sistah hangouts ♥♥ 


Urban Outfitters is selling a traditional Ethiopian/Eritrean dress as a 1990s vintage find and a UO Exclusive. There is no mention of this dress carrying cultural value which backdates waywayway earlier than the 1990s. No mention of the weeks it takes to make the habesha qemis. And no mention of the netela that usually accompanies the garment. By the way Urban Outfitters, the fabric is called shemma


This is erasure as appropriation. *eye roll*


Celebrating our mothers

I celebrate the woman who bathed me, the woman who saved me till her third husband, the woman who scolds me, the woman who tells me how to be a woman, the woman who befriends me, the one whose words travel a mile a minute to reach me and then demand pause, the woman who doesn’t need words to let you know shit is about to pop off, the woman who told me I was spoiled and continued to spoil me, the woman who reminded - “you know you’re lucky as hell you’re dad is white!” - the woman I continue to see in myself and want out, the woman who I take for granted, the woman I never forgave for leaving me at 3, the woman who never gives me the right answer…at the time, the woman who taught me how to dance, the woman who assured me I’d find happiness, the woman who has psychic visions, the woman who shared with our neighbors, and gives her whole self to the world that keeps viciously stealing from her.

In celebrating women, I think of my mothers.

That’s my mother and grandmother in the above photo.



Helen Williams, most photographed black model of her day..

(via dgusketchbook)

Appropriate to bring back for the day and any day really. 


Ladies at Work

I recently made a trip to the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92. The museum makes great use of interactive technology to tell the known and unknown stories of Brooklyn’s waterfront. 

Between the two world wars, the naval yard’s workforce increased about ten fold. The inclusion of women at the yard accounted for a good portion of the increase and also originated the cultural icon Rosie the Riveter. 

One particular Rosie’s story made me smile. Ida Pollack, a welder during World War II, recounts working with the men at the yard:

The guys who drew up the blueprints didn’t do the welding, so maybe they didn’t realize what tiny spaces they had [made] for us [to work in]. Now, if you were a big guy, you were in real trouble…And even with us, with somebody like me who was small, I couldn’t fit into one completely…

Celebrating your hard work today, Ida! 



J.D. ‘Okhai Okeikere, Untitled, 1970s


Women Who Inspire: Majora Carter

In celebration of Women’s History Month, I wanted to share a little inspiration. Majora Carter has been a major force in progressive economic redevelopment and environmental activism for years.


Her work spearheading the creation of the Hunts Point Riverside Park and advocating for other green spaces in her community was the first spark in a "larger strategy to move under-performing communities into a healthy and productive economic conditions” In 2001 she founded the environmental justice organization Sustainable South Bronx and in 2008 the Majora Cater Group LLC. She was featured in a recent 2-part interview on the Laundromat Project’s blog, where she shared insight about her early days doing arts organizing and her experience as a film major at Wesleyan University.


You can read the interviews here and here.

And be sure to check out the Laundromat Project, “a community-based non-profit arts organization committed to the well-being of people of color living on low incomes. Understanding that creativity is a central component of healthy human beings, vibrant neighborhoods, and thriving economies, we bring art programs to where our neighbors already are: the local laundromat. In this way, we aim to raise the quality of life in New York City for people whose incomes do not guarantee broad access to mainstream arts and cultural facilities.” 


Queen Latifah
Order in the Court


21 Mayo 1980

Dear mujeres de color, companions in writing -
I sit here naked in the sun, typewriter against my knee trying to visualize you. Black woman huddles over a desk in the fifth floor of some New York tenement. Sitting on a porch in south Texas, a Chicana fanning away mosquitos and the…