Issue Discussing VMA Firestorm On GMA

July 24th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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nicki minaj

Source: ABC News

When Nicki Minaj expressed her frustration about MTV failing to nominate “Anaconda” for video of the year, we immediately assumed she referencing an issue of race. MTV has a very long history of pushing Black artists and other artist of color into the margins.

The story dominated the news cycle, particularly when Taylor Swift came out asking Nicki why she was coming for her, when she had been nothing but supportive. You know the mainstream is always here for Taylor’s victimization.

But before her performance on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Nicki addressed the Twitter discussion. And her comments made us wonder if this was about race at all…

Read the excerpts and then watch the entire interview below.

Well, first of all I spoke to Taylor Swift yesterday on the phone. She was super, super sweet and she apologized. She said, ‘You know look, I didn’t understand the big picture of what you were saying but now I get it.’  

So we’re all good. 

I was just saying– I posted something on my Instagram and it just showed the stats of other videos that had been nominated previously and there just seemed to be a little funny business going on.

“Anaconda” had such a huge cultural impact and on top of that we broke the Vevo record. So, this is actually my third time breaking the Vevo record and Anaconda, therefore should have been nominated for it. And I do think that if it was one of the pop girls, they would have had many nominations for it. 

I think I got two nominations for Anaconda for female and for hip hop but it should have been for the year. 

I think that we just have to have both images for girls. We can’t have only one type of body being glorified in the media because it just makes girls even more insecure than we already are. 

Interesting.

In addition to mentioning body type and pop in her initial Twitter rants, she also said:

“I’m not always confident. Just tired. Black women influence pope culture so much but are rarely rewarded for it.” 

She later deleted that tweet.

During her comments this morning, she softened her language a little bit, referencing body types and pop vs. rap. It’s coded and watered down a bit for the White folks but the implications are still the same. Pop= White, Rap= Black. Slim bodies = White girls. Thicker bodies=Black girls.

But maybe the predominately White crowd and White host weren’t ready for the race talk.

What do you think about Nicki’s explanation on GMA? Do you think people will understand the greater, deeper, racial implications behind her message or will they be lost in the sauce?


ABC US News | World News

Are The Accomplishments Of Black Women Overlooked In The Workplace?

July 23rd, 2015 - By Tanvier Peart
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It doesn’t matter what profession you take on to pay the bills, no one enjoys being overlooked. Just ask Nicki Minaj. The hip hop/pop star used her social media platforms to create much needed conversation regarding race, gender and recognition.

The 2015 MTV Video Music Awards will air on August 30 and are greatly celebrated among industry talent. Sure everyone would love to win a Grammy to showcase on their shelves, but they’ll also make room for a Moon Man and other accolades. Nicki along with other notable artists like Beyoncé and Taylor Swift are up for multiple awards this year — and while you might think calling attention to a snub is being greedy, you first need to look at the writing on the wall.

“When the ‘other’ girls drop a video that breaks records and impacts culture they get that nomination,” Minaj tweeted. “If I was a different ‘kind’ of artist, Anaconda would be nominated for best choreo and vid of the year,” she adds.”

While some might argue a music video that shows booties shaking and raising dumbbells isn’t worthy of a Best Choreography nomination, you have to remember those days of “and one, and two” videos with a kick ball change and pirouette are gone.

I think most of us however are very surprised Nicki did not receive a nomination for Video of the Year considering “Anaconda” was literally a big a$$ success. Not only was the single from her third studio album, The Pinkprint extremely popular on the Billboard charts but, at the time, broke a record for the most views in 24 hours (close to 20 million). This in turn sparked tons of photo and video parodies — including funny gal and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres to getting in on the action. It doesn’t matter if you think the video was good or not, there’s no denying the impact it had on pop culture.

Nicki’s statement that “black women influence pop culture so much but are rarely rewarded for it” rings true in so many industries. Just look what happened to Ava DuVernay who was snubbed from the Best Director category at this year’s Academy Awards. She recently told attendees of a media conference “you gotta follow the white guys” when talking about how to navigate the professional world. “Too often, we live within their games, so why would you not study what works?”

As much as we should be happy to see women as a whole make progress, the sad fact remains that Black women continuously get left behind. Yes, the average woman earns 78 cents to the man’s dollar. But guess what. Black women only make 64 cents to that same dollar. Sure Nicki Minaj and others in the music biz have little to complain about when it comes to earning a coin, but that is their corporate realm — and sometimes you need to call a party foul.

Now who knows the real reason why Nicki was left out of the Video of the Year category. You might think it’s no big deal considering there are other representatives of color like Bey and Kendrick to make up for her absence. You might think nothing’s wrong considering Beyoncé and Nicki are both in the Best Female Video category. Heck, you might not even give a darn about the award show.

It might be easy to sweep the idea of Black women getting overlooked on a professional level under the because we have ladies like Shonda Rhimes , Oprah and Beyoncé in the game. If you’re cool with just one or two in a sea of talent getting the spotlight, that’s your personal conviction. Personally I think only one of five black CEOs of a Fortune 500 company being a woman shows we have a problem.

While I use examples from the entertainment industry, there are bigger disparities among other industries that are a reminder there needs to be greater progress. A study in the Law & Society Review revealed Black women are not only undervalued and paid less, but also less likely to gain a job interview or offer compared to others.

The talent is there and working hard, but don’t always get the break or the recognition they deserve.

Nicki Minaj, Taylor Swift, And Why We Need To Talk About Erasure Of Black Women In Media

July 22nd, 2015 - By Desiree Bowie
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Nicki Minaj

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The MTV Video Music Awards have always been more about controversy than music videos. From the Kanye West and Taylor Swift “I’mma let you finish” moment to Lady Gaga’s meat dress and the Britney, Christina and Madonna liplock heard ’round the world, you never know what to expect from the award show. But as for the nominations and the announcement of them, there is rarely any fuss over them.

That is until now.

The nominations for the 2015 MTV VMAs were announced yesterday morning, and both Nicki Minaj and controversial rapper Azealia Banks wasted no time tweeting their feelings about being snubbed. Minaj expressed her gratitude for her nominations but felt some kind of way about the lack of recognition for “Feeling Myself”:

Shortly after, Banks added her two cents about her music and its lack of consideration during award season. She picked up no award nominations.

 

This was not a new song for Banks to sing. Just months ago she took to Twitter to give her two cents about Nicki Minaj always winning Best Female Hip Hop Artist at the BET Awards.

In both cases, Banks wasn’t wrong. Minaj has won that award six years in a row. In fact, she won so many awards this year that at one point during last month’s ceremony, she accepted one and didn’t even know what it was for. And mainstream media has no love for opinionated Black women. But Banks is unfiltered and often emotional, and this combination ends with her saying some very taboo things more often than not. It’s become so normal for her that people can’t hear her even when she makes a very valid point. In the end, her credibility and musical talents have taken a back seat to her often tone-deaf opinions.

But Minaj does not have this issue. She defends herself and brings attention to her ownership of her sexuality. Her comments on race, while rare, are usually shared without backlash–until today. After inquiring about the lack of love for her collaboration with Beyoncé, Minaj continued to retweet her fans who were in an uproar that “Anaconda” and “Feeling Myself” did not receive nominations for Video of the Year. Minaj would even go on to blame the lack of acknowledgment for her record-breaking videos on the fact that she’s a Black woman, and a voluptuous one at that:

 

But it was this subtweet that awoke the outrage of full-time victim, Taylor Swift:

 

The 2015 MTV VMA Video of the Year nominees include Beyoncé’s “7/11″, Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” clip, Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright,” Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars for “Uptown Funk,” and Taylor Swift feat. Kendrick Lamar for “Bad Blood.” The only video in the entire bunch that “celebrates women with very slim bodies” is Swift’s “Bad Blood.” The  finger-pointing and condescending happy faces proved too much for Swift to handle, and she swiftly (no pun intended) responded:

Minaj retorted:

 

It’s a bit of a reach for Minaj to act like she wasn’t calling out Swift. And it is interesting considering that there is a public history of good will between the two superstars. Back in 2011, Minaj went on record with Billboard to publicly acknowledge Swift for introducing “Super Bass” to a new fanbase. Swift rapped the song in a viral clip after requesting it during a radio interview.

“I want to publicly say again that Taylor Swift really launched that single into another stratosphere, with just tweeting about it and rapping it and stuff. I performed it with Taylor, and she’s so cute, and she’s like a big bowl of ice cream!”

While Minaj may have been a little petty with the subtweets, did Swift need to insert herself in this conversation about the Black female plight in the entertainment industry? Nope. Not unless she was trying to boost the issue into the mainstream. Swift’s main problem is with the lack of girl power, whereas Minaj is citing issues of race. But Swift’s gender-based clap back completely overshadowed Minaj’s whole point. In no time flat, they were caught up in yet another celebrity faux “beef,” with Minaj’s statements being labeled as “jabs” against Swift by mainstream media. Swift wins yet again.

The “Bad Blood” singer is often lauded for being the innocent, bullied country-meets-pop singer who supports all girls, but even she couldn’t acknowledge the possibility of a racial disparity in the music business. So, instead, she made a moment that wasn’t about her, about her. And while Minaj’s agenda is definitely self-serving, she had a point that could have made for a great national conversation until it was successfully derailed by Swift.

There’s absolutely no denying that this issue between successful, wealthy music artists is of much lower social significance and importance than the tragedy of Sandra Bland, Kindra Chapman, and many others. But this back and forth does expose things about the racial climate in America. This is about the devaluing of Black women and the kidnapping of our narrative. When Amandla Stenberg commented on Kylie Jenner’s appropriation of Black women’s style while ignoring the plight of Black people earlier this month, she was condemned as an angry, jealous Black woman making a big deal out of nothing. As Minaj broadcasts her feelings of erasure, Swift’s interjection and claiming of the narrative makes Minaj (like Azealia Banks, Amandla Stenberg, and countless others) out to be just another “angry Black woman.”

And mainstream media helped to push that image. Right after the spat, news articles from prominent sites like Entertainment Weekly showcased pictures of Minaj with her pink wig giving crazy eyes next to an angelic, glamor shot of Swift. After those on Twitter had raised their voice in disgust, EW issued an apology without actually addressing the intent behind the selection of the photos:

 

Hasty? Okay. We see you, Entertainment Weekly.

Inevitably, someone will apologize, and their reconciliation will be broadcast for the world to see at next month’s VMAs. But that does not mean this issue has been put to rest. The erasure of Black women is one of the most divisive and maddening issues we face. Black women so profoundly influence culture and create movements, but are continually cast aside. Our styles are appropriated, rebranded, and we are perpetually silenced.

It doesn’t matter how you feel about the “Anaconda” video or the “Feeling Myself” clip. It doesn’t matter if Minaj’s image rubs you the right or wrong way. But it does matter that as a Black woman, whether in the public eye or not, her feelings are heard and acknowledged.

18-Year-Old Kindra Chapman Found Dead In Police Custody, Authorities Cite Suicide

July 21st, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Kindra chapman

Source: Facebook

As many of us are still trying to wrap our minds around the death of Sandra Bland, there is another one you need to add to your list.

Within the same week Bland was found dead in her jail cell, 18-year-old Kindra Darnell Chapman suffered a similarly mysterious fate, dying in her cell just an hour after she was booked into the facility.

Like Bland, authorities ruled Chapman’s death a suicide caused by asphyxiation.

According to AL.com, Kindra Chapman was booked in jail at 6:22 p.m. on Tuesday, July 14 for a first-degree robbery charge. She had allegedly stolen a cell phone.

Jailers last saw her alive at 6:30. At 7:50 she was found unresponsive. Authorities say she used a bed sheet to hang herself.

She was later taken to Brookwood Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.

The Homewood police are still investigating her death and the results of her autopsy are still pending.

Chapman’s mother, Kathy Brady, refutes the explanation police are giving for her daughter’s death. In an e-mail to AL.com, she said she believes police killed her daughter. She said police didn’t notify her of Kindra’s death until 9 p.m.

A petition on change.org, calls for full disclosure and full accounting of all the interaction between Chapman and the Homewood Police Department stating:

We are calling for a meeting with any and all investigating officers so that we ourselves can relate that information of the Homewood Police Department to our communities. This issue is brought up because of the scant information that has been released on such a serious matter through the media. We feel there are consistent and persistent patterns of police mistreatment in the state of Alabama that are not always addressed particularly as it pertains to Black Women.”

The police released a statement this morning saying:

“all reports, videos and witness statements have been forwarded to the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office for review. Statements regarding the cause and manner of death will be released through the DA’s Office at the conclusion of their review.”

They also said, “The members of the Homewood Police Department express our condolences to the family of Miss Chapman.”

Today, six Black Lives Matter protestors were arrested in front of the city jail, to protest the reported suicide of Kindra Chapman. Five were charged with disorderly conduct and the sixth with resisting arrest.

Same script, different cast.

Sadly, we have another name to learn, to hashtag and to fight for.

What Ebro Should Have Been Talking About This Morning Instead Of Our “Attitude Problem”

July 15th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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What up world!? @applemusic #Beats1 … Were back to work! What ya wanna vibe to?

A photo posted by Ebro Darden (@ebroski) on

I’m a huge fan of Hot 97 DJ Ebro Darden. He’s clearly intelligent with insight not only into the world of Hip Hop, but seemingly in the world at large. Personally, I’m here for anyone who is unapologetically Black and Ebro has always struck me as that type of dude. (And I particularly liked his comments and the emotion he showed when discussing the Charleston shooting.)

But this morning, he was catching the side eye from Black and Brown women on social media for asking whether or not Black and Latina women have an attitude problem.

Ugggggghhhh.

Yes, this discussion… again.

Many, who didn’t get a chance to listen to the actual show, learned about the discussion from the tweet below.

This picture of our beloved First Lady, who has been ridiculed and derided for everything from showing her arms, to being involved in terrorist activity, was the image they used to discuss the most prevalent and detrimental stereotype associated with Black women.

Sad.

They eventually deleted the tweet; but as we’ve said time and time again, nothing escapes the screen shot.

So, many women responded to that inflammatory image. And as you might imagine, they were less than pleasant.

Hot 97  noticed the less than favorable response. And instead of explaining themselves clearly and succinctly, Ebro added insult to injury with this video.

Based on this information alone, not only were the Black and Brown women on Twitter hot, even we over here at MN were wondering what the hell was wrong with this dude. With the way Black men have regurgitated the same negative stereotypes of Black women against us, particularly in public forums, it’s no wonder we were all ready to pop off. We’ve seen it before and we’re tired. It’s frustrating, infuriating and produces the very attitude that is supposedly so problematic.

Thankfully, our managing editor decided to wait and get the full story. So, in following her lead, I too chilled…and then did some more research.

That’s when I found this Periscope video Ebro posted on his Twitter account.

I highly suggest you watch it to get a better understanding of what the initial conversation was about and hear Laura Stylez’s, Ebro’s co-host, a Latina woman, words on the topic.

If you can’t watch, know that Ebro explained that the discussion was about stereotypes against Black and Brown women and to what degree does our behavior contribute or disprove the stereotype. There was even talk about whether our consumption of reality television shows featuring Black women promotes the stereotype to the mainstream.

Ok… so we didn’t have the full context. We’ve had those discussions here before. And in light of this new information, I’m calmer…and, thankfully, less disappointed in Ebro and the station at large.

But in that same periscope video, Laura Stylez stated that the station did a poor job of promoting the true nature of the topic on social media.  And that right there, is the truth.

The conversation is already treading into dangerous waters. And promoting this type of weighty and  controversial topic on social media, with tact and clarity, in 140 characters and a catchy image, is difficult. And it’s clear that Hot 97 failed.

Furthermore, Ebro leading a conversation about Black and Brown women and their alleged attitude problem, with Laura Stylez being the only woman in the room, is not only unfair, it might highlight the very reason why Black and Brown women have attitudes in the first place. Men of all shades, across all continents spend far too much time monitoring, policing and even condemning our lives. Black men might know a thing or two about us, but they can’t speak knowledgeably about our experiences, especially when it comes to the forces, institutions and ideologies that may contribute to our unique oppression. They know racism but they don’t know misogyny and how it manifests itself in our daily lives. We have to fight two or more battles, consistently.

If you want to talk about attitudes, it has to be a cause and effect discussion. And while you can’t ever blame anyone else for your behavior; men, of all colors, might find they have a lot to do with the oppression that yields a stank disposition.

And finally, as many times as Black women, seen and unseen, have come to the aid of men of color in this country, marching, protesting, defending and supporting, it would be nice to receive some of that same treatment in return. Sure, we can have yet another conversation about our attitudes. But I’d be much more invested in a conversation about the ways in which Black men and women can come together to address issues of misogyny, within our community, and racism, in the world, that hold us all back.

“Race Does Play A Role”: Black Women Suffer Most From Mortgage Discrimination

July 10th, 2015 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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Many people brush off mortgage lending discrimination against Blacks as a result of African Americans’ lower rates of creditworthiness, wealth, education and so forth. But a new study found that even controlling for those factors, Black applicants are still more likely to be hit with higher interest rates. And Black women, thanks to gender bias being thrown in the mix, get the shortest end of the stick.

A new study entitled Racial Discrepancy in Mortgage Interest Rates found that Black borrowers pay 13.8 basis points (or 0.138 percentage points) more than comparable White borrowers. Naysayers say that Black buyer habits, such as preferring a 30-year fixed rate mortgage (which has the highest interest rate among mortgage lending products) could be the reason behind the “illusory” race disparity. But the lead investigators don’t buy it.

“If this indeed is the case, one would expect that, once all the objective measures (mortgage features, borrower characteristics, and market conditions, etc.) are controlled for, the racial disparity should disappear in a properly conducted analysis,” the authors wrote.

Controlling for the aforementioned objective measures, the lead investigators still found a significant disparity between Black and White borrowers. Among homeowners in the 25th income percentile, Blacks pay almost six basis points more than comparable Whites. In the 50th percentile — better known as the median — the disparity is 13.8 basis points in Whites’ favor.

The interest rate pay disparity is highest between Blacks and Whites in the 75th income percentile — a whopping 36.7 basis points.

“For a typical $200,000, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage issued at 4.5% for white borrowers, the additional 0.367% interest rate charge means $44.07 extra payment per month and $15,867 additional interest costs over the life of the loan for the black borrowers,” the authors wrote.

“We conclude that, while the racial disparity in mortgage rates is widespread between black and white borrowers, it is the more financially vulnerable black women who suffer the most,” they added.

Oh yes — on top of racial discrimination, there is gender discrimination which makes Black women much more vulnerable to being faced with high interest rates.

The average Black male who successfully nabs a mortgage typically pays 8.9 basis points higher than white male counterparts. Black women, on the other hand, shell out 26.5 basis points more than their White women. “Black women […] would pay nearly $9,000 more than white women,” Quartz said.

“Race does play a role as lenders consider whether to deny or approve a mortgage loan application,” the report said, quoting another study.

h/t Quartz

Joy, Pain, Sisterhood, And Triumph: How It Feels To Be A Black Girl

July 10th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

I don’t have to tell y’all what it’s like being a Black woman in this, or any country. With forces like racism and misogyny working against us, it’s not always a bed of roses. Still, it’s a beautiful, sacred position that many of us wouldn’t trade for anything. There is such complexity being a Black girl that Twitter decided to weigh in on the topic. Check out the sad, hilarious and powerful tweets about #HowItFeelsToBeABlackGirl.