Tuesday, February 28, 2017


I never watch the television show SHARK TANK (A reality TV show where ordinary people compete and present their business ideas to billionaires who decide to invest in their business or not) 

I was just too lazy to change the television channel. But I just saw this little black girl named Mikaila who went on SHARK TANK a year or two ago when she was just 11 years old in order to get investor money for a lemonade company she started.

As of last year, her lemonade is being sold nationwide at WHOLE FOODS MARKETS.
I'm gonna run and not walk to the store. I am gonna get some ME AND THE BEES FLAXSEED LEMONADE. I don't care how much it cost. I'm getting at least one bottle.

You know what the coolest thing is about Mikaila's story? She made her grandmother's flaxseed lemonade recipe for a children's business competition. What a way to get children interested in business, understanding profit and loss!

From her website:

Let our founder, Mikaila, explain the origin of Me & the Bees Lemonade:

When I was just four, my family encouraged me to make a product for a Children's business competition (the Acton Children’s Business Fair) and Austin Lemonade Day. So I put on my thinking cap. I thought about some ideas. While I was thinking, two big events happened.

I got stung by a bee. Twice.
Then my Great Granny Helen, who lives in Cameron, South Carolina, sent my family a 1940's cookbook, which included her special recipe for Flaxseed Lemonade.
I didn't enjoy the bee stings at all. They scared me. But then something strange happened. I became fascinated with bees. I learned all about what they do for me and our ecosystem. So then I thought, what if I make something that helps honeybees and uses my Great Granny Helen's recipe?
That's how Me & the Bees Lemonade was born. It comes from my Great Granny Helen's flaxseed recipe and my new love for bees. So that's why we sweeten it with local honey. And today my little idea continues to grow.
It was a sweet success from the start. Year-after-year, Mikaila, sells-out of her Me & the Bees Lemonade at youth entrepreneurial events while donating a percentage of the profits from the sale of her lemonade to local and international organizations fighting hard to save the honeybees. That is why she touts: Buy a Bottle…Save a Bee.
Now at age 12, when not at her lemonade stand telling all the digestive benefits of flaxseed, you can find Mikaila leading workshops on how to save the honeybees, and participating in social entrepreneurship panels. Mikaila launched her own Facebook page, where visitors can ‘Like’ interesting facts about bees, honey and Me & the Bees Lemonade.
Today, the award-winning Me & the Bees Lemonade is buzzing off the shelves of Whole Foods Market, the world’s leader in natural and organic foods, and available at a growing number of restaurants, food trailers and natural food delivery companies.

Mikaila Ulmer: A social entrepreneur, bee ambassador, educator and student.




Feeling Rebloggy
 The Washington Post reports that about 250 former employees have made declarations alleging that women at the company were “were routinely groped, demeaned and urged to sexually cater to their bosses,” throughout the late 1990s and 2000s.

Sterling Jewelers, [parent company to Kay Jewelers and Jared the Gallaria of Jewelry] disputes the allegations of [wide spread sexual harassment that reaches the highest levels of management]  and the matter is currently unresolved and being settled in a private class-action arbitration case.


Many of the sworn statements were made years ago but were only made publicly available on Sunday after attorneys granted their release on the condition that the names of employees accused of sexual harassment be withheld.

While not everyone in the class-action suit is alleging sexual impropriety, thousands of others have signed on, bringing the tally to 69,000 employees.  

  • Some are saying that parties and trips where no spouses were allowed were "sex-fests" where attendence was mandatoruy 

Many are also alleging pay discrimination and arguing that men were routinely favored for management positions over more qualified women, according to the Washington Post. Those who voiced concerns or filed complaints were also disciplined or fired, according to the documents.



If even half of this is true, somebody ought to be going to jail for a decade or more. 

Monday, February 27, 2017


"The Voting Rights Act, signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson (1908-73) on August 6, 1965, aimed to overcome legal barriers at the state and local levels that prevented African Americans from exercising their right to vote under the 15th Amendment (1870) to the Constitution of the United States. The act significantly widened the franchise and is considered among the most far-reaching pieces of civil rights legislation in U.S. history...."

John Roberts Gutted the Voting Rights Act. Jeff Sessions is Poised to Finish It Off.

Advocates consider how much worse it can get.
Read More

Jeff Sessions Calls Voting Rights Act ‘Intrusive’

“It is intrusive. The Supreme Court on more than one occasion has described it legally as an intrusive act, because you’re only focused on a certain number of states,” Sessions said of the act in response to a question from Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). “Normally when Congress passes law it applies to the whole country. So it’s a very unusual thing for a law to be passed that targets only a few states, but they had a factual basis.”

Sessions added that the act “changed the whole course of history,” mainly in the South.








Sunday, February 26, 2017


Feeling Rebloggy

As expected, Viola Davis won the best supporting actress Oscar for her role in “Fences.” As soon as she took the stage, everyone knew we were in for a heck of a speech.

  • “You know, there is one place that all the people with the greatest potential are gathered and that’s the graveyard,” a teary-eyed Davis began.

  • “People ask me all the time — what kind of stories do you want to tell, Viola? And I say exhume those bodies. Exhume those stories — the stories of the people who dreamed big and never saw those dreams to fruition, people who fell in love and lost.”

  • “I became an artist and thank God I did,” she continued “because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life.”


 (Whoopi has all three as well. But her Tony was for producing a musical, not acting in a musical)


5 Years Later: 
 #ReginaKing and  #KerryWashington




The birth of Black Lives Matter is his victory.

Remember him and remember to make sure that the movement lives on.   


continued from SHE STEPPED UP TO TELL THE TRUTH TO POWERhttp://thankherforsurviving.blogspot.com/2017/02/she-stepped-up-to-tell-truth-to-power.html

We march. We go to protests. We hashtag.  We work at squeezing our rights out of this country. That's for sure. But what I don't hear enough about is how black and brown people, especially black and brown women, deal with day to day racism and sexism in their day to day lives. What Kim Voeks did here is probably the meat and potatoes of forcing white people and white run institutions toward progress.

The critical thing the woman mentioned in yesterday's post did was tell the truth to a higher up about specific disparate treatment from specific white people.

I promise you I have problems doing this too especially if I don't see

- a black person in power -and even then I'm hesitant 
- another black or brown person has been successful in complaining

....because more often than not, the person complaining gets marked as the problem child.  But I am braver than I used to be. I've complained and won. I've complained and lost. I've learned that putting off your complaint for too long can damage you, no matter what the outcome. We have to stand up for ourselves.

I've heard to many stories from black women who quit their job and moved laterally.  In fact, quitting seems to be one of the first thoughts a lot of black women have when the work environment becomes hostile toward blackness or femaleness or black femaleness. 

Actually before we quit, most of the time when we as black women are afraid in the work place, we immediately start talking about how much how to move to the left or to the right to avoid the (often) white person(s) that is scrutinizing us or condemning us DISPARATELY, then how much abuse we can take for how long without calling it "abuse."  Then we think about just getting out and getting another job.

Been there. Done that. I have the t-shirt.

Some or many of us that quit to get away from a specific oppressor wind up getting the same pay at a new job. We manage to continue to pay our bills if we're both blessed and lucky. And that is important.  But a woman's corporate momentum is often completely lost when she starts over at a new work place.

We're losing wealth even when we don't look like we're losing wealth. 

At a new job a woman (or a man) has to start proving to a new boss that they work hard, start proving to a new boss that they can be innovative, and start proving to a new boss that they are worthy of promotion all over again from the beginning. 

We run a lot. I've run more than I wanted to. But Kim Voeks stood firm here.

I want us to be reasonable about protecting ourselves and our livelihoods. But I want us to think about the generation that comes after us too. I want us to think about our jobs in our institutions being better after we've retired or died. I want each of us to have spoken up and told the truth to power at least once before we die.  And some of us have to be braver than that. Some of us are going to have to be brave enough to know we will see 9 out of our 10 our complaints fall on deaf ears before we see progress made once.

This is the lesson I take from Ms. Voeks.

This Black Woman Rocks.  


Saturday, February 25, 2017


Feeling Rebloggy

 Kim Voeks said, 

     "You know I have a big mouth. But that doesn't mean I believe people are listening. Sometimes they are.
     Over a year ago I bitched on Facebook about how I was treated as I entered courthouses. There were two, specifically, that I had problems with. In spite of the fact that I've been in practice for over twenty years in the same courts, I would be stopped and security screened every time I came in the door. Now, if everyone was subject to the same search, I'd be fine. And in some courts, everyone is. But in these courts, I would watch white lawyers breeze through the door, without so much as a howdy do, while I, someone the same deputies had seen the day before, had to put my stuff through the x-ray machine and had to clear the metal detector.

     Interestingly enough, recently, things have changed. In one of those courts, the white deputy who worked the door, retired. His replacement? A black deputy, who is always happy to see me and is friendly.

     In the other court, my bitching got back to a judge. I can't say she was happy about me bitching. However, the following week, the troublesome deputy was gone and the two that remained, now greet me at the door and say "C'mon in." I'm sure it was an uncomfortable conversation for the judge and she probably doubted what I was saying was true. But she fixed it.

     Dealing with racism isn't comfortable. Especially not for those of us experiencing it. But stepping up to it isn't impossible. I feel better about the court and the judge. (Now, if we can just get to disparate sentencing .....)"

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Ava Alert!: Ava DuVernay Interview Is In March Issue OF Essence Magazine And She Made The Cover!


"I don't have to approach film like a man would, or like anybody else I read about, because it's personal. So there's no right way or wrong way. Directors talk about their process but that doesn't have to be my process."
You can read DuVernay's full interview in the March issue of ESSENCEwhich hit newsstands on February 17th 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


Feeling Rebloggy
Savannah State University’s cheerleaders just made history in the world of competitive cheer.
 The 12-woman, one-man squad earned the first place title at the CheerSport Nationals in Atlanta on Sunday, making them the first team from a historically black college and university to win this national cheerleading title. 
“We are very excited, ecstatic, just a feeling that you can’t explain,” senior cheerleader Morgan Moore told Savannah’s WJCL. “It’s indescribable, it’s just a great feeling to know that we’ve made history at our school.”
~Huff Post 

Read More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/savannah-state-first-hbcu-cheerleading-award_us_58ac5620e4b07028b70411fe?

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


The first story of Miss Nina Simone as a child is my favorite story. The song below isn't necessarily my favorite as far as the actual music goes, but it's a great one for lyrics.  

One of the best documentaries I've seen on an individual person is about Nina Simone and it is availble on Netflix: WHAT HAPPENED MISS SIMONE? It totally disabused me of the notion that Nina Simone was the epitome of the "strong black woman" stereotype. This documentary is quick and easy black woman history. I highly recommend it.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

28 Organizations That Empower Black Communities

Feeling Rebloggy

The resistance starts here.

TWOC offers support and resources for trans women of color, a highly marginalized community.
Black Girls Code is on a mission to increase the number of black women working in computer programming. By hosting after school programs and workshops, the org plans to train one million young black women in the field by the year 2040.
ALP is a New York-based organization that dedicates itself to achieving social and economic equality for LGBT communities of color.  
The Black Women’s Blueprint services black women affected by issues such as sexual violence, abuse and incarceration.
The Empowerment Program offers resources like employment assistance and housing referrals for black women experiencing poverty, homelessness and incarceration. 
Atlanta-based organization Sister Love commits itself to educating women of color about reproductive health, safe sex and HIV/AIDS. 
Sponsored by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, NBWJI centers its mission on empowering black women and girls in the criminal justice system.

Read More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/28-organizations-that-are-empowering-black-communities_us_58a730fde4b045cd34c13d9a?

Saturday, February 18, 2017


Feeling Rebloggy
3. “Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.” - Beloved

4. “It’s a bad word, ‘belong.’ Especially when you put it with somebody you love … You can’t own a human being.” - Song of Solomon

7. “Love is never any better than the lover. ” - The Bluest Eye
8. “She was the third beer. Not the first one, which the throat receives with almost tearful gratitude; nor the second, that confirms and extends the pleasure of the first. But the third, the one you drink because it’s there, because it can’t hurt, and because what difference does it make?” - Song of Solomon
11. “You’re turning over your whole life to him. Your whole life, girl. And if it means so little to you that you can just give it away, hand it to him, then why should it mean any more to him? He can’t value you more than you value yourself.” - Song of Solomon

* * * * * 
Toni speaks on refusing to privilege white people in her novels

MAIN BLOG AT: blackchickrocked.blogspot.com


Feeling Rebloggy
In 1926 James Herman Banning became the first African American aviator in the United States to obtain a pilot's license FROM the United States.
In 1932, James Banning, accompanied by Thomas C. Allen, became America's first black aviator to fly coast-to-coast.
James Banning and his mechanic Thomas Allen made the historic flight using a plane supplemented with surplus parts. The "Flying Hoboes," as they were affectionately known,[1] made the 3,300 mile trip from Los Angeles, CA to Long Island, NY in 41 hours and 27 minutes aloft. 
However, the trip actually required 21 days to complete because the pilots had to raise money for the next leg of the trip each time they stopped


Only four months after his historic flight, Banning was killed in a plane crash during an air show at Camp Kearny military base in San Diego on February 5, 1933.

He was a passenger in a two-seater Travelaire biplane flown by white Navy machinist mate second class Albert Burkhardt, who was at the controls because Banning had been refused use of the airplane [due to his race] by an instructor at the Airtech Flying School. After taking off and climbing four-hundred feet, Albert Burkhardt stalled the plane and entered an unrecoverable tailspin in front of hundreds of horrified spectators.


Friday, February 17, 2017


In 1921, Bessie Coleman became the first African American aviator with an international pilot's license in the United States. She was licensed in France. 
images: Bougie Black Girl and wikipedia

Bessie Coleman heard stories from pilots returning home from World War I about [black men] flying during the war. She could not gain admission to American flight schools because she was black and a woman.

So, Robert S. Abbott, founder and publisher of the Chicago Defender, encouraged her to study abroad. Coleman received financial backing from a banker named Jesse Binga[6] and the Defender and went to France where she got her international pilots license.

Over the next five years Coleman performed at countless air shows. The first took place on September 3, 1922, in Garden City, Long Island. The "Chicago Defender" publicized the event saying the "wonderful little woman" Bessie Coleman would do "heart thrilling stunts."

She announced her intent to start a flying school for African Americans, and began recruiting students for that future venture. She started a beauty shop in Florida to help raise funds. She also regularly lectured at schools and churches.

Bessie Coleman landed a movie role, but walked away when she realized that the depiction of her as a black woman would be as a stereotypical "Uncle Tom." Those of her backers who were in the entertainment industry in turn walked away from supporting her career.

[Thousands of people,] including local dignitaries, attended her events. Over the following years, Coleman used her position of prominence to encourage other African Americans to fly. She also made a point of refusing to perform at locations that wouldn't admit members of her race.

Read More: http://www.biography.com/people/bessie-coleman-36928

(I haven't been able to find a reference lately. She had a hard time getting black men to train her to fly too. Sexism is real in the black community...in ways it seems like it wasn't during slavery and the day immediately following. Read Black Women's History written by black women when you can. Black feminists also cover a lot of black history in their texts.) 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Trump's White House is falling apart

Feeling Rebloggy

Losing a national security adviser to scandal within the first month of a new presidency, with Michael Flynn resigning late Monday, isn't just unprecedented; it's one of those events that would have Spock telling Kirk that the readings are off the charts and make no sense.

Which is also the case with Donald Trump's approval ratings — they're not just the worst ever at this point, but in territory that's unimaginable had any previous major party nominee won election. Barry Goldwater, George McGovern, Walter Mondale — odds are that had some weird fluke happened and they had won, they would still have been doing much better by that measure than Trump.

The president himself is beset by up to three separate scandals: One about Russian interference in the U.S. election along with contacts between his campaign and transition team with the Kremlin; one about conflicts of interest and "emoluments"; and perhaps one about the president himself as a security risk...
Jonathan Bernstein
Chicago Tribune

Read More

I love it when nerds make relevant comparisons in my language

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Womanism Is to feminist as purple is to lavender

a repost

"Womanism is a feminist term coined by Alice Walker.

It is a reaction to the realization that “feminism” does not encompass the perspectives Black women.

It is a feminism that is “stronger in color”, nearly identical to “Black Feminism”. However, Womanism does not need to be prefaced by the word “Black”, the word automatically concerns black women.

A Womanist is a woman who loves women and appreciates women’s culture and power as something that is incorporated into the world as a whole. Womanism addresses the racist and classist aspects of white feminism and actively opposes separatist ideologies. It includes the word “man”, recognizing that Black men are an integral part of Black women’s lives as their children, lovers, and family members.

Womanism accounts for the ways in which black women support and empower black men, and serves as a tool for understanding the Black woman’s relationship to men as different from the white woman’s. It seeks to acnowledge and praise the sexual power of Black women while recognizing a history of sexual violence.

This perspective is often used as a means for analyzing Black Women’s literature, as it marks the place where race, class, gender, and sexuality intersect. Womanism is unique because it does not necessarily imply any political position or value system other than the honoring of Black women’s strength and experiences. Because it recognizes that women are survivors in a world that is oppressive on multiple platforms, it seeks to celebrate the ways in which women negotiate these oppressions in their individual lives.




Every adult woman should know this. A knowing of self, reducing self-abnegation to comparable levels with your partner, and wholeness are ultra important when a woman decides to join with another person, a man, in marriage.

And all of these things are equally important when a womanist decides to join forces with white feminists in opposing a similar (but not the same) oppressions.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


You may recognize Danai Gurira from the Walking Dead. But she's a playwright that's just had an all black female production on Broadway too. Her play "Eclipsed" has been produced on a number of stages and Uzo Aduba (Orange Is The New Black) was in one of the older productions.

Lupita Nyong'o, Danai herself, and Akosua Busia (Nettie in The Color Purple) gave her enough star power to get this production on Broadway while also giving Nyong'o herself some much needed visibility. Nyong'o was in the last Star Wars, but you couldn't see her at all due to the costuming and make up. But now Nyong'o and Gurira both are due to be The Black Panther, due in theaters by 2018.

Saycon Sengbloh, of Eclipsed, has gone on to be in Shonda Rhimes' Scandal.  Lupita's rising visibility (and income) is allowing her to take more steps toward getting Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's AMERICANAH into movie theaters.

Danai Guirira has said that her goal is to get more black women working as actresses, directors, and the like and also telling more black women's stories. Guirira is well on her way. 

* * * * *
Some of her work is listed below. I've actually seen both Eclipsed and In The Continuum. I expect great things from her. Other black women's careers will be based on her work. Those question marks in her tree will be replaced with photographs of other actresses, directors, and playwrights one day

(Award Winning Play. Multiple productions. Most Recently On Broadway 2016)


The women depicted in Danai Gurira’s soul-searing “Eclipsed,” which opened on Broadway at the Golden Theater on Sunday, have lost just about everything. Their dignity, their freedom, their families, their hope. Perhaps most disturbingly, they have lost their own names, or rather tried to forget them.


* * * * *

Why Hillary Clinton and Beyonce 
Should See 'Eclipsed' on Broadway

Eclipsed, Danai Gurira’s heartbreaking play about women conscripted into sex slavery during the Liberian civil war at the beginning of the 21st century, isn’t like anything else on Broadway at the moment.

It may have star power — with Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o in a pivotal part and Gurira, who's also known to many for her role on The Walking Dead [and Akosua Busia most famous for The Color Purple] — but it is relentless in its depiction of the brutality of war and how women are treated.

This is not a light evening of entertainment.

This year’s theater season could be seen as a direct rebuke of Hollywood’s #OscarsSoWhite fiasco, [with Eclipsed, The Color Purple, Shuffle Along, and Hamilton all featurings multi-ethnic casts.]  But Eclipsed is also making history as the first all-female, but all-black production in Broadway history.



From prodigiously talented playwright Danai Gurira (Eclipsed, In the Continuum) comes The Convert; winner of the 2011 Stavis Award and Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Award. In 1895 in the region that would become Zimbabwe, a girl is forced to choose between her family’s traditions and the Christian faith and Western values she has embraced. Born in the U.S. and raised in Zimbabwe, Gurira’s unique perspective and distinctive voice have created a compelling new play filled with humor and compassion.


Two Women, One Story 
(from 2006)

The two-woman show In the Continuum began as a graduate school acting project. Now the off-Broadway show has been named one of the ten best plays of the year by The New York Times.

Nikkole Salter and Danai Gurira, who met at New York University, are the play's authors and actresses. Both play black women with HIV, as well as other characters. Salter is Nia, a teenage African-American girl. Gurira is Abigail Murambe, a newsreader for the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corp. She's pregnant with a second child and having marital problems.

The material sounds grim, but Times drama critic Charles Isherwood says it's anything but a depressing experience.

"It's not a dirge. It's not a lecture," he says. "It's not preachy at all."



by bell hooks

Genuine love is rarely an emotional space
 where needs are instantly gratified. 
To know love 
we have to invest time and commitment
…dreaming that love will save us, 
solve all our problems 
or provide a steady state of bliss or security
only keeps us stuck in wishful fantasy, 
undermining the real power of the love, 
which is to transform us. 

Afro Art - Jean Pierre-Louis

Many people want love to function like a drug,
giving them an immediate and sustained high. 
They want to do nothing, 
just passively receive the good feeling...

Giving generously in romantic relationships, 
and in all other bonds, 
means recognizing when 
the other person needs our attention. 
Attention is an important resource.”
― bell hooks, All About Love: New Visions

Afro Art - Pierre Jean-Louis

“Individuals who want to believe 
that there is no fulfillment in love, 
that true love does not exist, 
cling to these assumptions 
this despair 
is actually easier to face 
the reality that love is a real fact of life 
but is absent from their lives.”

― bell hooks, All About Love: New Visions