Spring Valley, SC and the School to Prison Pipeline of Black girls

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The video of  Ben Fields assaulting a young black student at Spring Valley High School in South Carolina is disgusting to watch as a young black student is being slammed and flipped over out of her desk. The hard reality is the place that students go on to pursue their aspirations and dreams to contribute to their country violate their basic civil liberties and becomes a pipeline to prison.This video was an example of the School to Prison Pipeline of  Black Girls. The officer there, Officer Ben Fields was a School Resource Officer. After Columbine, the influx of school resource officers in schools began happening in the early 2000. Since the zero tolerance policy has been enacted the policy by federal government was used to punish any infraction of a rule, regardless of accidental mistakes or ignorance in schools.During that time, the number of officers in schools arose from 9,000 to 400,000 SROs.

The sad thing is that the young lady was living in foster care after her mother had passed away. Statistics show that children out of foster care have a higher than likely chance to be at-risk youth and that young girl certainly was that at the moment, vulnerable and probably pissed at the world that she has to live under her conditions for the use of force to be used over a cell phone. The zero tolerance culture dominates as result of that policy that Instituted the cell phone bans, there has been more police in schools.Kimberly Crenshaw and the African American policy form have already pointed out the way that black girls are routinely pushed out of “education” due to the School to Prison Pipeline.When a student from a predominantly white neighborhood is discipline they go through all procedural steps in order to not criminalize that young student, on the other hand African American students get disciplinary action given to them based off of talking back or their attitude. These instances have caused higher suspension rates particularly among those of color and treating black kids like prisoners. When white middle class students are throwing chairs at a teacher the calm the situation down. Mass shooters of schools and churches are often racist and hate women such as the shooting in the state South Carolina.

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There have  been too many recent encounters that  black people are having to deal with as a result of police brutality such as in Baltimore, Maryland and Ferguson, Missouri. I don’d believe in respectability politics when it comes to talking about civil rights or micro-aggression because if that’s the case if a man feels as though his wife disrespected him and he slapped her does that give him a ride to put his hands on her?NO so miss me when you say “if you would just pull up your pants” ,analogy, “then the officers would have taking you seriously”… therefore you would have gotten shot at?!.Kidding me. That’s what’s going on with this little girl in South Carolina and The School to Prison Pipeline is particularly high in our communities.You have to look at the intersectionality of race, class, and gender. Women face high rates of domestic violence and it’s mixed in with rape culture. Sexual assault on campus often go unresolved. If this was a white female student would he have reprimanded her they way he did the young lady in the video?
There is a long history of criminalizing black people and I do believe that this officer was doing just that.As a southern State that fought to take down a symbol of hatred and go through a mass shooting in Charleston in which nine people were gunned down during church service.South Carolina has a major past of racial hatred. There is no justification for officer Fields to have done this and was improper protocol his procedures. Perhaps we should have waited for the story to turn into her being to death the way Eric Garner was choked to death in New York City by NYPD because he has improperly arrested. This young lady deserves justice for her body being dragged across a room and sustaining scars physically, psychologically, and to those young black, queer,straight, gay, lesbian, bi , cis, trans non-conforming women that experienced this in silence.

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Top Earning Deceased Musicians

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“Everybody loves you when you’re dead” seems like an adequate saying after Forbes released the top earning dead celebrities in 2015. With money coming for royalties, sales and continuing business endeavours, the deceased, or rather their families, are earning a lot of money as fans and companies continue to keep legends legendary.

Michael Jackson is unshockingly at number one with $115 million earned from the Vegas Cirque du Soleil show Michael Jackson One, the Mijac Music catalog, recorded music sales and half of the Sony /ATV publishing empire. Since his death in 2009, Jackson has earned over $1 billion and continues to make the list each year.

With the United States Postal Service is even honoring Elvis Presley with Elvis Presley Forever, a top 40 album that came along with a commemorative stamp, it is no wonder that Presley is number two on the list with $55 million earned. However, most of his earnings are from ticket sales at the infamous Graceland.

Though carefree during his career, postmortem Bob Marley has been involved with a slew of business deals. His family has created Marley Beverage Company that makes natural relaxation drinks like Mellow Mood and the House of Marley that produces quality, eco-friendly and charitable audio and lifestyle products. That in combination with his music sales has Bob Marley earning $21 million and being number four on the list.

John Lennon came in at number seven with $12 million due to him still receiving royalties from the Beatles sales and Love!, the Beatles-themed Cirque du Soleil show. Notable mentions included Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash and Kurt Cobain.

Natural Hair | Twist & Style Tutorial

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The twist out is a great low manipulation hairstyle. I wear twist outs with my already Arm Pit Length fully transitioned hair but its still a good choice for those who are transitioning and the style leaves your hair ultimately defined and moisturized. If your hair is still staright at the ends, adding perm rods will curl the ends of the twist out hairstyle. You should start on clean shampoo and conditioned hair for this style. Check out Mini Marley’s Tutorial:

Erykah Badu Hotline Bling

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Adele is not the only one rubbing dust off her shoulder and announcing the release of new music. In an interview with Noisey, Erykah Badu stated that her mixtape, But You Caint Use My Phone, will drop next week. After a five year hiatus  with her last complete work being the solidified classic New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh), Badu has still remained present in the music community. Whether she is performing “Tyrone” at a concert or tweeting to over a million followers, Badu still remains relevant with her everlasting tunes and soulful voice.

Toronto’s very own, Drake, gave her inspiration to create “Hotline Bling (But You Caint Use My Phone Mix).” In addition to releasing a her mixtape, she will be hosting the Centric and BET’s 2015 Soul Train Music Awards in November and performing a one-woman at Dallas’s Black Academy of Arts and Letters.

After five years, we wait in anticipation to see what timeless creations she will present. Listen to her version of “Hotline Bling” below.

The Modern Fight For Ownership of Women’s Bodies

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Roe v. Wade made us believe that the conversation of abortions was over and we could all continue to chose between having an abortion or not and not being attacked or threatened for a very personal and intimate decision. Planned Parenthood dim-wittedly believed that they could continue to provide affordable reproductive and maternal health services without picketers and religious zealots scaring visitors away. We thought we understood that rape was a deplorable crime but somehow politicians starting pointing out grey areas and noting “legitimate rape.” Modesty remains synonymous with moral but only to women when going through that required abstinence-only sex education in high school. In this modern world, women continue to battle for equality when it comes to displaying, using and owning their bodies.

Abortions are legal whether you believe they are right, wrong or indifferent. However, this federal legality has not stopped numerous states from going on crusades against restricting abortions as much as legally possible. Though abortions rates have been going down along, this call to action against abortions generally has me scratching my head as to why this non-issue has become an issue . . . again.

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The battle against Planned Parenthood is laced with media including the extremely edited and graphic video of a baby being kept alive for their body parts to be harvested (though a cutscene that implies rather than proves) and the discussion of (the very legal) selling of fetal tissues. Though Planned Parenthood has not been found guilty of anything, many politicians are trying to defund the organization. Though abortion is at the center of the discussion, abortions by Planned Parenthood accounted for only 3% of their services with more focus being on STI and STD testing and providing contraception.

But wait, there’s more. In Toronto, a crime prevention talk was occurring at York University in 2011 when one officer stated “I’ve been told I’m not supposed to say this – however, women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.” This statement brought forth the SlutWalk, a movement that strives for the liberation of women to wear what they want and not be slut-shamed. You may know it because of Amber Rose. Blame for rape has been given to the victim numerous times with the most noticeable instance being the Steubenville High School rape case. Though, rape is an act of violence and majority are premeditated, that has not stopped the constant belief that attire is the cause.  The United States military is going through a problem with sexual assault with the attire consisting of military gear yet the belief still persists while ignoring the culture that makes simply reporting sexual assaults stigmatized with numerous barriers.

This increase in nonsensical, unscientific opinions about the women’s bodies has conversations that should have been buried a long time ago reappearing. Yes, women are having sex for fun and should not shamed for their sexual activity. At most, seek to provide safe sex methods rather than put the fear of Hell into her mind. Pregnancy  Yes, Planned Parenthood does do abortions but they also help men and women get the contraception and sexual health information and services they need at a reasonable price. While the moral arguments scream that we are become a deprived world, it is off based. An Instagram feed does not represent the entrepreneurial, educated, and free women. This shift to abortion and pregnancy ignores the crucial aspect. If we continue to focus on non issues, we lose focus on more impending and damaging issues like safe sex and STIs/STDs. We need real conversations, not moral ones.

Does the “Hotline Bling” Video Represent Body Positivity?

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Drake’s video for “Hotline Bling” came out this week. The video is an obvious homage to our TLC days. Right after the video I listened to “No Scrubs” and played Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego. Ah, I miss the 90s. The video is beautifully executed and Drake’s seducing robot moves are going to be the next dance craze. But is this video progressive in representing body positivity? Sure, we have thick girls, light lights, dark girls, and some girls dancing in the shadows, but shouldn’t we be wanting a bit more.

It’s a known fact that the rap industry has always had problems with the way that it represents woman. You have to be phat, or have a big butt, or boobs, or a cute face, and of course have long, straight hair. The music videos perpetuate that image. If don’t look like that, then no rapper is going to want to be with you, which is fine. How many of us really want to marry Lil Wayne? But the problem is some of the young men listening to the music start to believe the lyrics and the perfect woman that they describe.

When videos come out that are filled with women dancing, I’m left wondering does this video support body positivity or is a step in the wrong direction. Drake’s video for “Hotline Bling” does try to incorporate some women of different body shapes, but it fails to escape the pressures of representing the perfect woman. The opening scene of the video is filled with two rows of light-skinned women, and the viewer is left to assume that these women are the ones operating the HOT-line. Sure, as the video progresses, you start to see some women of different skin tones, but camera fixates on the curves of their bodies.

There’s no denying “Hotline Bling” is aesthetically fascinating to stare at. As you keep looking at the women the video represents, it like many other rap videos fails to represent body positivity and furthermore represents women in a problematic way. To no surprise, the woman are objects to stare at in what seems to be the nucleus of Drake’s mind. Maybe the video for “Right Hand” will be a bit better.

Is Being a Strong Black Woman killing You?

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As a child, I was reminded that the world was against me. I couldn’t trust anyone but my close family and friends. I had to be strong and keep going. Weakness wasn’t an option. I was a strong black woman. Wonder Woman had nothing on me. When real life started happening, being strong was hard. I wanted to cry, and scream, but I hadn’t been trained in the ancient art of letting my weakness show.

I’ve quickly learned that there’s a price for never letting your guard down. I was exhausted, angry, and ready to bite the head off of anything. We’ve heard about the angry black woman stereotype, and  we have a right to be angry. The entire world wants to disrespect and exclude us by pretending that we don’t have power. It is hard. Like really hard, harder than that math test you took in tenth grade. We can’t escape our Black skin and it feels like we have to carry the weight of it everywhere.

When you’re a Black woman, it feels like you’re never given a moment to rest. Always being prepared to fight does make you stronger, but it’s not healthy for your mind.  You can be the strong Black woman fighting to have everything that you want in the world. You can also be the strong Black woman who takes herself to the spa and enjoys taking a moment to rest. You can have the best of both worlds, but it’s going to take some practice.

It’s okay to cry, and scream, or talk to someone about your problems. Keeping everything pent up inside is too old school. For our generation, it’s all about expressing yourself and self-care. For all strong women of color who refuse to rest, we have to remember the simple facts of life. The first of them being you can’t change the world if you’re dead.