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Black Womanist 🎓Ph.D. Student | EIC of Cultured | 🖋@ ZORA & Momentum | #WEOC Co-founder | | I 🤎 ☕️

Black Lives Matter

Blaming the victim’s genes became a strategy to avoid scrutiny

Photo by Michael Longmire on Unsplash

Whenever a Black person dies in police custody, officers turn over their body to the medical examiner. Afterward, officials publicize their cause of death. Should we trust their analysis? Perhaps, but not blindly. Medical examiners work closely with police departments and have enormous power over how the public views deaths which occur in police custody.

According to groundbreaking reporting by the New York Times, medical examiners obscured victims’ causes of deaths by conflating the presence of the sickle cell trait with full-blown sickle cell anemia. Authorities stunned, pepper-sprayed, and in some cases deprived suspects of oxygen. …

Black Lives Matter protesters couldn’t get away with this

Photo: via Twitter @laurennmcc

Nearly 1,000 White college students gathered to party in Columbus, Ohio. They came to celebrate the “Chitt Fest,” a series of spring block parties. But this year, their brand of fun included damaging property and flipping seven cars. When the police responded, the revelers seem unfazed and unbothered. Flipping cars without a care is the apex of White privilege.

The officers responded to the event from a distance. Using a megaphone, they said, “They’ll come down when it’s safe for them.” When it comes to confronting Black protesters, police seem to have the will of fire. Yet, when it comes…

Giving the police the benefit of the doubt undermines the victims

Naisha Wright, Daunte Wright’s aunt, with members of George Floyd’s family. Photo: Stephen Maturen / Getty Images

Protesters took to the streets after hearing the news. A Brooklyn Center officer shot and killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright. Many wondered how this could happen again. Another unarmed Black man lost his life from a police encounter. Wright died a few miles away from Minneapolis, where George Floyd’s death played on repeat. The jury has yet to deliberate Derek Chauvin’s guilt, though that day will soon arrive. The physical and thematic proximity of these cases shocked an already grieving community. Kim Potter, a 26-year-old veteran of the force, and the police chief have since resigned from their positions. But, before…

Systemic racism robs children of their innocence

Photo: Earl Wilcox/Unsplash

In North Carolina, officers arrested a six-year-old Black boy for picking a tulip near his bus stop. The aftermath of this flower-picking incident shows racism can blossom at any time. Inequality doesn’t wait until a Black person reaches a particular age or milestone. Rather, systemic racism starts impacting children at a young age and never stops. It seems Black innocence is like petals, lost to the wind.

Currently, America doesn’t have a federal law that protects children as young as six from arrest. Each state decides at what age a person can stand trial. …

WEOC Profile

Photo Credit | Allison Gaines via Canva

Hi, world. I’m Allison, and I love writing about race, equality, women, and history. I’m interested in social sciences, which is why I’m a Ph.D. candidate. But, let’s get down to the fundamentals, who I am and what I stand for.

I’m a New Orleans native. That’s right. I’m from the very bottom of the map. And, while the South isn’t an ideal place to live for Black people, my family has found a way to make it work. We each found our niche. For me, it’s always been writing. Though I must admit, I’ve always been a radical. Even…


Separating fact from fiction

Photo Credit | Illustration by Terry Laban

As America emerges from its socially distanced bubble, “critical race theory” continues to dominate headlines. For those basking in white privilege, critically evaluating the racial caste system feels terrifying. They fear tectonic plates shifting beneath our social landmass.

Our nation is in the process of exchanging color-blind ideology with anti-racism. White people will have to take a good, hard look in the mirror and into their family albums. Some are afraid of the skeletons they will find, and others are leery of the theory that will make them take a look in the first place.

White people want to focus…

The FDA’s latest move provides a challenge for the Black community

A Newport menthol cigarette ad from 1965 | Photo Credit | The collection of Stanford Research Into the Impact of Tobacco Advertising

An older Black man leaned against a chain-link fence across the street from the market. He needed a break from work, and in our pocket of the French Quarter, smoking was the only way management would allow him to step away from the dish pit. Doctors told him he had lung cancer. He beat it before and continued to smoke one Green pack of Kools each day — those are the mentholated ones. He called them “joes,” and smiled, telling stories as the smoke passed in and out his mouth. No one could deny his age-old habit continued to cause…

Will other companies follow in their footsteps?

Disney says it's working to make its theme parks more inclusive. Charles Sykes/AP

If you grew up watching Disney movies, you probably noticed some common trends — family values and Whiteness. White princesses, princes, heroes, and villains dotted the Silver screen for decades. But Disney isn’t getting teary-eyed reminiscing over their whites-only past. Instead, they are taking leaps forward, applying a proactive approach to diversity.

Now that Disney introduced a White Privilege Checklist, they’re asking employees to check their privilege at the front door. Is the world ready for this type of diversity intervention at a Fortune 500 Company? We’re about to find out.

The document suggests that employees reflect on the diversity…

A quick summary for writers interested in diving into this hot topic

Photo Credit | Allison Gaines made via Canva

Hi there. If you haven’t heard the news, we’re starting our first WEOC project. As a collective, we will focus on educating the public about The 1619 Project. This ongoing initiative, created by Nikole Hannah-Jones explores American history starting with 1619. The goal of this project is to realign educational curricula to explore and encompass Black history.

While many of us grew up learning history through a white-washed lens, Nikole Hannah Jones’s 1619 Project encourages America to change course. …

Black Lives Matter

White supremacists infiltrated law enforcement. Now what?

Photo Credit | Amanda Lucier / for NBC News

Former Georgia Deputy Cody Griggers bragged in text messages about abusing his authority. “I’m going to charge them with whatever felonies I can to take away their ability to vote,” he wrote. The idea of an officer joyfully placing false charges on Black people is terrifying. Police officers wield an enormous amount of power over the communities they serve. Griggers’ statement shows how dangerous this position becomes when held by White supremacists.

He bragged about beating a Black man he had in custody. Showing no remorse whatsoever, he said it gave him “sweet stress relief.” At least that’s what he…

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