This is what it feels like to be black in America. It sounds like the symphony of locking car doors as I traipse through a grocery store parking lot, armed with kale chips and turkey bacon. It looks like smiling when I don’t feel like it. It’s the instinct to enunciate differently, to use acceptable methods of signaling that I am safe to engage, or at least to disregard. “We wear the mask that grins and lies,” wrote the poet Paul Laurence Dunbar. I feel that mask covering my soul, never allowing me to just freely exist.

I could argue that any negative reaction to my skin is a problem for others to grapple with and of no concern to me. I’ve tried that approach before; one memorable attempt ended with me being pulled out of my car by two police officers and handcuffed for the felonious infractions of having a blown headlight and insufficient self-abasement. It is an unspoken rule that blackness’ first and most important task is to make everyone feel safe from it. We ignore this mandate at our own peril, realizing that a simple misunderstanding is a life or death proposition.

Jonathan Ferrell ran towards police seeking help after a car accident and was given a hail of bullets for his troubles. Renisha McBride went in search of a Good Samaritan after her accident and a shotgun blast answered her knock. Teenager Trayvon Martin walked home with candy and tea and was greeted by the nervous trigger finger wrapped in an adult’s gun. Jordan Davis sat in a car outside a convenience store listening to music and a man who objected to the volume cut his life short with the boom of a firearm. The principal crime all of them committed, like countless others over the centuries, was being black and not sufficiently prostrating themselves to ensure the comfort of others.
Theodore R. Johnson, “Black History Month Isn’t Making Life Better for Black Americans” (via thisiswhitehistory)

(via fetus-teeth)

Don’t ask me to be vulnerable with you if you have no intentions of protecting me.
(via lovesweetvenom)

(via marzipanowls)

beingliberal:

Reblog if you agree it’s wrong for the government to make a profit on the backs of poor college students and not taxing billionaires. 

(graphic via ProgressiveAmerica)

(via phloeticexpressions)

odinsblog:

letticiae:

gradientlair:

christel-thoughts:

"only Nigeria has a larger Black population than Brazil"

yet when you hear “Brazilian”, is this who you think of?

Boom. 

When George W. Bush was president, he asked Brazil’s president, “Do you have blacks, too?” Brazil’s president was shocked to hear it and Condoleeza Rice interfered, informing Bush that Brazil was the country with the largest black population outside Africa. [x]

"Do you have blacks" like we’re pets or an infestation

(via fetus-teeth)

gradientlair:

Lupita Nyong’o in People as the most beautiful person for 2014 in their annual “50 Most Beautiful” issue. Beautiful Black woman; exquisite photographs.  (iPad snaps from fashionscansremastered.)

  • Girl:Thank you for choosing Zaxby's would you like to try a zensation zalad?

  • Me:Yes please. That's all.

  • Girl:Oh, um, I'm sorry we're out of lettuce right now.

  • Me:..........

  • Me:..........

  • Me:.....okay.... thanks....

  • Girl:[to the car behind me] Thank you for choosing Zaxby's would you like to try a zensation zalad?

  • Me:ellipses to infinity and beyond

  • realitytvgifs:

the only advice you need in life

    realitytvgifs:

    the only advice you need in life

    (via secularliturgy)

    serenaslam:

Serena Williams is back in TIME’s 100 Most Influential List.  She was also in the list in 2010.

    serenaslam:

    Serena Williams is back in TIME’s 100 Most Influential List.  She was also in the list in 2010.

    (via youottercomeagain)

    chizuu:

    a little comic dedicated to a friend

    OMG THAT TAG ALMOST MADE ME CRY I LOVE YOU JHO THANK YOU I’M REALLY PROUD OF YOU TOO

    (via youottercomeagain)

    fuckallies:

    On average, you have a 1 in 18,989 chance of being murdered

    A trans person has a 1 in 12 chance of being murdered

    The average life span of a cis person is about 75-90 

    The average life expectancy of a trans person is 23-30 years old

    75% of people killed in anti LGBT hate crimes are poc

    Think about this the next time you go crying over “cisphobia” and “reverse racism”

    (via youottercomeagain)

    rainbowraconteur:

    I’m going to continue to reblog this every year I have a tumblr

    WHAT DID I TELL YOU

    (via martiniplease-filthy)

    petitfemmenoir:

thanoblesavage:

More success stories.


smart black cuties. mah favorite.

    petitfemmenoir:

    thanoblesavage:

    More success stories.

    smart black cuties. mah favorite.

    (via strokezofdaquad)