Tag Archives: Gender

The Importance of Affection

This past semester was my hardest semester at Princeton thus far. As a junior, I was confronted with taking five classes for the first time, having to think about my independent research, producing independent research, attending to a more rigorous work schedule, the thought of actual post-graduation plans, familial tensions, maintaining entire relationships and, of course, Continue reading

BLACK SKIN AND A VOICE LIKE HONEY

Like most grandmas, mine liked to tell stories. She was made for it. She was short and wide, with a billion wrinkles folded into one another, like elaborate human origami. Her skin was the color of peanut butter and she always smelled like her daily cocoa butter routine. We children used to say she was carved out of candy. But her glory was in her voice. Her voice was bull strong and sugar sweet and had the power to make every word into a jewel.

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SANDRA BLAND, #IFIDIEINPOLICECUSTODY, AND MENTAL HEALTH

I am always enraged by the terror that Black people—and Black women who are viewed as angry and combative—fall victim to by police. The news of Sandra Bland’s arrest and then death is no exception. Almost as disheartening as the news of Sandra Bland’s death has been the response on social media. There is an overwhelming amount of arguments stating that it would be absurd for her to have committed suicide. Continue reading

THE TABOO TOPIC: BLACK WOMEN’S LIVES MATTER, TOO

At every protest I’ve participated in or been to—whether it’s been in Ferguson, which is only twenty minutes away from my home in St. Louis, or on Princeton’s campus—the signs held up by most protestors have boasted the names of slain Black men. At those same protests in which activists, young and old, highlight the deaths of Black men, I always notice one lone and audacious woman holding up a sign with the names of murdered Black girls and women penned on it.

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THE MISREPRESENTED AND HYPERSEXUALIZED LATINA

Growing up, I always struggled with finding a stable identity of my own. I knew I was Latina, but I felt like I could only relate to Latina women in my family and never the ones on television and film who show how an “actual” Latina was supposed to be and act. In television programs, terms like “exotic” became the norm when describing tanned skinned, seemingly typical Latinas. Yet, it wasn’t until adolescence, when I began religiously immersing myself in pop culture, that I started to realize just how pervasive and damaging this one idea of what a Latina is actually was. Continue reading

FAIR AND LOVELY

I have never been quite as intimidated by an inanimate object as I am by the little bottle sitting on my bathroom countertop. It had arrived, along with a flood of other unfamiliar toiletries, in my cousin’s bag this morning. The bottle is only a couple of inches high and the words “Fair and Lovely” are written across the top in friendly, pink script. An ambiguously ethnic girl smiles on the front. Behind her grinning mug is a picture of the same girl, minus the idiotic grin but plus a whole hell of a lot more melanin. “Smear me all over your face,” the bottle demands rudely. “Then maybe you can be white – pretty – and happy, too.”

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