Weinstein trial begs a question: Why is the pain of women and minorities often ignored? : The Conversation


Studies show the physical and emotional pain of minorities and women is often discounted by both the U.S. justice and health care systems. That has serious consequences.

Source: Weinstein trial begs a question: Why is the pain of women and minorities often ignored? : The Conversation

400 years of black giving: From the days of slavery to the 2019 Morehouse graduation : The Conversation


When African American businessman Robert F. Smith declared during a Morehouse College commencement speech that he would pay off the student loan debt of the entire 2019 graduating class of about 400 young men from the historically black school, he provoked a frenzy. Footage of the jubilant graduates immediately went viral, with an outpouring of hot takes on what the news meant.

As a historian of philanthropy, here’s what caught my eye: Smith said that he was making this roughly US$40 million gift on behalf of eight generations of his family with American roots.

On top of paying tribute to his ancestors, I see this generous act as an extension of the underappreciated heritage of African American philanthropy that began soon after the first enslaved Africansdisembarked in Virginia in 1619.

 

Source: 400 years of black giving: From the days of slavery to the 2019 Morehouse graduation : The Conversation

Outrage Over ‘Teen Vogue’ Pics Reveals Racial Identity More Complex Than It Seems


Original post from Take Part

‘…………..Staff Writer Liz Dwyer has written about race, parenting, and social justice for several national publications. She was previously education editor at Good.

Images accompanying an article about Senegalese twists ignited a firestorm over the seeming lack of inclusion of black women.

(Photo: Instagram)
(Photo: Instagram)

It’s a hairstyle that originated in West Africa and has long been popular in the black community in the United States. Now, thanks to a Teen Vogue article celebrating the coiled braids, “Senegalese twists” have gone high fashion. But some readers of the magazine are taking to social media to express their hurt and anger over those being left out of the pictures: dark-skinned black women.

The firestorm started late Sunday evening when Twitter user Jojothajawn began tweeting her displeasure over the pics accompanying an article in the mag.

“Seriously not buying @TeenVogue again. I’m so insulted by this! You interview a White girl about African hairstyles!!” Jojothajawn wrote in one of her tweets. “It’s bad enough that your cheap ass mag barely has any BW [black women] but the ONE time you should, you don’t deliver,” she wrote in another.

The tweets were shared on Twitter and Tumblr thousands of times. Jojothajawn and otherTeen Vogue readers also criticized the inclusion of images of only lighter-skinned black or mixed-race actors, such as Zendaya and Zoë Kravitz, as examples of celebs who rock ethnic hairstyles.

“With these waist-length Zoë Kravitz–inspired twists, life felt infinitely easier, my morning routine swifter, and I could go from swimming to a dinner party without so much as a blow-dry,” wrote the article’s author, Teen Vogue beauty and health editor Elaine Welteroth. In the article, Welteroth details a trip she took to Rwanda and the experience she had getting her hair braided.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Seriously not buying <a href=”https://twitter.com/TeenVogue”>@TeenVogue</a&gt; again. I’m so insulted by this! You interview a White girl about African hairstyles!! <a href=”http://t.co/YxIDuQfP1V”>pic.twitter.com/YxIDuQfP1V</a></p>&mdash; jo | lee | sa (@JOJOTHAJAWN) <a href=”https://twitter.com/JOJOTHAJAWN/status/612829424212418564″>June 22, 2015</a></blockquote>
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“What about Solange? Janelle Monae?? Non celebrity POC??!!” tweeted Jojothajawn.

Jojothajawn seems to be referring to how pop culture and fashion borrow heavily from black and African culture—from Bo Derek’s cornrows to the big-booty stardom of Iggy Azalea, Kim Kardashian, and Jennifer Lopez—but rarely put darker-skinned black women in the spotlight.

With her tweets, Jojothajawn reminds us of the lack of diversity in the fashion industry. Last year, published by 44 major fashion mags found that only 19 percent featured nonwhite models. The problem extends to the runway, which is among the reasons Bethann Hardison, a veteran black model and agent, founded the Diversity Coalition, an organization that seeks to catalyze racial diversity within the industry. “Eyes are on an industry that season after season watches design houses consistently use one or no models of color. No matter the intention, the result is racism,” Hardison .

So, Why Should You Care? With her tweets, Jojothajawn reminds us of the lack of diversity in the fashion industry. Last year, an analysis of 611 covers published by 44 major fashion mags found that only 19 percent featured nonwhite models. The problem extends to the runway, which is among the reasons Bethann Hardison, a veteran black model and agent, founded the Diversity Coalition, an organization that seeks to catalyze racial diversity within the industry. “Eyes are on an industry that season after season watches design houses consistently use one or no models of color. No matter the intention, the result is racism,” Hardison wrote in an open letter.

Just as studies have shown that it’s critical to the self-esteem of brown and black girls to have dolls that look like them, seeing themselves within the pages of a magazine matters too—particularly when the hairstyle is one that originates with black girls and women.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>It’s bad enough that your cheap ass mag barely has any BW but the ONE time you should, you don’t deliver. <a href=”https://twitter.com/TeenVogue”>@TeenVogue</a&gt; <a href=”http://t.co/0L50CdwCOb”>pic.twitter.com/0L50CdwCOb</a></p>&mdash; jo | lee | sa (@JOJOTHAJAWN) <a href=”https://twitter.com/JOJOTHAJAWN/status/612830560050937857″>June 22, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Welteroth addressed the controversy in the comments section of a post on Instagram—and it turns out everything isn’t as it seems with the images.

“It is told from my personal perspective as a mixed-race girl who travels to Rwanda to embrace an Afro-centric hairstyle. I describe feeling a sense of beauty, strength, and pride in connecting with my heritage in this way,” she wrote about the article. Welteroth, it turns out, is half black.

Although images of Welteroth weren’t used in the print version of the piece, she defended the decision to feature anecdotes about Zendaya, and how the former Disney star’s faux locks were criticized by Fashion Police‘s Giuliana Rancic on the red carpet at the Oscars in February.

“We are both mixed-race and it was important in telling this particular story—MY story—to cast a model who is also mixed-race. I welcome important dialogue about representation, but it is no longer productive when we refuse to look at the context.” Welteroth also challenged readers who might think “the model doesn’t look black enough,” and those who might think she isn’t black enough because she is biracial.

Model Phillipa Steele wrote on Models.com that she is “1/2 Fijian and the other half is made up of Tongan, French, English and American.” Fans of Steele are taking to Twitter to defend her ethnicity.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>She ain’t white. She’s Fijian. And we’re descended from Africans anyway. Thank u <a href=”https://twitter.com/TeenVogue”>@TeenVogue</a&gt; for featuring our Fijian beauty! <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/PhillipaSteele?src=hash”>#PhillipaSteele</a></p>&mdash; Tam Digitaki Sharma (@TamDigitaki) <a href=”https://twitter.com/TamDigitaki/status/613242823337381888″>June 23, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Other people who hail from Fiji are also sharing that when it comes to blackness, looks can be deceiving.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Damn straight! Oh look <a href=”https://twitter.com/JOJOTHAJAWN”>@JOJOTHAJAWN</a&gt; I’m a half white &amp; black Fijian with dreads…well will wonders never cease <a href=”http://t.co/9VXsFkSGHl”>pic.twitter.com/9VXsFkSGHl</a></p>&mdash; Mich Wilson (@FjBlackOrchid) <a href=”https://twitter.com/FjBlackOrchid/status/613207223230017536″>June 23, 2015</a></blockquote>
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As for Jojothajawn, on Monday afternoon she apologized on Twitter to anyone she may have offended. But she stills seems to be hurt by the colorism in the fashion industry and the overall exclusion of darker-skinned black women.

“Why can’t I look in a magazine and see models who look like me?” she asked.

RELATED: 

 Proof We’re Not Post-Racial: People Are Paying $10 Billion a Year to Be Lighter  …………’

Black mothers wonder if their lost babies are still alive


Original post from Deseret News

‘…………By Jim Salter

In this April 29, 2015 photo, Zella Jackson Price poses for a photo at her attorney’s office in Clayton, Mo. Eighteen black women who were told decades ago that their babies had died soon after birth at a St. Louis hospital now wonder if the infants were taken away by hospital officials to be raised by other families. The suspicions arose from the story of Price, who was 26 in 1965 when she gave birth at Homer G. Phillips Hospital and was told hours later that her daughter had died. Jeff Roberson, Associated Pres
In this April 29, 2015 photo, Zella Jackson Price poses for a photo at her attorney’s office in Clayton, Mo. Eighteen black women who were told decades ago that their babies had died soon after birth at a St. Louis hospital now wonder if the infants were taken away by hospital officials to be raised by other families. The suspicions arose from the story of Price, who was 26 in 1965 when she gave birth at Homer G. Phillips Hospital and was told hours later that her daughter had died.
Jeff Roberson, Associated Pres

ST. LOUIS — Eighteen black women who were told decades ago that their babies had died soon after birth at a St. Louis hospital now wonder if the infants were taken away by hospital officials to be raised by other families.

The suspicions arose from the story of Zella Jackson Price, who was 26 in 1965 when she gave birth at Homer G. Phillips Hospital in St. Louis. Hours later, she was told that her daughter had died, but she never saw a body or a death certificate.

No one is sure who was responsible, but Price’s daughter ended up in foster care, only to resurface almost 50 years later. Melanie Gilmore, who now lives in Eugene, Oregon, has said that her foster parents always told her she was given up by her birth mother.

Price’s attorney, Albert Watkins, is asking city and state officials to investigate. In a letter to Gov. Jay Nixon and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, Watkins said he suspects the hospital coordinated a scheme “to steal newborns of color for marketing in private adoption transactions.”

The women’s story spread in recent weeks after Gilmore’s children tracked down her birth mother as part of a plan to mark their mother’s 50th birthday. The search led them to the now 76-year-old Price, who lives in suburban St. Louis.

In March, an online video caused a sensation when it showed the moment that Gilmore, who is deaf, learned through lip reading and sign language that her birth mother had been found.

The two women reunited in April. DNA confirmed that they are mother and daughter.

“She looked like me,” said Price, a gospel singer who has five other children. “She was so excited and full of joy. It was just beautiful. I’ll never forget that,” she said of the reunion.

After the reunion, Watkins started getting calls from other women who wondered if their babies, whom they were told had died, might have instead been taken from them.

Their stories, he said, are strikingly similar: Most of the births were in the mid-1950s to mid-1960s at Homer G. Phillips. All of the mothers were black and poor, mostly ages 15 to 20.

In each case, a nurse — not a doctor — told the mother that her child had died, a breach of normal protocol. No death certificates were issued, and none of the mothers were allowed to see their deceased infants.

“These are moms,” Watkins said. “They are mothers at the end of their lives seeking answers to a lifelong hole in their heart.”

He plans to file a lawsuit seeking birth and death records. None of the women are seeking money, he said.

Watkins has no idea who, or how many people, may have been responsible if babies were being taken, though he believes they were stolen and put up for adoption in an era when there were few adoption agencies catering to black couples.

Homer G. Phillips Hospital opened in 1937 as a blacks-only hospital at a time when St. Louis was segregated. Even after desegregation in the mid-1950s, the hospital served predominantly African-American patients.

The hospital closed in 1979. Messages seeking comment from officials at the St. Louis Health Department were not returned.

Price gave birth to a baby girl born two months’ premature on Nov. 25, 1965. The baby weighed just over 2 pounds but Price was able to hold the crying child after birth.

A nurse took the baby away and came back an hour later. The little girl was struggling to live, Price was told. She might not make it.

Shortly thereafter, the nurse came back. The baby, she said, was dead.

Price recovered in the hospital for two more days, in a ward surrounded by happy mothers.

“It was depressing to see when they rolled the babies in and they were taking them to their mothers, but I didn’t have my baby,” she recalled.

Gussie Parker, 82, of St. Louis, heard Price’s story and was shocked by the similarities with her own life. Parker gave birth to a premature girl on Nov. 5, 1953.

Initially, she said, the child seemed fine. A short time later, a nurse told her that her daughter had died.

“I never did see the baby or get a death certificate,” said Parker, whose daughter, Diane, works for The Associated Press in New York. “When you’re young and someone comes and tells you that your baby’s dead, in those days you accepted it.”

Otha Mae Brand, 63, of St. Louis, was 15 when she gave birth to a girl in the spring of 1967. The child was two months’ premature and was hospitalized for 10 days while Brand was sent home.

She got a call from a nurse who informed her of her daughter’s death.

“I had no reason not to believe them,” Brand said. “I got that phone call and that was the last I heard.”

Now, she wonders.

“I told my children, ‘It’s a possibility your sister may be living,'” she said.

Retired physician Mary Tillman was an intern and did a residency at Homer G. Phillips in the 1960s. Calls to her home on Friday were unanswered, but she told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the hospital had protocols and record-keeping to track mothers and daughters. She never had any suspicions of wrongdoing, but said it should have been doctors, not nurses, who broke the news of death to mothers.

Price, who has five other children, said she’s saddened by the lost years that she could have spent with her daughter.

“For me not to be able to love on this child like I did with the others, I’m going through a lot of emotions,” said Price. “But I’m so blessed to know that she is alive.”…………..’