Monthly Archives: June 2017

Hey Kodak Black, Who Taught You to Hate Yourself?

Kodak Black.

His is a name that inspires disgust on the tongues of Black women who don't care for him and Black men who are indifferent to him. At least for the last two weeks. Personally, I found myself thinking about him recently, since I never have before, after he reasserted himself into cultural conscience once again by restating how much he hates [dark-skinned] Black women.

Oh, sorry. That he prefers "light skinned women" or "redbones."

Read the full article on BET.com.

The interconnected injustice of Philando, Charleena and Nabra

There isn’t a day that goes by when Black and brown people are not thinking about what oppression looks like. From the moment we’re brought into this world, we realize just how quickly racist institutions will render us nonexistent.

With the acquittal of Philando Castile‘s murderer and the recent killings of Charleena Lyles and Nabra Hassanen, these past two weeks have been unbelievably difficult. These senseless acts of violence – already setting the tone for the summer – make it easy to see how injustice is interconnected.

Read the full article on The Grio.

Limit(less) Reminds Us That Africans Can Be Queer, Too, and Debunks Stereotypes

For centuries, U.S.-based evangelical Christians have traversed the continent of Africa spreading messages of homophobia and transphobia against the LGBTQ community.

People like Scott Lively, an anti-gay extremist, for example, who was subjected to the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts (pdf) because of his travel abroad to promote Uganda’s anti-gay propaganda—the Anti-Homosexuality Bill—in 2014. Although the law was annulled that same year, it did not change widespread perceptions of how LGBTQ people were viewed: as toxic, immoral and ungodly.

This misperception—the colonialism, pillaging and thievery—has led to one unfortunate misapprehension: that people cannot be both African and LGBTQ. Queer Nigerian American Mikael Owunna resists this rhetoric in his groundbreaking project Limit(less).

Read the full article on The Root.

Remembering the Pulse Nightclub Tragedy: 1 Year Later

One year ago June 12, I awoke to a flurry of text messages and missed calls from friends demanding that I turn on my television. It was a Sunday morning, and like many black gay men who reside in the nation’s capital, I was in hibernation, sleeping off one too many Jack and Cokes.

When I finally found my remote, buried in between the comforter, I turned to CNN to a headline that read, “49 Killed, 53 Injured in Orlando, Fla., Nightclub Shooting.” My heart skipped a hard beat when I realized that it was at a popular LGBTQ nightclub, one like the one I had just patronized the night prior.

Despite some historical disagreement, Pulse is now known as the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, taking the lives of mostly black and Latinx queer people during the club’s “Latin night.” But to people who went to Pulse nightclub monthly, it was known for much more—a place where people could build lasting friendships over a house beat, a drink and a two-step.

Read the full article on The Root.

Public Service Announcement: ‘Black Pride’ Is for Black People Only

If you reside in the nation’s capital and, at the end of every May, don’t notice thousands of black LGBTQ people descend from the gay clouds in their fiercest outfits to slay the weekend away, then you may be living under a rock.

To be sure, Memorial Day weekend is certainly when we honor those who have served and lost their lives for a U.S. military often known for unnecessary and violent interventions. On that day, I dedicate much of that time giving honor specifically to black people who fought—and died—in the name of freedom for a country that never wanted them to access it.

That same weekend, however, is also Washington, D.C.’s Black Pride, so the sea of melanin is an embarrassment of riches.

Read the full article on The Root.