When Women Were King

The Woman King, a new film starring Viola Davis, reclaims the narrative of the fiercely resistant African “Amazons.”

“My hope is that young African-descended girls and women see themselves in these powerful women. I hope they too will aspire for greatness.”

Learning From and Leaning Into Juneteenth

What does Juneteenth mean to me, to you, to us today? Long before corporate decisions to recognize Juneteenth, Black people in this country were joyfully and jubilantly celebrating this day in our own way.

As a feminist scholar, I marvel at Black women’s pivotal role in Juneteenth celebrations. It reminds me that Black women have always been architects of freedom.

Care Workers Are Essential. It’s Time to Build a Caring Economy.

When crises strike, we turn to our friends, families and sometimes even complete strangers to provide an extra set of caring and supporting hands. Care workers have always played an essential role in our communities, from assisting with child care to providing professional support to the elderly.

Our government has a once in a generation opportunity to pass policies that would support fair pay and dignified work conditions for caregivers, investing in the essential caregiving economy.

Under Biden, Cruelty Towards Asylum Seekers Persists

Anti-immigrant politicians and pundits continue to accuse Biden of promoting open borders, even as he pursues the most restrictionist border policies in recent history. This is not a constituency the president will likely ever satisfy.

It is long past time for the Biden administration to honor its promises and establish a safe, fair and humane asylum process for people fleeing danger.

How Whitewashing Villainized Black Women’s Magic in Louisiana

As Halloween draws near, “voodoo” costumes will undoubtedly be on the main menu. But the most popular versions of these costumes meant to scare and entertain the masses are racist depictions of a religion that encompasses African traditions and honors the innate wisdom of Black female practitioners in Louisiana. Few are aware of these issues because either they’ve never lived in Louisiana or have never met a Black woman from Louisiana who practices vodou. But I have the honor of both distinguishing factors.

The U.S. Still Hasn’t “Forgiven Haiti for Being Black”—And Modern Immigrants Are Paying the Price

In an 1893 speech examining the U.S. relationship with Haiti, Frederick Douglass said: “A deeper reason for coolness between the countries is this: Haiti is [B]lack, and we have not yet forgiven Haiti for being [B]lack or forgiven the Almighty for making her [B]lack.”

U.S. Border Patrol agents rounding up asylum seekers with whips while thousands more languish under a bridge in the unrelenting Texas heat make it clear: 128 years after Frederick Douglass’s speech, his words still ring true.

The Biden Administration’s Expulsion of Haitians Is Unconscionable—and a Missed Opportunity

“No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark. … No one puts their children on a boat unless the boat is safer than the land.”

Recent expulsions of thousands of Haitian migrants showcase how far the U.S. has to go on immigration reform.

The proliferation of Haitian migrants at the Mexican border did not begin under this administration. But for Biden, this represents not only a missed opportunity to distinguish himself on immigration, but also an egregious lack of humanity and regard for Black lives in the Caribbean.

Black Feminist in Public: Myriam Chancy Gives Voice to the Voiceless Among Survivors of Haiti’s 2010 Earthquake

Award-winning Haitian-American/Canadian writer and scholar Myriam Chancy’s newest novel, “What Storm, What Thunder,” commemorates the devastating January 12, 2010, earthquake that struck Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince, killing 250,000. The book has taken on new relevancy with the recent August 14 earthquake on the island.

Chancy discusses her new novel, the fate of her birth island, and why more people need to listen to Haiti’s women.

Can the U.S. Meet the Humanitarian Challenges of Its Own Making?

With humanitarian crises in Afghanistan, Haiti and at the border, the U.S. must reassess what kind of lasting policy changes would prepare us to protect refugees and other vulnerable people in need around the world.

There must be more measures that allow for temporary and permanent protection within the country, more deliberate and sustained efforts to promote good government and economic opportunity internationally and a commitment to address the regional ebb and flow of migration to the U.S.