All Articles Tagged "washington post"
It’s not often that we hear a group of mature, black men sit down and share their positive and dysfunctional experiences with love. And not just love for a partner but love for brothers, love for their children, grandchildren and themselves and love for God.
But The Washington Post and the Maynard Institute teamed up to launch a new, three-part series called “BrotherSpeak: Exploring the lives of black men.” The series includes interviews from a group of diverse black men, from different generations, professions and sexual preferences. The brothers sat down to talk about the people they love most and lessons they’ve learned in love. Check out their very honest, very inspiring thoughts below.
This is good for the soul. Though I’m sure it’s lack of ratchet will ensure that not as many people will watch; but I’m sure those who do will certainly take something away from this series.
What do you think of this series, would you like to see more interviews like this?
The reproductive debate has been growing in intensity with each new bit of legislation introduced; from laws requiring transvaginal ultrasounds before women can have abortions to requirements over who should fund birth control, to personhood amendments that state rights start the minute sperm fertilizes an egg. For the most part, there have been two faces in this discussion: the white female protesters who will be damned if you take away the rights to procedures they supposedly only need in theory; and the black and Latina female victims who are said to stand to lose the most because they are the ones who need access to family planning services and procedures.
When you look at the facts thrown out about the womb being the most dangerous place for a black child, and then see white abortion rights advocates like Sandra Fluke taking a stand or Margaret Doyle shown here being removed from a General Assembly in Richmond, VA, because she’s so angry over the limiting of reproductive rights, you might ask, like Courtland Milloy did in a Washington Post article yesterday, “what does the white woman really have to be angry about?” As Milloy points out:
“She has the longest life expectancy in the country and, through sheer numbers, dominates the demographic landscape. Her power at the polls is immense. Her risk of falling victim to street crime is low compared with the risk faced by black women. She’s rarely exposed to the AIDS virus, and breast cancer is no longer the death sentence for her that it is for so many others.
“Relatively healthy, happy, safe and financially secure, she is the reigning queen of the ‘golden mean,’ the norm by which other women are measured.”
Yet, these are the women who, despite the fact that they supposedly don’t need the mammograms that Planned Parenthood will continue to fund through grants from Susan G. Komen, or abortions that will require prior ultrasounds in some states, or free contraception, are fighting tooth and nail to stop lawmakers from entering women’s wombs. Why are they so invested, because of an altruistic shared sisterhood or the idea that they want this right, even if everyone would have us believe they don’t need it? When Milloy asked the disgruntled activist what her motives were, she said this:
“To be honest with you, we are rattled because just a few years ago this nation was brought to the absolute brink and we nearly lost everything,” Margaret Doyle said. “If you were comfortable in your lifestyle, had your Colonial home with a picket fence and thought ‘this is my entitlement, I am supposed to have this,’ and then learn that it can all go away in a hot New York minute? And instead of creating jobs, helping us stay in our homes, improving roads and schools, these dangerous men are in the state legislature obsessing over our wombs.”
She certainly has a point about greater attention needing to be placed on far more pressing issues facing our country, but her use of the word entitlement causes Milloy pause in his summation on the differing visibility of white and black women in the debate. He writes, “For the white woman, perhaps, it is the fear of losing the rights that she’d come to take for granted that has led to the explosive displays of rage. For the black woman, thwarted in her drive to win some of those same rights, fear of not getting what she deserves is probably fueling a silent fury that will soon erupt as well.”
In other words, white women wouldn’t be taking a stand in this discussion now if they didn’t finally stand to lose something as well. Of course Milloy is using broad assumptions in making his points about the racial divide in the reproductive debate. There are likely as many white woman who need these services as there are black women who don’t, but the entire discussion reminds me of the black feminist movement and how an entirely new effort evolved among black women in the 1970s because they simply were not fighting for the same things as their white female counterparts. Is that what’s going on with the absence of women of color in this discussion today? Forty years ago black woman created their own movement because white feminists failed to acknowledge oppression based on race and class. Are white women now ignoring that the limiting of reproductive rights is as much, if not more so, about controlling poor women of color and their offspring, as it is women’s bodies in general?
Or maybe black women are largely silent on the national reproductive platform because as Milloy says, “the white woman decides who gets heard in such matters. By her own efforts, but also through her unique access to wealthy men, she builds institutions to support her causes.” When you think about it, would black and Latina women as the true face of this issue—whether that is legitimate or not—ever garner as much attention as it currently does? Or is it the power that the white woman holds and her ability to speak up in certain circles what commands attention from the government?
Thus far, Judy Eason McIntyre, the Oklahoma Senator who held up a sign during a protest at the state’s capitol that read, “If I Wanted the Government in my Womb, I’d F*** a Senator,” continues to be the sole black face in a sea of white ones taking a prominent stand on the reproductive debate. This begs the question of whether black women want to get in on the discussion or if they’ve been pushed out of it. It’s fine for white women to take a stand on this hot button issue but what shouldn’t happen is what Milloy suggests, “other women may sit at the table, but she alone speaks on their behalf.” If women of color stand to lose so much when it comes to reproductive rights, then we should have a voice in this as well.
Do you see the reproductive debate as an opportunity for all women to work together toward a common goal or are the agendas of white women and women of color too different to put up a united front?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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When you read a headline that says “Survey paints portrait of black women in America,” you automatically get squeamish. On one hand, you think, finally, someone is asking us about us, but on the other you wonder why, and hope it’s not another story about single, black women.
The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation recently conducted a nationwide survey to develop an image of black women in America. The survey included interviews with more than 800 black women in the U.S., making it the most extensive attempt to understand the lives of African American women in several decades, and the poll touches on everything from religion and romance to careers and finances.
According to Washington Post writer Krissah Thompson, in a nutshell:
“Religion is essential to most black women’s lives; being in a romantic relationship is not… Nearly three-quarters of African American women say now is a good time to be a black woman in America, and yet a similar proportion worry about having enough money to pay their bills. Half of black women surveyed call racism a “big problem” in the country; nearly half worry about being discriminated against. Eighty-five percent say they are satisfied with their own lives, but one-fifth say they are often treated with less respect than other people.”
I’d say that’s a pretty accurate reflection and what I find remarkable about the summation is that even with the barriers we’re facing, the majority of black women are still satisfied with their own lives and believe it is a good time to be a black woman in America. This finding reminds me of the recent study that showed overweight black women have a higher quality of life than overweight white women. Both speak to the spirit of black women—we’re not necessarily strong and hard, we’re resilient and optimistic, and we take control of our circumstances.
As Beverly Bond, founder of Black Girls Rock! told The Post: “We have depth. We have pain. We have bad. We have good. We have complexity. We need to see the well-roundedness of who we are. We need to see everyone.”
The poll attempted to do that by approaching the subject from the perspective of black women rather than drawing conclusions from their outside perceptions. A few of the results showed:
- Forty percent of black women say getting married is very important, compared with 55 percent of white women.
- More than a fifth of black women say being wealthy is very important, compared with one in 20 white women.
- Sixty-seven percent of black women describe themselves as having high self-esteem, compared with 43 percent of white women.
- Forty percent of black women say they experience frequent stress, compared with 51 percent of white women.
- Nearly half of black women fear being a victim of violent crime, compared with about a third of white women.
(Washington Informer) — The Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU) has lashed out at The Washington Post, accusing the newspaper giant of publishing articles that harmed teachers in the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) system. But not only has the Post vilified teachers — many of whom were ensnared in former Chancellor Michelle Rhee’s swift efforts at reform – Jerome Brocks, who will retire in June after a 35-year teaching career with DCPS, said that when the Post realized information it published last year about teachers abusing students was inaccurate, the paper refused to print a retraction. “It came out that there was only one teacher who should not have been with an 18-year-old,” said Brocks, who spoke during an April 15 demonstration that the WTU held at the Post’s headquarters on 15th Street in Northwest.
(Washington Examiner) — D.C. teachers are planning a rally outside the Washington Post on Friday to protest the newspaper’s link to a for-profit college and testing enterprise. With posters and megaphones in hand, the Washington Teachers’ Union says it will tell the Post that its relationship with Kaplan Inc. — the major revenue source of the Washington Post Co. — creates a conflict of interest that has slanted the newspaper’s coverage of D.C. education reform. Kaplan’s for-profit colleges, test preparation programs and other offerings account for 62 percent of the Post Co.’s revenue. Union President Nathan Saunders said teachers have been concerned for years that the newspaper’s editorial board exhibits a bias toward testing consistent with the goals of Kaplan, which runs test readiness programs and tutoring. This has caused the newspaper to “dismiss” the side of the teachers, who Saunders said prefer non-test-reliant reforms.
(Washington Business Journal) — The Washington Post and several other publishers are launching their own news aggregation site that will charge a monthly subscription fee and not rely on advertising. Culpertino, Calif-based Ongo, which received $12 million in financing from The Washington Post (NYSE: WPO), The New York Times (NYSE: NYT) and Gannett Co. Inc.(NYSE: GCI) last fall, has launched an online news service that includes complete coverage from The Washington Post, USA Today and the Associated Press as well as select stories from the New York Times and Financial Times for $6.99 per month. Subscribers can also add stories from other papers, including the Detroit Free Press and Miami Herald for an addition 99 cents a month.
(Washington Business Journal) — For the first time in the Washington Post’s history, the publication will run an advertisement on the paper’s front page this Sunday.
McLean-based Capital One Financial Corp. is buying the ad, which is part of a larger advertising campaign the company is conducting in both the Post’s print and online outlets. Capital One this week began its rebranding of Chevy Chase banks under the Capital One name after acquiring the company more than a year ago.
(Washington Business Journal) — Moody’s Investors Service may downgrade its Washington Post Co. credit ratings because potential changes in student loan guidelines could curtail business for its profitable Kaplan Inc. education division.
Proposed Department of Education guidelines would impose minimum student loan repayment rates and cap debt-to-income requirements for students at for-profit schools to remain eligible for government student loans. Moody’s says it will monitor Kaplan’s level of compliance with any new guidelines, as well as its efforts to make changes to meet the new standards.
The Education Department has suggested some of Kaplan’s schools do not meet the proposed guidelines.
Even naturally bronze Madames need to slather on the sunscreen and be mindful of the skin cancer risks associated with sun exposure. The American Medical Association recommendins that people of color step up efforts to protect our skin.
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Troubled young girls who’ve been caught up in serious crimes in the District have had almost nowhere to go for shelter and treatment. Now, D.C. and Howard University have decided to do something about it.