I often hear black girls complain that their hair is difficult to control, and it’s precisely because we are not meant to control it.
I have always found that jeans hurt my body with waistlines digging into my stomach as I try to exhale.
T shirts that cut into my arms, bras that dig into my flesh leaving scars that remain today.
We were not the architects of this system, of course these things won’t fit us when they come from people who refuse to acknowledge that we exist. We know this because we see their runways, their print ads, their magazines. We are not wrong.
Beige is not the definition of ‘nude’, my hair does not need to be restrained, it needs to be liberated. My hair isn’t so thick, I didn’t go through puberty too early, my mama is not ‘plus sized’ - these statement all use an invented standard of whiteness and then define me in relation to that standard.
Fuck mainstream. Fuck counter culture and sub culture. We are our own mainstream. We are our own culture.
Fuck standards and constructions of normal. Nothing ever grew by being measured. We grow by being nurtured and affirmed for who we are as we are. Standards are always relative.
"I don’t let anyone touch me,” I finally said.
Why not? Because I was tired of men. Hanging in doorways, standing too close, their smell of beer or fifteen-year-old whiskey. Men who didn’t come to the emergency room with you, men who left on Christmas Eve. Men who slammed the security gates, who made you love them then changed their minds. Forests of boys, their ragged shrubs full of eyes following you, grabbing your breasts, waving their money, eyes already knocking you down, taking what they felt was theirs. It was a play and I knew how it ended, I didn’t want to audition for any of the roles. It was no game, no casual thrill. It was three-bullet Russian roulette."
How badass was Mahmud Tarzi though, publishing an article in 1916 titled “Hayy ‘ala al-falah” (“rise to prosperity”, part of the Adhaan) urging the Afghan people to rise against the British, tying national identity, right to self-determination and religion so closely together:
"Black is the most slimming of all colours. It is the most flattering. You can wear black at any time. You can wear it at any age. You can wear it for almost any occasion. I could write a book about black."
Grammy Award-winning singer Esperanza Spalding has a new video out called “We Are America,” wherein she urges Congress to close GITMO. In an interview with the ACLU, she credited the recent Guantanamo Bay inmate hunger strikes as a moment that inspired her to use her platform to make a political statement.
What motivated you to start this whole project to begin with, what was the spark?
It was the first time I heard about the hunger strike. I was touring in Europe, and I was appalled and embarrassed about what was happening. I remember I started researching online to see what I could do about, it and I saw that I could download this action pack. With that, you had some important info to use to call your representative. And I did, I did call my representative and Senators. In fact, I got a letter back from one Senator who basically said that she was not going to proactively deal with it but that they would ‘keep my comments in mind’ or something like that. But I really wanted to do more. And my band actually came to me first and said they wanted to do something too.
"If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America. They don’t care for human beings."
Remembering the unvarnished truth of Mandela’s words means refusing to let anybody sanitize his legacy. As the United States attempts to piggyback on Mandela’s revolutionary spirit, never forget that it was the CIA who helped jail him for 28 years. His sentiments toward our imperialist government reflect what our government remorselessly tries to keep we citizens from seeing, that indeed ”…the United States now feels that they are the only superpower in the world and they can do what they like" regardless of who we harm in the process.
Here are a few more quotes we are unlikely to see in the mainstream press:
“When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.”
"A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy. The press must be free from state interference. It must have the economic strength to stand up to the blandishments of government officials. It must have sufficient independence from vested interests to be bold and inquiring without fear or favor. It must enjoy the protection of the constitution, so that it can protect our rights as citizens."
"It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.”
“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”
“We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”
“No single person can liberate a country. You can only liberate a country if you act as a collective.”
"If the United States of America or Britain is having elections, they don’t ask for observers from Africa or from Asia. But when we have elections, they want observers."
"I no longer have the energy for meaningless friendships, forced interactions or unnecessary conversations. If we don’t vibrate on the same frequency there’s just no reason for us to waste our time. I’d rather have no one and wait for substance than to not feel someone and fake the funk."
"The Western “love” concept, you take it apart, it really is lust. But love transcends just the physical. Love is disposition, behaviour, attitude, thoughts, likes, dislikes – these things make a beautiful woman, a beautiful wife. This is the beauty that never fades. You find in your Western civilisation that when a man’s wife’s physical beauty fails, she loses her attraction"
i think of america as some sort of quaint faraway wonderland its like u guys live in another dimension what the fuck is black friday why is thanksgiving and whats the deal with wearing white and labour day and why aren’t there any fucking u’s in ur words why do you measure in like feet and body parts and shit thats super fucked up