Taking It Down






Vanessa VanDyke has amazing hair. Point blank. But it’s her hair that may cause her to get expelled from school. Faith Christian Academy in Orlando told the 12-year-old that she has a week to decide if she’s going to cut her hair, straighten it, or get kicked out.

Vanessa has attended Faith Christian Academy since she was in the third grade, but the school’s s code has rules against how students can wear their hair. The handbook reads: “Hair must be a natural color and must not be a distraction,” and goes on to state examples that include, but are not limited to, mohawks, shaved designs and rat tails.

The distraction that the school is probably referring to when it speaks of Vanessa’s hair has to do with bullying and teasing.

From Local 10 News Orlando:

“A distraction to one person is not a distraction to another,” said VanDyke’s mother, Sabrina Kent. “You can have a kid come in with pimples on his face. Are you going to call that a distraction?”

VanDyke said she’s had her large, natural hair all year long, but it only became an issue after the family complained about students teasing her about her hair.

“There have been bullies in the school,” said Kent. “There have been people teasing her about her hair, and it seems to me that they’re blaming her.”

“I’m depressed about leaving my friends and people that I’ve known for a while, but I’d rather have that than the principals and administrators picking on me and saying that I should change my hair,” said VanDyke.

So instead of Faith Christian Academy doing something about the bullies, they’re going to reprimand a 12-year-old because of her hair?

“I’m going to fight for my daughter,” Kent said. “If she wants her hair like that, she will keep her hair like that. There are people out there who may think that natural hair is not appropriate. She is beautiful the way she is.”


it’s hard enough for black girls to feel beautiful without those in authority sending the message that their hair is unacceptable. this story is disgusting and unfortunately not the first or last case. it’s a damn shame that every part of a black girl’s body is politicized,  at all ages

this is so stupid …

I’m so proud of her mother.

YO maybe instead of punishing this little girl for her hair for being a distraction you should be punishing the punks who are distracted by their awful racist need to bully her for her hair????

(via multigrainqueerios)






People’s response to a rapist truck driver trying to take a 16 year old runaway girl


That woman is my heroine

I want to say thank you all for watching something so important. This can lead to the saving of other boys and girls from being raped and kidnapped. All it takes is one voice to save a life.

I just cried

(via profesor-reject)

It’s the curse of the teenage girl, isn’t it? Ridiculed at every corner. God forbid a teenage girl could have a passion for anything. God forbid a teenage girl could know what she wants.
It’s a fucking curse. You fall in love, it’s bullshit. You’re talented, it’s bullshit. You love something, bullshit. You care about something, bullshit. You destroy something bullshit. Something kills you, bullshit!
We’re all so trivial. Nothing we say has any weight, any precedence. Because we don’t know shit.
What do we like? Who cares. What do we love? Who fucking cares. We hate ourselves and we’re called dramatic and self-obsessed. We love ourselves and we’re called dramatic and self-obsessed. Since when was loving yourself a character flaw? Fuck. I think it’s astounding. Why wouldn’t you want to raise a generation of strong, proud girls? I know why, because you’re fucking scared, and you don’t even realise it. Somewhere, in the back of your head, past all the patriarchal bullshit, you know what we’re capable of. And don’t look at me like that, I know what the patriarchy is, and that’s exactly my fucking point. You underestimate us, you reduce us down to silly little girls.
In the back of your head, you’re scared for us to have voices, you don’t want us to have power. Because then, then we’ll speak up about the shit you put us through. And you know what? If you don’t educate us, if you refuse to educate us, we’ll educate ourselves.
I am so, so sick of this biased crazy bitch-teenager idea. Being passionate doesn’t make us crazy. And even if we are crazy, so fucking what? It’s you who made us like this.
You, who raised your daughter to keep her voice down. You, who taught her it’s better to be meek. You, who told her she just drunk too much, helped her throw out her ripped underwear, and never thought to ask questions. You, who told her sex was an obligation. And you, for telling her it’s a bargaining tool. Her desires aren’t natural. Don’t act, don’t speak. Repress, repress, repress. Repent, repent, repent. Be ashamed. Shut your mouth.
You shut it for her though.
Every lesson, every time you ignored her need, you plucked out another vocal chord. And you kept going and you kept teaching until her throat was empty, and you stole her words and threw her voice box down a fucking well so no one would ever hear her speak again. And you think we’re the crazy ones? You’re draining the life from you daughter so you can stick it in a glass vial and give it to your son in law.
You want us to be meek? You want us to be quiet. We’re fucking monsters. You made us, you’ve silenced us, and now we’re going to scream and scream until you notice.

the curse of the teenage girl - J.M  (via seulray)

(Source: lushpuppy, via futureoliviapope)





"Ola Orekunrin was studying to become a doctor in the UK a few years ago when her younger sister fell seriously ill while traveling in Nigeria. The 12-year-old girl, who’d gone to the West African country on holiday with relatives, needed urgent care but the nearest hospital couldn’t deal with her condition.

Orekunrin and her family immediately began looking for an air ambulance service to rapidly transport the girl, a sickle cell anemia sufferer, to a more suitable healthcare facility. They searched all across West Africa but were stunned to find out there was none in the whole region.

"The nearest one at the time was in South Africa," remembers Orekunrin. "They had a 12-hour activation time so by the time they were ready to activate, my sister was dead." (Cnn.com)

Orekunrin did the latter. Motivated by the tragic death of her sister, the young doctor decided to leave behind a high-flying job in the UK to take to the Nigerian skies and address the vital issue of urgent healthcare in Africa’s most populous country.

Flying helicopters, speaking Japanese

At 27, there isn’t much Orekunrin hasn’t achieved.

She is England’s Youngest Doctor.

Born in London, she grew up in a foster home in the charming seaside town of Lowestoft in the south-east of England.

Aged 21, Orekunrin had already graduated from the University of York as a qualified doctor. She was then awarded the MEXT Japanese Government Scholarship and moved to Japan to conduct research in the field of regenerative medicine.

After moving back to Europe the young doctor looked set for a promising career in medicine in the UK. But her desire to improve healthcare services in West Africa brought her back to her roots.

Orekunrin quit her job, sold her assets and went on to study evacuation models and air ambulance services in other developing countries before launching her ambitious venture, which enables her to combine her “deep love for medicine and Africa” with her growing passion for flying — Orekunrin is also a also a trainee helicopter pilot.” (CNN.COM)


Post Put together by @solar_innerg

#sancophaleague #BlackWomen #Nigeria #Orekunrin #Doctor #Success #blackexcellence

More West African women here

The things I want on my dash.


(via agoldenfieldofflowers)



Real Life Role Models as Disney Princesses by David Trumble [via]

Previously: If Disney Princesses Had Normal-Size Eyes

People should know that this is a satire art piece; it’s not designed to be all shits and giggles “ohh look at the pretty dress”. It’s meant to make you think about how Disney makes all of the women look like this impossibly high standard of beauty but that’s not what makes them amazing women in the first place. Diwpfjwjwislxmqheiwpd

(via vachekitty)

Women are having their abortion appointments canceled in Texas today, but those babies will be fine because food stamps were cut as well.

Remember that intimate conversation you had with your son? The one where you said, “I love you and I need you to know that no matter how a woman dresses or acts, it is not an invitation to cat call, taunt, harass or assault her”?

Or when you told your son, “A woman’s virginity isn’t a prize and sleeping with a woman doesn’t earn you a point”?

How about the heart-to-heart where you lovingly conferred the legal knowledge that “a woman doesn’t have to be fighting you and you don’t have to be pinning her down for it to be RAPE. Intoxication means she can’t legally consent, NOT that she’s an easy score.”

Or maybe you recall sharing my personal favorite, “Your sexual experiences don’t dictate your worth just like a woman’s sexual experiences don’t dictate hers.”

Last but not least, do you remember calling your son out when you discovered he was using the word “slut” liberally? Or when you overheard him talking about some girl from school as if she were more of a conquest than a person?

I want you to consider these conversations and then ask yourself why you don’t remember them. The likely reason is because you didn’t have them. In fact, most parents haven’t had them.

Unlike feminism, and despite its name, womanism does not emphasize or privilege gender or sexism; rather, it elevates all sites and forms of oppression, whether they are based on social-address categories like gender, race, or class, to a level of equal concern and action. Womanism’s link to gender is the fact that the historically produced race/class/gender matrix that is Black womanhood serves as the origin point for a speaking position that freely and autonomously addresses any topic or problem. Because Black women experience sexism, and womanism is concerned with sexism, feminism is confluent with the expression of womanism, but feminism and womanism cannot be conflated, nor can it be said that womanism is a ‘version’ of feminism.

Layli Phillips

This is from The Womanist Reader. Here she illustrates how womanism involves a feminist component, but is also concerned with many anti-oppression theories and praxes, not solely feminism. Because feminism—especially among middle class White women—has a long history of not being intersectional, at times the word “feminist” alone is not a sufficient descriptor for someone committed to multiple facets of anti-oppression work. (I also pondered feminisms as plural before..)

For Black women concerned with justice in multiple areas, not solely regarding sexism, misogyny, misogynoir and transmisogyny, but also say…uh racism, classism/poverty, homophobia, transphobia, fatphobia, ableism and more, womanism speaks to this praxis. It’s inherently intersectional from the race/gender/class matrix that speaks to many Black women’s lives globally, as she alluded to in the quote. This is why some White feminists have adopted the phrase “intersectional feminism” to illustrate a commitment beyond gender justice alone.

This quote and one I recently blogged on three central points of womanism are really important in acknowledging its similarities to and differences from feminism (which remember, Audre Lorde let us know that differences, in general, are OKAY). The differences aren’t only epistemological or experiential but also kinda…cultural. In Alice Walker’s writing on womanism, connectedness, community and wholeness are alluded to; facets that directly conflict with individualism as proliferated by Whiteness. 

(via herblacknessisdivine)

Layli Maparyan

(via quirkyblackgirls)

(via sp0rty)