Traveling While Black

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The day will come when you will want to travel. You’re going to spread your wings, buy that plane ticket, and tell your friends you’re not going to make it to this week’s wine night. As long as you have the money, time, or an amazing credit card limit, you’re free to go anywhere. However, there’s a thought that crosses some Black women’s minds when trying to decide which destination will be the perfect getaway: I’m a Black girl.

There are the initial concerns. Will the country I’m visiting have my hair products? Will people try to pick at my hair like I’m in the zoo? Will people gawk at me like I’m an exotic animal? The hair worries are easy to fix. Put your hair in some beautiful box braids or bulk buy your hair products and be on your merry way.

I wish that the solutions for the gawking and the microaggressions would be that easy. While traveling, you have to make sure that you don’t pack away your tough skin. There’s a chance that the same racism you can experience in America will also appear while abroad.  Recently, a group of black women in California were kicked off a train for laughing to loud.

giphyYou won’t be able to predict the racism that you might face. I have a Black friend who moved to Japan and started a new life and loves it there. I have another friend whose mom went to Paris and hated it because she couldn’t stand the racism. She told me that because of her mother’s short hair, someone tried directing her to a men’s bathroom. I know—ridiculous.

Personally, the only side-eye moment I had while traveling was when I was in Dublin. While walking home with a friend, a guy started singing the lyrics of “Anaconda” as I walked by. I gave him a deadly stare and continued walking. A random, catcalling guy wasn’t going to ruin my time abroad. I had worked hard for this opportunity to visit Europe.

Traveling while Black means you have to never forget you’ve worked hard to go abroad. You can’t let someone ruin your vacation mindset. If someone tries to ruin your vacation because of the color of your skin, don’t stand for any form of discrimination. Share your story on Twitter, Facebook, or any platform that you have access to. 

What happened to Sandra Bland? Demand Justice for Sandra Bland

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Sandra Bland of Illinois was found dead in a Texas jail cell after she was arrested during a traffic stop.

Sandra, 28, was stopped by a Texas state trooper on Friday, July 10 and found dead at the Waller County, Texas, jail on Monday, July 13 the Chicago Tribune reports. The Texas authorities say Sandra Bland died by suicide, but her family and friends don’t believe that is the case Continue reading “What happened to Sandra Bland? Demand Justice for Sandra Bland”

Black Congressional Members stage a walkout in Honor of Mike Brown and Eric Garner Grand Jury Decision

wpid-congress-hands-up_wide-fe52c363461d6297dd99ea95c1a364302b9a01ed-s1100-c15.jpgTo show their solidarity in the wake of the Grand Jury decision over the cases of Mike Brown and Eric Garner, African American Congressional staffers staged a walkout Thursday in front of Capitol Hill steps. That’s correct we said Washington, D.C.

As black staffers on Capitol Hill, we saw a stark disconnect,” the event organizer said.”While we hold educational credentials and broad access in the overall political system, often when we walk outside, we contend with the fact we are seen dangerous, merely because of the color of our skin.”

Staffers compromised of Capitol Hill Associations: the Congressional Black Associates, Senate Black Legislative Staff Caucus, the Brooke-Revels Society, the Congressional African Staff Association, and the African American Women on the Hill Network. These staffers work everyday to represent African Americans on Capitol Hill. The protest was also joined by members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Staff Association and the Congressional Hispanic Staff Association.

Senate Chaplain Dr.Barry Black led the crowd in prayer.”Forgive us when we have failed to lift our voices for those who could not speak or breathe themselves”, making a referencing to the last words of Eric Garner.The crowd included dozens of Congressional staff and members of Congress, including civil-rights leader Rep. John Lewis. Black said the members gathered there to be “a voice for the voiceless.”

“Black staffers on Capitol Hill wanted to do something in support of ongoing national and global protest against police aggression,”said an organizer before the protest.”Many of us felt we needed to stand with others who were taking on the issue of police abuse and do it here, where we work, even though not all of us have had that same experience, personally. Everyone I talked to has known someone who was directly impacted.”
After the prayer on Thursday, staff members stood outside in the iconic Hands up,Don’t Shoot pose.Also, in 2012 the aides rallied with hoodies on the steps, in reaction to Trayvon Martin.

The organizers decided that the protest would not be held when the Congress employees were on a recess. As of right now for Congress, there currently debates being held on a spending bill to avoid a government shutdown, and a bill is also being looked at to authorize the president to use military force against militant group ISIS in Iraq ans Syria.