The Pacific Northwest is really white. How white? Well…..
Having lived in this sea of whiteness the majority of my life, I’ve had to face many battles with white supremacy. Being called “nigger” by a white relative, people avoiding elevator rides or sitting next to me on the bus, hair touching, work place discrimination, and all the microagressions in between. I also have to deal with a great deal of closeted racism that has gone unchecked due to the lack of non-whites the white folks here interact with. I don’t know. It might not be a regional thing. But it sure feels like it sometimes. I don’t know how else to explain it. Read the rest of this entry
On this first Wednesday of Black History Month I wanted to write about the amazing Black women who came before me. This is dedicated to:
Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni, Ida B. Wells, Phillis Wheatly, Alice Walker, Zora Neale Hurston, Audre Lorde, Octavia Butler, my mother, Wendy Battles
And the thousands of others who put pen to paper and paved the way. Read the rest of this entry
Portland Public Schools is currently examining issues of inequity, looking to re-balance schools across the city. An advisory committee was formed and with community input, plan to guide the school board toward a solution.
When I went to Harriet Tubman Middle School we had a marine biology program. I took zoology. We dissected animals. We had Bunsen burners in more than one classroom. We had a dark room where we developed our own pictures from the cameras we made. We had two PE teachers, but I was able to opt out of PE and take dance instead. I felt like my opportunities were endless. My children will not have those same opportunities at Boise-Eliot/Humboldt. There are limited classrooms to share with 10 grade levels. The PE teacher is forced to teach 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 year olds in the same room. The same room where they have 15 minutes a day to eat lunch. The same room where they hold assemblies. And that is just a small piece of the problematic puzzle. Like many other (P)K-8s in the city, Boise-Eliot/Humboldt is not okay Read the rest of this entry
It has been so long since I’ve been inspired to write a full blog post. So much has gone on this year and there’s so much I could have written about, but I managed to keep it to truncated Facebook posts and brief Twitter rants. But the one thing that has a way of inspiring my writing is Black excellence in art. Last night The Wiz Live aired and this morning I have so much to say about it.
The reprise of the 1975 musical play (and 1978 motion picture) did not disappoint. The cast was perfect. The dancing was dope and the music gave me chills. With powerhouse vocals from Amber Riley leading the way, we received 3 hours of straight up beautiful art. And with its (almost) all-Black cast, it was a cultural experience worth letting my kids stay up 3 hours past their bedtime to enjoy. Read the rest of this entry
Hey y’all! It’s been a long while. I decided to repost this blog I wrote back in 2012 in light of conversations about limiting those who receive food stamps. This time around, the controversy is whether or not they should be able to buy steak and seafood and I just wanted to share this in light. Please note that the dollar amounts may be 3 years old but most of the information is relatively comparable. Read the rest of this entry
“It’s time for women. Equal means equal. The truth is the older women get, the less money they make. The highest percentage of children living in poverty are in female-headed households. It’s inexcusable that we go around the world and we talk about equal rights for women in other countries and we don’t…..It’s time for all the women in America, and all the men that love women and all the gay people and all the people of color that we’ve all fought for to fight for us now.” – Patricia Arquette
If you haven’t heard, there’s a big fuss over Miss Arquette’s speech at the Oscars last night. So much fuss that the above referenced article from Time.com is asking everyone to stop giving her a hard time because of it. That said, I won’t give her a hard time. I won’t even address her. I will simply explain why what she said upset so many people(other than the implicit tone that the fight gays and people of color has ended). And don’t worry, this will be short sweet and to the point. Read the rest of this entry
Why are you so bothered by my existence?
The more I love me
The more you hate me for it
The more I succeed
The more you want to see me fail Read the rest of this entry
When you think about today’s hip-hop music, you might not expect Black excellence to be found anywhere. The mainstream artists and local copy cats tend to be all about the BBB, bitches, blunts and basicness. But here in Portland, OR we are blessed to have a nice selection of artists who use their music in more productive ways. And not only do they send a message through song, they live their lives righteously and work for the betterment of the community. Read the rest of this entry
Today’s entry in the Black Dopeness series earns her spot with her drive and perseverance. One of the most beautiful things about the Black community is our ability to succeed and thrive despite the oppression we face. We have risen up from some of the darkest struggles and continue to shine thru. Not everyone in the series will be featured because what they have accomplished. A few I am honoring because what they are trying to accomplish. Read the rest of this entry