I appeared as a panelist on last Friday’s PBS To the Contrary and discussed The Birth of A Nation’s Nate Parker 1999 Rape Trial Revisited; Donald Trump’s New Team and Campaign Strategy to win Women; and France’s Burkini Ban. Check it out.
So here it is a New Year, and in the spirit of new beginnings, I’ve decided to have a separate blog from this site to host my writing that isn’t published by media outlets. While I will still share my pieces published in magazines, it’s always good to have a place to share thoughts on important things without being at the mercy of an editor’s to publish or not to publish rhythm.
It’s called Feminist Noir. A nice double entendre for the things on which I focus. You can check it and follow here! I will be posting fairly regularly there. There are not enough perspectives out there from a black women on feminism, politics, race, and certainly using all these lens to critique films/TV/Media. This new blog will do that.
Stay tuned for more posts!
In the last few days, the unending number of women who claim television and comedian Bill Cosby sexually assaulted them has finally reached its apex. One of the allegations against him falls within the statute of limitations, resulting in the the arrest of the 78-year old. And yet, there are still fans, many of them African American, who deny he would possibly rape anyone. Among his better known defenders are his own wife Camille Cosby, actress Phylicia Rashad, Academy Award winner and The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg and singer Jill Scott (the last two of whom would later publicly backtrack their support) just to name a few. African American critics, particularly on social media, have been quick to castigate these women for their protection of an accused rapist. Comparisons have been made between Cosby’s unfair treatment and everything from the Black Lives Matter movement to White men of prominence who have also been accused of rape like directors Woody Allen and Roman Polanski.
But, beneath these protective affirmations for Cosby lies an African American community, who by in large is circumspect and on the defensive because of a long history of Black men who have been falsely accused of sexual assault and brutally murdered as part of a racist vigilante justice.
To read the rest go to Ebony online
Throughout 2015, reproductive-rights issues have made headlines, and the news has mostly been bad.
From deceptive videos intended to discredit Planned Parenthood to more clinic closures and the recent shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado, legislators and anti-abortion extremists are unrelenting in their efforts to push abortion out of reach. While there has been a large flood of support for Planned Parenthood and other reproductive-health providers, clinics and their staff, rallies and protests are predominantly white, when, in reality, abortion access and reproductive-health care are more significant issues for black women than for any other group.
To read more, go the The Root online
or many women, birth control unquestionably improves the quality of their lives. Amid conservative attacks on Planned Parenthood, reproductive-rights activists this month launched a social media campaign dubbed “Thanks Birth Control” to celebrate the economic, social, and health benefits of family planning.
It’s true that contraception can be transformative—but only when it’s voluntary. Unfortunately, contraception can also be used as a tool to abuse and control women. When that happens it’s called contraceptive coercion, or birth control sabotage—and it’s more widespread than you think. Such coercion has been linked to domestic violence, rape, and even the spread of HIV.
While men also experience violence at the hands of an intimate partner, women suffer it at much higher rates. A woman is assaulted every nine seconds, and 72 percent of murder-suicides involve intimate partners (94 percent of those killed are women). I have seen intimate partner violence firsthand in my work with survivors, among friends and colleagues, and as an advocate for reproductive rights and justice.
You might ask: What do reproductive rights have to do with violence inflicted by an intimate partner?
For more please go to: The American Prospect
Lately, politicians and policy makers have been continuously discussing the importance of the women’s economic agenda. This is a good thing because even though women earn most of the college and advanced degrees in this country, and are two thirds of their family’s breadwinners, forty-two million women, and the 28 million children who depend on them, are living paycheck to paycheck, one disaster away from economic ruin. Paid sick days, paid parental leave, and raising the minimum wage are among some of the important policy changes being discussed, but not access to reproductive health care, a crucial component to women’s economic success in the U.S.
Today is the 39th anniversary of the Hyde Amendment. Every year since 1976, Congress has passed the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal coverage of abortion for women enrolled in Medicaid. Over 60 percent of women who obtain abortions have incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty line, meaning many of those 42 million women living paycheck to paycheck.
To read more, please go to Huffington Post Politics section
Last week, Pope Francis descended on our nation’s capital in his first major visit to the United States, and anticipation was high for the man who has already set himself apart as a different kind of pope. Coming from church service in South America, Pope Francis is an academically-trained scientist who picked his papal name to honor St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of the poor, and has made headlines around the world by focusing on the plight of low-income people. This commitment to economic justice has been admirable in its boldness and thoughtful in making connections between faith, economic inequality, and issues like immigration policy and even climate change.
Religious scholars call the particular Christian values that Pope Francis and those like him extol liberation theology: “an interpretation of Christian faith out of the experience of the poor … an attempt to read the Bible and key Christian doctrines with the eyes of the poor.” Placing himself firmly in this tradition, when it comes to the complexities that drive economic security around the world, the pope seems to get it. Unfortunately, that compassionate, complex, committed view of economics and wellbeing falls apart when it comes to reproductive health.
To read more please go to American Prospect online.
Today, the U.S. Senate is expected to take up the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. A benign name for a bill with a good cause, the act establishes funding to help survivors of sex trafficking. However, the legislation also unnecessarily contains a provision that restricts abortion.
This provision does nothing to help sex-trafficking victims. As a Virginian and an advocate for women’s rights, I urge Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner to stand strong against this attempt to undermine reproductive decision-making.
To read more please go to the: Virginian Pilot online
In 12 Years of Slave, the theme of family is a tie that binds throughout the story. While the film depicts the life of Solomon Northrup, a freeman captured and sold into slavery, and his struggle to get back to his life and his family. 12 Years also reflects the lives of other slaves he meets who too are separated from their families. 12 Years is very tightly focused on the systematic dehumanization of Black people in the American South during slavery. This film defines the subhuman view of the Black family in the antebellum South that remained pervasive post the Civil War and into the 20th Century where its effects have filtered into many films and TV shows.
To read more please go to to Btchflicks.com
On the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal across the U.S., I expect a flurry of media commentary: pro-choice activists celebrating, and in the case of the anti-choicers, vilifying. As an activist who got into politics because of women’s rights, I am thankful thatRoe V. Wade is the law of the land. But as a young woman of color active in politics, I am ever wary about the rollbacks to women’s reproductive health care access happening across the country, making the fight for reproductive justice even more of an imperative.
According to the most recent research from the Guttmacher Institute, during the 2014 state legislative session, lawmakers introduced 341 provisions aimed at restricting access to abortion. By the end of 2014, 15 states had enacted 26 new abortion restrictions. Since 2010, states have adopted 231 new abortion restrictions nationwide. Among these restrictions are targeted restrictions on abortion providers (TRAP laws), an anti-choice strategy that places stringent and unnecessary standards on clinics with the end goal of shutting them down, limitations on insurance coverage of abortion, bans on abortions after 20 weeks, mandatory waiting periods and ultrasounds, and limitations on medication abortion.
Read more at EBONY.com