New Years Resolutions for Black people.

10 Things Black People Want In The New Year

These resolutions are must-do's.

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An incomplete list of things black people want in 2019.

1. Identity politics.

Reps.-elect Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) at freshmen orientation on Capitol Hill

and more specifically, race-based politicians.

To be fair, all politics today is identity politics. The problem is that almost all politicians feed the needs of the majority, and very few, the minorities,

In 2019, black people need more black politicians who aren't afraid to upset the white majority by running on a platform in which their main concern is to uplift black communities and have social and economic plans on how to do that. There are reasons to be concerned about the state of our democracy. President Orange, racist law enforcement, wars, children being locked in cages, tear gassed and starved to death along the boarder...all while fascists sit in government and pick their noses....

2. African American History classes.

"Bloody Sunday" display at the Center For Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, Georgia.

Ashleigh Haughton

...as mandated core class and not as electives. Black people are tired of learning about white history while our own is deemed inferior and thus unimportant, and we're tired of having to explain simple shit to inquiring minds who are old enough to read a book. Instead of "Huckleberry Fin" and "A Streetcar Named Desire", how about we make "The Middle Passage," "Kindred," and "The Souls of Black Folk" required reading?

In reality, many of us have great-grandparents who were born on slave plantations, and parents that grew up in the midst of the civil rights movement, so the plight of black people has always been all too familiar to us. Others, however, have surface level knowledge of black history. Do I need to remind you all of President Orange's unfortunate Black History Month speech in which he referred to Fredrick Douglass as "someone who has done a terrific job that is being recognized by more and more people." Bish, what?

3. Affordable natural hair products. 

Because $17.00 for 12oz of leave in condition is too damn much! We have seen this wave of black millennial women opting to stay or go back to natural, but dear God, it's expensive! There is no reason black beauty products should cost nearly twice the price of white (excuse me..."good for all textures") beauty products.

Maybe if they were more affordable, Walmart wouldn't feel the need to lock them behind glass cases in black neighborhoods...

We also need an end to shaming black women and young black girls for wearing their natural hair. That includes, but is not limited to, touching, poking, pulling, patting, saying things like "you should straighten it," or asking questions like, "do you wash it?"

4. To not be shot by police.

Scott Michael Greene was taken to his initial court appearance in Des Moines in 2016.

...when we have done nothing to deserve it. Sure, black people commit crimes (at the same rate as white people,) but we would just appreciate only being threatened with a gun when absolutely necessary. And if it isn't too much trouble, to be handcuffed and taken into custody, the same as our white counterparts.

Like, Scott Michael Greene, for example. You know, the Confederate flag waving white man who murdered two police officers, evaded custody for two hours, was captured two counties away and then brought in "without incident."

So let us end this narrative of police officers fearing for their lives when in the presence of BLACK suspects.

Please, and thank you.

5. Respect of black women.

Auntie Maxine

"The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman." - Malcolm X

Every day, we see black women attacked, harassed or embarrassed for their hair, for being loud, for being intelligent, for calling out injustices...etc. Through media, we see the callous way words are used to subjugate and crush black womanhood.

Take Rep. Maxine Waters for example. Aside from the death threats, President Orange continuously refers to her as "Crazy Maxine" for her anti-fascist rhetoric, and Bill O'Reilly has even gone as far as to criticize her hair for calling the Trump Administration "dangerous," as if it isn't.

6. To be free of racial stereotypes.

Though many might be considered harmless, funny or even a compliment, they are in fact all damaging and dehumanizing. To be honest, I imagine the young girl in this video growing up to destroy an innocent black man's life, and I bet her mother will have the same reaction.

7. Affordable and comprehensive healthcare.

Tweet about John McCain

James Baldwin once said, " Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor," and good GAWD, if that isn't the absolute truth.

Most black people I know just try really hard not to get sick or die, and while that may sound funny, it's actually quite terrible and unrealistic. An accident or disease should not put anyone in financial ruin, and these politicians know that. They also enjoy their own healthcare plans that the taxpayer pays for.

8. The federal legalization of marijuana.

Patrick Beadle

Along with the immediate release of every black person currently behind bars on marijuana charges. If Karen in Los Angeles can get a prescription for her 10-year-old son, then Marcus in Fort Lauderdale should not be tackled to the ground, handcuffed and jailed for an 8th of weed.

9. Criminal justice reforms.

Trayvon Martin

Zero police quotas, no stop and frisks, and doing away with three-strikes provisions and mandatory sentencing would be an excellent start!

Then we can tackle racial bias in the courtrooms, inmate slave labor, and the broken rehabilitation system.

10. A new standard of beauty.

Eloise Ambursley

One that encompasses black and brown women in not only skin color but also hair texture, physique, intelligence, and badass-ness.

Black women are tired of seeing the size 2, blond-haired, blue-eyed, barbie prototype plastered on every screen and in every magazine. Not only do very few women naturally look like that, but very few want to. Beauty is in every hue and in every woman.

We also know that representation matters! The cathartic experience of finally relating to a character on screen is one like no other. It gives little black girls, specifically, permission to be themselves, and as a black woman, I can tell you that often times the social climate of many environments demand that we hold back or even silence ourselves.

Let's make 2019 a lot better than 2018.

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5 Reasons Why Learning About Your Culture Is Essential

"A Nation's Culture Resides In The Hearts And In The souls Of Its People." ~Mahatma Gandhi
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1.) Immersing yourself in the stories of why, when, and where your family first came from and what it meant to them.

Listening to the origin stories your family shares is an important part of the lives who follow and should be taken with an optimistic mindset. Hearing of my father's travels from Europe (Italy) and the adversities he particularly faced upon establishing a life here in the states, both amazes and motivates me--someone who has everything and was brought into the "American Dream." My father arrived in New York in 1973 at the age of twelve with his parents; leaving his home and siblings in the mother country. Like many, America promised a better life and opportunity for those seeking refuge from the nations' troubles and a myriad of other reasons. Learning to speak the English tongue, as well as other dialects of Italian through friends and Spanish from trading words here and there, eventually, my father made a name for himself and started working with his hands. Further down the line, my father met my mother that also came from an Italian family that came here to the states; started a business and the rest is history...rather part of my history.

2.) Attaining and understanding part of your identity

People may sometimes think of their culture being something that was once worn like an article of clothing--it eventually wears down until it is disposed of; this is shameful if it is purposefully done. Like our gender, or our disposition; our we are made into a version of ourselves based off of extrinsic and intrinsic matter that ultimately etches us into a statue. Looking back at my childhood of two worlds combines with the best parts of either, my life could have been more tasteless if the traditions of my family and people before decided to leave the old at the waterline and start anew. Alas, that happens today with people of all ages either ignorant of why they are the way presumed or utter bliss in living completely the American way and everything that follows: media culture, stigmas, hostility towards change and clouded belief for the real issues plaguing our country.

3.) Knowing your history and culture helps us build a sense of pride.

Nationalism is not always the rebellious undertaking of "down with the government" due to oppression; it is also a beautiful word that means patriotic feelings, principles, or efforts regarding your claim for identity. To be honest, I am a proud nationalist regarding the heavily ingrained European culture adapting to the American culture; showing how I am both divided into a two cohorts that mesh into one. Keeping the struggles from our own individual past through the ages into the very place we reside in now aids in creating a sense of who we are and what we choose to be.

4.) Learning about your own culture helps to understand someone else's.

We live in a fish bowl filled with our own ignorance of the world surrounding us and the various culture outside of our privileged society. Essentially, learning how other people act within their way of life compared to our own is vital in comprehending how others view us as we might view them. Firstly, one needs to be around other cultures; there is no way around this to flow into the following step without interpersonal interaction. Secondly, when near people belonging to different cultures, keep an eye out for three things: moments of tension, any misunderstandings (body language, the tone of speech, physical contact), and anger.

5.) Keeping your language of origin alive serves more than being a creative tongue.

Keeping up with the language belonging to your culture is a great first accomplishment. One way of helping children (or anyone interested in their roots) appreciate divergence is the value of the slew of cultures and that each is different with equally significant importance. On the abstract side, stigmas are stories only partially told, the rest is glazed over with ignorance and fear of what was once a norm; now a strange shadow that follows many.

Bonus: You are what you say you are but also what you choose to let in.

Make peace with every aspect of your beautiful life and soul. Regardless of who or what binds you together, culture is only a sliver of that with the same, but very much different DNA that makes this the ultimate history lesson.

Cover Image Credit: Afterschool Snack

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I Want My School To Be As Diverse As Their Advertisements Claim They Are

Several campuses pride themselves on a wide range of individuals who attend their institutions, but what is the reality versus the things we see?

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When deciding on a college I wanted to know what I was going to be getting myself into for 4 years. I watched so many videos of Boise State Universities campus to find out what I had to look forward to. I was from a smaller town in Southern California so I was very used to the amount of diversity in my school and basically whole life at that point. I am a White Mexican-American female and while growing up in my city, I was a part of the minority of white individuals. I always wanted a campus who would represent me, or I could see myself at. I looked at so many ads before I did a campus tour and looked at stacks of brochures scattered across my room with my sister. I saw people who looked like the friends I had throughout my life, my family, and most importantly myself.

I took two tours of the campus and noticed that there was a lack of the people I saw on the brochures on the actual campus and city. I walked around only really seeing individuals who were white. I drove the 14 hours back home and continued to think about how I didn't see the diversity that was advertised in everything I saw from the university. It wasn't until the big move-in day that I realized the lack of diversity I was experiencing in the staff and the individuals I shared classrooms with. When you check the university's website you can see the numbers and the lack of diversity.

  • American Indian/Alaska Native — <1% (118)
  • Asian — 2% (595)
  • Black/African American — 2% (425)
  • Hispanic/Latino — 13% (3,243)
  • Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander — <1% (121)
  • Not Reported — 4% (914)
  • Two or More Races — 4% (1.079)
  • White — 73% (18,612)
  • Nonresident (International) — 2% (433)

The numbers I was seeing wasn't matching the things I was seeing around, and it wasn't until I conducted my own research and interviews with my peers that I noticed that I wasn't the only individual that was craving more diversity on campus. Other students wanted to more people who were like them around campus. Boise State University is not the only campus that will push diversity when its really to only meet their quota. Students who transferred from Arizona State University also mentioned to me that they face similar issues and feelings around diversity from their campus. I want to bring the topic of diversity to many of the student organizations on campus to help our voice be heard for a want for a more diverse campus.

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