I'm one part word nerd writer, one part shoe hoochie fashionista, and all parts mother of Skylar, the flighty but fabulous 14 year old who is the object of my undying affection (when she's not immersed in teen funkiness). Aside from storytelling for The Stir, I pen pieces for Essence, Ebony, Vibe, Clutch and just about anyone else who'll have me. On any given day, I find solace in Five Guys fries, Hello Kitty paraphernalia and crime TV. Love me anyway, please.
Sprite on the rocks. Oh, you thought this snarkiness was alcohol-induced?
The thing about living in a country that celebrates and prides itself in being a multicultural melting pot is that society in general doesn’t get to dictate what should and shouldn’t be insulting to the smaller groups of people that make up the whole. We can’t tell gay folks to let the arbitrary use of the word “faggot” roll off them. We can’t tell Jewish people that they really shouldn’t be insulted by “shyster.” So, in that vein, we can’t explain away blackface and tell African-Americans that it’s really not all that offensive. Julianne Hough is the latest celeb to get caught up in public fallout from a failed Halloween costume. She should know better. There have been more than enough examples set and fingers wagged before to derail her bad decision-making and the PR nightmare she’s in now.
Because we needed a reminder that sometimes, when things go wrong, they can still turn themselves upright, there’s this story: Vickie McBride had her son, Maurice, when she was just 13 years old. That’s jarring, even by our almost un-jarrable standards. As you can imagine, she was local gossips’ favorite thing to whisper about in her Georgia hometown, but with the help of her mother, a retired teacher, she shut them up by staying in school. Education was an inherited importance. So it was probably a kick in her stomach when Maurice dropped out when he was 16. But there’s a happy ending for the one-time barely teenage mom and her former high school dropout son. They both graduated from the same university with their PhDs on the same day. Yep, these two went allllll the way in school in a double doctoral victory. (In your face, hateratti.) You just gotta love that kind of win-win for the underdogs.
You knew it was coming. If you didn’t, you should have. College kids are generally our most unobstructed and free-thinking minds, what with all of the exposure to new people, theories, knowledge, and such. But somebody at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, didn’t get the memo and instead dreamt up the concept of a sorority strictly for straight people.
An email originally posted by an anonymous student on Tumblr -- which has since been stripped off -- invited classmates to join her in creating an “exclusive” chapter of Delta Gamma specifically for the school’s piteously underserved and marginalized straight girls. Because there just aren’t enough organizations in the world for heteros to dominate. Except, like, almost every organization that’s ever been created.
Not this messiah. The other one.OK, so turns out you can name your kid “Messiah.” That other judge was just blowing off steam about her Jesus love and whatnot. This time it’s for real. “Messiah” is a go. In a complete up yours to the previous ruling handed down in—of all places, child support court—a higher judge in Tennessee reversed a magistrate’s decision that told Jaleesa Martin she had to change her 8-month-old son’s name from “Messiah.”
It’s pretty easy to tell the difference between a scene from pornography and a scene from classic literature. Porn is artistically uninspired smut, lit is beautifully descriptive prose. Porn shapes barbaric acts into sexual fantasy, lit taps into the angst of those tragedies. Porn leaves nothing to the imagination, lit incites it. Given that, it’s impossible to mistake Toni Morrison’s epic novel The Bluest Eye with pornography. Unless you’re president of the Ohio Board of Education.