Sign in

Momentum
A blog from Medium about the fight against anti-Black racism.

Let’s Unpack This

A hand holds a bar of soap. Image: Getty

Over the last few weeks, White celebrities have been making headlines for their hygiene practices. On schedule, social media descended into the cultural “cleanliness wars” as everybody realized “proper” hygiene has a great many definitions. But, there’s a strange hypocrisy when one juxtaposes White people’s crusade against soap and water versus their constant critiquing of Black aesthetics.

Ashton Kutcher and his wife, Mila Kunis, said they don’t shower frequently and only wash their kids if they “see” dirt on them. Kutcher washes his armpits and crotch regularly but not the rest of his body. …


Let’s Unpack This

A Black family of gamers sits on the couch and plays. Image: Getty.

Being a Black writer online can be a tough road to travel. It can be doubly true if you’re a Black woman writing in a space where people think you don’t belong. Enter Ash Parrish, a Black woman who covered gaming at one of the biggest gaming sites on the internet: Kotaku.

Ash wrote an article about a Black woman named Linda Guillory. Guillory recently won two Guinness Book of World Records for her uber impressive gaming collection. The report, to my mind, was an easy thing to celebrate since it shined a positive light on being a gamer while…


BLACK HEALTH MATTERS

Photo by Lina Verovaya on Unsplash

Every summer, families, friends, and couples hit the beach hoping to catch some rays and have some fun. While spending some time in the sun boosts Vitamin D in the body, people who stay out too long risk damaging their skin. In America, all of us — Black, White and other — are guilty of embracing strange or downright harmful myths about sun exposure and the darker toning that comes with it. Some are racist, and others are self-harming.

In 1929, Coco Channel declared, “A girl simply has to be tanned.” White people went from valuing lighter skin as a…


THIS IS AMERICA

“Holiday Inn — Vincennes, Indiana.” Image: Jordan Smith/Flickr

Hillenbrand Industries is the holding company for two operating businesses. One is Hillrom, which operates in the health care industry, selling and renting hospital beds, furnishings, and other hospital accessories. If you’ve ever needed to spend a night in a hospital, chances are you’ve slept in one of their beds.

Hillenbrand’s other operating business is Batesville Casket Company. Although the name is probably unfamiliar to most people, Batesville is the largest coffin manufacturer in the country, controlling nearly half the U.S. market. Funerals may be uncomfortable to discuss, but it’s a $20 billion industry.

No matter what anyone tells you…


Photo by Unseen Histories from Unsplash

If the events of the previous year have proven anything to me, as a Black person in America, it is that “freedom” has yet to become a term that we can all, as Americans, embrace equally.

While the American government, corporations, and mainstream media would like to put up this front that “progress” is being made, I feel that the most that has been accomplished in the past year is the acknowledgment of a problem.

Yes, a higher percentage of people have acknowledged that Black people are more likely to face police brutality than their white counterparts. Yes, President Biden


Photo: Peter Idowu/Unsplash

My first summer job as a lifeguard made me a lover of all things summer. The sun seemed to kiss me, turning my skin dark brown. Each afternoon, I sat near the pool, watching kids splash about in the water. However, my favorite part of the day was in the mornings, when I taught Black children aged six and under how to swim. In an ideal world, the public pool would have hired a few water instructors, but the closest thing the facility had was me, a certified lifeguard willing to take on the job.

Many of the older children…


Instagram-ready: An installation reading “Free 1865” is surrounded by red, black, and green balloons at a Birmingham, Alabama, Juneteenth celebration. All images in this post taken by Joi West for Momentum at Medium.

File This Under: Black Joy

During a very stormy day, I photographed various Juneteenth celebrations across the Birmingham, Alabama, region. These events included a program at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, a small potluck hosted by Alabama Rally Against Injustice and Cell A65, and an intimate Juneteenth gathering hosted by my friend Brandi.

Seeing people of various ages and cultures celebrate Juneteenth, I realized that we have resilience against all odds. We unabashedly celebrate our Black joy as a form of resistance to those who have denied and still today deny our true freedom from slavery. We keep our oral history, memorialize our ancestors, and…


BlackHistory365

Houston Press front page, August 24, 1917. Image: Houston Public Library

Often referred to in history as a “riot” and a “mutiny,” the actions of more than 150 Black soldiers in 1917 serve as a reminder of just how deep police brutality against Black Americans is rooted in U.S. history. While the story of the Black soldiers rebelling against Houston police occurred just after the United States declared war in World War I and during the Jim Crow era, the actions by local cops and members of the community leading up to the uprising speak to many of the same issues we still have today. …


Me sitting down in my home, peacefully, holding my assault rifle, the P-415, equipped with bipod, 30-round magazine, and reflex sights. Photo: Johnny Silvercloud

Believe it or not, I got in trouble for taking a photo with a gun. It happened when I was in the Army. My military unit temporarily took all my guns from my home despite the fact that I issued zero threat to anyone at all. All I did was take a photo with my legally owned weapons like White people do. This was in Arizona, too, a “cowboy state” when it comes to gun laws.

I broke no law holding my legally owned firearm in my own home, yet I got in trouble to the extent that I had…

Momentum

A blog from Medium about the fight against anti-Black racism.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store