Welcome to another edition of #ActiveVoices on Race, our weekly digest of conversations on race as told through the voices of people of color.
In this edition, Zahara Hill celebrates the strength and resilience of Black women; Shannon M. Houston explores the themes of womanhood and womanism in Undergound’s season 2 premiere; Antwan Herron tells cisgendered Black men to support Black trans women; Jennifer Lord remembers Black women killed by police; Renee Graham discusses why Ben Carson’s description of slaves as immigrants is dangerous; and Andrew McCaskill shares the latest data on Black television’s influence on mainstream culture.
Read more about what they had to say below.
“From Jamaica to South Africa, wherever there’s been racism, patriarchy, or all of the above, there have been women organizing to resist it. The crucial activism of black women has historically been overshadowed, not only by their male counterparts but white women as well.”
Zahara Hill, “7 Protests From Around The World Led By Fearless Black Women,” Huffington Post
“Creating such a character—someone who is both oppressed and oppressive—takes a lot of courage. It’s the same kind that [Ann] Petry had, and that Alice Walker and Toni Morrison had when they wrote stories where black women were victims of black men, who were also victims of white supremacy, power and oppression.”
Shannon M. Houston, “Guns, Drugs and Sewing Kits: Female Strength and Solidarity in the Underground Season Premiere,” Paste Magazine
“One of first things I would suggest we must do is deal seriously with our own inner gender insecurities. From there, we have an obligation to conquer our homophobia and transphobia. From there, we are obligated to recognize that black transgender women are still black, and just as authentically black as any other slice of the black community.”
Antwan Herron, “Cis Black Men: If Black Lives Matter, We Need to Support Our Trans Sisters,” Wear Your Voice magazine
“I know all too well about the feeling of being unprotected as a black female in America. I have been harassed, arrested, abused, ignored and shunned simply because of “my attitude.” My inability to be silent and allow others to behave as if they’re superior has gotten me in tons of trouble. So what?! It is my duty to continue to make a lot of noise and ruffle all the damn feathers while I speak out against injustice. There is nothing comfortable about injustice, let’s get uncomfortable with being silent!”
Jennifer Lord, “We See You! Black Women Killed By Police, No Longer Nameless,” Huffington Post
“The first step in erasing history is to slowly erode our understanding of it. This isn’t just carelessness; it’s an act of contempt.”
Renee Graham, “Rewriting the History of Slavery,” Boston Globe
“Much of the American narrative lately has focused on a growing cultural divide. But Nielsen’s data on television programming show something different…Storylines with a strong black character or identity are crossing cultural boundaries to grab diverse audiences and start conversations. That insight is important for culture and content creators….”
Andrew McCaskill, “New Nielsen Report Cements Black Television’s Impact On Mainstream Culture,” Blavity