Black women

Recent Articles

Up-and-coming playwright Junauda Petrus shows There Are Other Worlds

 

 

By Jamal Denman

Online Editor

 

Junauda Petrus had been living in New York when she was initially inspired to begin the creative process of writing and developing the concept for the gripping play entitled There Are Other Worlds.  Her original idea for the performance, which sold out each night of its four-night run, was a little different than the work which was presented at the Open Eye Figure Theatre in Minneapolis April 25-28, 2013. At first Petrus just “wanted to do an aerial performance piece featuring all Black women” and combine those elements with “poetry vignettes,” and was inspired by Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf. But during the creative process, the concept eventually transformed into a powerful and poignant story that touched on a number of topics considered taboo, such as the treatment of Black women, rape, murder, and the prison industrial complex in the United States. One element of the original concept that remained was the aerial performance, something Petrus wanted to exhibit. She describes aerial performance as “a circus art that deals with hanging apparatuses,” where acrobatic movements are incorporated with the use of materials hung from the ceiling. Continue Reading →

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Black women hit hard by chemical dependency

 

As the weather begins to improve and we plan for all the cookouts, graduations, holidays and birthday parties, one thing that will not be forgotten is the drinks. It would not be a party without them, right? Some of us cannot wait for happy hour to start right now so we can go and get two-for-ones. Do not have any shame in your game. Many of us have been there, needing something to take the edge off from a stressful day. Continue Reading →

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Abortion a threat to Black women, Black families, Black population

 

 

I appreciate responses from Spokesman readers regarding the truths being provided in my column. The documentation is irrefutable. I challenge anyone to disprove the content of my column by focusing on other mentions instead of Ms. Sanger. I ask anyone to disprove other mentions in my column such as that Blacks make up 12 percent of the population but 35 percent of abortions in America. Disprove my suggestion that Ms. Sanger was friendly with the KKK and other racist groups. Continue Reading →

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A healthy me for a healthy you

When we speak about health, oftentimes physical health comes to mind first. Physical health is important for everyone to be attentive to. Just as equally, we need to be attentive to our mental and spiritual health as well. As Black folks, we have been mentally, psychically and spiritually abused on multiple levels. However, we have found ways to keep pushing. Continue Reading →

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Why avoid single mothers?

 

Black men have no business looking down on single sistahs with chirren. Long as I’ve been Black, single moms proved a rule, not an exception. Plenty Black men have been, in fact, raised by a single Black woman, busting her hips, all on her own, to make do for self and the young ’uns. Which is pretty damned hard work. Why they catch more stigma than single mothers of any other color defies reason. Continue Reading →

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Our stories and symbols can restore our authentic Black selves

Third of a three-part column

This is the last in a three-part series focused on the effects that enslavement, cultural uprooting, and geographical and spiritual dispersing have had on our culture — Black culture — and the ways that we relate to ourselves and each other at present. During the late 1800s, after savagely ripping many of the human resources from our land of our origin, colonists stripped Africa of its natural resources, which were then divided among the British, French, Portuguese, Italians and Dutch. These European colonists installed a system of imperial rule where they were able to claim these resources as their own. The process of imperialism meant that people were colonized — instead of being African, they were taught to carry the identity of their colonizers and thus to assist them in unleashing the forces of generational self-destruction. One writer described this plight of self-destruction as lasting into “perpetuity,” meaning it would never end. Continue Reading →

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First annual Baraza conference ‘a huge success’

Event launches movement to improve Black women’s health and wellness
 

Part 2 — see part one in the current print edition of the MSR

By Robin James

Contributing Writer

The October 6 Baraza Conference presentation by Dr. BraVada Garrett-Akinsanya, Ph.D., was titled “Claiming Your Right to Wellness: Sisters in Recovery from Life” and addressed powerful issues such as trauma, grief and loss as they relate to both personal and professional relationships, and offered the audience exercises to improve wellness of mind, body, and spirit. Dr. Akinsanya is a licensed clinical psychologist and executive director of the African American Child Wellness Institute. One of the things she discussed during her talk was cognitive reframing, such as when one thinks of a glass as half full or half empty. So, when you do reframing, what you do is look at a situation from another side. Dr. Akinsanya asked the audience to think of one negative thing you say about yourself that keeps you locked down. Continue Reading →

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Support group offers information and understanding to Black women with breast cancer

 

By Vickie Evans-Nash

Editor-in-Chief

 

The African American Breast Cancer Alliance (AABCA) was started in October of 1990 by a group of women who had been affected by or diagnosed with breast cancer. This year they will celebrate 22 years of African American women in the Twin Cities who have supported each other in facing and surviving breast cancer. “At the time that we met, [each of us] thought that we were probably one of the only Black women in the Twin Cities that had breast cancer,” says Reona Berry, founding member and executive director of AABCA. “We didn’t know about other women with breast cancer that were African Americans.”

They met to discuss issues and barriers that kept Black women uninformed about breast cancer. Many in the Black community prior to the 1990s saw breast cancer as a White woman’s disease, Berry explains, and it was a topic most people avoided talking about. Continue Reading →

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Black women: Reclaim your sacredness as containers for the spirit of our people

 
First of a three part column
 

In my last article, I highlighted culture as a resource for healing, building, and creating financial prosperity among African American people. The central message expressed was the importance of a return to an intellectual heritage and ancient self, which I see as the first step in moving toward community development. Randall Robinson opens his book The Debt: What America Owes Blacks with a revealing description of himself as having been born in 1941, but having his Black soul born eons ago on another continent “somewhere in the mists of prehistory.” He writes, “I am the new self and the ancient self, I need both to be whole, yet there is a war within and I feel a great wanting of spirit.”

In my work of establishing cultural wellness as a field of study and an approach to healing the African mind, I am lifting up the potentiality and power that cultureprovides to feed the wanting spirit. In Black America, as we reckon with and heal ourselves from generations of abuse, under development and benign neglect, we will be able to reverse the forces which have impeded our collective thriving. The 400 years (25 generations) of systematic enslavement will cease to have a hold on our development when we restore our consciousness of this ancient self. I realize that many may think that this is utopian thinking, but I am asking Black America to indulge in some serious utopia, because there is always a slender but precious hope that today’s utopia will become tomorrow’s society. In this article, I would like to build on the previous central message by lifting out and examining the role of Black women in our healing and rebuilding process. Continue Reading →

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Join me on a journey to a new and better self

 

Years ago, after I delivered my wonderful daughter, I found myself eating out of depression; love of course played a part, but so did broken dreams. I also felt anxious, overwhelmed, and at times hopeless. When my daughter was three months old we would wake up in the middle of the night, and I would make myself a stack of pancakes, hoping the fatigue and loneliness would go away. Food became a sense of comfort and relief. I had a million and one excuses as to why I couldn’t exercise. Even when I did muster the energy to exercise, I wasn’t consistent, had little faith in the process, and saw little change in my appearance. Continue Reading →

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