Black Babes to Follow on Instagram

Ashleigh Nicole Tribble

Munroe Bergdorf

Alisha Reed

Tabitha Brown

Rachel Cargle

Christy DeGallerie

Ericka Hart

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This is an excerpt of an OP ED that I tried to have published detailing my experience at @glsen in 2017, I was told “it’s not written in the style of an OP ED” – White people protect each other at every level. ⠀ In the first three weeks that I was employed, two Black trans women were murdered. I asked the same excited colleague about my Women’s March speech, the Director of Communications (white cis man), if we would be talking about them on the organizations social media, and he told me “the organization is about youth issues, so their deaths were out of scope.” I told him that this was interesting considering that the organization had done work and raised awareness about the Pulse shooting. He was surprised that I had done my research, but went on to tell me that, “living in the West Village he is in fear everyday walking down the street holding hands with his white partner, so writing about everyone’s issues in the LGBTQ community wouldn’t be feasible”. ⠀ I sat in awe. ⠀ I took this all the way to the Executive Director. She agreed with him. But, also told me that her adopted daughter was Black. ⠀ I guess that was supposed to make me comfortable or shut me up. ⠀ I was the only Black Director they had to date. I sat in meetings where I was the only Black person. I was talked over. Eyes were rolled at my ideas. Or they were restated by a white cis man and his thoughts were considered novel. “I love this idea, but it’s just not possible right now.” I wondered why I was hired. ⠀ At what point does your memory stop holding microaggressions and let them go as a form of self care? At what point, do I stop reliving painful experiences for change to happen? ⠀ Things said to me: “You are hampering racial justice efforts at the organization.” – Executive Director ⠀ “If you are so unhappy here, you can just leave.” – Executive Director ⠀ Don’t read this and think this only happened at GLSEN. It happens in every organization where there are Black people. EVERY SINGLE ONE. ⠀ If you thought LGBTQ organizations were somehow exempt from their anti Black racism, think again. Listen to Black people, especially those around you. If there are none around you, question that too.

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Spirit McIntyre

Brittany Packnett Cunningham

Sanashihla

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So, can we just take a moment to shout out the young people of New Orleans though? If there is nothing else that I accomplish in this life, my greatest desire is to invest in others around me, and the generations to come. And so, when I see young people rise like this, it’s all worth it. The first photo are some of the young folk participating in their very first demonstration (5/30: 📸 @fotografi.ando) against police terror. The remaining images are these same brilliant and inspirational beings leading their own rally and march (6/6) of well over 1,000 people. And despite all of the push back they received from people determined to deter them from leading their own action, they did it and the rain was not one bit of a concern to them. On the morning of, when I asked what decision they wanted to make in the face of inclement weather, the response I got was (and I quote): “Ms. Ang our people are suffering rain or shine, so we marching rain or shine.” Chiiiiilllle, I got up, put my shoes on and proceeded with their plan. In my almost 10 years of living in New Orleans, this moment was my absolute confirmation that the next generation of movement workers are not here for the bull. Again, when we do not have police interference and the young people can move freely as needed to express themselves, they will apply the guiding principles and take care of themselves and each other. When they asked who among the crowd would step forward if impacted by state sanctioned violence so they could show each other Rays of Love, yeah, that did it for me. I love you New Orleans. ❤️| #GeorgeFloyd #BreonnaTaylor #AhmaudArbery #TonyMcDade #ModestoReyes #NewOrleans #PPE #PTO #LIVINGWages #HazardPay #COVID19 #Resist #Protest #Educate #Agitate #Organize #TakeEmDownNOLA #NewOrleansWorkersGroup #PeoplesAssemblyNOLA #NOHWA | How we gon’ make New Orleans Rise? Educate. Agitate. Organize!

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Monique Melton

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Correction & condemnation are not the same. In this work of anti-racism, you will all mess up. And when you mess up, you will be corrected. Correction is not only a part of this work, it is this work. But you don’t know how to take correction. White folks, one of the reasons y’all are fumbling all over the place in showing up for Black lives in a way that is less about you and actually about us is that you’re just winging it. You’re making it up as you go, as though there are no tools or resources available for you to do this work. It’s a slap in the face to see so many of the very people I’ve personally tried to bring into this work, do the very things they would know not to do had they actually invested in the work & committed to it. But you’re messing up so much because you’re operating from the lens & conditioning of white supremacy that has influenced the way you do everything in the world. Including your internalized resistance to following and taking leadership from Black women. Collectively, where have you seen it consistently & routinely properly modeled & reinforced through systems of power of how to follow, listen and pay Black womxn in way that is affirming of our Blackness… our humanity? You have not. Not in your socialization, your classrooms, neighborhoods, jobs, government…not anywhere. But you’ve seen the opposite…silencing, ignoring and exploiting Black womxn and you’ve seen it reinforced through systems of power. And even right now, you’re reinforcing the patterns of oppression specifically w/ Black womxn. Even though you’re not trying to…yet the intent does not negate the impact. You’re used to doing the very thing you’re doing now:: silencing, ignoring, speaking for or over, and exploiting us. It’s normal for you to overlook what we have to say as if it doesn’t matter because for far too long it hasn’t mattered to you. Keep swiping to read it all before commenting. Also do not ask me for more time and labor to clarify or explain any of this to you. Instead sign up for a class or program & get to work. And tag someone you want to bring along with you in this work…especially the white influencers out here messing up too.

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Ashonta Wyatt