Tag: LGBT

BHM: Marielle Franco – The Voice of the People Who Had No Voice

Marielle Franco (Photo: Property of Midia Ninja)

In solidarity with our brothers and sisters who were spread out all through the Americas, we aim to build a stronger bridge between African Americans in North America to African Americans in Latin America, the deeper south. Thus, to officially close out this Black History Month, Good Black News presents… Marielle Franco.

Marielle Franco was an African American from Brazil who fought for human rights in a country that has never had a Martin Luther King, Jr.

During three centuries of international slave trade, over ten times as many Africans were enslaved and trafficked to Brazil than the U.S. Marielle Franco proudly served as the rising hope and promise for a better future for these descendants of enslaved Africans in a country where blackface is currently accepted as “normal” entertainment on TV, movies and at community celebrations. It is also the place where the overall deplorable treatment of African Americans needs to be vitally changed.

Marielle proved a deeply committed love for the people of her community. She tirelessly fought to protect the black community, the poor, women, and the LGBT+ community from violence and discrimination. This phenomenal woman didn’t seek power. With a loving approach, she merely accepted the mission presented before her by saying the things that needed to be said and fighting the battles that needed to be fought.

While serving with a fearless commitment, she paid the ultimate price. In her short 38 years of life, Marielle accomplished much while overcoming incredible odds in order to do so.

Born in the vulnerable area of Maré, Rio De Janeiro, Marielle began working at the age of 11 to help her parents pay for school. At 19, she began raising her daughter as a single mother while working as a teacher and earning a scholarship to one of the highest ranking universities in all of Latin America, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio De Janeiro.

Marielle was one of two black students attending the university even though the country of Brazil is over 50% black. She graduated with an emphasis in social sciences and went on to complete her master’s degree in public administration at Fluminense Federal University. After graduation, Marielle worked for civil society organizations and shaped the state legislature’s Committee for the Defense of Human Rights and Citizenship.

Marielle’s life experiences, studies, and work inspired her to run for Rio’s City Council despite the overwhelmingly high number of white men who dominated the field. In 2016, Marielle won her campaign with the 5th highest number of votes out of a pool of 1,500 candidates.

During her career as councilwoman, Marielle served as President of the Council’s Women’s Defense Commission. She spoke out about the violence that inequalities create among poor areas and proposed bills as solutions to the systematic injustices plaguing her community.

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“For Colored Girls” 40th Anniversary Commemorated In New York Art Exhibition

ntozake_shangeCommemorating the 40th anniversary of Ntozake Shange’s groundbreaking choreopoem For Colored Girls is an introspective exhibition, i found god in myselfwhich is kicking off the fall season at The New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture from Sept. 19 to January 2015.  Her work i found god in myself explores issues of femininity and gender, love and loss, empowerment and sisterhood.

Since its debut performance in California in 1974, Shange’s work has captivated, provoked, inspired and transformed audiences all over the world. Since, the work has remained a cornerstone of feminist, black, and LGBTQ-theory studies in colleges and theaters alike, both in the United States and abroad.

Shange is a past recipient of the The Women of Power Legacy Award, which recognizes outstanding impact, achievement and leadership by women in business, the arts, education, government and other influential industries. Black Enterprise recognized Shange in 2011 for her body of work as a playwright, poet, and self-proclaimed feminist who addressed issues relating to race and gender.

Turning to the choreopoem not simply as an engaging work of text or drama but as a well of social, political and deeply personal issues affecting the lives of women of color, the New York exhibition will feature 20 specially commissioned pieces in honor of each individual poem, additional non-commissioned artworks on display at satellite locations that address the work’s themes and archival material donated by Shange. The exhibition’s title is drawn from one of the last lines recited in the finale poem a laying on of hands. The title suggests that navigating through the complexities of what it means to be of color and female is only enlightened by an understanding, acceptance and appreciation of self. With self-empowerment comes the process of  “…moving to the ends of their own rainbows.”

Continue reading ““For Colored Girls” 40th Anniversary Commemorated In New York Art Exhibition”

Julian Bond, NAACP Chairman Emeritus, Tracks African-American Support For Gay Marriage

For years, the so-called National Organization for Marriage, the anti-gay group at the helm of many campaigns opposing the freedom to marry, has made it their focus to “drive a wedge between gays and blacks,” a strategy specifically outlined in a series of classified documents that came to light earlier this year. The organization has tried desperately to pit minority group against minority group in its efforts to push its agenda.

But in recent months, we’ve seen time and time again that NOM’s efforts are failing. African-American support for the freedom to marry is at an all-time high, and it continues to increase steadily as we approach the November 6 election. Our first African-American president also became the first sitting president to announce his support for ending the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. And the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), a longtime supporter of the LGBT community, adopted an official resolution in favor of the freedom to marry back in May of this year.

Today, Julian Bond, chairman emeritus of the NAACP published an editorial about why the marriage campaign in Maryland matters. Continue reading “Julian Bond, NAACP Chairman Emeritus, Tracks African-American Support For Gay Marriage”