Sisterhood’s Lasting Impacts

One of the clearest impressions I have of Greek Life is the movie Sydney White, where every member of the sorority portrayed in the movie is thin, white, and blonde, except for Sydney White, who is, *gasp*, a brunette. And that impression has not been disproven. When I entered Greek Life at Muhlenberg, there were no black women who had joined or were already members in my chapter. There was one Latina woman, who graduated, and in the composite …

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black and queer, and here – even if they don’t always see us

One of my favorite topics that we’ve covered in this course thus far is the creation of counter-spaces. I am intrigued by this concept because I have created these spaces for myself at Muhlenberg without knowing that it had a name attached to it. What is more, it intrigued me to know that counter-spaces are something students of color across the country are constantly creating for themselves. I think my interest lies in the naming of these spaces, as …

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“Ignorant White Girl”: One Man’s Attempt to Defend his Sexism

We’re pleased to feature this special guest post authored by Muhlenberg College (and Contemporary Racism) alum, Brittany Smith (’17). Brittany is at Columbia University pursuing an MPH focusing on health promotion and children’s health equity. A few weeks ago, I went dancing at a few bars with some college friends who were visiting. I also encountered one of the most fragile and aggressive examples of masculinity I’ve ever seen. (And, as a woman who dates men, I’m no stranger …

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#NotYourMule

This idea that Black women are the perpetual mules of everyone else has been ingrained in our society. We see it in the media when all we see are Black women marching for Black lives. We see it portrayed in the media with Black women playing the help, the nanny, the supporting motherly character, or the best friend used simply to illuminate the main actress’s character. The image of the Black woman has been, historically speaking, the strong backbone, …

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Gender, Queerness, and Performative Masculinity as an Escape: An Analysis of Moonlight

In her essay “Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe”, Hortense Spillers argues that the gendered configuration for Black people through slavery and its afterlife is “the dehumanizing, ungendering, defacing project of African persons” (Ziyad, 2017). She points out that, historically, Black gender has not been used to indicate a shared womanhood or manhood with people within white society, but to highlight how black people are out of step with womanhood and manhood. Essentially, Black gender can never be done “right” (Ziyad, …

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“The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity” – Viola Davis

Stereotypes of gender and race permeate our everyday discourses from classrooms to politics and throughout the media. When we aren’t viewing individuals through the impressions granted by stereotypes, we are commonly white-washing our outlooks across matters; from mental illness, physical health, poverty, education and so much more, we downplay the intersections of race and gender. There is typically little room in society for minority groups to speak up for themselves, to challenge the stereotypes allocated to them and to …

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Could Be “Crazy In Love,” But Only If You’re…

I recently read an article from the website Ebony that began circulating after the Grammy’s which features an interview with Mathew Knowles, father and former manager of Beyoncé and Solange Knowles. The first part of the interview discusses Mathew Knowles’s internal struggle with “colorism”, which can essentially be described as prejudiced treatment or preferential treatment of individuals of one’s same race based on their skin color. I had personally never heard this word before, but have always wondered if …

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