STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF A SECRET

On Facebook, I am in a group of dynamic Black writers/poets/dancers/visual artists. I have no idea how I got invited into the group, as I possess none of these skills, but I love the group as I am privy to exciting new work by other members.

Rosalind Bell is a writer and urban farmer. She has started an Indiegogo campaign to help fund a research project examining her family history/legacy.

“I ask for your financial help and support in my endeavor to discover, research and tell the stories of my ancestors and in so doing, tell the story of Louisiana before and after the Civil War, and unravel the secret of me.  How, in one of the most inhospitable to black life places in the whole wide world could both my progenitors have purchased the land? My first mother’s grandparents bought over 700 acres starting in 1881. And how were they able to secure it in the face of documented racist treachery. STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF A SECRET is as much a research project as it is a writing project. I must scour microfilm, parish and state records, attics, books and people to get what I am looking for. I am seeking $29,000 to cover this expedition.” https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-fund-standing-in-the-middle-of-a-secret#/story

Sounds interesting, eh.  And check out the perks! Goodness, a Louisiana Meat Lovers Delivery, Gumbo Fest, and more!

Support and/or share with your networks if you can!

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Rosalind Bell an urban farmer.

Angela’s Sacred Heart

Ack! I hate it when I find out about good DIY campaigns just as the deadline is closing in… 😦

“Ashley Williams is an accomplished local actor in Portland, Oregon. She is in the last weeks of an Indiegogo campaign with her mom, G.G. Williams. They are raising funds to film and produce a film about sexual assault.  They are seeking to raise $10,000 by April 9th.”  —http://theblackportlanders.com/

If you don’t know (but should) April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). Black women often have to deal with issues of sexual violence/harassment/stalking on their own. There tends to be racist/sexist stereotypes around Black women’s sexuality. A lot of it has to do with our culture needing to justify sanctioned/historical abuse of Black women’s bodies in this country.

“The U.S. is one of the few places in the world where mass rapes have occurred systematically against an entire race of people (African-American women) and there has been no outcry from human rights communities, no processes for justice, no acknowledgement or recognition of such violations and its impact on the culture of violence against Black women today.” http://www.blackwomensblueprint.org/sexual-violence/

Angela’s Sacred Heart seeks to tell one Black woman’s experience with sexual assault and the larger issue of empowering  young women in a pervasive rape culture.  

Angela’s Sacred Heart – IndieGoGo Campaign Video from Serenity Studios on Vimeo.

Searching for Shaniqua: What’s in a Name?

My name is pretty basic (Tonya). I have been surprised at how common the name is across non white/white communities.  The spelling is tweaked at times (Tonia, Tania, Tanya, etc), but  I have met lots of Latina, Asian, Biracial, etc., “Tonyas.” The name is also pretty popular with white folks (usually the Tanya version), so I think I’ve been spared the racial assumptions about my name that some other black women suffer. In his new film, “Searching for Shaniqua: What’s in a Name?” producer/director Phill Branch looks at the discrimination some black women face, simply because of their name.  He has started an Indiegogo campaign to fund his project. Support if you can:

“When you hear the name Shaniqua, what usually comes to mind first? I’ve found that in my social and professional circles, the words ghetto and tacky were often associated with that particular name. A few years back, after a conversation about baby names that spiraled into a deconstruction of race and class in America, I began to question why so many people have discomfort with certain names.  After having similar conversations with people from all walks of life, I began to realize the importance of naming as it relates to profiling, bullying and self-esteem. As a professor at a HBCU, I ran across every kind of name that you can imagine. In academia, a place where race and class intersect, my awareness of how names impact people’s lives became even more heightened. In classrooms that were diverse, but largely black, students were sometimes surprised by how much of their thinking about themselves was based on negative stereotypes. In rooms filled with people of color, race wasn’t a dividing line, but social class was.”