Black Girl Beat: Issue 2

Happy Sunday! Here’s your Black Girl Beat for (last) week. It would’ve been uploaded yesterday, but I went to the Formation World Tour last night (blog post about that coming soon) so I was a bit preoccupied. I’ve also started a site the aggregate these stories for easier consumption and you can find it riiiiiight ~*here*~

A lot happened last week, but here are some of my favorite pieces to keep you updated.


Photo: Thinkstock

#RapedbyMorehouse Forces Us to Examine Painful HBCU Truths by Jamilah Lemieux via EBONY Magazine 

I thought it best to start off with what I believe to be the most pressing and important topics to come out of this week.  Written by Jamilah Lemieux (who follows me on Twitter, hollaaaaa), this partial anecdote lays out how the #RapedbyMorehouse hashtag coincided with her recent talk about sexual assault on the campus. What transpires is the story we’ve all seen before: victim-blaming, protection of higher-ups, denial, and pretty much the opposite of any justice being sought. I’ve heard this topic talked about to death, but I’ve never been privy to this conversation as it relates to HBCU’s, and this article definitely opened my eyes about how sexual assault and rape operates in the Black community. There is the usual slut-shaming, misogyny, and sexism, but the added layer of scrutiny from the Black community makes this even more devastating. The solidarity we crave amongst each other seems to be friable in the wake of sexual assault claims and institutions are made out to be more important than the wellbeing of one another. This article, the hashtag, and the comments in the aftermath hurt to read, but it’s important to do so in order for us to do better.
– 5 minute read


Photo: AFP

Uber’s racism argument to deter tipping also applies for customer ratings by Joshua Brustein via LiveMint

When is Uber not in the news for doing something dumb, amirite? This time it’s about tipping, so guess who’s getting shortchanged. There’s a long history between Black people and tipping, one deeply rooted in racism and that still plays out today, so of course Uber would be involved in this. In Uber’s defense (something I never thought I’d say) racial biases are impossible to solve in a day, but having drivers ask for a tip doesn’t seem like it’ll solve the problem, especially since it’s a pretty well known fact that Black people in any service industry are always tipped less than their white counterparts. This is hardly a solution to this problem, and hopefully Uber realizes it soon.
4 minute read


Photo: LightRocket via Getty Images

Listen to Every Word Janet Mock Has to Say about Trans Black Women by Lauren Duca via Teen Vogue 

I love Janet Mock, y’all. If you follow me on Twitter *ahem* you’ve undoubtedly seen me profess my love for her time and time again. Here, she talks about how overlooked Black trans women are and how much issues they face are downplayed, and how ignoring that only serves to fuel the violence against them. It’s a captivating speech, because everything she does is amazing, but it is also incredibly informative. It’s always hard to be confronted with your own biases, but if making yourself uncomfortable and listening to this speech helps improve the safety of Black trans girls, it’s worth it.
1 minute read, 1 hour 40 minute video


Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Idris Elba To Star In John Ridley Limited Series ‘Guerrilla’ For Sky & Showtime by Nellie Andreeva via Deadline

Bae of all baes, Idris Elba is ready to blow our minds yet again, with his latest project having the added bonus of being Black as hell. In all honesty, I’ve never give any thought about a Black Power Movement in England, let alone anywhere else that’s not the United States (which I guess makes me shamefully US-centric, and that is just so sad). This project is exciting to me because this is a part of history I’ve never even heard about, so I’m sure this show will be absolutely captivating. What’s even more interesting is that Elba has family ties to the Black British movement, so it’ll be interesting how that plays. The project is still in the beginning stages, but I have a feeling this will be undoubtedly exciting, so keep this one in mind.
– 3.5 minute read


Photo: WH.GOV

15 Best Jokes From President Obama at His Final Nerd Prom by Luvvie via Awesomely Luvvie

Awesomely Luvvie continues to be one of my favorite blogs to read because her articles are so fresh and fun. And her short list of President Obama’s WHCD jokes are a good recap of how absolutely hilarious that night was. Definitely one of the books. Obama OUT🎙
– 4 minute read


Photo: Reuters/Danny Moloshok

Diversity In Hollywood? Number Of LGBT Movie Characters Static, Increasingly Less Racially Diverse: Study by Tim Marcin via IBTimes

Let’s be honest here: try to think of the last film you saw that had a queer character in it. And not a stereotypical gay guy with an ascot or a lesbian with spikes on her jean vest. An honest, accurate portrayal of queerness. Now try to think of the last time you saw this character and they weren’t white. GLAAD is pissed, and for good reason. The numbers of queer characters in film are stagnant, and queer characters of color are on the decline. There’s a lot of stuff at play here including box office numbers, film ratings and profits, so maybe production companies are worried that films with gays won’t appeal to the general public or make money (but are fine as punchlines). Whatever the excuse, this meager amount of representation is weak and needs to change.
1.5 minute read


Photo: Paramount

Why It’s Silly To Exclude People Of Color From Fantasy And Scifi by Zeba Blay via Huffington Post

This is another topic that has been talked about to death because it honestly makes about thiiiiiiiiiiis much sense. People of color are routinely excluded from…well, everything, but more specifically fantasy and sci-fi and all under the excuse that these fictional beings and beasts are a actually white. It’s ridiculous. I know it. You know it. Here are 10 gifs for you to share with someone who, for no good reason, does not know it.
– 1 minute read


Photo: AP/Susan Walsh

Did Larry Wilmore Finally Break the N-Word By Using It at the President? by Gregory Carr via EBONY Magazine

You’ve seen the clip. You’ve heard the awkward silence. You’ve read (or avoided) thinkpieces about Wilmore’s comments. It’s cool, this topic has been talked about to death. But this article is my favorite of the bunch about this because of the way Gregory Carr breaks it down, looking at Black comedy as a whole and how it operates under the white gaze. It’s a quick read that makes references and callbacks to comedians of the past and present to in order to explain Wilmore’s speech.
– 6.5 minute read


Photo: Jennifer Silverberg

Roxane Gay on Lemonade: ‘by the power of Beyoncé, I’ll overcome my fear’ by Nicole Lee via The Guardian

Roxane Gay is an excellent speaker and writer, and it’s always fascinating to hear what she has to say. This time, she revels in the truth of herself, which she says Beyoncé’s LEMONADE has helped her in doing. This article is great because it displays the continuing trend of Black women allowing themselves to be vulnerable after hearing Beyoncé be so raw and unapologetically herself on her game-changing album. I’m 100% here for this trend, and ecstatic that Roxane Gay opened up about her fears and had the courage to tell us about it.
– 3 minute read


Photo: Lupita Nyong’o via Instagram

Lupita Nyong’o Claps Back at Vogue, Sets the Record Straight About Met Gala Hair Inspiration by Yesha Callahan via The Root

Lupita did not come to play with you hoes. White media yet again attempts to claim a facet of Black fashion as their own and we are not having it. Lupita is especially not about it and claps back in the classiest of ways because she is a precious cupcake.
– 1 minute read


Photo: ThinkStock

#MediaSoWhite: No Clue About Blackness? No Problem! by Jamilah Lemieux via EBONY Magazine

Jamilah Lemieux is one of my favorite writers in case you couldn’t tell. This piece is an excellent criticism of media that have strict rules against writing on topics you have no idea about, but throw that rule right out the window whenever it comes to commentating on blackness, and specifically Black womanhood. Any time anything about Black women is released, there is a flood of content commentating and critiquing it, and a bulk of it is from white people (and often Black men) who have no clue what they’re talking about. The oversaturation of unchecked commentary on Black women is maddening and does not fall in line with these apparent journalistic standards many media outlets claim to uphold. So why does this keep happening? (You know why.)
– 4 minute read


Photo: Getty

Advice to Malia Obama on How to Make the Most of Harvard by Melissa Harris-Perry via ELLE

Ashes to ashes, dust to Obama haters. Melissa Harris-Perry is here to celebrate Malia Obama’s tremendous achievement of attending Harvard and offers up some important advice by Black women who came before her. While this article may be aimed at Malia and any Black girl headed to an Ivy League, it is a great guide on how to navigate anything as a Black woman. From being bolder to being aware yet unafraid of failure, these tips translate well to many situations and how we can best achieve success.
– 12 minute read

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