Diddy. and the Expropriation of Black Excellence

For over twenty years, Sean Combs, “Diddy,” or “Puff Daddy” has been a paramount figure of black celebrity. He is debonair and articulate but still bears a familiarity to members of the collective in the barbershops and on the train. To many, he is the epitome of what it means to possess power as a…

“They” Know Better

It was a spring evening in New York city when I met with my sisters of freelance in a partially black-owned establishment in Bedford Stuyvesant. The experience was disappointing to say the least, but eye-opening. The star of the conversation was a beautiful yet sef-depricating young black female who in a series of passive remarks…

The Myth of The Angry Black Woman: Chapter 1

I was confronted a few months back with leading answer. By this I mean, I was presented with a scenario to which the speaker fully intended on hearing a specific answer. When this did not happen, their intentions became blatantly obvious. The speaker confronted me about the behavior of his black female coworkers, citing that…

Boo-hoo Betsy: Understanding the Power of the Black Institution

Drake’s “Best I Ever Had” came on via shuffle while I was driving the other day. While to most this song symbols the metamorphosis from Degrassi’s Aubrey Graham to Drake the rapper, for me this song bears an irreplaceable nostalgia. When I hear this song, I think about being twenty-two years old, seated in Howard…

Devaluing Race: A Contemporary Obsession

Free of the blackface worn in a shameful embodiment of the late Nina Simone, Zoe Saldana made headlines last week for articulating a popular mantra of the contemporary world— “sexism is more aggressive than racism.” It appears the world is immersed in a competition of struggle. Other minority factions have seemingly grown angry with “race”…

They Called Her a Liar, A Book Review

The Tawana Brawley case is a prominent page in the black female narrative. Despite its vivid illustration of the dehumanization faced by the black female body, this page remains unread or glossed over by those most impacted by its truth. Brawley’s treatment in crime and consequence illustrates the low regard to which the white world…

Jordan Edwards and “Thug” Politics

While the white media focused on the attire worn by so call celebrities at the Met Gala, another black boy lay in a morgue, prematurely murdered at the hands of police. Jordan Edwards, a fifteen year old high school freshman would leave a party on Saturday night, but would never make it home. Edwards suffered…

Shame on You Shea Moisture

One of the most resounding articles on black femininity last year was Ta-nehisi Coates’ “Nina Simone’s Face.” The article brilliantly examined how western ideology disrupts the black quest for aesthetic complacency. Perhaps the most prevalent of Coates’ claims was the significance of the black female face. A face that bears hot tears of disappointment, sorrow…

The Black Lives Matter Prom Dress: Revolutionary or Risqué?

A colleague sent me the  viral photo of high school senior Milan Morris’ prom dress. The gown—engulfed with photos of those slain by the police in the last five years– is an instant masterpiece. Morris, a stunningly beautiful girl, is the perfect canvass for this art activism. Morris’ dress is a creation of Miami/ Atlanta…