I have been able to learn about tribes from Africa at Dabl’s African Bead Museum. I have learned the true art of being a b-boy or b-girl with The Foundation. I have seen the art of graffiti, I have marched yelling “Black Lives Matter” in the streets, I have twerked with the black LGBTQIAs at The Woodward. I have learned who I am in the black community and how many layers of blackness are in Detroit
by Chani the Hippie
Flint, Michigan has been in the news for the past 2 years because their whole water supply is filled with lead-contaminated water. People in Flint are not able to drink, cook with, shower with, or do anything with the water. Millions of dollars have been donated, millions of water bottles have been sent, but no solutions have resulted in fixing the problem. People are still bathing with bottled water, and unable to get a simple drink from their faucet. Without clean water boiling noodles cannot even happen.
By Chani The Hippie
Our money has made people rich over and over again. That is power. We have more power than we understand and our dollar is the biggest tool. With such a tremendous spending power we can change the climate of the world towards us if we use it. We need to use our dollars to empower ourselves economically. There are tons and tons of black businesses that we need to funnel our dollars into and support.
by Shalynn Vaughn
Octavia Butler’s novel Kindred (1979) is an influential novel that combines the horror, hopelessness, and heroism of slave narratives with the fantasy of science fiction into a beautifully woven tale. The story follows Dana, a young black woman, on a journey as she suddenly finds herself being sent through time and transported across the United States into Pre-Civil War Maryland. The novel pendulums between the truths most often felt in slave narratives such as physical and sexual assault, and the unexplainable events that could only exist in realms very much unlike reality.
by William Copeland
The purpose of this series is to share some foundational political thoughts with my wider circle. It is too rare in our day-to-day activism and organizing that we refer directly to the sources of ideas for affirmation or debate. I am choosing political works that raise questions that are related to my work, the work I see in Detroit, and nationwide. I hope that this encourages comrades to read these important texts or, at the least, to intentionally consider the questions these pieces raise. This is writing practice, self-expression, the proactive act of bringing it home #DetroitCultureCreators #GlobalBlackMetropolis #GraceLeeTaughtMe
Homelessness is and always has been a problem in our nation. Many people have been forced to live on the streets, in shelters, tent camps, and more due to different issues. Many of these issues include mental illness, domestic violence, addiction, or the cutting off of state or federal benefits. Whatever the case may be it breaks all of our hearts every time we see someone in need of food or a place to rest their head.
by Kristian Davis Bailey
The city of Flint peaked in national headlines last month as more people learned about the city’s exposure to dangerous levels of lead-contaminated water. For almost two years, community members in Flint had been fighting a state-imposed decision to switch the city’s water source from Detroit’s clean water system to the Flint River.
Michigan is the "Great Lake State" known for its five freshwater lakes: Ontario, Erie, Huron, Superior, and Michigan. A state with such an abundance of water should never have any problem supplying its people with clean drinking water, but in cities like Detroit, Highland Park, and Flint there are a plethora of problems.
by Kierra Gray
How can communities of color move past this age-old issue that white supremacy created? The issue of colorism has been talked about time and time again, but how much progress have we made? Colorism stems from anti-blackness, racial bias and self-hate. Activism is always a great start when addressing deep-rooted systemic issues. Though there are no concrete solutions to address colorism, we can start a discussion to move forward.
Donald Trump has no shame in any of the things he says, he seldom apologizes, and constantly defends the hateful and ridiculous things he stands for. He has an awesome ability to get people going and he is mighty persuasive. This is horrifying. Hopefully his supporters will come to their senses and realize a vote for Trump is a vote in the wrong direction.
Black Queer women are not “a new phenomenon”. Black Queer women are not your sidekick, caricature, sexual fantasy, agents of White supremacy, or potential threats to your manhood. Black Queer women are the embodiment of radical love, life, and resistance. Three Black Queer women breathed radical love and life and exclaimed “Black Lives Matter!” raising fists across the nation and held the world accountable for its ignorant and malicious disrespect for Black lives. The existence of Black queer women is resistance, not a debatable belief.
As a feminist I have often been met with debate and people saying "women can't do that," especially when it comes to sex. It's taboo for women to enjoy sex, talk about sex, brag about sex, or initiate sex. Many women, or hoes as they are often called, have been defying the old way of things and are embracing being a "hoe". Being a hoe may be a bad thing to most people, but the "pro-hoe" movement thinks it's just fine.
by Kierra Gray
When I hear Black brothers and sisters throughout the diaspora speak of Black Americans, I hear the words “ghetto,” “ignorant” or “cultureless.” These opinions are based on media depictions and a lack of knowledge about Black American history and our struggle to recreate and maintain our culture in the face of oppression and purposeful efforts to strip it from us.
by Tyree Williams
Understand that the success of the black man is no more linked to a suit than his delinquency is linked to a hoodie. In this age of rampant profiling, remember that our appearance refuses to represent us. It shares a malleable story influenced by the prejudices of the listener. It cannot be trusted to set an example for the youth or send a message to our peers. We must speak through what we have achieved and what we have innovated. Behind us we must leave the ruins of every obstacle we destroy. Not a nice photo of us doing it.
As the mainstream gay agenda evolved into one of homonormativity, the spaces in which the public interacted with gay and lesbian people were forced to evolve with the overall political agenda. Lesbian spaces, Black ones in particular, were known for celebrating those who lived outside of the norms of their gender and gender roles, in turn removing especially deviant (and conveniently Black) lesbian spaces from the public view made sense. In order to justify the desired (mainstream) historical narrative Black queer women’s spaces, hidden not nonexistent, were and continue to be erased from the dominant discussions of lesbian spaces. If these spaces were considered in the mainstream assessment of lesbian spaces, the concern of dying lesbian spaces would be invalid.
by Courtland Wells
Sunday in Jackson, Mississippi, there was an almost 2 mile Take It Down march and rally. The action was protesting the Mississippi state flag, which has a Confederate Battle Flag in the upper left corner. Protestors carried signs and banners supporting Initiative 55 also known as the Flag for All Mississippians Act, which proposes the removal of the Confederate Battle flag from the Mississippi State flag. The rally was led by Sharon Brown, the woman who organized and got Initiative 55 on the ballot.
by Eli Day
With criminal justice reform figuring prominently in the early stages of 2016 Presidential race, its national moment has undeniably arrived. And with it our country’s march—or rather grueling slog—toward a system of greater humanity is rightfully celebrated. After all, we stand at the brink of repairing an institution that violently mocks American rhetoric about justice and equality. Excitement naturally flows from the near reversal of a policy hellscape that’s claimed the lives of so many.
In May of this year, I traveled to Palestine in a small delegation for ten days. I had read about Palestine, and had even seen videos about the occupation, but I wasn’t mentally or emotionally prepared for the impact my trip would have on me. In fact, I am still processing my trip as I type this. I imagine I will be attempting to process my experiences in Palestine for years to come. However, unfortunately, because of the current climate of anti-Black racism in the United States, the extreme militarization and murders of unarmed Blacks by overzealous and racist police and vigilantes, and the use of water as a weapon - through mass shutoffs, towards Black people, I am not afforded an opportunity to place my work on hold awaiting the reconciliation of my emotions.
Historically, Black women’s visions have been stomped on in the struggle for liberation in this country. Their work has been co-opted, their intellectual property stolen and their voices made invisible behind the banner of Black male leadership. It is unfortunate that these types of assaults continue in the movement today.
The fascination and commitment to the brutalization of Black bodies is as American as apple pie. From public whippings and picnic lynchings to viral videos of girls being beaten at pool parties. This horrific competition could not exist without the fundamental understanding that Black people do not have humanity.