fragments

Martin Luther King Jr once related a story that demonstrated just how accurate the Black woman was at assessing her location in the scheme of things and knowing how to handle herself wherever she was. He told us about an older Black woman who had worked for a white woman in Alabama.

First as her laundress, then as her maid, then as her cook and finally as her housekeeper. After 40 years, the Black woman retired but she would go to visit her former employer occasionally. On one visit, her employer had friends over for lunch. When the employer was told the Lilian Taylor was in the kitchen, she sent for her. Lilian went into the livingroom and greeted all the women. Some of whom she had known since their childhoods.

The white woman said Lilian I know you’ve heard of the bus boycott. Lilian said yes ma’am I’ve heard of it. The white woman said, well I want to know, what do you think of it? Are you supporting it? Lilian said no ma’am not one bit. Not one little iota and I won’t let none of mine support it either. The white woman said, I knew you’d be sensible Lilian. I just knew it in my bones. Lilian said yes ma’am I won’t touch that bus boycott.

You know my son took me to live with him and his family. He won’t let me even lift a finger and he works for the power company way across town from our house. I told him, Charles don’t you have anything to do with that bus boycott. You walk to work. Stay all the way out of that bus boycott. And my grandchildren, they go to school all the way over on the East Side. I told them the same thing. Don’t have anything to do with that boycott. You walk to school. And even today, when I wanted to come over and visit you, I got a lady from my church to bring me. I wasn’t going to touch that bus boycott, sure wasn’t.

The room has become quiet and Lilian Taylor said, I know you have plenty help now but do you want me to bring you all some more coffee? She went to the kitchen and was followed by the white woman’s daughter. Who asked her, Lilian why do you treat my Mother like that? Why not just come out and say you support the boycott? Lilian said, honey, when you have your head in the lion’s mouth, you don’t snatch it out. You reach up and tickle him behind his ears and you draw your head out gradually.

Every Black woman in this country has her head in a lion’s mouth.

—   Maya Angelou, A Song Flung Up to Heaven (via racismschool)

(via segrenation)

thisisthinprivilege:

atchka:

randomjenerator:

lovethyfatness:

[Series of texts by @fatnutritionist, which read: “People are mad at me because they ‘work so hard’ to be fit or lose weight. They have told me this explicitly. It implies that they think my rejecting the values they subscribe to can somehow take away the fitness they’ve worked for. That is totally delusional. If you’ve worked hard for fitness, no amount of fat people rejecting stigma can take that away. So this is obviously not actually about fitness, at all. It’s about the other thing they ‘worked hard’ for: social status. They DO think, and they know, that the social status they have worked hard to earn, through ‘fitness,’ can be devalued. It can be devalued if the hierarchy that rewards them is crushed. Crushed by people rejecting stigma. We can’t take away your fitness or whatever weight you’ve lost. But we can devalue those things by destroying fat stigma. So they are afraid of us, and for good reason. If fat people aren’t stigmatized, then there is no more thin privilege. Remember always, fat people: People are afraid of you because you have an awesome power - to destroy the hierarchy. If they were not afraid of losing their place in the hierarchy, they would not come after you so viciously.” All tweets were accompanied by the hashtag, #notyourgoodfatty]

Read the full thread of Michelle’s tweets on Storify.

Reblogging forever.

I love the truth bombs Michelle Allison has been dropping on Twitter. She’s a fucking BAMF.

Love this tag! Shoutout to all the good folks making their voices heard. #notyourgoodfatty #twitter

perks-of-being-a-gall-bladder:

jazzypom:

Happy Birthday, Ms Angelo. 

So pick it up.

(Source: peakintheshadow, via snollygoster)

textbookxdotcom:

On this day in history In the spring of 1963, activists in Birmingham, Alabama launched one of the most influential campaigns of the Civil Rights Movement: Project C, better known as The Birmingham Campaign.

http://to.pbs.org/1dQ0Auu

(via segrenation)

gogogadgetgoatkins:

Mary Bowser, former slave of the Van Lew family, infiltrated the Confederacy by working as a servant in the household of Jefferson Davis. Bowser was assumed to be illiterate, and as a black woman was below suspicion. Practically invisible, she was able to listen to conversations between Confederate officials and read sensitive documents, gathering information that she handed over to the Union.
(From National Woman’s History Museum Facebook Page)

gogogadgetgoatkins:

Mary Bowser, former slave of the Van Lew family, infiltrated the Confederacy by working as a servant in the household of Jefferson Davis. Bowser was assumed to be illiterate, and as a black woman was below suspicion. Practically invisible, she was able to listen to conversations between Confederate officials and read sensitive documents, gathering information that she handed over to the Union.

(From National Woman’s History Museum Facebook Page)

(via flummery)

The American Story of Slavery

I called it the nation’s Original Sin because slave owners, including the Founding Fathers, knew very well that they were sinners. Owning slaves was a matter of economics—one could hardly be expected to run a plantation without them—and personal luxury.

James Madison called slavery “the most oppressive dominion ever exercised by man over man”—but did not free the slaves he owned. Thomas Jefferson believed slavery should be ended in the future—but continued to own slaves throughout his lifetime. Patrick Henry, who said “Give me liberty or give me death,” believed that slavery was “evil”—but would not free the men and women he owned because of “the general inconvenience of living without them.”

One price the slave owners paid was constant fear of insurrection, especially after the Haitian revolution. As the slave population in the United States grew sharply after the invention of the cotton gin, techniques of repression and control increased in brutality.

Many people think of slavery as only a Southern phenomenon, but some of the biggest slave traders in the country were based in Rhode Island. Commerce in cotton picked by slaves was so important to New York’s growth as a financial center that the mayor, Fernando Wood, wanted the city to secede during the Civil War in order to continue doing business with the Confederacy.

As the war raged, slaves across the South took advantage of chaos to escape. Able-bodied whites who otherwise would have fought in the Confederate Army had to stay home to make sure that slaves did not rise in rebellion or simply run away.

Scholars digging through public, commercial and family archives are unearthing facts and stories that have long been swept under the rug. Hollywood’s recognition of “12 Years a Slave” announces an uncomfortable truth: Slavery’s story is America’s story.

(Source: azspot, via segrenation)

http://areyouwearinganypants.tumblr.com/post/78496753920/acureforbrainwork-cosmic-kleptomaniac

acureforbrainwork:

cosmic-kleptomaniac:

dismantlethefeminism:

I do not understand this “male privilege” bullshit.

What. Fucking. Privileges. Do. Men. Have.???????

Name them. I swear, I challenge you to name these “male privileges” and be able to prove them.

Come on, I…

(Source: )

“Spiritual change is precisely a process that is bigger than you. You don’t control it. You surrender to it. You don’t reinvent yourself through spiritual work. You face yourself, and then you must let go of all the ghastly things you find. But there is no end to these ghastly things. They keep coming. The ego is a bottomless pit of suckiness. And so you finally let go of the self that clings to itself (one definition of ego). True freedom comes when ego goes.”

—   Shozan Jack Haubner, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Enlightenment” (via tricycle-tumbles)

(via gohomekiki)

“I have not read most of the big 19th — century novels that people consider “essential,” nor most of the 20th-century ones for that matter. But this does not embarrass me. There are many films to see, many friends to visit, many walks to take, many playlists to assemble and many favorite books to reread. Life’s too short for anxious score-keeping. Also, my grandmother is illiterate, and she’s one of the best people I know. Reading is a deep personal consolation for me, but other things console, too.”

—   Teju Cole, in response to the question, What books are you embarrassed not to have read yet?” (via ethiopienne)

(via flummery)