To be clear, Black people were not always equally represented in the GIF game. In fact, aside from some really creative people making their own, there was a decided dearth of Black reaction gifs for us to share. That changed in 2016 when Jasmyn Lawson became the culture editor at GIPHY and made it her mission to make “their library of GIFs an inclusive reflection of the world.”
She accomplished her goal. She added some of the funniest and most iconic moments with our favorite Black celebrities, athletes, and social media personalities to the mix and suddenly we had a way to express ourselves with each other on social media. It was like having a graphics version of AAVE to speak in.
Black folks speaking in memes and GIFs with each other on social media is a type of shorthand we all know and recognize. It’s a way we signify with and relate to each other.
Our use of these memes and GIFs comes with an inherent cultural understanding of where they came from and what they represent when we use them with each other.
That type of understanding and nuance is not present when non-Black people try to use them in the same way.There are levels to this ‘digital blackface’ discussion
There are only 4 episodes of ‘Snowfall’ leftStandard
Before I started writing this, I had no idea the actress who plays Franklin Saint’s mother is British-American.Continue reading
Start the day off rightStandard
(I posted this to LinkedIn this morning)
What did you eat for breakfast this morning?
I know that may seem like a weird question to ask on LinkedIn of all places, but I promise you it’s not.
Let me explain.Continue reading
It’s Tuesday alreadyStandard
This week is already flying by. 😂😂😂Continue reading
Y’all started itLink
Before I get started, let me be clear about one thing: All white people have white privilege.
Whenever white privilege comes up as a topic, there are always white people who want to claim they don’t have it because they are poor or uneducated or whatever excuse they come up with to try and distance themselves from the very thing that gives them a leg up no matter their class or circumstance.
White privilege is an inherent gift that all white people benefit from just by virtue of being white. You can put a poor white person in the same space as a poor Black person, and the white person is going to be viewed as somehow better no matter their station.
White privilege is about opportunity.
Being the smartest, most educated and experienced person applying doesn’t guarantee a Black person will get a job, but a mediocre white person can get a job over them because of white privilege.White people made everything about race
My latest for theGrio discusses the social construct of race, whiteness, white privilege and white supremacy.
White fragility *is* white violenceLink
“I consider my writing to be a form of activism. It is my way of using my voice, my natural writing ability, and my words to speak up for myself and other Black people.
It is a form of protest, in my opinion, and baby, protest is not supposed to make you feel comfortable.
If you, as a white person, feel personally attacked by the things I say and write, that requires a level of self analysis that I can’t help you with. It’s not up to me to smooth it over for you and make it easier for you to digest.”The frustrations of a Black woman who writes about race
I had developed this habit of getting up and out of bed at 5am and spending an hour journaling. I set my alarm each night, and I made myself put my feet on the floor and stand up when it went off.
I stopped doing that and instead started sleeping until my body woke up on its own.
The result is I end up staying in bed longer and longer each morning before I finally get up and start my day.
I think it’s time to bring that former habit back.Continue reading
My comments section is going wild right nowStandard
White people really don’t like it when you call out blatant racism and racist acts.Continue reading
Today is the St. Ides of MarchStandard
OK, so the shit is called “The Ides of March, but I am Black as fuck, and I am going to keep calling it the St Ides of March, and y’all will just deal with it.Continue reading
Let’s do this, TuesdayStandard
I went to my regular Starbucks this morning, and my drink was perfect. I have finally figured out my perfect formula: 4 shots of espresso and a splash of steamed vanilla sweet cream.
Hello, Tuesday. I am ready to beat you into submission.Continue reading
Stop expecting Black women to perform “grace”Standard
The Oscars played in Angela Bassett’s face again, and in the wake of that disappointing moment, all white media can talk about is how she didn’t smile and clap for Jamie Lee Curtis, a Hollywood nepo baby, who won for what essentially amounted to a cameo in this year’s biggest winning movie.Continue reading
Byron Allen knows how to throw a partyStandard
Elgin Charles low key clowned my braids last night, and I ain’t even mad at him for it.Continue reading
Let’s try this againStandard
I wrote 0 words yesterday. My brain just wasn’t into it. Here’s hoping today will be more fruitful.
Let’s go.Continue reading
I set an intention today to get more done today than I did yesterday. That includes the number of words I write. The word count to be beat is 1955.
Let’s get it.Continue reading
Ben Stein, Stella Parton and Scott Adams walk into a barStandard
Ben Stein is racist.
Stella Parton is racist.
Scott Adams is racist.
Racism is a part of daily life in America, whether it is as overt as people marching around in Klan uniforms or as subtle as someone making passive-aggressive negative comments about Black people in our presence.
As much as we want to give most white people the benefit of the doubt, there usually comes a time when even our faves (or their siblings) disappoint us by saying something so outlandishly racist it’s hard to ignore.
I had a recent experience on Facebook with a former co-worker who I always thought was just a nice older white lady. She showed up in the comments of one of my posts and completely showed her ass, and she doubled, tripled and quadrupled down on her ignorance even when she was called out by her fellow white people.Here is a list of white people I was extremely disappointed to find out were (undercover) racists
It’s Thursday already?Standard
We are off to a late start here at the Lioness Den. I didn’t get to sleep until well after 3 a.m., but I’m still determined to make Thursday my bitch though, so here we go.Continue reading
Today is Wednesday, and I’m not wearing pinkStandard
It happens sometimes. I didn’t think about it when I got up this morning, and by the time I remembered, I was already dressed, and I did not want to change clothes.Continue reading
No, but for real, what is you doing?Standard
As I type this, I am high enough to eat stars as Raji said to me once. Today’s strain is Sour Cherry, which is a blend of Sour Diesel and Cherry Pie. It’s very good. it puts me in creative mode.Continue reading
recognizing when you are not the problemLink
I don’t think this person truly knows why they do what they do nor why they chose to act this way to me. I certainly can’t explain it, nor do I feel the need to.
What I do know is that they are not a good person, no matter how much they try to pretend they are. There is no integrity to be had when your intentions come from a selfish and self-serving place.
I was open. I was honest. I did more than post platitudes on social media and act as if they were a reflection of my lived experience.
I am my lived experience each and every day, and I always own it — the good, the bad, and the ugly.it’s not you; it’s them
I went and picked up breakfast in the Starbucks drive thru. Good morning.
I have been waking up every day listening to soca music first thing in the morning. It puts me in such a good mood for the day. How can you not be happy listening to soca music?
This is a pretty frequent ear worm right now.
Anyway, this is me today.
Stop giving Chris Brown a platform, Black women!Link
Since the 2009 incident in which he assaulted his then-girlfriend Rihanna — an incident to which he pleaded guilty and received a felony conviction — Brown has remained an unapologetic jerk on all fronts. Last month, People magazine published a timeline of all his legal troubles since the 2009 conviction, and the list is long and full of examples of Brown being unable to control his temper and keep his hands to himself.
The 33-year-old is obviously very troubled and would likely benefit from long-term professional help, but what is not helping is all the people enabling him — most especially Black women.Chris Brown is problematic, and it’s time for Black women to stop uplifting him
It’s Wednesday, and I’m not wearing pinkStandard
It’s Wednesday. I didn’t necessarily feel like it, but I got my ass up, said an affirmation in the mirror, and decided I am going to kick Wednesday’s ass.
I’m not wearing pink, but I’m wearing all black, and Wednesday Addams wears all black, so it’s kinda the same thing, right?Continue reading
When Monday is a holidayStandard
It’s supposed to be the beginning of a new work week, but today is President’s Day, and I don’t really feel much like working. I’m going to get stuff done anyway because that’s what I do (and if I don’t write, I don’t eat), but this day felt off from the moment I woke up. Whatever. Let’s get it.
I’ve said before that playing GTA is like playing violent Barbies for me. I have an unlimited supply of outfits to change her into.
Today, I found one of my favorite old school cars for her, and I changed her hair color so the style and color match me in real life.
My GTA character is vain just like me.
Today was uneventful. The end.
I’m back on my bullshitLink
I had a fabulous Valentine’s Day.
There are days when I know I look fucking good, and this was one of those days. Thighs out, ass-length braids, fishnet stockings, over-the-knee boots—baby, I was serving.
I saw a show with the burlesque troupe Sweet Spot Nation. They put on an adult variety show, and I was thoroughly entertained. There was a singing guitarist, erotic spoken word, some sensuous sex play (with clothing on, of course)0, and girls shaking titties and ass. There were also two comedy performances, and those were funny too.
If you ever get the opportunity to see them live, I highly recommend it.Continue reading
Professionalism standards and dress code policiesStandard
How is Pearson wearing a dashiki disrespecting anyone? Is it not disrespectful for Hawk to be offended by it? Would he have the same attitude if an East Indian woman wore a sari or a Japanese woman wore a kimono? Would he be offended by a Sikh wearing his turban?
Just where do we draw the line? Why is it acceptable for people of other cultures to acknowledge said cultures by wearing their traditional dress, but when a Black person does it, it’s suddenly “unprofessional”?How professionalism standards and dress code policies support white supremacy
For theGrio, I wrote about how professionalism standards and dress codes help to uphold white supremacy. Both are almost always targeted specifically at Black people.
Happy birthday to Megan Thee StallionStandard
Today is Megan Thee Stallion’s 28th birthday.
She should be out celebrating and driving the boat, doing hoodrat shit with her ratchet friends, but instead she has been on a self-imposed hiatus, disappearing from the public eye immediately after Tory Lanez was convicted in December for the July 2020 incident in which he shot her in her feet.
Megan deserves so much better.
For theGrio, I wrote an open letter to her.
I hope wherever she is right now, she is surrounded by love, finding peace, feeling protected, and healing herself mentally and emotionally so she can come back stronger than ever. We miss her.
Return of the MackStandard
As I have shared in my writing as of late, I have not been in a good place mentally over the last few weeks.
Depression is a monster, and when it takes over, even the smallest of tasks can feel insurmountable. The inability to focus long enough to get anything done is a productivity killer, and for someone like me who works primarily as a freelancer or contract worker, that means it’s an income killer as well.Continue reading
I am an extroverted introvertLink
I spent years thinking that I was an extrovert. It’s hilarious to think of that now, when I haven’t made plans in over two weeks, and I get most excited by ticking another book off my To-Read List. But I used to think I was an extrovert, so I acted like one.
I suppose I can’t really blame people for mistaking me for an extrovert, as I fell into the same trap. But then I discovered my introverted roots, or rather I finally admitted it to myself. I am a total introvert at heart, someone who will always prefer reading in bed to going out, and who has to plan days between social events to regain my energy.
But I’m an introvert who can enjoy a house party. I’m an introvert with many extroverted friends. I’m an introvert in disguise, also known as an extroverted introvert.8 Signs That You’re An Extroverted Introvert
I felt this article in my soul, because it describes me perfectly. My therapist helped me to realize this is me a few years ago, and now I rest in this identity. It’s comfy here. Have a seat.
Erykah Badu and her daughter Puma broke the internetStandard
For theGrio, I wrote about y’all being entirely too goofy over the pictures of Erykah Badu and her oldest daughter, Puma.
I noticed two very specific types of reactions to these photos. First there were the “Oh my god! I would never” people, and to them I say, “Well, don’t then, bitch.”
Then I noticed all the grown men making nasty comments and posting rapey memes with captions expressing what they would like to do to an 18-year-old. Y’all need to be on a registry somewhere.
It’s OK for us to celebrate Erykah and Puma being empowered to show off their bodies. I want all Black women to feel this free.
What’s NOT OK is making sexual comments about an 18-year-old just because “she’s legal.” Go sit your overgrown ass in a corner somewhere and figure out why you are sexualizing someone that young.
Because to be clear, neither Erykah nor her daughter sexualized themselves in those pictures. Y’ALL sexualized them with your responses to them.
Anyway, read “Age of consent doesn’t give you permission to be a creep.”
Was this pussy pap ready? Yes. It was.*Standard
There’s a new issue of my newsletter, off the record, out.
This is a follow up to last week’s piece, “I’m ready to be a ‘Soft Black Girl.'” I talk about the process I’m going through right now, dealing with both my depressive episode and the thing that triggered it.
This is where I tell you that if you haven’t already subscribed to my newsletter, you should ASAP.
But there’s more…Continue reading