musicians who have used black women and other women of colour in their videos in a subversive and empowering way:
Today in microfashion…
26 Male Survivors Of Sexual Assault Quoting The People Who Attacked Them
This needs more notes.
no one seems to care if they are guys
reminder that rape and sexual abuse happens to everyone, not just girls
"cuz he’s black & poor
the name waz lost”
TEXT OF POEM:
So I’m driving down the street with
my 4-year-old nephew.
He, knocking back a juice
box, me, a Snapple, today y’all
we are doing manly shit. I love
watching the way his mind works.
He asks a million questions.
Uncle, why is the sky blue?
Uncle, how do cars go?
Uncle, why don’t dogs talk?
Uncle, uncle, uncle, he asks,
uncle, uncle, uncle, he asks
uncle uncle uncle
as if his voice box is
a warped record. I try my best
to answer every question, I do.
I say it’s because the way
the sun lights up the outer space.
It’s because engines
make the wheels go.
It’s because their minds aren’t
quite like ours. I say Yes.
No. No. Yes. No. Yes. No. I don’t know.
Who knows? Maybe. We laugh.
He smiles at me, looks out the window,
spots a cop car, drops his seat
“Oh man, Uncle, 5-0, we gotta hide.”
I’ll be honest. I’m not happy
with the way we raise our Black boys.
Don’t like the fact that
he learned to hide
from the cops before
he knew how to read.
Angrier that his survival
depends more on
his ability to deal
with the “authorities”
than it does his own literacy.
“Get up,” I yell at him. “In this car, in this family,
we are not afraid
of the law.”
I wonder if he can hear
the uncertainty in my voice.
Is today the day he learns
that uncle is willing to lie to him,
that I am more human
We both know the truth
is far more complex than
do not hide. We both know too many
Black boys who disappeared.
Know too many Trayvon Martins
and Abner Louimas, know too many
Sean Bells, and Amadou Diallos
Know too well that we are
the hard-boiled sons of Emmett Till.
Still, we both know
it’s not about whether or not
the shooter is racist,
it’s about how poor Black boys
are treated as problems
well before we are treated as people.
Black boys in this country
to play cops and robbers
if we’re always considered the latter,
don’t have the luxury
of playing war
when we’re already in one.
Where I’m from,
seeing cop cars drive
down the street feels a lot
like low-flying planes in New York
City. Where I’m from, routine traffic
stops are more like mine
fields, any wrong move
could very well mean your life.
And how do I look my nephew in his apple face
and tell him to be strong when we both know
black boys are murdered every day, simply
for standing up for themselves? I take him
by the hand, I say
be strong. I say be smart. Be kind, and polite.
Know your laws. Be aware of
how quickly your hands move
to pocket for wallet or ID,
be more aware of how quickly
the officer’s hand moves to holster, for gun.
Be Black. Be a boy and have fun,
because this world will force you to
become a man much quicker
than you need to.
“Uncle,” he asks, “what happens
if the cop is really mean?”
And, it scares me to
know that he, like
so many Black boys,
is getting ready for a war
I can’t prepare him for.
this always hits me hard.
can we discuss how he was my professor when i was at NU and he was amazing and wonderful and one of the best classes i took during undergrad!?!
In “Men We Reaped” (Bloomsbury), Ward examines the harrowing circumstances that brought about the loss of five important men in her life in five years.
I have a room in my house that will one day be a writing and library space, but right now that room is so disorganized that anyone who sees it must think that I’m developing a hoarding problem. I’m not. I just don’t have bookshelves, or a desk, or file cabinets yet. But I do have boxes and boxes of books and paper. I don’t understand why the rest of my house is fairly spartan, and yet the room I intend to write in is burdened by everything I need to do one day. There’s the sewing machine I need to take to my grandmother’s house so she can give me lessons. I haven’t taken it out of the box yet. There are at least two bags of clothing that I’ve been intending to take to Goodwill for the last seven months. There are boxes of receipts I’m saving for my taxes. If this room is reflective of my writing mind, then procrastination is clogging that mind. In addition, the time I have to write is already limited because I have a newborn. This means that I write wherever and whenever I can around my house. I’ve written while sitting on my bed, balancing my computer and my kid on my lap. I’ve written at the dining room table in the breakfast nook. I’ve even written in the bathroom. However, writing in these places poses problems. If I write in my bed, I’m tempted to fall asleep or read or play with my daughter. If I write in the dining room, my family distracts me, or the television does, or suddenly I realize the kitchen needs extensive cleaning because, again, I’m a champion procrastinator with limited time. I’ve found that I do my best work and the most work when I write in a corner of my bedroom, in a rocking chair, where my bedside table has become, by necessity, a small bookshelf. Somehow, I’m making it work.
WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH BLACK MEN I CANT
WHY ARE YOU SINGLING THEM OUT???
WHY ARE YOU CREATING A RIFT BETWEEN BLACK MEN AND WOMEN LIKE THERE ISNT A BIG ASS ONE ALREADY
YOU’RE DOING THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE DOING WHICH IS COMING TOGETHER
COME ON NOW
We can call out white women for their shit but not black men for their’s?
that’s exactly what the fuck i’m saying.
and that’s what’s wrong with the black race. we tear each other down for everyone to see every chance we get. and that’s why we can’t come together and progress.
it’s like if your significant other does something to upset you in front of other people. you dont call them out right there so everyone hears. you wait until you two are alone to address it
im not saying some of these points arent valid but they’re going about it all wrong and its driving me crazy and making me sad.
Calling out the misogyny and male privilege Black men hold is KEY to ‘coming together’
Instead of yelling at the BW who call this shit out, how about you call out the Black men who perpetuate misogyny and violence against Black women?
You’ve probably never heard of Jackie Ormes and that’s a goddamn tragedy. But it’s not surprising—there is no “Jackie Ormes Omnibus” available on Amazon.com, no “Collected Patty-Jo ‘n’ Ginger,” no “Essential Torchy Brown.” She won no awards, can be found in no hall of fame, and is usually treated as “an interesting find” by comic historians. She’s become a curio, a funny little facet of history, undiscovered, even, by today’s wave of geek-oriented feminism.
Jackie Ormes was the first African-American woman cartoonist. Yeah. That’s who we’re ignoring. Her work for the Pittsburgh Courier and the Chicago Defender—both incredibly influential African-American newspapers—was utterly groundbreaking and remains unique, even in the context of modern comics. Her first work, Torchy Brown in Dixie to Harlem, featured the adventures of the titular Torchy, a stylish, intelligent young African-American woman who (feigning illiteracy) boards a whites-only train car to New York City and changes her life. Torchy’s story is a great, irreverent window into the migration of Southern-born African-Americans to the North, a movement that defined 20th-century America—but it is also the story of a girl on her own, living her own life and making her own choices. Torchy was an incredible aspirational figure, the likes of which barley exists in modern comics: an independent, optimistic, fashionable and adventurous black woman. Ormes would later revive Torchy’s story in Torchy in Heartbeats, a strip that introduced international adventure into the heroine’s life. In Heartbeats, Torchy traveled to South America, dated idealistic doctors, battled environmental exploitation and confronted racism at every turn. She was, frankly, awesome.
And then there was Patty-Jo ‘n’ Ginger, her most successful and longest-running work. Patty-Jo ‘n’ Ginger was a single panel gag strip, like Family Circus—an illustration with a caption beneath it. Ginger was a beautiful, stylish young woman always accompanied by her little sister Patty-Jo, a clear-eyed, sardonic kid who spent most strips calling out the bullshit they endured on a daily basis as black women. Ormes’ talents shine through especially well in these little stories: her canny wit, the absolutely gorgeous clothes she drew her women in (seen also in her Torchy Togs paper dolls) and her skillful, succinct way of imparting to the reader just how goddamn stupid our society can be about gender and race. Patty-Jo is never shamed or taken down a peg for being an intelligent, outspoken little girl—in fact, she was made into a highly popular doll that wasn’t an obnoxious Topsy-style stereotype. She preceded Daria, Emily the Strange, Lian Harper, all those wry little girls we celebrate today—and yet, I see her on no t-shirts, can find her in no libraries. Patty-Jo is celebrated only in doll-collecting circles at this point, as the cute little symbol of a bygone age.
At Jackie Ormes’ height as a cartoonist, her work reached one million people per week. In the 1940s and 1950s, she reached one million people per week. She didn’t just surpass barriers—she leapt merrily over them. She introduced the general populace to a voice that had always existed, but was seldom heard—a voice that is still smothered today. She created African-American women who unapologetically enjoyed glamour, who pioneered their own futures, who refused to keep silent about the walls they found themselves scraping against every day. I haven’t even covered the half of it: Ormes was also an avid doll collector, served on the founding board of directors of the DuSable Museum of African-American history, and was targeted by the McCarthy-led witchhunts of the 1950s. Remember Jackie Ormes. Celebrate Jackie Ormes. Visit The Ormes Society and support the essential work they do. Keep her memory alive so that we may enjoy a million more Torchys and Patty-Jos in our comics—instead of the paltry handful we are offered today.
(First in a series on women in the comics industry.)