“After he’s received a graduate degree, married and had children of his own—even then I will worry, because his Blackness will not have faded. … When the downstairs door finally opens and the hushed steps to his room recede down the hallway, I take my first deep breath of the night. Relieved, that at least on this night, my son’s name will not be preceded by a hashtag.”
Ana Maria Spagna explores patriotism through Sharon Jones’s version of “This Land is Your Land.” It’s her word, and it’s your word: patriotism.
Black women are being murdered, violated and maimed. It’s hidden in plain sight, even as they are leading our current-day social movements with fierce intention.
Sister, they are killing us.
As the Supreme Court prepares to release a decision on June Medical Services v. Russo—a case challenging a medically unnecessary admitting privileges law in Louisiana that seeks to shutter the state’s few remaining abortion clinics—I can’t help but look back at the enormous role that my reproductive life and freedom have played in shaping who I am today.
This essay is excerpted from Kevin Powell’s new book, “When We Free The World,” writings about the present and future of America through the lens of gender, race, protests, the pandemic and the presidency of Donald Trump.
Private racism—as opposed to public racism—is invisible to all but the perpetrator and victim. Yet so many more individuals are touched every day by the ubiquitous unrecorded and private racism that occurs outside public knowledge—racist encounters with no videotaped record and for which no collective global gasp is ever heard.
The conversation around film history today still revolves around predominantly male and white producers, directors and more. Even in 2020, the American Film Institute’s list of 100 Greatest American Films of All Time has not one female director.
In order to widen the conversation in the future, we must amend how we look at the past. The time is up—and for many of us, it has been up for quite a while.
Black and brown people are too often killed with impunity by police. Now may be a tipping point and we should not squander this opportunity to make fundamental changes in policing.
The fact is that women in law enforcement respond differently. We are not talking about a few token women—but when gender parity is realized, policing fundamentally changes.
“Joy doesn’t always come easy, but I owe it to myself, and those who came before me to continue to be mindful of my blessings, and my privileges. It is in remembering these joys I have today that will help me make it through the fight for the battles that come tomorrow.”
When faced down by racist man Jay Snowden at a Black Lives Matter protest in Whitefish, Montana, Samantha Francine pushed up her sunglasses so she could stare right back at him. She did not back down.
“I have not always been this version of myself. It has taken a long time for me to find my strength the way I did that day. … This is the first time in 27 years I have truly found my voice as a woman of color.”