School Uniforms Becoming a Stiff-Fitting Policy on Black Students

Jerimiah Fassett was sent home from school earlier this September. He did not get into a fight. He did not bully another student. He did not disrespect a teacher. According to WPIX in New Jersey, the 15-year-old was sent home because he violated the school’s dress code. The school’s dress code states that students must wear black shoes with their uniforms.  Jerimiah’s black shoes had pink accents. Therefore, he was sent home. Jerimiah is not alone. This month reported that another New Je

How School Dress Codes Unfairly Target Black Girls

Imagine this scenario: Your daughter plans to wear a traditional African outfit to school to celebrate Black History Month. Her planned ensemble includes an African dress and a traditional headwrap called a “gele.” On the first day of February, she wears the outfit to school. When she comes home, you might expect her to say that she was complimented on her style or praised for her pride. You would not expect her to say that she was nearly suspended for wearing the outfit. While the above scenar

Why are Black Women Suffering from PTSD?

When post-traumatic stress disorder is discussed, images of broken, injured soldiers returning from combat frequently come to mind. But PTSD is not limited to the military.  According to the American Psychological Association, “PTSD does not just happen to combat veterans. PTSD can occur in all people, in people of any ethnicity, nationality or culture, and any age.” African-American women are no exception. Recently, The Chicago Tribune reported that researchers from Northwestern University had

Women's Empowerment Was a Big Deal In African Societies, Before Christianity and Islam

Oftentimes when people learn of the status of women in ancient Egyptian society they are perplexed by the amount of human rights women enjoyed in a civilization that existed so far back in history. On a reported visit to Egypt, fifth century BCE Greek historian Herodotus, surprised by the women’s position in the society, recorded. “Women attend market and are employed in trade, while men stay at home and do the weaving.” The Egyptians, he concluded, “in their manners and customs seem to have re

Betsy DeVos' Rollback of Campus Sexual Assault Rules Puts Black Women at Risk

Each year at this time, college students return to campus, ready for new experiences. While most students’ experiences will include lectures and football games, a few unfortunate students will experience something else: sexual assault. Unwanted sexual contact is rampant on America’s campuses. To grasp the magnitude of the problem, consider this: twenty-five percent of college women have been sexually assaulted or unwanted sexual contact on campus.  Thus, at any given college, for every four fem

Looking at How Black Women Are Policed in America

Earlier this summer in Bakersfield, California, Tatyana Hargrove, a 19-year-old Black woman, was riding her bicycle to a store to buy a Father’s Day gift. She was stopped on the way home by police officers who subsequently punched her in the face, slammed her to the ground, turned a police dog on her and arrested her. One of the officers attempted to justify his behavior by alleging that Ms. Hargrove matched the description of another suspect — a 25 year-old black man. Just last month, video su

Black Women in Hollywood are Ready to Take Control of Their Image: Will the Industry Let Them?

Hollywood is abuzz about the success of “Girls Trip.” The bawdy comedy starring Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, and breakout star Tiffany Haddish is the first movie written by, produced by, directed by, and starring African-Americans to earn more than $100 million at the box office. The success of “Girls Trip” should be celebrated. However, the film’s historic achievement also highlights the limitations faced by Black women in Hollywood. Tinseltown still has a considerable amoun