#LoveMeLike is a beautiful and affirming hashtag started by @Blackamazon with over 6,000 tweets published where Black women spoke honestly about the type of love we need and deserve. This wasn’t just about romantic love in a heteronormative frame (especially for me as an ace) as some would expect but about love as affirmation of humanity, as power and as justice, which would include that aforementioned frame and much more. The Huffington Post's Black Voices featured the hashtag and included my first tweet above in the article Hashtag #LoveMeLike Takes Twitter By Storm As Black Women Share Empowering Messages. To see all of the tweets sent from everyone, not just my own on my own blog, click the hashtag link above.
The hashtag surfaced after a few Black men asked what do Black men love about Black women and unfortunately many (not all) of the replies only mentioned Black women as objects of labor or loyalty, not as humans worth loving outside of service. @Blackamazon asked:
Black women, how do we want to be loved? How do we need to be loved? Because we can love Black women. But do we love Black women enough to honor their requests, their self determination? It’s easy to love something when you feel it can’t make demands back but LOVE, loving someone to be the best they want to be?
One complaint that I saw surface was that the conversation was too “political.” I mentioned this:
Personal is political. If you think love—especially for Black women—doesn’t involve the political, you’ve gotta re-examine the last four centuries. When Black men name reasons they don’t love Black women, most are shaped by patriarchy and the White Gaze. And those two things are political. How love is expressed is more than sexual romantic and matters for Black women more than just dating. Thus, to claim Black women are “forcing” feminism into love? No. If lack of love we receive is shaped by oppression, we need anti-oppression terms. Anti-oppression is inherently personal. There is no way to remove my need for humanity and freedom from discussions on love.
Of course self-love is critical, but self-love alone is not justice. Again, love is more than romantic, sexual, or heteronormative. Love isn’t about “earning” humanity through “respectability,” through others’ perception of Black women having "enough" self esteem to be deemed lovable or having our humanity on trial to just to gain basic respect. Black women knowing how we want to be loved matters.
I found this tag to be very moving and affirming and I’m glad to have been a part of it. It’s a womanist act to see ourselves worthy of love and to be able to name what that love looks like, especially since Black women being denied our humanity, let alone love, is standard in this oppressive society.
Love me like you have the willingness to affirm what I’ve stated here for myself and for other Black women who relate without the need to derail this post or harm me.
"Without justice there can be no love." - bell hooks
because he is black and noble and brown and righteous and upon first meeting him i simply said:
"dear brother, just so you know, i love you harder than this country has worked your soul"
Left class for a bit because I was feeling a bit anxious…overheard some things…
"You have to watch Birth of A Nation, but don’t let the kids see. It’s borrrrrring " (A professor told a student)
"White people get made fun of too, why aren’t there any Black people -(seen me around the corner so they stopped talking)"
Lol not trying to be discrete at all…
"Ten years ago, when I started my career as an assistant district attorney in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, I viewed the American criminal justice system as a vital institution that protected society from dangerous people. I once prosecuted a man for brutally attacking his wife with a flashlight, and another for sexually assaulting a waitress at a nightclub. I believed in the system for good reason.
But in between the important cases, I found myself spending most of my time prosecuting people of color for things we white kids did with impunity growing up in the suburbs. As our office handed down arrest records and probation terms for riding dirt bikes in the street, cutting through a neighbor’s yard, hosting loud parties, fighting, or smoking weed – shenanigans that had rarely earned my own classmates anything more than raised eyebrows and scoldings – I often wondered if there was a side of the justice system that we never saw in the suburbs. Last year, I got myself arrested in New York City and found out.
On April 29, 2012, I put on a suit and tie and took the No. 3 subway line to the Junius Avenue stop in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Brownsville. At the time, the blocks around this stop were a well-known battleground in the stop-and-frisk wars: Police had stopped 14,000 residents 52,000 times in four years. I figured this frequency would increase my chances of getting to see the system in action, but I faced a significant hurdle: Though I’ve spent years living and working in neighborhoods like Brownsville, as a white professional, the police have never eyed me suspiciously or stopped me for routine questioning. I would have to do something creative to get their attention.
As I walked around that day, I held a chipboard graffiti stencil the size of a piece of poster board and two cans of spray paint. Simply carrying those items qualified as a class B misdemeanor pursuant to New York Penal Law 145.65. If police officers were doing their jobs, they would have no choice but to stop and question me.
I kept walking and reached a bodega near the Rockaway Avenue subway station. Suddenly, a young black man started yelling at me to get out of Brownsville, presumably concluding from my skin color and my suit that I did not belong there. Three police officers heard the commotion and came running down the stairs. They reached me and stopped.
‘What’s going on?’ one asked.
‘Nothing,’ I told them.
‘What does that say?’ the officer interrupted me, incredulously, as the other two gathered around. I held the stencil up for them to read.
‘What are you, some kind of asshole?’ he asked.
I stood quietly, wondering whether they would arrest me or write a summons. The officers grumbled a few choice curse words and then ran down the stairs in pursuit of the young man. Though I was the one clearly breaking a law, they went after him.
I continued west, through Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, and then north through Fort Greene, carrying the stencil, talking to residents. I crossed the Brooklyn Bridge and arrived at City Hall. I walked around the building a few times, and then went down Broadway to the Wall Street Bull. From Brownsville to downtown Manhattan, I would estimate that I passed more than 200 police officers, some from a distance, some close enough to touch. Though I was conspicuously casing high-profile public targets while holding graffiti instruments, not one of them stopped, frisked, searched, detained, summonsed, or arrested me. I would have to go further.
I walked up to the east entrance of City Hall and tagged the words ‘N.Y.P.D. Get Your Hands Off Me’ on a gatepost in red paint. The surveillance video shows me doing this, 20 feet from the police officer manning the gate. I moved closer, within 10 feet of him, and tagged it again. I could see him inside watching video monitors that corresponded to the different cameras.
As I moved the can back and forth, a police officer in an Interceptor go-cart saw me, slammed on his brakes, and pulled up to the curb behind me. I looked over my shoulder, made eye contact with him, and resumed. As I waited for him to jump out, grab me, or Tase me, he sped away and hung a left, leaving me standing there alone. I’ve watched the video a dozen times and it’s still hard to believe.”
- Bobby Constantino, “I Got Myself Arrested So I Could Look Inside the Justice System”
If he were black, the news story would have been, “Cops shoot and kill vagrant defacing government property; said his spray-paint can looked like a gun.”
This is for all of the individuals claiming that stop and frisk is not an inherently racist policy conceived by an inherently racist institution.
The institution is composed of and managed by the racist descendents of the same paddy rollers who caught and sometimes murdered runaway or freed slaves.
The policy, itself, relies on the perception of police officers, none of whom are properly trained to uphold justice, none of whom are psychologically or sociologically prepared for administering fairness in a culturally diverse environment, none of whom are equipped to protect the dignity or rights of the communities they invade.
Here is one white man’s testimony of just how blatantly racist the institution and policy are. If this is unbelievable to you, it is because you have been, regrettably, asleep.
But it is time you took the red pill and left the dream world for the real one.
H/T Felicia Gray
I’m rarely on tumblr now …
realghostly asked: In your opinion, what does Nigeria have to do to better itself?
I might sound like a savage, but a lot of older people and ideologies need to simply need to die
They also need to bleed. No one wants to fight, see the thing I love about America is despite the ignorance, people would literally die for this country, no one wants to die for Nigeria.
People need to educate themselves, the effects of colonialism is still rampant and a lot of Nigerians don’t know their own history.
FInally, listen to Fela Kuti’s music, he said what was wrong with the country in the 70s and 80s and it still bodes strongly to this day.
There’s a lot I want to say on this, but that’s a general synopsis.
you lost me.
Malachite with Chrysocolla
Partially polished Stalactite