When I heard about the earthquake in Nepal and saw the pictures, it made me remember the earthquake that hit my country Haiti 5 years ago. I remember what that felt like: I remember the dust, the panic, the fear because you can no longer trust the ground beneath your feet. Even though Nepal is halfway around the world, I feel you are my family because I know some of the pain you are going through now.
Even in the photos and videos, I see so much solidarity between Nepalis – and I would like to ask my Nepali brothers and sisters to hold onto that. We Haitians stayed strong through solidarity in the few days after the earthquake, and then we became divided. Don’t let that happen to you – you are a proud people with so much history and culture, so hold onto that and you will emerge…
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When Kendrick Lamar released his sophomore album, To Pimp A Butterfly (2015), I was in the middle of teaching a unit on Toni Morrison’s novel, The Bluest Eye (1970). My freshmen students were grappling with some big ideas and some really complex language. Framing the unit as an “Anti-Oppression” study, we took special efforts to define and explore the kinds of institutional and internalized racism that manifest in the lives of Morrison’s African-American characters, particularly the 11-year-old Pecola Breedlove and her mother, Pauline. We posed questions about oppression and the media – and after looking at the Dick & Jane primers that serve as precursors to each chapter, considered the influence of a “master narrative” that always privileges whiteness.
Set in the 1940s, the Breedlove family lives in poverty. Their only escape is the silver screen, a place where they idolize the glamorous stars of the film industry. Given the historical context…
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On Friday, the Guardian published an article by Mawuna Remarque Koutonin arguing that the word expat (short for “expatriate”) is a label “reserved exclusively for western white people going to work abroad”. According to Koutonin, the word immigrant is set aside for everyone else — those considered to be part of ‘inferior races’.
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Very important, critical food for thought, particularly for scholars of color (and their family, friends, and allies).
When a person of color is killed by a police officer, or badgeless vigilante, it strikes at the moral fabric of America but more viscerally at the psyche of every person of color with a beating heart. Each strike, blow or shot to their flesh pierces through our collective identity in ways sometimes articulated by great poets, demonstrated by activists old and emerging and mapped by social workers, theorists and spiritual gurus. Much more often, however, we do not have words or faculty to articulate that fire that emanates within our bones; gifting us with a source capable of birthing both revolutionary rage and cancerous infernos. There are simply those things cannot be spoken, because the tongue was never meant to fathom such violences.
“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.” Maya Angelou
During the most recent trend of state-sanctioned, or…
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It’s not about whether blocking the passage of an ambulance is worthy of a legitimate complaint–it’s about when those complaints arise, and by whom, that we start seeing larger social problems.
Boston-area #BlackLivesMatter protesters made national headlines today by chaining themselves to roadway railings and 1,200-lb construction barrels, bringing traffic into Boston on I-93 N and S to a halt during the morning commute.
According to a press release posted to the Black Lives Matter Boston facebook page, the diverse group of protesters sought to bring attention to the fact that systematic racism isn’t just an issue in other places, like Ferguson, MO. Similar problems happen right here, at home, and have been happening for decades.
“Today, our nonviolent direct action is meant to expose the reality that Boston is a city where white commuters and students use the city and leave, while Black and Brown communities are targeted by police, exploited, and displaced,” said Korean-American activist Katie Seitz.
In the past 15 years, law enforcement officers in Boston have killed Remis M. Andrews, Darryl Dookhran, Denis Reynoso, Ross Baptista, Burrell “Bo” Ramsey-White…
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