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Largely speaking, race is not something that tends to bother very young children. So when I discovered that my four-year-old daughter and two-year-old son were the only black children in their new preschool, I wasn't sure how to feel.
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I will never forget the day when I was five years old and my father sat me down to have "the talk." He told me "when you get older you will have to work 10 times harder because of your brown skin. Don't think for a second that because you are beautiful and intelligent, you will always be treated with respect."
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You won't find them in the history books.
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It's exhausting having to constantly point out privilege, what it is, how it operates and how it's insidious and thus extremely hard to see or understand when you have so much of it; which is precisely why even those feminists with the best intentions can get caught up defending their own story instead of listening to the stories of those more oppressed.
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Why even bother? Why play a game that was designed for you to lose? The industry is completely unaware of the over-qualified and overlooked people of colour that play an important role in it, often claiming that they don't exist.
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While successful black female athletes have come before them, their latest achievements are perhaps the sweetest victory yet. For many black children, access to competitive sports remains a significant barrier in chasing their Olympic dreams.
One of the ways anti-Black racism manifests is the way we talk about (or don't talk about) sexual violence perpetrated against the Black community. While Canadian statistics don't gather victimization data by race, we know that Black communities are among the most underserved and marginalized groups in Canada, making Black women and trans folks among the most vulnerable to sexual violence
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For the six months that I wore my hair curly, I felt confident. I felt like I had been a one-girl revolution who walked with purpose, making a statement with every step. But when I wore my hair straight, I felt safe. What's the difference?
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Just to be clear, #BlackGirlMagic doesn't mean "super human."
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For 2016, I am urging my black family to take back our culture. We live in a time when our black men and women believe that they have to lower their standards to be successful. We exist in a virtual world where image comes with a cost that many are willing to pay, by any means necessary.
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With the current trial of fired Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw, there is a marked difference in how this particular case of police brutality has been regarded, leading some to ask, "Does the world care about the victim when the victim is a black woman?"
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I've been asked, "Where are you from?" more times at the bank than at any other workplace. The query is almost always followed by an individual's shock of how kind, efficient, or great my service was. In their mind, there's no way a black girl from [insert black country here] can be so nice at customer service.
Women of colour who have spoken most openly and fervently on behalf of their male family and community members are often at the forefront of the debate surrounding police misconduct. Yet, women have also been victimized by the police and often in precisely the same ways as men -- police stops, shootings and racial profiling.
And as Janet Mock says, it's pretty remarkable.