I am writing this as another trans woman was murdered, the 8th this year. So many people are giving lip service to the cause, saying it must stop. No one is offering solutions. Write my Congressmen? Sure, we all can do that, but what’s next. How can we activate in our own communities to help our sisters who are more endangered than black women?
I don’t have answers–yet. My next article on the topic will be a resource guide for those who want to and for our trans sisters who need it. If you know of a cause, post it in the comments or send it to me. Pastor McBride said that we all need to do our part. First, we need to know what that is.
You’ve heard the news by now that the AMC and Sundance execs say they are on the fence about giving their hit show “Hap and Leonard” the fourth season. This after season 3 was their most engaging in social media and their most critically acclaimed. For some reason, it seems like they are completely unconvinced about giving the show another go.
That’s where you come in.
Below is a letter you can copy and paste into your email to send to firstname.lastname@example.org . Put “Renew Hap and Leonard” in the subject line or something to that effect.
Feel free to adjust the following text as you wish:
“Hap and Leonard: The Two-Bear Mambo” was the best season that the show has ever had. The story of the guys going to racist Grovetown to find Florida was just the setup for a complex and engaging mystery. The ending is something the fans will be talking about years.
The one thing that you all have to know is how socially relevant the show was this year. The Grovetown racism, a missing black woman, and the struggle to understand how such evil works forced so many conversations from viewers. These were conversations that this country needed right now. “Hap and Leonard” was like therapy.
For those reasons and many more, I am asking you to renew the show for a fourth season. You can’t just stop the show after the best and most socially relevant season its ever had. Seasons 1 and 2 were the guys finding their stride. In “Two-Bear Mambo,” everything finally came together. So, give us a fourth season of the guys, and we can once again enjoy them at their best.
A Hap and Leonard Fan Always,
Adjust the text as you wish. We, the Hap and Leonard fandom, just ask that you send something to the execs today. Maybe send it again before the week is up.
I was at my first press conference recently, at the MLK 50 and I Am 2018 conferences. I got to see how journalists like me can turn a room into a den of screaming, flashbulb madness that starts the moment the publicist gives the proverbial “Go” signal. It was intoxicating. What stuck with me though is not the way the veteran journos framed their questions or clung to a topic until their interests were satisfied. I was moved by unspoken code, a connection, that black women share. A code which crosses the lines of celebrity and is more important than the next scoop. I am talking about the words, “Sista, are you okay?”
There were about four black women, including myself and my People’s World colleague (we were on assignment for the mag) in the journalist pool of 10-15 people. The public figures under our scrutiny were Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s children–Bernice and Martin III. He was first and things went smoothly. Once he and his family were hustled out the door, Bernice came with her much smaller entourage. She was visibly weary and sat down for the interviews instead of standing. Flashbulbs started and were quickly stopped by someone on her team. They visibly upset the woman who spoke so softly that the throng had to lean forward as a body to hear her every word.
One of the black women amongst us saw what the rest of the white journos had not. Bernice King was not well. It was probably because we were drilling her on the anniversary of the day her father was murdered. The crowd shouted out the first two questions and she answered. Then we all heard, “Sista, are you okay?” The words activated something in the black women in the room. I felt it and saw the others. Some leaned in closer as if to pounce if she answered in the negative. The others studied the woman to see if there was any sign of damage from press’ verbal attacks so far. I don’t know what we all would have done if she would have said, “No, I am not okay,” but I think it would have been something that lifted us journos out of our positions and to her aide.
You see, every time I heard those words, it seemed to flip a switch inside of black women. We go from perfect strangers to members of an ancient sorority, ready to help our sisters in need, however, she needs it. I remember hearing my mom ask my aunt this question as she cried over a man she had run away from. I also remember my mom and her friends sitting alert, some leaning in to hear closely, but all ready to act if needed. I’ve experienced it in a grocery store with my young children in tow. I frantically combed my body and bags for my debit card only to hear those words. “You okay, sis,” followed up by, “I got you, sis,” when my answer was a near crying, “no”.
In that press room, however, I kinda knew the great Bernice King would not answer in the negative. She did flash a smile and answered the next questions with a more vibrant voice than before. The men and white women in the room were stunned for a moment, thinking that this black woman who called herself a journalist broke protocol. She didn’t. That woman just knew that we black women are a part of the largest and oldest sorority ever organized and we had a soror in need.
She made the call, protocol be damned.
Here is one of the articles that I wrote from the interviews and coverage of the conferences.
I will not be in the classroom this semester so it’s time to boost my writing for this year. What does that mean? Well, pitching more stories and developing more stories to pitch. I have writing projects that I would love to finish for publication and subjects I would love to delve into for future work. This also means more random postings here. Get ready folks. I also have some cool journalist work (like real Lois Lane ish) for Black Girl Nerds coming down the pipeline. Stay tuned!
Here is a rundown of the latest articles I have published on the web.
The Importance of Hair
“Aw! Somebody’s black hair came in!” My oldest daughter, Vivi age 20, was talking to the youngest, Ivy who is just a year old, as she sat in my lap, my fingers tangled into her brown curls.
“I am just trying to get her used to sitting,” I answered, as I scooped the toddler up in her attempted escape from my lap. I repositioned the small, disappointed body and continued manipulating her wild natural curl into a neat braid. Vivi handed her the toy she dropped and sat down close by to try and comfort her sister…..
How to Protect Black Girls in America: The Experts Weigh In
Over the summer, researchers at the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality published a study that offered proof of a phenomenon in American black communities that has existed since slavery: By being perceived as more mature, black girls fall victim to what researchers are calling a “perception trap,” and are treated negatively as a result…..
When my son was five, we signed him up to play America’s game. No not baseball—football! It was the Pop Warner League, which worked to teach young boys the basic football skills. I remember spending August through October at the side of the field with other parents (because the coach had threatened us at orientation with “the boot” if we wandered onto his field during practice and games) as we watched the tiny guys clad in tanks, tees, and cleats running around the field like little bobbleheads in their helmets. The coach, whose kid was also on the team, told us that he only had a few goals for the boys that year:
There used to be only one way to get my three girls, ages 2, 4, and 6 to settle down long enough to give me a break. I would pop in a DVD of The Powerpuff Girls cartoons or turn to a marathon on Cartoon Network. The girls would watch the show, mesmerized by the colors, the story, and the action for at least a half hour.
They each had a designated Powerpuff Girl. The oldest was Blossom, the four-year-old was Buttercup, and the youngest was always Bubbles. They would keep these parts for years, and act out their own fights for the safety of Townsville in my living room. Many a lamp and three couches were sacrificed to the cause….
My latest for the Washington Post. Let me know what you think.
“Let me set the record straight … ” is how I began a Facebook post on the day after President Trump announced that he would investigate colleges for discrimination against white applicants. Using the term “white rights,” the announcement was a thinly veiled promise to go after Affirmative Action. That policy, which stems from the Civil Rights Act of 1964, is a remedy to discrimination by increasing the underrepresented in courses on a campus.
This administration’s statement on discrimination against white male applicants is yet another illustration of the myth of affirmative action: that white male applicants are rejected and their spots are given to less qualified women and people of color. The move was also another presidential green light for racists to once again start attacking black culture.
I am declaring Samwell Tarly the winner of the first episode of Season 7 of Game of Thrones.
Why? I know he didn’t win a kingdom. He wasn’t even fresh from battle. GOT’s most famous nerd, however, did succeed in his mission, which was the most important of anything any of the characters did in that first episode.
Samwell Tarly spent most of “Dragonstone” cleaning chamber pots and trying not to gag. He was there for the long game, a mission his best [jock friend] Jon sent him on long before the former Keeper of the Watch became the King of the North. As Arya continues her kill list, Cersei contemplates her next move, and Dany begins her surprise attack on Westeros, Sam has the real fight in mind and is biding his time until he can make his own contribution.
A Georgetown University study showing that black girls in the United States are perceived by adults as much less innocent than white girls has created a lot of buzz this summer. The study released last month, “Girlhood Interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girls’ Childhood,” identifies several well-researched reasons for the disparity. Black girls, according to the study, are adultified, sexualized and deemed overly aggressive from a young age.
This news was a shock to everyone but black mothers, who live with this truth every day…