Saying Goodbye to Amiri Baraka and Pete Seeger

29 Jan

This month the world said goodbye to two great men who dedicated their lives to cultural activism through art. Amiri Baraka, poet and playwright of the Black Arts Movement and folk legend Pete Seeger will always be remembered for the way their art shaped public consciousness and provided the soundtrack to American movements against war and segregation and for social justice. We thank them for their life’s work during their time here and wish peace and power upon their beloved spirits.

In love and remembrance.

Amiri Baraka, Somebody Blew Up America

Pete Seeger, We Shall Overcome

Pete Seeger, Where Have All the Flowers Gone

We also recognize that it is just as important acknowledge the many ways their contributions to culture wouldn’t have been possible without the women in their lives. This article from the New Yorker sheds some light upon Hettie Jones, writer, mother and Amiri Baraka’s first wife, and her role in his artistic and personal development, as does this conversation with Amina Baraka, artist, activist, and his second wife.

Selfie Syndrome: Social Media and Narcissism

28 Dec

Here at Sisters of Resistance, we get regular inquiries from people who are trying to determine if their partner has narcissistic traits, and to understand their behaviour and the dangers it poses for them and the relationship.

Although we’re not asserting a causal relationship between the use of social media and the rise in narcissism (there are a number of broader factors in late modernity, like neoliberalism, that are likely contributing to the trend as well), we thought this infographic from http://www.bestcomputerscienceschools.net/selfies/ was especially useful for its at-a-glance images of the Signs of Narcissism.

We hope that it helps you identify and put some distance between yourself and narcissists in your life in 2014.

Selfie Syndrome - How Social Media is Making Us Narcissistic

The Realities of Wealth Inequality in the U.S.A.

11 Dec

This video by Politizane on the inequalities of wealth distribution in the United States uses clear and intelligible infographics and accessible narration to reveal that 1% of the population holds 40% of the nation’s wealth. It illustrates what the so-called “Land of Dreams” really looks like for the majority of its inhabitants, and how far the facts truly are from what the majority of Americans think the distribution is like. We suspect a similar pattern would be reflected if this were to be done for the wealth of the entire globe. 

Sources are available in the “More info” section of the video. Please post, tweet, and reblog – this information needs to be shared.

via Adam Mordecai at Upworthy.com

16 Days of Action to Support Survivors of Domestic Violence

25 Nov

refuge logo - pink outline of a supporting hand. caption reads: for women and children. against domestic violence.

Every year, the 16 days between the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25th November and Human Rights Day on 10th December are internationally recognised as 16 Days of Action to End Violence Against Women.

Sisters of Resistance is participating in fundraising efforts for Refuge, the UK’s largest charity for survivors of domestic violence. Every day, they help more than 2,000 women and children who experience domestic violence, providing emergency accommodation and emotional and practical support.

A gift of any size can help:

£2 could provide an emergency pack for a woman fleeing a crisis situation.

£5 could help advocates secure an injunction against a violent partner.

£10 could allow an outreach worker to visit one woman in her home or a safe location to develop a safety plan, advise on housing and employment

£25 could pay for psychologists to work with 12 children and help them to overcome the trauma of abuse.

Please help us to resist the effects of domestic violence by supporting this charity’s vital work.

Make a donation here.

Thank you!

Justice for Renisha McBride

8 Nov

From the US comes another sickening case of racist violence and murder. This time it is a young black woman, Renisha McBride, a teenager who was murdered while seeking help after a late-night car crash in a white suburb of Detroit.

From this article by journalist Rania Khalek, who broke the story:

Dearborn Heights police initially told McBride’s family that her body was found dumped near Warren Avenue and Outer Drive, but that story quickly changed. Not only are police refusing to release the identity of the man who shot McBride, they’re now saying she was mistaken for an intruder and shot in self-defense on the homeowner’s front porch. Even if that’s the case, and there’s reason to believe it’s not, the shooter still failed to call 911 after shooting an unarmed woman in the head, instead leaving her there to die. Does that sound like the behavior of a law-abiding gunowner who made a tragic mistake?

Writer and filmmaker Dream Hampton and Detroit hip-hop artist Invincible organised a rally for justice for the slain teenager, whose conduct on the night of the shooting is being questioned in accusations by the police and the media. This Huffington Post article describes the rally, and Hampton’s critique of the blame-the-victim response:

“This is what happens, again and again,” Hampton said, invoking the killing of unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin last year. “It’s kind of textbook. We’re able to break it down in the public media, when it came to Trayvon, the criminalization of the victim, of the corpse. Look, he got a C, look, he was a teenager who smoked pot, he had a sugar problem, he liked Skittles. … It becomes the criminalization of the corpse. … The police are supposed to be advocating for victims.”

Black feminists on Twitter have called out mainstream white feminists for not engaging with the Renisha case. Intersectionality, or the interaction of multiple dimensions of oppression, is as important to remember in this case as ever. If Renisha had been a white woman, we suspect there would have been little chance of her being murdered when seeking help on a stranger’s porch.

As of today, Ranisha’s murderer, who first claimed he thought she was an intruder, later changing his story to “the gun discharged accidentally“, has not been arrested, and his identity is being protected. Due to a stand-your-ground law in Michigan, it is possible he will not be charged. The absurdity of her murder, and the official response to it – for her actions to be questioned, not those of the man who killed her – illustrates the continued calamity that is racialized violence in the United States, supported by a legal structure that systematically denies justice for victims whose bodies are black and brown.