Woman Noir: Black Women in Media

When coming up with an idea for my activist project I thought about what kinds of ideas and issues I am passionate about. Since we are in the age of technology I knew that I wanted to do a social media based project. I decided to focus on the image(s) of black women presented in popular media.

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For my activism project I did a PSA on cultural appropriation.  I had different African American women speak on why cultural appropriation is wrong and why it upset them I had three women of all different ages speak on the subject and I added dialogue in myself. I incorporated pictures of the Kardashians who have been the biggest culture vultures lately, stealing everything from hairstyles, clothes, to body parts. At the end of my video I pleaded with young girls to love them because not only do they have something that is desired by most women in this new age but they are beautiful no matter what. Black women are the most neglected and disrespected race of people in America we are called undesirable, ugly, ghetto, and blamed for the raising of thugs. When you put this kind of weight and negativity to a black woman then they begin to see themselves as just that. This causes a huge problem in self-esteem and self-love, which in turn can be very detrimental to a woman’s psyche. This PSA although a small PSA is just to inform the public what cultural appropriation is and inform them that contrary to what the media portrays it is unacceptable. During this project I really thought I was going to be able to make this like a high class video that a lot of youtubers can accomplish but I contacted a youtuber and she informed me you need lights, backgrounds and a camera that has really good pixelation  which would be quite costly for a project, next time I would definitely maybe try and find someone from the photography department who was a little skilled in videography and such things to perhaps work on the project with me so it wouldn’t be such a rough copy and could be more polished. What also didn’t work was I had intended there to be a discussion to go along with the PSA but because of how heated and the language used in the debate I decided to pull it. I would definitely have participators more aware that they are engaging in a discussion about school and can’t use such language to demonstrate their feelings. Also, I asked most people to just talk about what makes them upset about cultural appropriation which is a long list of things and people just went off on random tangents, next time I will have set questions to ask my interviewee’s as to prevent this from happening.  However, even though these glitches occurred I have definitely become more aware of my role on this planet as an activist. When seeing an injustice I now often question myself on what I can do to make it better, I didn’t know that so many things upset me until this project. Cultural appropriation is just one of many things that aren’t right in the world, transgender rights, our perpetuating rape culture, police brutality are all issues that need to be addressed and it’s going to take someone who is really passionate about them to stand up and do something I now use my Instagram and Facebook to speak out against these issues. I learned not only from this project but from this entire class that activism no matter how small can make a difference in the world.

To check out my PSA against culture appropriation you can Click Hereblack girl magic

You Are Beautifully And Wonderfully Made

You Are Beautifully And Wonderfully Made

My project has changed into one that is a lot more personal than when I started. I originally I wanted to work with the group that was presenting the Vagina Monologues this year at UMBC. I was drawn to this play after attending it about a year ago. So when the opportunity came up to be a part of it I jumped on it. After researching the origin of the play the vagina monologues I realized that it sparked a fire in me. I have been mentoring and helping young people for many years. This project has made me realized that I was already operating as an activist. Continue reading

Dorothea Dix: Prison and Asylum Reform and Reconstruction

     Before she became a symbol for prison reform and separate institutions for the mentally ill, Dorothea Dix was a child growing up in New England in the early 1800s. Her childhood was difficult; her father was an abusive alcoholic and her mother suffered from mental illness. Because she was the oldest and her parents were often incompetent, Dorothea found herself taking care of her younger brothers. She claims that she “never knew childhood.” Continue reading

Stand Up and Do Something!

Girl-on-girl hate. There is so much of this in the world that Hollywood decided to make a movie about it.  (“Mean Girls”, anyone?) Why is it that women are so catty with each other? It’s sad that this has become of the norm and people brush it off as if it’s no big deal.  How is that okay?  Continue reading

DIY Women’s Health Expo

ImageI’m the one to usually jump at any opportunity that is presented to me. I have a bit of a problem saying no or restraining myself. When I attended one of my first WILL meetings in September of 2012, one of the co-leaders asked the group if any of us wanted to head UMBC’s first Women’s Health Expo. Without thinking about it, I said yes and thus began my activism.

To me, activism means making people aware of a certain topic or problem. Personally, I don’t care enough about my body and health as I should. I don’t think I know enough about my body and health either. If I don’t care or know, then I don’t doubt that there are some people out there who face the same problem I do. I found an event like this ideal to learn more about myself as well as what I can do to better my body or what I can pay more attention to.

Here is a DIY guide on how you can host your own Women’s Health Expo:

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