Moodboards

It’s the season for giving and we are counting down to gifting time. Here are some things on our list that we are excited to give (and receive!) this holiday season.

Clockwise from top left: “You Got the Whole Wide World” ASATT sweatshirt, $70, available on Saint Heron until Dec 22; Fenty Beauty Stunna lip paint, $24, Sephora; Tsubota Pearl Latitude lighter, $35, Maimoun; The Autobiography of Gucci Mane, $16.20 on Amazon; Plum Cast Iron Kettle, $17, on sale at Cost Plus World Market; Talkspace giftcard, $156/1 mo; $420/3 mo via Talkspace ; Girls Trip, $19.99 on Best Buy ; How To Make Lemonade box set, $299.99 (sold out, but we can dream)

Advertisements

Holiday Wishlist 2017

Aside
Life, Resources

The Black Feminist Glossary

Feminism is currently more popular than ever. While there’s no one way to be a feminist, here’s where I stand: if it’s not intersectional, we can’t talk. Considering the pervasiveness of white feminism and how it’s not just employed by white women, it’s important to give props and distinction to black feminism/womanism. These terms are not necessarily interchangeable but their usefulness as a way of life predates them as identity markers. Black women have long been pioneers of justice because of our lived experience, being simultaneously oppressed as both black people and women – thus the concept of intersectionality. Today, I’m concerned with how the phrase intersectionality and similar terms are thrown around without proper credit or context. I’d like to provide a space for people to learn, as well as context on the misuse I’m talking about. Enter the black feminism glossary*. I don’t intend to invent the wheel but rather give folks a toolbox for encountering feminism in modern social spaces**. In no way is this glossary extensive; it will be updated as necessary.

  • Anti-blackness – a mindset that devalues black people and our beliefs, values, and traditions (as varied as they are) solely because of their association with blackness
  • Black feminism – historically, black women have been asked to “pick sides” in liberation causes. White feminists have asked black women to align over gender (but not race) whereas black men have asked them to align over race (and not gender). Black feminism emphasizes that sexism and racism are linked, therefore the liberation of black women must consider both factors equally.
  • Colorism—in my definition, prejudicial or preferential treatment of same-race people based solely on their color” —Alice Walker, In Search of our Mothers’ Gardens. Coined in 1982, this term refers to discrimination faced by darker-skinned people. I’ve seen colorism used to refer to discrimination faced by light skin people and it should be noted that colorism is ultimately about power dynamics. Light skin people do face discrimination, but most times, colorism works in their favor. Common social -isms give attention to the more oppressed of any given group: sexism – women; racism – people of color. People with lighter skin hold more social power than those with dark skin, so implying reverse colorism doesn’t really add up. I won’t deny that the context can change, but use this term in reverse at your own discretion.
  • Intersectionality – coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw, theorized by countless others. Refers to the ways in which multiple aspects of one’s identity affect their livelihood. This is a prime example of a term predating its coinage. The Combahee River Collective statement, a seminal black feminist text, was so influential because it highlighted how members not only faced oppressions as black people and women, but as lesbians too (don’t get me started on the hetero-/cis- washing of liberation causes). Intersectionality is a great starting point for thinking about how privilege is not a zero-sum game. You can be privileged in one way but not in others. Areas to consider: race, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, etc
  • Internalization – as in internalized racism, sexism, transphobia, etc. When a person accepts prevailing (often negative) beliefs about a group that they belong to. Often, this is an unconscious process that happens through socialization, media exposure, and more. For example, women who slut shame likely have internalized the sexism of the culture they were socialized in.
  • Misogynoir –  discrimination against black women where both gender and race are factors; an intersection of misogyny and anti-blackness; Moya Bailey is the originator of this term.
  • People of color (POC) – this is a term that doesn’t really have a clear origin but is used to refer to non-white people. It has nothing to do with skin color; if you are a non-white person (white in the way it’s used in an American context), then you might be considered a person of color.
  • Transmisogynoir – also coined by Moya Bailey, this term refers to discrimination faced by trans feminine black people; an intersection of transphobia, misogyny, and antiblackness.
  • White Feminism – a concept as old as feminism itself; a mainstream type of women’s liberation that prioritizes the concerns of white women and simultaneously ignores that those of women of color may differ.
  • White supremacist capitalist patriarchy – how bell hooks defines America as a system (sometimes as “imperialist, white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy”). Like many of the phrases defined here, this one serves to remind us how systems of oppression work together. This country was founded on white supremacy, capitalism, and patriarchy; therefore the effects of these tools in the present-day can rarely be removed from one another.
  • Womanism – another term by Alice Walker, womanism centers all aspects of black womanhood and fosters respect for how black women inhabit the world. Furthermore, womanism emphasizes the liberation of all black people while combating gender oppression.

*It should be noted that these are terms that black female theorists came up with, but that it doesn’t necessarily mean that each theorist self-identifies as a black feminist or womanist. Furthermore, you don’t have to take on the identity of a black feminist to employ black feminism. The reasons why black women don’t always self-identify as feminist, well that’s a story that’s important and been written plenty times before.

**While priority was given to terms that were conceptualized by black women, not all of the terms listed fit this criteria. The goal is to arm people with terms that they may encounter in black feminist spaces.

 

Standard
Jams

Cuffing SZN: The Playlist

We’re not really the lovey-dovey types but even we have to admit, fallen leaves and falling temperatures make us feel like falling in love or at least, listening to music that makes us feel loved. Here’s a playlist for the lover in you to help you fall in love with this week, Fleurish femmes.

Continue reading

Standard
Visuals

Tracee Ellis Ross: 10 Times She Made Us Swoon

It’s #WCW and we’re crushing on Ms. Tracee Ellis Ross (the real question is, who isn’t??). Ross, who currently stars in Black-ish and made us love to tolerate her character Joan on Girlfriends, is someone we admire for always staying true to herself. While we have mused over her before, we want to show some extra love to this Scorpio queen celebrating her birthday on the 29th! Here are countless 10 outfits of hers that we just love.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Standard
Essays

#MeToo: My Story of Resilience

[Trigger Warning: This letter contains graphic descriptions some readers might find personally disturbing. Discretion is advised.]

Dear Dream,

It’s your senior year of college and you are confused. I apologize that I cannot assure you any relief in the coming months or years but I know how you feel. You feel trapped. You feel scared. But most importantly, after a lifetime of defiance, you are actually feeling the pressures of an unjust society and “the real world” in your life. You may not know this but you soon become a statistic albeit not one that may occur to you right now. My dear, you will be sexually harassed.

It won’t be at work, it won’t be at school. It is somewhere you almost always lets your guard down, in favor of relaxation. It will be on the bus, at your bus stop. And it won’t be someone you suspect or can easily avoid, like a leering business man or that guy with the ponytail that makes an effort to sit next to you whenever he sees you. It will be the bus driver. Not just any bus driver, the “nice” one who sits and talks with you about poetry and politics. Like most predatory men, he hid behind a façade of kindness to gain your trust before trying to take advantage. To you, his compliments mean nothing but unbeknownst to you, he takes your uncomfortable polite smile as sexual interest, not as the manners you are accustomed to showing people of older age.

The incident will be Labor Day weekend. You will be wearing a miniskirt, perfectly suited for the hot weather that accompanies the final days of Atlanta summer. He will feign interest and try to make conversation while you wait for your mom to pick you up. He will pretend he is being watched or listened to and push you further away from the crowd. In all the peculiarity, you will follow but not by choice but because he is pushing you. He is bigger and stronger, 6 feet tall by estimate. You are 5 feet 2. You will be perplexed. And once everyone is out of sight and earshot, that is when the ordeal will begin.

The next part is the hardest part to write, little me, because the violation that ensued will never quite feel like it wasn’t violent. When you think of it, you will close your eyes, trying to erase the feelings of his hands on your body. You will pause when you talk about it, trying to recenter yourself and reacquaint yourself with reality. You will need a moment, deep breaths just as I needed when I wrote this and later when I typed it. It will stay with you, like a stain or bruise. You will remind yourself that now is the easy part. It happened but it is over. But not for you, not yet.

He will suddenly position himself behind you. Kiss his toothless mouth to your head and cheek. Then, he will press his penis into your back, a move you will gag over later. His hands, like a viper, will move under your blouse and try to move under your skirt. His hands will squeeze as they reach your breast.

During the first few seconds of the ordeal, you will freeze. Olivia Benson of Law & Order SVU says this is normal. You will feel like you never freeze, especially during critical moments like this. The truth is, though, you did because you are blaming yourself. In your mind, you should have said you have a boyfriend. You should have questioned him more. You shouldn’t have been so polite. You should have screamed. You should scream now.

Instead, you fight. You try to push his hands off of you, you attempt to move away from him. You gear your elbow back to defend yourself. But he is stronger than you. You will blame yourself more and more. Do not worry, it will end almost as soon as it started but not before another one of his disgusting puckers hit your head. You silently continue to blame yourself even after it is all over. Let me assure you, just as Olivia Benson assures the victims, this was not your fault. No matter what you may have done, you did what you could. You did what you felt necessary to survive. And you did. You survived.

In my humble opinion, what saves this entire ordeal is what you did next. Instead of carrying it in shame, you tell. You share the story on Twitter, on your Snapchat, much to the dismay of your then kinda-sorta beau. You call your friends. You text them. You tear the veil of silence so many end up carrying. That is your saving grace. Some semblance of self reinforced your decision making here. I want to thank you for this. Your voice, our voice almost completely shed the burden of blame. It saved me. It saved us.

In the coming months after the attack, you will not call what happened to you ‘harassment’. In your eyes, it was nothing short of assault. It wasn’t an inappropriate stare or a knee touch with a lewd suggestion. It was an intentional, sexually motivated, non-consensual physical attack to your person that left you feeling violated and vulnerable in the worst way. You were preyed upon, you were targeted. Some people might attempt to ‘correct’ you on this but do not let this deter you. This experience didn’t happen to them– it happened to you. You have a right to call it as you see it.

The one criticism we will carry is the choice not to report it. You definitely know he deserved reprimand. But out of a strange sense of racial obligation and with your own guilt and victim blaming bias, you hesitate. You think, who will believe you? You were wearing a mini skirt. You didn’t stop him from moving you away from the crowd. You didn’t scream. Who will believe you? You settle on not reporting it but it leaves an odd taste in your mouth. After all, you can still feel his hands on you. Even now. It is the decision I struggle to grapple with but I recognize that you had a lot to deal with. You didn’t need the added stress of a report, a follow up investigation. An emotionally abusive ex, a cheating boyfriend, launching a media platform plus Dr. Barthlow’s & Dr. Welch’s classes and volunteering. You had a lot on your plate. I understand your choice to not pursue the issue. But it will still keep you up at night. Especially since your brother’s friend admits she only narrowly escaped his claws. You will wonder how many other girls he has and/or will hurt. If he continues to use the ruse of an innocuous bus driver. If you could have saved any other girls from your pain. Understand this: this choice is not an easy one for anyone. It is alright not to report it. It is alright.

I know you are wondering why I am writing this. To tell you the truth, I struggled with this decision. No, you don’t owe your story to anyone for whatever reason. No, you don’t have to justify anything to anyone. That is not what this is. This is… catharsis. This is a release. This is speaking truth to power. This is your hammer swinging against a wall of bullshit patriarchy, out there in the real world and even inside you. This is a declaration, a line in the sand. But even this is secondary to the real reason: this is a message of unknown strength to who you are and who you will be.

Yes, right now, you are hurt. You are vulnerable and scared. Rightfully so. But at the end of the day, you are resilient and powerful beyond your wildest dreams. Know this. There isn’t a man who can stop you from anything. His hands will haunt you but it is over. You are past it. You have survived. You will always survive. Above all else, remember that.

With the utmost love and respect,

Dream M.

Standard
Moodboards

Power Pose | Fleurish Fall Moodboard

As the seasons change, we like to stay prepared to strike the right pose. Dressed in shades of our favorite fall colors, strutting is the name of the game. We’re into silhouettes that make a statement as soon as you walk in the room: capes with tall leather boots, (faux) fur and/or vinyl in fun colors, rich hues, and pantsuits that pack a punch. This fall, it’s all about stepping into your power and being as fearless with style as only you know how. Strike a power pose and go conquer the world.

Continue reading

Standard
Visuals

Mini Afropunk Photo Diary

This year marks the second one that I’ve attended Afropunk and it did not disappoint…seeing Oshun, Moses Sumney, Willow Smith, Jamila Woods and Solange (!!!) all in one weekend was absolutely unforgettable! I snapped a few photos that I want to share with you.

Continue reading

Standard