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Culture + Society

#AirbnbWhileBlack aka Racism Lurks Everywhere

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]You may be familiar with #AirbnbWhileBlack, the hashtag that quickly gained traction on Twitter, and attracted coverage from several media outlets. NPR even hosted a Twitter chat on the subject. Tweet after tweet, Airbinb users contributed personal accounts of rental requests being rejected due to discrimination by the host.[/dropcap]

I Could Have Used More Laughs and Fewer Tears, but 2015 Was Actually Pretty Okay

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]Happy New Year!

2015, like every other year, had it’s ups and downs. However, it’s important not to let the year’s lows overshadow the highs.

When I considered writing an end of the year retrospective, my face scrunched up in disgust as I reflected on 2015. Not my favorite year by a longshot. So much of it felt like a continuous struggle – like I’m in the middle of a significant lesson which I’ve tired of learning.[/dropcap]

Stop Lecturing Black People on How to Behave

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]In an LA Times op-ed Jonathan Zimmerman, a professor at NYU, and judging by his photos, decidedly not Black, deemed it necessary to take to a national newspaper to tell Black students how to behave and advise university faculty and administration on how to treat them. Not only did he step out of his lane to admonish America’s least favorite ethnic minority, he had the nerve to use the name and highly regarded words of black writer Ralph Ellison to do so.

Here we go again.[/dropcap]

Don’t Call Me “Girl”

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]”Girls! Girls!” a large, middle-aged man in a bright yellow safety vest hollered at me and my new friend from across the parking lot as we walked away from my rental car.

I turned slowly around, cocked an eyebrow and didn’t begin moving in his direction until my companion did.

“Yes?” I asked with a touch of attitude as we neared him. He’d yelled out to us like we’d done something wrong.

“Where are you girls going?”

So far I liked nothing about this encounter.[/dropcap]

Guest Post: My Blackness is Enough

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]Nearly 200 million people in the world identify as African or African-descended. Like Europeans, Asians and other “racial” groups, our culture, languages and experiences are extremely varied, despite the fact that, especially in the United States, we’re often seen as one large, indistinguishable group.

For my first guest post, I’ve asked Mary from Verily Merrily Mary to share her experiences growing up as a Nigerian-born black woman in North America. I met Mary through a bloggers group and enjoy her thoughtful and absorbing writing. I hope you enjoy it too![/dropcap]

5 Myths About Black Americans That Need to Disappear

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]Despite significant and continued economic, educational and social progress among black Americans, inaccurate and offensive stereotypes persist. In part these myths are aided by the mainstream media (MSM). In reports about the state of “Black America” MSM tends to focus on reporting negative news or framing reports around the pessimistic view.[/dropcap]

When You Agree to Discuss Racism on the Radio with a Black Conservative

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]That was around the time Jesse asked me, “What else can white people do for black people, so that black people will finally say: ‘ok you’re not racist, you love me, you’ve given us allllll that we’ve wanted, and we appreciate it, so now we’re going to take control of our own lives’? Is there anything else that white people can do to satisfy black people?”[/dropcap]

I Am Sick of Having Conversations About Race with Brick Walls

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]I was in a pissy mood on Friday afternoon.

I’ve written before how I get sick of talking about racism. I just want to live my life. Wake up, do what I do and keep it moving like many other people have the privilege of doing each day. I do not have such privilege, however. Just going to the corner drugstore some days ends with me wondering when the day will come when I won’t have a clerk unsubtly follow me around the store as I shop.[/dropcap]

Don’t Be That Insensitive Jackhole

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]On Sunday, after the Academy Awards, Giuliana Rancic, co-host of E!’s Fashion Police, made a contentious statement in reference to the locs worn at the ceremony by 18-year old actress Zendaya.

In a previous post, I touched on the complicated relationship many black women have with their hair.[/dropcap]

The Incredible Story I Heard About My Ancestors

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]Lately, my dad is prone to falling into reflective reveries during which he shares stories from the past with a forthrightness that is surprising given how miserly he’s been with details previously. He’ll affect what my sisters and I call his “Professor [Our last name]” voice and begin his oration: “You know, Keisha, our family…”[/dropcap]

Seeing Broadway’s First Black Cinderella

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]When I heard of Keke Palmer’s casting as the first black Cinderella on Broadway, I didn’t imagine I’d end up seeing the show in person!

It was a girls night out: sisters and groups of friends; an adorable Girl Scout troop of mostly pre-tween and tween black girls and quite a few mother/daughter pairings attended. One little girl dressed like a little lady wearing pearls and donning an updo, accompanied by her very chic and sophisticated mother who wore an enviable black cape, melted my heart. I attend a lot of plays and as I snarked to my sister, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen this many black people at a play in my life.” I’m so used to being one of few.[/dropcap]

What Happened to OFFline Dating?

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]Does anyone meet anyone in real life these days? Offline? For dating purposes, that is. You know like:

Guy sees cute girl at bus stop.

Guy makes joke about the horrid stench wafting from a black trash bag near the bus shelter.

“Ah, the sweet smell of street funk and human waste,” he cracks.

Girl giggles. She relaxes her street defenses.

They discover they share a preference for puffy Cheetos over crunchy. “This is awesome,” they both think. [/dropcap]

Is Everyone Saying “N***a” Now?

[dropcap custom_class=”normal”]”If you having a good time, I want you to say, ‘Hell yeah, niggaaaaaaaaaa!”

“Hell yeah, niggaaaaaaaaaa!” the crowd screamed back at Lil Wayne.

I scanned the stadium of concert goers: a sea of young, white and light faces surrounded me, bopping their heads to the beat, hip-hop hands swaying in the air, phone cameras recording and repeating at Lil Wayne’s command,

Helllllll yeah, niggaaaaaaaaa!!

I looked over at my friend, who, like me, hadn’t joined the crowd.[/dropcap]