On Wednesday, March 14th, countless Brazilians and others around the world were saddened and angered after learning of the devastating news of the brutal assassination of Marielle Franco, 38, an Afro-Brazilian city council member from Rio de Janeiro. Franco, a Black lesbian feminist, grassroots organizer, favelada, human rights activist and member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSOL), was shot four times by two gunmen after presenting on a panel entitled “Black Women Moving Structures” in Rio. Her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes, was also murdered. Read more at Black Perspectives.
The clock has run out on sexual assault, harassment and inequality at historically black colleges and universities.
As in many instances when it comes to gendered-racialized violence, Black women’s concerns, bodies and lives are rendered inferior ––and this is no different at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). While the #TimesUp movement’s mission primarily addresses “systematic inequality and injustice in the workplace that has kept underrepresented groups from reaching their full potential”, it is imperative this charge is inclusive of Black women college students, who unfortunately endure sex/gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, prejudice, misogynoir, transphobia, homophobia and anti-LGBTQ+ sentiments from peers and faculty alike. Read more at AfroPunk.
There are so many amazing books that come out every month –– especially by Black women authors.
This Women’s History Month (and beyond), it is imperative to highlight the work of Black women who are writing to honor and acknowledge the historical and contemporary political contributions, stories, and achievements of Black women in the Diaspora. Read more at xoNecole.
Female politicians are underrepresented in their leadership and their participation, and their contributions and successes in national, local, and civil politics are overlooked, undervalued, and often ignored. This political diminishment is exacerbated for Black women politicians, who in their efforts to catalyze political reform and policies are met with white supremacist, racialized-gendered hierarchies and hostilities that render their lives and their work inferior. Read more on Black Perspectives.
“Political scientist Jaimee Swift, a PhD candidate at Howard University, said most sports fans can be inconsistent when it comes to activism.
“I think there is such a cognitive dissonance some people have when it comes to supporting activism and equity and then recognizing that we live in a white male capitalist patriarchy that thrives off competition, production, and the use of the body; which is also reflected in sports, and in this case, football,” she said. “Until we realize that the Eagles, the NFL and other sports conglomerates are truly not for equity for all and just for the almighty dollar, more situations like Kaepernick’s are to come — both in and outside of the NFL. And yet, some of us will still keep cheering.” Read the full article here.
You’re not good enough.”
“You can’t do this.”
“You are way in over your head.”
Those were just some of the negative statements and thoughts I would say and think to myself as I walked into class. As a 26-year-old Ph.D. candidate at Howard University, my journey in academia has been both exciting and fulfilling yet at the same time, emotionally and spiritually grueling. If the pressure that comes along with being the first in my family to graduate from undergrad, to receive a Master’s degree, and pursue a doctorate was not hard enough, the constant feeling of self-doubt and chronic self-criticism of whether or not I “belonged” in higher education was a weight that was too much to bear –– despite my academic and professional accomplishments. Read more at xoNecole.
The first time I heard about Josephine Butler was when I stepped into the building named after her––the Josephine Butler Parks Center. Located at 2437 Fifteenth Street NW in Washington, DC, adjacent to the Malcolm XPark (also known as Meridian Hill Park), the Josephine Butler Parks Center––referred to as the “Embassy of the Earth”––was once the former embassies of Hungary and Brazil. Operated by Washington Parks and People, a non-profit whose mission is to “grow city-wide park[s] based on community health and vitality by nurturing innovation and partnerships,” the Center is located on sacred grounds––as the Malcolm X/Meridian Hill Park and adjacent area were once the loci for “Native American spiritual territory; the birthplace of both George Washington University, and an African-American theological seminary; and a Civil War Union Army hospital.”
While the Center itself is enchanting––its light-yellow exterior and interior serve as a popular wedding venue in Washington, DC––it is the resounding activism of Josephine Butler, a Black woman who catalyzed change in Washington, DC––that made me want to know more about her. I also began to wonder why I did not know about her or her political contributions prior to entering the Center. Read the article on Black Perspectives.
Swift was featured as a guest speaker on “Loud and Clear” Radio with Brian Becker where she talked about Recy Taylor, who just died at the age of 97. Ms. Taylor was gang raped in 1944 in Abbeville, Alabama, by six white men, who were all subsequently acquitted. It was a case that Rosa Parks investigated, many years before she rose to prominence in the civil rights movement. Jaimee Swift, a PhD candidate at Howard University, joins the show. Listen to the radio interview here.
Swift’s article, “Candomble, Afro-Brazilian Women, and African Religiosity in Brazil”, was featured as one of the top post on Black Women’s History for Black Perspectives, an award-winning blog on black culture, history and politics. Read the article.
On November 7th, Swift she spoke on “Digital Activism + Communication: Dismantling White Supremacy and Advancing Social Justice in the Trump Era” during the 2017 National Media Literacy Week. The event was held at Howard University’s Cathy Hughes School of Communication and sponsored by The Communication, Culture, and Media Studies Graduate Student Organization (CCMS) and the National Association for Media Literacy Education. For more information about National Media Literacy Week, please visit: https://medialiteracyweek.us