Strolling - Cecile Emeke

This is a strolling episode, part of the short documentary film series where I go on a stroll with people and talk about various issues affecting young people, namely young black women.

(via blackfashion)

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Foto de Gerónimo Hernández, “Soldaderas en el estribo de un tren en la estación de Buenavista”, Ciudad de México, 6 de abril de 1912, Impresión contemporánea, © 5670 CONACULTA. INAH. SINAFO. FN. MÉXICO. Fondo Archivo Casasola

[Photo of a Black-Boricua Taino person with a short hair cut and glasses. They are wearing an orange t-shirt with an orange and white plaid shirt over it. They are standing in front of an orange wall with a drawing of a naked person over their left shoulder.]

Black-Boricua Taino Two Spirit Performing Artist and Educator

Ignacio G. Rivera

Are you ever misgendered?

Oh yeah, all the time. I think that my caring about it has shifted a lot. When I first first first came out as trans… I told people, “I want you to refer to me as ‘he’ and ‘she’ simultaneously, like in the same sentence. I don’t want to be just he or just she, but use [the pronouns] like that. People took that to mean that they just chose and most people chose ‘she.’  Again I felt invisible and that people weren’t honoring my identity, so I decided I was going by he and I went by ‘he’ for about 2 years. That still felt weird to me, it just didn’t fit right. I ended up meeting another genderqueer person who was going by ‘they’ and it just clicked for me. I really liked it because it doesn’t indicate anything. So when you’re talking about me to somebody, they just don’t know – female, male, what am I – and I like that. I like the idea of people not knowing, so I started using they. But, they is very complicated for people because people don’t use they as a pronoun, although it is quite proper [laughs]. We just haven’t used it as much, and I think genderqueer, queer folks have been reviving that. In the Spanish language, it’s also an issue, but I came up with my own. My community, my chosen family, they say they to me all the time, but when I’m outside in the world: sir, lad, man, lady, miss, ma’am. Or sometimes people are completely confused. A couple of times, which I loved, were instances where people literally were like, “May I help you, ma’am… Yes, sir… Thank you again, ma’am…” They went from “ma’am” to “sir” waiting for me to correct them, but I wouldn’t! And I loved it because they were [thinking], Please just tell me what the fuck you are, so I can just say it right. And I’m not, I’m just gonna let you do that, and I’m fine with it. In the beginning it pissed me off because I was so fresh in expressing my identity that I wanted people to get me. Now, yeah, sometimes, it irks me a little bit, but I’ve gotten to the point where I really don’t give a shit because if I have my community and my people validating my identity then I’m ok with it. I answer to ma’am… I know they’re trying to talk to me and they aren’t being malicious, unless they are. I think the way my physical appearance has been changing lately because three months ago, I decided to go on T… I’ve been out as trans for almost a decade now, and I’m 42. I’ve taken my time, I’ve rode every wave that I’ve been on and I’ve loved it. Now I’m on this and I wanted to see what it feels like… I’ve also decided that I don’t want top surgery. The way I envision myself, the way that makes me beam with happiness, if I could draw a sketch of myself… it would be… with a little mustache, like my father, and I wouldn’t bind anymore. I would not even wear a sports bra because to me, that encompasses my genderqueer/gender non-conforming identity. I’ve never seen myself as a man and at one point, I saw myself as a woman. I have that history and I honor that history: woman – that’s God to me. I see myself as a combination of those things or another entity altogether. Sometimes, I gotta use that language because that’s all we have and I want to be viewed that way. So if I’m on T and I happen to get a mustache or beard, I want to have my chest there to balance that out for me; I don’t want to pass as a man…- Excerpt from interview with Ignacio G. Rivera for Lxs Afrxlatinxs: Queer Afrolatin@ Storytelling Project


Zitkala-Ša, also known as Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, was the most amazing woman you’ve never heard of.
A writer, editor, musician, teacher and political activist, she was born on February 22, 1876 on the Yankton Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Her mother was Sioux and her father, who abandoned the family when she was very young, was European-American.
When she was eight, missionaries came to the res and took Zitkala-Ša along with several other children to the White’s Manual Labor Institute in Wabash, Indiana, one of many such institutions where Native children were forced to assimilate into white American culture. She studied piano and violin and eventually took the place of her teacher when she resigned. When she received her diploma in 1895, she delivered a speech on women’s rights.
She earned a scholarship to Earlham College, where she continued to study music. From 1897-99, she played with the New England Conservatory in Boston and played at the Paris Exposition in 1900. She collaborated with composer William F. Hanson on the world’s first Native American opera, based entirely on Sioux melodies that had previously existed only as oral tradition. She would play the melodies and Hanson transcribed them. The Sun Dance Opera debuted in 1913 to warm reviews, but I can find no recordings of it, and it seems it’s never performed.
Zitkala-Ša also wrote a number of collections of Native American stories and legends. She wrote them in Latin when she was at school and then translated them into English. She was the first Native person to do so in her own words, without a white editor or translator. In addition, she wrote extensively about her schooling and how it left her torn between her Sioux heritage and her assimilation into white culture. Her writings were published in The Atlantic Monthly and in Harper’s and she served as editor for the American Indian Magazine.
Unsurprisingly, most of her writings were political. She was a fierce yet charismatic advocate for Native American rights. Her efforts helped pass the Indian Citizenship Act and the Indian Reorganization Act. Having founded the National Coalition of American Indians, she spent the rest of her life fighting to protect our many indigenous communities from exploitation.
Her accomplishments were incredible- but have you ever heard of her? I had never heard of her either. Just another example of a history-changing woman omitted from the history books.

Staten Island man dies after NYPD cop puts him in chokehold — SEE THE VIDEO

A 400-pound asthmatic Staten Island dad died Thursday after a cop put him in a chokehold and other officers appeared to slam his head against the sidewalk, video of the incident shows.
“I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!” Eric Garner, 43, repeatedly screamed after at least five NYPD officers took him down in front of a Tompkinsville beauty supply store when he balked at being handcuffed.
Within moments Garner, a married father of six children with two grandchildren, stopped struggling and appeared to be unconscious as police called paramedics to the scene. An angry crowd gathered, some recording with smartphones.
“When I kissed my husband this morning, I never thought it would be for the last time,” Garner’s wife, Esaw, told the Daily News.
She got no details from police until after she had gone to the hospital to identify his body, she said.
“I saw him with his eyes wide open and I said, ‘Babe, don’t leave me, I need you.’ But he was already gone,” she said.

and people wonder why black people don’t trust or have any love for cops. they murdered this man. this black man. and for what? fucking cigarettes. yea, WE’RE the fucking problem.