“Christopher Columbus was awful (but this other guy was not)”: A Flawed Critique of Columbus Day that Omits Indigenous Peoples in Present Day and Virtually Ignores the Enslavement of African Americans

October 17, 2013
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Christopher Columbus and Bartolome de las Casas

By Tria Andrews A misguided essay-comic titled “Christopher Columbus was awful (but this other guy was not)” was recently posted on by Matthew Inman on The Oatmeal and is presently circulating on Facebook. This essay, based on Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States and James W. Loewen’s Lies My Teacher Told Me, seeks to dispel the Christopher Columbus myth and correct the injustice of Columbus Day by...
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Talkback: In Defense of Rihanna

October 16, 2013
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By Muna Mire The hugely delayed video for Rihanna’s single ‘Pour It Up’ has received undue amounts of negative attention since it dropped a couple weeks ago. Initially slated to be hosted on Vevo, ‘Pour It Up’ was actually taken down right after it was posted (within about a half hour) due to backlash against its “explicit content.” Vevo then asked Rihanna for a censored version, which she provided....
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Laboring Positions: Black Women, Mothering and the Academy (A conversation with editor Sekile Nzinga-Johnson)

October 15, 2013
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Laboring Positions: Black Women, Mothering and the Academy (A conversation with editor Sekile Nzinga-Johnson)

Sekile Nzinga-Johnson is a BADDDDD sista in the Sonia Sanchez sense.  She is a mother, educator, scholar, ruler of the roller derby scene as Malice Walker AND the editor of the powerful recent collection Laboring Positions: Black Women, Mothering and the Academy.  If I didn’t have an essay in this book (“Daughter Dreams and the Teaching Life of Audre Lorde”…let me know what you think…) I would STILL be...
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Op-Ed: Shutting Down Our Rights

October 13, 2013
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Op-Ed: Shutting Down Our Rights

By Kari O’Driscoll If the House of Representatives’ most recent attempt to obliterate the Patient Care and Affordable Care Act is any indication, politics in this country have turned upside down. Those who disagree with the implementation, indeed the very existence, of the Affordable Care Act have decided that they don’t have to play by the rules to get what they want. Here we go again. Since Roe v....
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If Wishes Were Fishes: A Love Letter to Our Daughters

October 11, 2013
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If Wishes Were Fishes: A Love Letter to Our Daughters

Today is International Day of the Girl Child. A celebration of girls the world over, this day also marks the absence of educational and other opportunities from many girls’ lives and the presence of far too much violence, from sexual assault to child marriage to hate crimes, especially for girls of color and those living in poverty. On this very day in 2001, I was heavily pregnant with my...
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Day of the Girl: Celebrating the Beauty that is J’dah Thibeaux

October 11, 2013
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Twenty-two years ago I met a friend for life; one of the most sincere, supportive, and loving people you’ll ever meet.  Seven years later, my dear friend had a daughter.  Her name is J’dah Thibeaux.  And like her mother, she is amazing.  J’dah is by far one of the most intriguing fifteen year old tenth grade girls I’ve ever come across.  She’s smart, intuitive, caring, and ambitious.  And it doesn’t hurt...
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Sound Off: Black Women Writers Respond to Rihanna’s “Pour it Up”

October 11, 2013
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Sound Off: Black Women Writers Respond to Rihanna’s “Pour it Up”

Given all of the responses,  mostly negative, to Rihanna’s “Pour it Up” video, TFW decided to invite a few of our favorite black women writers to sound off. Their responses remind us that there is much to consider regarding respectability politics, power, violence, sex, sex positivity, sexuality, agency, popular culture, womanhood, and much else among feminists. Check out the responses below and join the conversation.   The video for “Pour...
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Disposable Children: Whiteness, Heterosexism and the Murder of Lawrence King

October 10, 2013
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Disposable Children: Whiteness, Heterosexism and the Murder of Lawrence King

It isn’t until the end of director Marta Cunningham’s new HBO documentary film Valentine Road, the gut-wrenching chronicle of the 2008 classroom murder of 15 year-old Lawrence King, a homeless gay youth of color, that the viewer learns the significance of the film’s name.  Valentine Road is the location of King’s Oxnard, California grave, the final resting place of a caring, intelligent child whose death became a lightning rod...
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The Government Shutdown, Rape and Other Extortions of Assets

October 9, 2013
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The Government Shutdown, Rape and Other Extortions of Assets

By Farah Tanis For many in this movement to end rape and address the intersecting, crosscutting and causal factors that perpetuate it, a government shutdown is not just a government shutdown.  For us, it is yet another extortion of assets—an extortion of resources from those who are often, if not consistently, financially vulnerable. When people lack resources or more specifically, when they lack money often equated to power and...
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Feminist Leadership: Leading For the Least of Us

October 8, 2013
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Feminist Leadership: Leading For the Least of Us

By Kelly Macías  If you’ve been paying attention, the last three months have made for a fascinating study in leadership; or more specifically, the lack thereof. The George Zimmerman verdict in the Trayvon Martin case reinvigorated nationwide debate about the many ills plaguing the Black community. Bombarding us with commentary on crime and violence affecting Black males, “leaders” are everywhere. Black and white leaders have scolded us to get our...
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The Postconventional Ethics of Chelsea Manning

October 7, 2013
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Ethics of Chelsea Manning

By John Stoltenberg At this moment in U.S. history, there may be no nonelected figure in the public eye whose ethics are both more respected and more reviled than the incarcerated soldier known as Chelsea Manning (formerly Bradley). Yet the public conversation about Pfc. Manning has not given serious consideration to what those ethics actually are. In this essay I offer my understanding of the underlying ethical frameworks that...
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Arts & Culture

  • Poems by Lisa Ciccarello bio pic fw

    from & if I die, make me how you are     It is the sister inside him that makes him slow.   She writes the psalm he tries to hold her back.   The blade is a proposal: how I stayed inside my sister’s voice.  . . . . […]

  • Two Poems by Tsitsi Jaji tumblr_m0jjzqsYiq1qbh27fo1_500

    By Tsitsi Jaji   Pause. (For All the Madibas)*   There is a breath before the pendulum rends its center, A breath before what leapt comes back to its ground.     There, men and women in chains broke rock, forcing it to deliver         .   […]

  • Fiction Feature: from “Kill Marguerite,” by Megan Milks Milks-avatar-magicked-out

    By Megan Milks   This excerpt from the short story “Kill Marguerite” takes place after the protagonist, Caty, has already beat Level One and killed Marguerite, her arch-enemy.   Level Two: The Trampoline     BEGIN>> The trampoline is this big old trampoline in Matt and Curtis Wheeler’s backyard, and […]