Black women were my biggest inspiration this year and every year. We've been shaking the table on pretty much every front: feminism, politics, music, media, and existing in general. The women below wrote insightful pieces that changed my perspective and/or verbalized so many feelings I couldn’t articulate this year.
Who Gets To Be Angry
Roxane Gay examines who is granted permission to be angry, and how that permission is gendered and racialized.
The Blac Chyna/Kardashian Saga, Told As A Game Of Thrones Plotline
Possibly my favorite thing to ever happen on the internet.
Social Media Got You Down? Be More Like Beyoncé
Jenna Wortham explores how we use the internet in 2016, and how we could be more like Beyoncé.
Black Health Matters
On how Black trauma is affecting the health — mental, physical, and otherwise — of Black people.
Underrated Moments In Black History: Angela Bassett Slaps A White Woman
My other favorite thing to ever happen on the internet, and in movie history.
We Need A Decolonized, Not A Diverse Education
On why diversity is not enough, and what a decolonized education could look like.
Hillary Clinton, Betty Shelby, And “Solidarity” With Powerful White Women
Samudzi writes: “A number of white women claimed it was some kind of inequity that Betty Shelby was charged but not the many, many white men who have also wrongfully killed black people. But is that what gender equity looks like? Does it really look like the ability to similarly deal in fatal anti-black violence with impunity because our sole and unnuanced aspiration as ‘women’ is to be treated the same as men?”
Zoé Samudzi and Tamara Winfrey Harris
Being And Reclaiming Ourselves: A Conversation On Sexuality, Respectability, And The Pressures Of Black Girlhood
Samudzi and Harris discuss how growing up a Black girl shaped their experiences with sexuality.
Followers Of The Yoruba Faith Reflect On The Impact Of Beyoncé’s Lemonade
Alcantara speaks with followers of the Yoruba faith on Lemonade: “I remember distinctly whispering ‘Maferefun Ochún’ when I saw the doors and the waterfalls coming down the stairs.”
Stop Condemning My Bitterness, Start Condemning The System
Just, yes. To all of it. YES.
I Never Wanted Nate Parker’s Revolution
I read a lot of Nate Parker think-pieces this year. This is my favorite.
I Hope Millennials Ask For Money Until We All Have Enough
Millennials are really good at crowdfunding, but, according to Matti, it’s not because we’re entitled. It’s because a lot of us do not have money to survive.
When Black Joy Has White Witnesses
“So much of white approval of Black joy is about easing their own white guilt, believing everything’s amended," writes Matti. "It’s about pretending the past doesn’t touch and taint the present. It’s about pretending that legacy doesn’t lord over us.”