Don’t tell me about your nanny (unless you’re willing to put your money where your mouth is)

November 28, 2012
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Don’t tell me about your nanny  (unless you’re willing to put your money where your mouth is)

A recent Time magazine article on the “Invisible World of Nannies, Housekeepers, and Caregivers” by Ai-jen Poo, Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, prompted me to post this piece. I have to send this one out to all my Filipinas. And for those who don’t know, consider this an educational moment. Several years ago I met an older white woman from upstate New York who genuinely wanted to engage me...
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Introducing: Tressie McMillan Cottom

November 27, 2012
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Introducing: Tressie McMillan Cottom

Tressie McMillan Cottom is a PhD candidate in the Sociology Department at Emory University. Broadly, Tressie is interested in organizations, education, labor, and stratification. Currently, her research examines the implications of for-profit colleges being number one granter of bachelor’s degrees to African-Americans. She also studies the interaction effects of gender, poverty, and motherhood status in these enrollment patterns. Why do students choose for-profits and to what ends?  Her public...
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Savita Halappanavar’s Bell Tolls for All Women

November 26, 2012
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Savita Halappanavar’s Bell Tolls for All Women

By Maria Faini and Kim Tran Thirty-one year old Savita Halappanavar died in late October from a miscarriage. News of her death haunts women around the world, providing a valuable lesson in the way arguments for religious “freedom” often contradict the necessity of reproductive health. According to her husband, Praveen, Halappanavar went to the hospital a week prior to her death complaining of severe back pain. Her doctors told...
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Not the Belle of the Ball: Bernice, An Unconventional Girl About Town in Jennifer Lopez’s "South Beach Tow"

November 20, 2012
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Not the Belle of the Ball: Bernice, An Unconventional Girl About Town in Jennifer Lopez’s "South Beach Tow"

By Lillie Anne Brown It was, at first, a voyeuristic peek during an untailored pass-by, a fleeting look here, a backward glance there, one foot past and two steps removed. Sustained viewership of such a show surely wouldn’t bode well—privately or publicly—for a lettered sister, I theorized. Eventually, however, South Beach Tow, the Jennifer Lopez-produced reality show featuring a family-owned vehicle-towing business in Miami, claimed my sensibilities and demanded...
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Leaving Jesus: Women of Color Beyond Faith

November 19, 2012
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Leaving Jesus: Women of Color Beyond Faith

By Sikivu Hutchinson The 24-hour prayer sessions are the true test of a warrior for Jesus.  They require Herculean stamina, the patience of Job, the rigor of elite marathon runners hitting the wall in a fiery sweat pit at high altitude, primed for God’s finish line. In many small storefront Pentecostal churches these “pray-a-thons” are women’s spaces; hubs of music, food, caregiving, and intense witnessing.  My student Stacy Castro*...
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Blessing Racism

November 16, 2012
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By Valorie Thomas A professor-friend of mine once said, “You can’t shine dirt.” Her words replay nonstop as I consider several convergences: two days after Barack Obama’s reelection, a billionaire’s kid is tweeting about assassinating the President and trying to write it off as a joke, the Tea Party’s intensification of its racist tone throughout this election cycle, and remarks by newly defeated Arkansas House candidate Jon Hubbard, whose epic temerity in saying...
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Forgotten Victims: Domestic Violence Among Gay Men

November 15, 2012
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By Rob Stephenson Here are the words of an abuse survivor, taken from the website of a support organization:  “I told him I didn’t want this to happen and he punched me in the face. And, he asked how it felt to know I was going to die. He went on to talk about how he was going to kill me – with his knife or maybe his gun....
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Prometheus Unbound/Woman in Chains: Reading Popular Film through the ‘War on Women’ Framework

November 14, 2012
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Prometheus Unbound/Woman in Chains: Reading Popular Film through the ‘War on Women’ Framework

  I love movies: all kinds. I majored in film technology and screenwriting as an undergraduate student; I minored in Cinema Studies. I grew up in the age of the Alien franchise sequels, and vividly remember seeing them at the Cineplex Odeon Theater in Paramus, New Jersey, as a kid in the 80s. Naturally, my curiosity was peaked when I saw trailers for Prometheus earlier this year. Though it...
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“Can I Have Another Snack?” The Trials and Tribulations of Parents and Food

November 12, 2012
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“Can I Have Another Snack?”  The Trials and Tribulations of Parents and Food

Food is always a challenge on the parental grind.  Whether competing with commercials that highlight the nutritional value of the latest sugary cereal (food coloring, sugar, corn syrup, and FIBER) or the newest cross marketing promotion that requires a burger to secure “that thing,” I often find myself fighting an uphill battle.  If only fast food “restaurants” and tween characters were in the business of selling apples and broccoli,...
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Take Care: Notes on the Black (Academic) Women's Health Forum

November 12, 2012
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Take Care: Notes on the Black (Academic) Women's Health Forum

By Aimee Meredith Cox, Aishah Shahidah Simmons and Tamura A. Lomax With every piece I read, I felt like a layer of my skin was being pulled back, like more and more was finally revealed. I’ve spent so many years on the margins of this institution that I got used to making myself invisible, on purpose. I am seeing myself again. I will demand to be seen. Thank you. ~...
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Subversive Self-Care: Centering Black Women’s Wellness

November 9, 2012
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By Shanesha Brooks-Tatum Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare. —Audre Lorde, A Burst of Light (1988) On a sleepless summer night in 2010, I had a heart-to-heart conversation with a good friend.  We talked about our struggles and conundrums as young black women in academia.  While I had just graduated from my doctoral program in May 2010, she...
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Arts & Culture

  • Poems for Ferguson: Vanessa Huang and Aya de Leon Michael-Brown-Ferguson-Missouri-Shooting-Petition-Racism-america_2014-08-15_17-44-22

    Two poets consider Michael Brown, Ferguson, MO, and the crucial ways in which Black Life Matters.     “How Do I Love Thee? A love poem from the Ferguson, MO police dept to Black residents: An informal emulation of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnet 43″ by Aya de Leon How do […]

  • “Paws” by Tracy Burkholder tracy

    Paws   In sixth grade, I started to envy certain girls’ hands. Not always manicured, but always neat. Fingers thin and smooth. These hands gently freed sheets of paper from their metal spirals and lifted loops of hair to more beautiful perches. Lunch trays floated inside their gentle grip while […]

  • 3 Poems by Holly Mitchell holly

    Slipping Under   Like a ghost, I prepare a bath behind a door   that hasn’t locked long as I remember.   When my mother or grandmother knocks at the open door,   I obscure what they call my “new breasts” under the soap water   and focus on the […]