Month: November 2011

November 30, 2011 / / activism

By Erika Nicole Kendall, cross-posted from A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss

“Whose food?”

Our food.

Signs of “Turn the beet around!” (an obvious nod to the fact that most beets in the US, the source of a large percentage of our granulated sugar, are genetically modified), “Zucchini Park,” and “Take back our food!” filled Wall Street as the members and supporters of the #OccupyBigFood movement made their way into Zucotti Park, with myself and the toddler in tow, bringing up the rear.

I’d made the decision to go a long time ago, when one of the supporters left a link in my comments regarding the original affair. That scheduled Saturday was also the date of the first “Big Snow” of the pending 2011-2012 disgustingly-wet-and-blisteringly-cold season, so it was ill-attended (which meant that I wound up out there among the #OWS Tent City.)

The human mic system at Zuccotti Park blasted valuable message after valuable message, meaningful morsel of info after meaningful morsel:

“Corporate entities are ensuring big subsidies for themselves while convincing Congress to cut money from programs like SNAP…”

“The Union that makes up the people that SERVE that food stand in solidarity with the people who are treated inhumanely and are made to harvest that food for pennies,”

“We want a sustainable system that ensures and guarantees access for everyone,”

All things that we stand for here, though it may not be coming from the same angles as those at the #OccupyBigFood rally.

Read the Post Mic Check: A Day In Zuccotti Park With #OccupyBigFood

November 30, 2011 / / diversity

By Guest Contributor Mattie Brice, cross-posted from Kotaku

Tamagotchi. Remember those?

They became popular when I was in 4th grade. Sometimes my mother took me to a nearby Target to pick a toy- she told me it was for good grades, but I knew it was because I got bullied often at school. One of these times, I raced to find a Tamagotchi, as all of my friends were getting them. I liked the idea of something with me at all times, to take care of it and make me feel like something needed me.

And there it was, a whole wall of glittering purple eggs. I remember that exact, uncreative display panel to this day, and my mother stopping me. She told me to wait, that my aunt wanted to get that for my birthday when she visited. I protested, but the answer was the same: be patient, you’ll get it soon enough. We went a week later and all of them were gone, sold out from every toy store in our area. For some reason that memory is lodged in my brain. I brought it up to my mother recently, but she’s forgotten.

The stray times I visit Kotaku, it’s like I’m seeing an empty panel that the reward for my sitting, smiling, and internalizing should be. I was supposed to find somewhere to escape to, maybe even a place that needed me a little. You told me to wait, and I did. Where’s my Tamagotchi?

There is only a wrong way to go about this. So let’s just get to why I’m here:

Me too.

Read the Post Why I Don’t Feel Welcome at Kotaku

November 30, 2011 / / comics

By Guest Contributor Tami Winfrey Harris, cross-posted from What Tami Said

For the past few weeks, as part of my project exploring black women, relationships and marriage, I’ve been immersing myself in books, films, blog posts and other media on the subject. Last week I read Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man and am still trying to wash off the film and stink of patriarchy. I told my husband over the weekend that I am unbelievably proud of black women. As a group we are able to hold our heads high in the face of the relentless narrative that there is something wrong with us that needs to be fixed; that, for us, admirable qualities like independence, only make us more unlovable–a narrative not only championed by the mainstream, but, too often, by members of our own communities.

So, singer, actor and (God help us) author Tyrese decided to drop a little wisdom on the black lady folk during a recent interview with (above) He warns us about being “too independent.”
Read the Post Tyrese Mansplains To ‘Too Independent’ Women

By Guest Contributor Jorge Antonio Vallejos, cross-posted from Black Coffee Poet

Mythili Rajiva is associate professor of Sociology at Saint Mary’s University (Halifax, Nova Scotia). Her research focuses on girlhood, the Canadian South Asian diaspora, and racialized identities. Her work has appeared in such journals as The Canadian Review of Sociology, Girlhood Studies and Feminist Media Studies. She is the co-editor of Reena Virk: Critical Perspectives on a Canadian Murder.

BCP: Why a book on Reena Virk?

MR: The idea of working on the case had been in my head from about 2004 onwards, maybe because of a shift in my own identity from being a graduate student just starting a ph.d. in 1997 to where I was in 2004, finishing my thesis. I think it was Salman Rushdie who once said that the journey creates us; writing a thesis on South Asian Canadian girls’ experiences of racism in adolescence made me realize how much I cared about social justice issues.

The case had always haunted me, but up to this point, it had been at a visceral level. When I started analyzing it through the scholarship on racism and identity that I’d read for my thesis, I realized the case mattered to me deeply, both at a personal as well as a political level. But when I started doing research, I found very little academic work.

Read the Post An Interview with Dr. Mythili Rajiva, Co-Editor of Reena Virk: Critical Perspectives On A Canadian Murder

November 24, 2011 / / links