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sista souljah 01


Watch Sista Souljah Destroys White Supremacy in under a minute! A Different World

Watch Sista Souljah Destroy White Supremacy in under a minute! A Different World

Posted by Powerful Black Stories. By Heru G. Duenas on Monday, March 30, 2015














I Know Rape Survivors

Have Their

Stories Doubted

– So I Decided

to Tell My Own




amber - rape 01

As a survivor of multiple sexual assaults and activist for peace, I am ashamed and almost unwilling to admit that I, too, initially questioned the validity of the accusations against Bill Cosby when I first heard about them. However, when I was raped in Cape Town six weeks ago while doing humanitarian work for #StopRapeEducate, I remembered those brave women and decided to speak up for myself.

What is it that makes us doubt the stories of rape survivors? Why are people so afraid to confront this topic and have these conversations? What is it about rape that makes it so “unbelievable”?

Almost every man or woman who tells people about their assault is further victimized by the media, friends, and/or family. Minutes after I was sexually assaulted, after the rapist left the crime scene, I stayed. I took a photo of my distress and documented the entire incident in graphic detail, from beginning to end. At the time I had an Instagram following of 20,000 supporters of my campaign #StopRapeEducate. I didn’t know what the police would say or what the ultimate result would be, so I decided to tell my followers about what happened, as my own little form of justice. It would have been incredibly hypocritical of me to stay silent whilst leading a movement that encourages survivors to speak up.

amber - rape 04

I told the story of my rape with as much detail as I could. I knew that it would shock the world. And I didn’t care what people thought or said. I told the truth, the full truth, because I wanted to convey the message that no matter what a person does, there is no justification for rape. Not everyone got the message, however. Thousands of people responded with vicious attacks against me calling me disgusting, a slut, a liar, and fraud. I instantly felt like I was in the same boat as the women that Bill Cosby assaulted: publicly shamed and shunned for making a courageous act.

Whether the survivor is in the media or not, the backlash from standing up for yourself can be just as devastating as the incident itself. I thought my pain would end when the rape was over. It was only just the beginning. I’ll never understand why the world is so cruel to people who need compassion the most: survivors of abuse. Even I, a human rights activist and feminist, fell guilty of internalized misogyny when I heard of the Cosby case. This made me realize that patriarchy and rape culture is engrained in all of us deeper than we realize. We can unlearn rape culture by promoting a culture of consent. Instead of focusing on the problem, I’ve moved towards more solution-based activism which is why I’ve started a brand new movement called Creating Consent Culture. In a culture of consent, we believe and support survivors of rape, we ask our partners if they wish to be touched or kissed, and we create the peaceful world we all dream of!

amber - rape 02

I have no doubt that we can make this world a better place and I’m willing to work for it – but I can’t do it alone. Every person out there needs to do their part in creating consent culture. We need to teach consent curriculum everywhere – especially to children, doctors, lawyers, and police officers so that our “justice system” can actually live up to its name.

If you’d like to create consent culture, you can start by supporting survivors of abuse unconditionally. Uplift them. Listen to them. Believe them. Help them turn their pain into power so that we may all live our best lives ever.

Follow Amber Amour on Twitter:




6 January 2016

6 January 2016


Rape campaigner

live-blogged her own

‘sexual assault’

– just minutes after

alleged attack

took place –

to set an example

for other survivors

who ‘need

to speak up’

  • Amber Amour, 27, from New York was in Cape Town, South Africa, for her ‘Stop Rape. Educate’ campaign when she was raped in a shower 
  • The activist took to Instagram to write about the alleged rape and post a picture of herself crying in the shower after the sexual assault
  • She also shared photos of her rape kit and screen grabs of the hateful messages she received that blamed her for her sexual assault   


A rape survivor and activist has revealed why she was compelled to share intimate details of her alleged sexual assault on social media just minutes after the attack, explaining that she instantly knew that she couldn’t keep what happened to her a secret.

Amber Amour, 27, was in Cape Town, South Africa, promoting her ‘Stop Rape. Educate’ campaign in November when she she was allegedly attacked by a man named Shakir after she agreed to take a shower with him. After she was raped, Amber took to Instagram to post a photo of herself crying and a message detailing the horrific sexual assault. 

‘Here I was, telling survivors every single day that they should speak up… I knew I had to practice what I preached,’ she explained to Marie Claire UK. ‘So the first thing I did was take a picture and write a post, describing what had happened.’

Scroll down for video

Horrific encounter: Amber Amour (pictured), 27, said she was in in Cape Town, South Africa, promoting her 'Stop Rape. Educate' campaign when she was raped by a man named Shakir

Horrific encounter: Amber Amour (pictured), 27, said she was in in Cape Town, South Africa, promoting her ‘Stop Rape. Educate’ campaign when she was raped by a man named Shakir

Sharing her story: Just minutes after the alleged sexual assault, Amber took to Instagram to share this photo of herself crying in the shower where the rape occurred 

Sharing her story: Just minutes after the alleged sexual assault, Amber took to Instagram to share this photo of herself crying in the shower where the rape occurred 

Candid account: The rape survivor and activist also posted a detailed account of her alleged rape to accompany the harrowing picture 

Candid account: The rape survivor and activist also posted a detailed account of her alleged rape to accompany the harrowing picture 

‘It was almost an intuitive thing,’ she added. ‘I was still in the bathroom – in the crime scene. I don’t even think I’d stood up. I just typed and typed.’

In her candid post, Amber explained that she had returned to a hostel that she previously stayed at after a two day bout with food poisoning to leave a note for her friend Nick when she ran into Shakir who was trying to ‘get with’ her. 

She said she kissed him once, but claimed she had met someone and left because he ‘seemed drunk’. However, when he followed her upstairs and asked her to join him in the shower she agreed. 

‘I said yes because the water at my current hostel is pretty cold and after two days of being sick, I just really wanted a hot shower,’ she explained. ‘As soon as I got in the bathroom, he forced me to my knees. I said “stop!” but he just got more violent.’

Detailing every moment: The day after her alleged sexual assault Amber shared this candid photo of her rape kit while she was in the hospital exam room 

Detailing every moment: The day after her alleged sexual assault Amber shared this candid photo of her rape kit while she was in the hospital exam room 

Cruel critics: Along with the photo of her rape kit, Amber revealed that many people on social media have been blaming her for her rape because she willingly got into the shower with the man before he attacked her

Cruel critics: Along with the photo of her rape kit, Amber revealed that many people on social media have been blaming her for her rape because she willingly got into the shower with the man before he attacked her

Fighting back: Amber had this photo of herself taken in September just a few months before her attack 

Fighting back: Amber had this photo of herself taken in September just a few months before her attack 

Amber went on to detail the sexual assault that caused her to pass out. When she awoke, She said he came back to the shower. 

‘I have all those f****d up feelings that we get after rape…shame, disgust, suffering,’ she wrote. ‘I’m here, alone, and any DNA has been wiped away in the shower. The South African police will just roll their eyes when I walk in. Feeling sicker than ever now.’

The next day Amber returned to Instagram before she headed to the hospital to share a photo of the three angel cards she drew the night of her sexual assault. 

‘Dealing with cops is tough and the rape kit is the last thing I want– tools and metal instruments and combs all up in my private parts…. But this is what I stand for,’ she wrote. 

Hopeful: 'I forgive every person who blamed me for the rape I experienced recently. I know you don't understand but I have faith that you can,' Amber wrote when she shared this photo three weeks ago

Hopeful: ‘I forgive every person who blamed me for the rape I experienced recently. I know you don’t understand but I have faith that you can,’ Amber wrote when she shared this photo three weeks ago

Shame game: This Instagram user responded to Amber's story by telling her she a 'disgusting excuse of a human' 

Shame game: This Instagram user responded to Amber’s story by telling her she a ‘disgusting excuse of a human’ 

Defending herself: Amber responded to her the critic who called her a 'disgusting human' by noting that victim-blaming is the reason why many people don't speak up after a sexual assault 

Defending herself: Amber responded to her the critic who called her a ‘disgusting human’ by noting that victim-blaming is the reason why many people don’t speak up after a sexual assault 

Unnecessary explanation: Amber reiterated that she agreed to take a shower with her attacker because she had been sick with food poisoning and her hostel didn't have hot water 

Unnecessary explanation: Amber reiterated that she agreed to take a shower with her attacker because she had been sick with food poisoning and her hostel didn’t have hot water 

‘I tell you guys to speak up every single day and I know that I need to practice what I preach,’ she added. ‘It is so incredibly hard, though, but having you all here for me makes all the difference.’ 

While in the exam room, Amber posted a photo of her rape kit while revealing that many people have blamed her for her rape because she agreed to shower with Shakir.  

‘No matter what a person does, it is not an invitation for rape,’ she argued in the photo caption. ‘It doesn’t matter if I kissed him. It doesn’t matter if he was drunk. It doesn’t matter if I said yes to a shower. 

‘I never said he could get violent with me. I never said he could make me bleed. I never said he could rape me. But still, that’s how the scene went down.’ 

amber - taking a stand

Taking a stand: ‘No matter what a person does, it is not an invitation for rape,’ she wrote in one of her many Instagram posts

Continued shaming: This Instagram user noted that although Amber's attacker should be punished, she 'walked into' her rape 

Continued shaming: This Instagram user noted that although Amber’s attacker should be punished, she ‘walked into’ her rape 

Lacking empathy: Some Instagram users wanted to know why she agreed to get in the shower with attacker while others said she 'deserved it' 

Lacking empathy: Some Instagram users wanted to know why she agreed to get in the shower with attacker while others said she ‘deserved it’ 

Happy moment: 'Not only do I enjoy the freedom I feel being nude in nature, but it's also to prove the point that nudity does not equate to sex or rape,' she wrote 

Happy moment: ‘Not only do I enjoy the freedom I feel being nude in nature, but it’s also to prove the point that nudity does not equate to sex or rape,’ she wrote 

‘I don’t need to explain myself but if you’re wondering WHY I took a shower with him, it was written in the text, I’d been sick with food poisoning for two days and needed to sweat it out,’ she continued. 

‘My current place of residence has only cold water (third world problems are real!) and it seemed like a miracle to be offered a hot shower.’ 

To combat the victim blaming she was facing, Amber shared screen shots of the criticisms she received on Instagram following her rape, many of which were written by women. 

She has also been posing photos of herself naked, explaining on Instagram that nudity is synonymous

Amber told Marie Claire UK that she first experienced sexual violence when she was only 12 years old. More than a decade later, in September 2014, she started her campaign to end sexual assault after she was raped by her roommate in New York because she didn’t like how the police handled her attack. 

Tough questions: Another Instagram user wanted to know why she didn't immediately call the cops after the alleged sexual assault 

Tough questions: Another Instagram user wanted to know why she didn’t immediately call the cops after the alleged sexual assault 

Trying to educate: Amber responded to the many by noting that is traumatic to report your rape because you have to 'relive it' 

Trying to educate: Amber responded to the many by noting that is traumatic to report your rape because you have to ‘relive it’ 

Free spirit: Amber continues to post pictures of herself naked because nudity is not synonymous with rape 

Free spirit: Amber continues to post pictures of herself naked because nudity is not synonymous with rape 

Too young: Amber explained that she first experienced sexual violence when she was only 12 years old 

Too young: Amber explained that she first experienced sexual violence when she was only 12 years old 

‘One of the officers asked me if I was “sure” that my rapist had known I meant no,’ she recalled. 

She went on to say that it has been six weeks since her most recent rape and she is still staying in Cape Town, working with the police, and trying to move on. Although she had been raped before, she said it doesn’t make the healing process any easier. 

She also revealed the trauma inspired her to start a new campaign called ‘Creating Consent Culture’.   

‘Opening up about rape or sexual assault isn’t as scary as you think,’ she added. ‘By telling my mom about my first experience of sexual assault, I learned that she had experienced it too. 

‘That’s the thing – there are so many more survivors out there than you would imagine, and chances are, the person you’re telling may have a similar story or might know someone else who has one.’ 

Difficult time: She was inspired to start her 'Stop Rape. Educate' campaign after she was raped by her roommate in New York last September 

Difficult time: She was inspired to start her ‘Stop Rape. Educate’ campaign after she was raped by her roommate in New York last September 

Encouraging others: 'Opening up about rape or sexual assault isn't as scary as you think,' she explained

Encouraging others: ‘Opening up about rape or sexual assault isn’t as scary as you think,’ she explained

Changing minds: Amber revealed that her recent sexual assault inspired her to start a new campaign called 'Creating Consent Culture'

Changing minds: Amber revealed that her recent sexual assault inspired her to start a new campaign called ‘Creating Consent Culture’ 


un women




un women 02


un women 03

Fast facts:

statistics on violence

against women and girls 

Between 15 and 76 percent of women are targeted for physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime, according to the available country data. Most of this violence takes place within intimate relationships, with many women (ranging from 9 to 70 percent) reporting their husbands or partners as the perpetrator. Across the 28 States of the European Union, a little over one in five women has experienced physical and/or sexual violence from a partner (European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, 2014). 


  • In Guatemala, two women are murdered, on average, each day.
  • In India, 8,093 cases of dowry-related death were reported in 2007; an unknown number of murders of women and young girls were falsely labeled ‘suicides’ or ‘accidents’.
  • In Australia, Canada, Israel, South Africa and the United States, between 40 and 70 percent of female murder victims were killed by their intimate partners.
  • In the State of Chihuahua, Mexico, 66 percent of murders of women were committed by husbands, boyfriends or other family members.

Violence and Young Women

  • Worldwide, up to 50 percent of sexual assaults are committed against girls under 16.
  • An estimated 150 million girls under the age of 18 suffered some form of sexual violence in 2002 alone.
  • The first sexual experience of some 30 percent of women was forced. The percentage is even higher among those who were under 15 at the time of their sexual initiation, with up to 45 percent reporting that the experience was forced.

Harmful Practices 

  • Approximately 130 million girls and women in the world have experienced female genital mutilation/cutting,with more than 3 million girls in Africa annually at risk of the practice.
  • Over 60 million girls worldwide are child brides, married before the age of 18, primarily in South Asia (31.3 million) and sub-Saharan Africa (14.1 million). Violence and abuse characterize married life for many of these girls. Women who marry early are more likely to be beaten or threatened, and more likely to believe that a husband might sometimes be justified in beating his wife.



  • Women and girls are 80 percent of the estimated 800,000 people trafficked across national borders annually, with the majority (79 percent) trafficked for sexual exploitation. Within countries, many more women and girls are trafficked, often for purposes of sexual exploitation or domestic servitude.
  • One study in Europe found that 60 percent of trafficked women had experienced physical and/or sexual violence before being trafficked, pointing to gender-based violence as a push factor in the trafficking of women.

Sexual Harassment

  • Between 40 and 50 percent of women in European Union countries experience unwanted sexual advances, physical contact or other forms of sexual harassment at work.
  • Across Asia, studies in Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines and South Korea show that 30 to 40 percent of women suffer workplace sexual harassment.
  • In Nairobi, 20 percent of women have been sexually harassed at work or school.
  • In the United States, 83 percent of girls aged 12 to 16 experienced some form of sexual harassment in public schools.

Rape in the context of Conflict

  • Conservative estimates suggest that 20,000 to 50,000 women were raped during the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, while approximately 250,000 to 500,000 women and girls were targeted in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
  • Between 50,000 and 64,000 women in camps for internally displaced people in Sierra Leone were sexually assaulted by combatants between 1991 and 2001.
  • In eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, at least 200,000 cases of sexual violence, mostly involving women and girls, have been documented since 1996: the actual numbers are believed to be far higher.

(The Facts: Violence Against Women & Millennium Development Goals (compiled by UNIFEM, 2010). Available in EnglishFrench and Spanish)

The main sources of data available by country (focused
on domestic and sexual violence):

  • Demographic and Health Survey Domestic Violence ModuleCountry data available in English, search for DHS “Final Reports” and topic “Domestic Violence”. 
  • The International Violence against Women Surveys publication and country-level data, available for purchase from Springer.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) Multi-country Study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence against Women Study and Fact Sheets.
  • The Secretary-General’s Database on Violence against Women and Girls (go to “Advanced Search” and filter for Research and Statistical Data)
  • The Tools Section of the Virtual Knowledge Centre to End Violence against Women and Girls (filter for data/surveys and country reports) for additional reports.

See also Violence against Women Prevalence Data: Surveys by Country (compiled by UN Women, 2012 update), which presents data available for 99 countries on the prevalence of physical and sexual violence against women, forced sexual initiation and abuse during pregnancy, mainly drawn from leading international surveys: Demographic and Health Surveys, Reproductive Health Surveys, Violence Against Women Surveys and the World Health Organization Multi-Country Study. Available in EnglishFrench, and Spanish. Previous compilation of 86 countries from 2011 available in EnglishFrench and Spanish.

For lead sources on other specific forms, see:


  Additional Resources:

Violence against Women: an EU-Wide Survey (European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, 2014). The main results are available in English. Complementary resources and a video are available in English.

Global and Regional Estimates of Violence against Women: Prevalence and Health Effects of Intimate Partner Violence and Non-partner Sexual Violence (World Health Organization, 2013).  Full report available in English.  Summary reports available in FrenchRussian and Spanish.

Violence Against Women in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Comparative Analysis of Population-Based Data from 12 Countries (PAHO, 2012).  Full report available in English.  Summary available in English and Spanish.

How Widespread is Violence against Women (United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women, 2008). Available in Arabic,  Chinese,  English,  French,  Spanish and Russian.

Sexual Violence and HIV Fact Sheet (Sexual Violence Research Initiative and Medical Research Council AfroAIDSinfo Project, ). Available in English.

Women in an Insecure World: Violence Against Women – Facts, Figures and Analysis (Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces, 2005).  Available in Arabic, English and French for free but must be ordered.

Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting: Data and Trends (Population Reference Bureau, 2010).  Available in English.

Get the Facts: Violence against Young Women (UN Women, 2010). Available in EnglishFrench and Spanish.

Marrying too Young: End Child Marriage (UNFPA, 2012). Available in English.












JAN 7, 2016

JAN 7, 2016




amandla cover full bleed

How Our

February Cover Star

Amandla Stenberg

Learned to

Love Her Blackness

She tells all to Solange Knowles in our latest issue.

I have a confession to make: I didn’t prepare for my interview with Amandla Stenberg. Though we had never met, from the outside looking in, I recognized her so deeply that I didn’t think I’d need to. There’s a secret language shared among black girls who are destined to climb mountains and cross rivers in a world that tells us to belong to the valleys that surround us. You learn it very young, and although it has no words, you hear it clearly. You sense it when you walk into rooms with your hair in full bloom, each coil glorious, your sway swift and your stance proud. You feel it like a rhythm you can’t shake if you even dared to quiet the sounds around you. 

Our conversation quickly reveals that Amandla knows it all too well: “I think that as a black girl you grow up internalizing all these messages that say you shouldn’t accept your hair or your skin tone or your natural features, or that you shouldn’t have a voice, or that you aren’t smart,” she says. “I feel like the only way to fight that is to just be yourself on the most genuine level and to connect with other black girls who are awakening and realizing that they’ve been trying to conform.” 

So here we are, connecting as two nonconforming black girls. Connecting as two trailblazers who recognize the borders that have been built around us as we steadily tear them down, dancing through life while coloring outside every line. Connecting as two lovers of music, art, and the color orange. Connecting as two chicks who are over talking about our hair — although we know it’s badass! Connecting as two descendants of powerful queens who made the journey before us and whom we hold in the highest regard. I may not have prepared, but I sure as hell felt inspired by our honesty with each other and ready to take on the world — sprinkling black girl magic in every crevice of the universe. Listen in…—SOLANGE KNOWLES 



SOLANGE: I feel like my introduction to you was probably like that of a lot of people — or at least people who might not have seen The Hunger Games — via your video on cultural appropriation, “Don’t Cash Crop My Cornrows,” which was so brilliant! I know that you made it for a class assignment, but in terms of sharing it with the world was there ever a moment of fear before hitting the “publish” button? 

AMANDLA: I really didn’t think it was going to be so controversial. And then to have the label of “revolutionary” pinned on you afterward felt really daunting. I kind of had a moment with myself, like, “OK. Is this what you want to do? Do you actually want to talk about issues? Is it worth it?” There are still moments now where I’m like, “Whoa, this is a lot of pressure.” But it’s worth it because when people come to me and say, “I’m more comfortable in my identity because of you,” or “I feel like you’ve given me a voice,” that’s the most powerful thing ever. 

amandla vogue 04


SOLANGE: Does it feel like sometimes you’re just exhausted talking about it? 

AMANDLA: Yo — yes! It’s so funny. I have many white friends who come up to me and they’re like, “Amandla, so this weekend I’m going to go out, and I was wondering if it’s OK if I could wear cornrows just on Saturday?” [Laughs] I’m tired of talking about who can have whichever style. Because I’ve said my thing. 

SOLANGE: Yeah,you made it clear in your video. It was so articulate and perfectly put! 

amandla vogue 05

AMANDLA: But I’m not tired of talking about hair in the sense of it being an empowering thing. I know when I used to chemically straighten mine, I did it because I wasn’t comfortable with my natural hair. I thought it was too poofy, too kinky. So for me, personally, when I started wearing it natural, it felt like I was blossoming because I was letting go of all the dead hair and all the parts of me that had rejected my natural state. But, you know, it’s not like that for all black girls. Some have their hair straight because that’s just how they like it, and it doesn’t mean that they accept themselves any less. 

SOLANGE: Absolutely. I want to have the freedom to wear a long weave down to my ass tomorrow if I want to, and then wear it in crocheted braids, and then have it so straight that my edges are laid. [Laughs] So when was the moment that you realized exactly what you were taking on just by existing in this space? 

AMANDLA: It was when I was 12 and I got cast in The Hunger Games, and people called me the N-word and said that the death of my character, Rue, would be less sad because I was black. That was the first moment I realized being black was such a crucial part of my identity in terms of the way that I was perceived and how it would affect any line of work that I wanted to pursue. I often find myself in situations where I am the token black person. It can feel like this enormous weight. I have definitely had moments when my hair felt too big or like I needed to make myself… 

SOLANGE: Smaller.

AMANDLA: Exactly. Smaller and easier to digest. And that’s still something that I struggle with now, you know? But I think, honestly, social media has changed that in a lot of ways because in the past you could look only to movies or TV or music or celebrities in order to feel like you had representation. Now you can go on Instagram and you can see a girl who looks like you who is killing the game and expressing herself. Just being able to see that is so affirming. 



SOLANGE: So what’s the deal with your comic book, Niobe: She Is Life? It’s sitting right here. It looks incredible. 

AMANDLA: Thank you! Growing up, I was always super into fantasy and The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones and all of that, but I could never find black characters whom I really liked. And so immediately I identified with Niobe, the lead character. She’s this rad black girl elf. It’s interesting because it is fantasy, but it’s also really kind of self-reflective. She’s finding her faith and finding her identity. And she’s going to keep growing until she becomes this warrior destined to unite the human world and the elf world. I think it’s officially the first comic book to be written by a black girl, starring a black girl [Niobe Ayutami], and illustrated by a black girl [Ashley A. Woods]. 

amandla vogue 07


SOLANGE: What things do you do to just shut off your brain and let go of all of the intellect and spirituality and yada, yada, yada? For me, I am on Shopbop or watching The Real Housewives of Atlanta or trolling Snapchat videos of me dancing around, which all my friends are so annoyed by…. [Laughs

AMANDLA: Oh, my God. I take a lot of really dumb Snapchat videos, too! Really bad, like double-chin selfies. Or I am in my bed watching Leonardo DiCaprio in ’90s movies, because I have an obsession with him right now. I also love going to really crappy diners with my friends just to get pancakes and drink sh*tty coffee at, like, midnight. We do that all the time. 

SOLANGE: Speaking of friends, you are basically living squad goals. You’re close with Kiernan Shipka, Willow Smith, Tavi Gevinson, Lorde…. 

AMANDLA:Oh, man. Well, Kiernan has been by my side since the beginning. Willow is amazing. I feel like we were just meant to be friends. We were kind of vibing off each other from afar, and then she hit me up and was like, “Let’s hang out!” She has the most magnetic, radiant energy ever. Whenever we hang out we just laugh and we sing and we dance and we go hiking. And then Tavi — I was the biggest Rookie fan since forever. I checked it daily, hourly. Then Rookie asked me to do an interview, and now Tavi is one of my closest friends. We talk about everything and bounce ideas off each other; I send her some of my scripts, and she sends them back. I have a friend who has this thing called “shine theory,” which basically says that when you become friends with other powerful, like-minded people, you all just shine brighter. 

amandla vogue 08

In this story: Amandla wears a Shrimps faux-fur coat. Marc Jacobs vest. Topshop turtleneck, $55. Nike pants, $48. Luka wears a Coach faux-fur jacket. Adidas Originals pants, $65. Coach jacket. Wolford bodysuit, $260. Adidas Originals pants, $60, and sneakers, $80. Claire’s hoops, $7. Details, see Adidas Originals jacket, $70. Miu Miu cropped sweater. Off-White
c/o Virgil Abloh jeans. Laurence Dacade shoes. Details, see What Goes Around Comes Around vintage jacket, $250. Tory Sport jacket (worn underneath), $250.

Production by: Roger Dong for GE Projects

BEAUTY NOTE: For a gorgeous, full-on ’fro like Amandla’s, try a cream-to-serum formula that infuses curls with moisture— without weighing them down. We love Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Cream-to- Serum Lotion.




 January 8, 2016

January 8, 2016





amandla-stenberg 03

Amandla Stenberg

Is Bisexual:

17-Year-Old Actress

Comes Out Exquisitely

On Teen Vogue Snapchat



On Teen Vogue‘s snapchat last night, Amandla Stenberg — who you likely know for playing “Rue” in The Hunger Games and also for calling out Kylie Jenner when Kylie appropriated cornrows with the hashtag “#whitegirlsdoitbetter” — came out as bisexual and also as a perfect human:

“I wanna thank Teen Vogue for giving me this opportunity, I cannot stress enough how important representation is, so the concept that I can provide for other black girls is mind-blowing. It’s a really really hard thing to be silenced, and it’s deeply bruising to fight against your identity and just mold yourself into shapes that you just shouldn’t be in. As someone who identifies as a black bisexual woman, I’ve been through it, and it hurts and it’s awkward and it’s uncomfortable. But then I realized: because of Solange and Ava Duvernay and Willow and all the black girls watching this right now, there’s absolutely nothing but change. We cannot be suppressed. We are meant to express our joy and our love and our tears, to be big and bold and definitely not easy to swallow. I definitely believe in the concept of rebellion through selfhood, and rebellion through embracing your true identity, no matter what you’re being told. Here I am, being myself; and it’s hard and vulnerable, and it’s definitely a process, but I’m learning and growing. Thank you for supporting me and doing this, and thank you to Teen Vogue. This is just the beginning, though; we have a lot of work to do for all women of color. We need more representation in film and television. We need our voices to be louder in the media. And not just women of color — bisexual women, gay women, transgender women, mentally ill women. I’m sick of all the misogyny and homophobia and transphobia that I see around me, and I know you are too. Thank you for listening and goodnight.”

Please note that the post is tagged “I’m very bisexual.”

Stenberg appears on the cover of this month’s issue of Teen Vogue, for which she is interviewed by Solange. You’ll probably want to read that now. You’ll probably buy Teen Vogue this month! I don’t know, I just have a feeling you’re gonna want a copy of this moment in our lives. I have a feeling you’re gonna start following her on instagram if you weren’t already! I have so many feelings about your feelings!


Stenberg got started in show business as a four-year-old, modeling for Disney and appearing in TV commercials. Her first film role, in Colombiana, saw her playing the younger version of Zoe Saldana’s character. Next came Hunger Games, voicing Bia in Rio 2, and spots in Sleepy Hollow and Mr.Robinson. She’s also an accomplished musician, recording with singer/songwriter Zander Hawley as “Honeywater.”


Stenberg is also involved with an anti-hunger non-profit No Kid Hungry. Also, she co-authored a comic book published in 2015 called “Niobe: She is Life.” Also, she posted her “Don’t Cash Crop My Cornrows” school project video on her tumblr and it went viral and everybody was talking about it and it was incredible.



Bless us, everyone, it appears the odds are ever in our collective favor.







Poems and Artwork (b&w drawings, photos, or cartoons) are needed for a new E-book (and later print edition) anthology of poems about school shootings, public shootings, guns, gun control, media coverage of tragic shootings, the NRA and the second amendment.

‘BANG!’ Is the new E-book anthology to be published in May 15, 2016; print edition to be determined.

Stop The Violence

We particularly encourage submissions from students, younger writers (and artists) and teachers since they experience the very real threat of increasing school attacks on a daily basis. The E-book and print edition will be published by World Enough Writers (the anthology division of Concrete Wolf). The project editor is Christopher J. Jarmick.

Submissions are open through February 15th, 2016. NO FEE to submit!


Email submission to


Submit up to 4 poems with maximum total word count of 1,200.

We prefer poems that have not been previously published (but may make an exception or two). Previously published poems are defined as poems that have appeared in journals, newspapers, chapbooks, magazines and as part of internet journals, publicly accessed websites and blogs. We will consider work that has appeared on personal blogs but has been revised/re-written provided we are informed of the poems history. Tell us if your poem appears anywhere in any form and we will decide if it is acceptable. If you don’t tell us and we discover the poem in any form, it will be rejected. We would prefer not to consider simultaneous submissions but if it can’t be avoided and you let us know, give it a try.

Most poem styles will be considered including free verse, metrical, rhyming and form. Poems can be passionate, satirical, humorous, profound, experimental etc., but should avoid being merely editorial essays. We welcome anything that works as a poem. Poems that require special formatting, fonts etc will NOT be considered.

You may include the poems in the body of the email but also include and attach the poems as a document that can be opened with MS Word. In the subject heading of your mail include your writer name and POEM.


Artists and Cartoonists are invited to submit two black and white photos, drawings, or cartoons. Send low resolution (25 to 750 kb files). We will require higher resolution files if accepted for publication. But do NOT send work that exceeds 1mb in size for any reason. It will not be opened or considered during the submission period. Artwork should be submitted in JPG format. In the subject heading of your email include your Artist name and ART.


Authors and artists must possess publication rights to all poems/artwork submitted.

Submit Poems and Art in separate emails if you want to submit both.

In the body of the email include your legal name, (and author name if different), your age, full contact information including mailing address, email address and phone number and the names of your poems. If you are under 16 years of age, please include name, address phone number of parent or legal guardian.

Please include a short bio (under 50 words). We don’t care if you have ever been published before, but do want to know something about you and we want to read/see your work.

Cover letter optional.

Please keep in mind that submitting to BANG implies an interest in the anthology and anyone submitting will be added to a mailing list to receive updates on the anthology. We will never buy, sell, trade, or share you information with anyone.


Contributors will receive PDF of the entire collection and a discount on print version (when available).

Rights & Rules

All rights revert to the authors/artists upon publication of the print edition of the anthology. If a print edition of the anthology is not produced by May of 2017; print rights fully revert to the authors. Though authors do retain all rights to their work, you are giving us Non-Exclusive Electronic Permissions for the E-Book and the right to use your poem for promotional purposes and as an excerpt on BANG and MoonPath Press related websites.

Response Time

If your poem/art is accepted you will hear from us on or before April 15, 2016. If you have not heard from us you may query by email after April 16, 2016. We will do our best to let you know as soon as possible if your poems are NOT being considered so that you can submit them elsewhere.


It is not possible to revise a poem while it is being considered. Submit once and be patient. If you need to withdraw your poem, send an email with your name, ‘Meryl Streep’ and ‘withdraw submission’ in the subject line and then in the body of the email re-send us your information (name address etc) and the name of your poem(s) or artwork that is to be withdrawn.

You will have an opportunity to revise and correct your work prior to publication if it has been accepted. Please proof-read your work carefully before you submit— be aware however that your work will be considered even if it is not perfect and has a few typos. Be professional but don’t worry if you later discover a few typos. No one is perfect.

For complete submission guidelines and rules go to:

Thank you for considering sharing your work with us.













June 7, 2017 would have been the 100th birthday of poet and Chicago cultural icon Gwendolyn Brooks. To commemorate this occasion, Curbside Splendor will publish Revise the Psalm: Work Inspired by the Writing of Gwendolyn Brooks, edited by Quraysh Ali Lansana and Sandra Jackson-Opoku, in January 2017. 

The collection will feature poetry, short fiction and prose, and visual art inspired by Brooks’ work and legacy. Confirmed contributors include Avery R. Young, Gregory Pardlo, Adrian Matejka, Marilyn Nelson, Major Jackson, Angela Jackson, Tyehimba Jess, Evie Shockley, and Thomas Sayers Ellis.


Quraysh Ali Lansana is author of eight poetry books, three textbooks, a children’s book, editor of eight anthologies, and coauthor of a book of pedagogy. He is a faculty member of the Writing Program of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Lansana served as Director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center for Black Literature and Creative Writing at Chicago State University from 2002-2011, where he was also Associate Professor of English/Creative Writing until 2014. Our Difficult Sunlight: A Guide to Poetry, Literacy & Social Justice in Classroom & Community (with Georgia A. Popoff) was published in 2011 and was a 2012 NAACP Image Award nominee. His most recent books include The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip Hop (with Kevin Coval and Nate Marshall) and The Walmart Republic (with Christopher Stewart).


Sandra Jackson-Opoku has authored two novels. The River Where Blood is Born earned the American Library Association Black Caucus Award for Best Fiction. Hot Johnny (and the Women Whom Loved Him) was an Essence Magazinebestseller. A third novel in progress is set on islands around the world. Her fiction, poetry, articles, essays, and scripts have been widely published and produced. Her writings appear in Essence Magazine, Los Angeles Times Travel Section, Ms. Magazine, The Literary Traveler, and Islands Magazine, among others. Her work has earned award like the SCBWI Kimberly Colen Award for New Children’s Writing, an American Antiquarian Society Fellowship for Creative Writers, the National Endowment for the Arts Fiction Fellowship, a CCLM/General Electric Fiction Award for Younger Writers, and Illinois Arts Council Finalist Awards. Jackson-Opoku also teaches literature and creative writing at schools, universities, workshops, and youth programs around the world. She has been on faculty at Columbia College Chicago, the University of Miami, Nova Southeastern University, and the Writer’s Studio at the University of Chicago. She currently teaches in the English Department at Chicago State University where she serves as Fiction Coordinator of the Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing.

Press inquiries should be directed to Naomi Huffman at naomi[at]











event horizon

Event Horizon Magazine is hosting a science poetry competition with a grand prize of $500.

Official Rules

Theme: Submitted work shall be inspired by and/or incorporate scientific thinking, concepts, or principles.

Eligibility: This contest is open to everyone. However, the following individuals are NOT eligible to participate in this contest: the staff of Event Horizon and their immediate family.

Prize: The winner will receive $500.00. In addition, the winning submission will be published in Event Horizon’s April 2016 issue.

Competition Timeline:

  1. Submission deadline – 11:59PM on 29 February 2016
  2. Winner announcement on Event Horizon website – March 2016

Winner Selection: Submissions will be judged blindly by 2015 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry finalist Alan Shapiro. Submissions will be judged equally on poetic craft and thematic relevance. The winner shall be notified a week before the general announcement.

Submission Requirements: In order to be eligible, a submission must adhere to the following format:

  1. One submission email per entrant, sent to with the subject line “Poetry Competition Submission” and a submission attachment titled “LastName_FirstInitial_PoetryCompetition“.
  2. Submission attachment can include up to three (3) original poems written in the English language, with each poem beginning on a new page. There is no limit for line count.
  3. Submissions shall have a cover page listing poem title(s), entrant name, email address, physical address, and phone number.
  4. Only .doc, .docx, .rtf, and .pdf files will be accepted.
  5. Submissions shall NOT have the name of the entrant anywhere but the cover page.
  6. Simultaneous submissions are allowed, but we must be notified immediately if part/all of the submission has accepted elsewhere.

By submitting, each entrant agrees that: (i) the submission is original and does not infringe upon the intellectual property rights of any third party, (ii) the submission has not been published in any other outlet, and (iii) s/he will be bound by these official rules. The entrant retains intellectual property rights to their submission. In the event of any dispute regarding a submission, Event Horizon Magazine and the Judge have sole discretion in final ruling and no communication with/to the entrant is required.












alfalfa brown 01

DJ Alfalfa Brown

alfalfa brown 04


1. Camille Safiya – 90’s Babies
2. Lil Wayne – Dontgetit
3. Svedaliza – Marilyn Monroe
4. Alice Smith – Fake Is The New Real
5. The Fugees – Change Is Gonna Come (Live On BBC Radio 1)
6. The Loop Pilots – Big Blue
7. The Loop Pilots – Dusk Flora
8. Joseph L’Etranger – Friday
9. Swindail – 2 Stomp
10. Sampha The Great – F E M A L E
11. Joi – Lick (THE XANDER ZONE)
12. En Vogue – Giving Him Something He Can Feel
13. Aretha Franklin – Rock Steady
14. James Brown – Women

Joy Degruy – Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome
Alexyss K. Tylor – Vagina Power




@stayingunderground prsnts,
@AlfalfaBrown x Audre Lorde 
Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power

1. Onra – What’s That? (Interlude)
2. Outkast – Elevators (Me & You)
3. GHSTD – Give U What U Want
4. Gabriel Garzón-Montano – Pour Maman (Archie Pelago Remix)
5. vhvl – No
6. Soulow – Higher Calling [Prod. Kirk Knight]
7. Chvndler – Wonderland
8. [ocean jams] – Miasma
9. Hubert Davis – A Little of This
10. Ibeyi – River
11. Malik Abdul Rahmaan – Give Thanks
12. Via Rosa – Will Robinson (Ft. theMIND)
13. D’Angelo & The Vanguard – Betray My Heart
14. Betty Davis – Feelins
15. Jill Scott – One Is The Magic Number

mixed by @mistahrapsey

.:the source is Staying Underground.…wn-x-audre





@StayingUnderground w/ Alfalfa Brown presents:

//Feminine noun 
Brazil. Portuguese. 
Use: casual. no provision; drowsiness, malaise; caiporismo, misery ; lack of commitment; phlegm, apathy. Gestures, way of speaking or moving denoting different qualities, but as positive (like the morning, malice, elegance, dexterity), someone; molejo

1. J.Rocc – A High Sunrise
2. Kelis – Stick Up
3. Feiertag – Family
4. 2nd Son – Get There
5. Joël Gaerthé – Fox and the Raven
6. Herzeloyde – government
7. fLako – Shipibo Icaro
8. CeU – Malemolência
9* big up to @junglepussy <3

@StayingUnderground original account was deleted at 2.8K , please share and follow to help us rebuild the audience.

love you.






dianne 06


Dianne Reeves performs in Poland

● Tracklist:
– Tango
– I’m In Love Again
– Triste
– Waiting In Vain
– You Taught My Heart
– Satiated
● Personnel:
Dianne Reeves – vocals
Peter Martin – piano
Peter Sprague – guitar
James Genus – bass
Terreon Gully – drums
● Dianne Reeves: 16 Lotos Jazz Festival, Bielska Zadymka Jazzowa
Live at Klub Klimat, Poland, 19.02.2014
▶ Dianne Reeves – Full Length Concerts –
▶ Lotos Jazz Festival – Full Length Concerts –









photo by

photo by Cfreedom





(you get used to it)


they used to call me brownie—clifford brown. i don’t have a name now, at least none that any of you can translate. i guess you can call me the spirit of brownie, except that’s so limiting and in the spirit world there are no limits. can you understand be everywhere all the time at the same time? never mind. this is about to get too out for you to dig.

when the accident happened, i had nodded off. i mean the ’56 pennsylvania crackup, not the one in ’50 that had me hung up in the hospital for a year. dizzy came and visited me, encouraged me to resume my career when i was released. not that one. instead i mean the big one where i woke up dead.

max and newk, they were in the other car, which had gone on ahead. so when they heard we had died, well, maxwell really took it hard. i guess because he knew richie’s wife shouldn’t have been driving because richie had only recently taught her how to drive—recently like a matter of weeks.

but when max, who was six years my senior and had seven on richie, tried to intervene, richie sounded on him. you know how we young cats asserting our manhood can run guilt trips, “max. max. why you always treating me like bud’s baby brother? i play as much box as earl does, more, ‘cause bud is so inconsistent, and me, i’m always there.”

which was true. he was on time, all the time. “plus i arrange and compose.” and he would touch his thick glasses in a disarming gesture that belied the stern words he was declaiming. “i’m a grown man, max. a grown, married man. i got a wife, a woman, a life, a man. why are you second guessing me on who can drive and who can’t drive? why you treat me like a boy?”

it was such a drag, such a drag seeing youngsters straining to act so old. but you know, like richie was carrying a gorilla on his back. what with richie tickling the ivories and being the younger brother of earl bud powell, the reigning rachmaninoff of jazz piano. i bet you if my older brother played trumpet and was named dizzy, i would play bass or drums. but then again, being who i was, what choice did i have but to play what i played or else not play at all? no one chooses to be born who they are.

but anyway, max, max starts drinking to get drunk. and drinking and drinking. no even tasting the liquor, just pouring it in trying to kill the pain. richie’s gone. his wife was gone. i was gone. max is whipping himself like a cymbal on an uptempo “cherokee”—ta-tah, ta-tah, ta-tah-tah, tat tah! and newk, newk just disappeared, was up in his room, standing in the middle of the floor, going deep inside himself trying not to feel nothing.

max was in his room drinking and crying, crying and drinking. and newk, in a room above max, was silent as a mountain. i had to do something, so i played duets with newk all that night. all night. we played and we played. and we played. all night. i was willing to play as long as newk was willing and newk stayed willing all night. it was like he was a spirit too, but that comes from being a musician. when you’re really into the music you get used to going into the spirit world all the time and bringing the peoples with you. that’s the real joy of playing, leaving this plane and entering the spirit world.

as much as me and newk played that night, that’s how much max drank and cried. finally, i couldn’t take it no more and i had to appear to max. i stepped in the seam between worlds. i was like translucent. that was as close as i could come to having a body but i was solid enough for max to peep me, and i spoke… well not really spoke, kind of sounded inside max’s head while i was shimmering in the shadows of that gloomy hotel room. 

“max, it wasn’t your fault, man. you can’t live other people’s lives. you’ve got to sound your own life.”

i couldn’t find the words to tell max how it was. we all live. we all die. the force that people on earth call god, gives us all breath but also, sooner or later, takes that breath away. in time, god gets round to killing each of us. whatever we do in between, we do or don’t do.

and max starts bawling even louder, talking about how i was too good for this world, how my example helped all of them clean up their particular indisciples. he was moaning, you know, crying and talking all out his head at the same time. crying pain like a man cries when he’s really broke down.

if i had still been alive i would have hugged him but i was dead and that’s why he was crying. so finally, all i could do was tell him the truth. “hey, max, it’s alright, max. it’s alright. get yourself together and keep playing. i’m cool where i’m at. it’s alright!

the next morning, when they left, max and newk got in the car and didn’t say a word. for the rest of their lives they never talked to each other about that scene. we all have different ways of dealing with death, even those of us who are dead.

and there it is. life is always about decisions and consequences made within a given set of circumstances. you can’t change the past. you can’t foresee the future. all you have is the clay of today to shape your existence. no matter what particular condition you are in, you can only do what you can do. you can only go with the flow of where you are at, and work hard to blow the prettiest song you can conceive. that’s all any of us can do in however many choruses we get the chance to take while we’re alive.

besides, believe me, death ain’t no big thing. you get used to it, after a while.


—kalamu ya salaam



Musical composition: “I Remember Clifford” by Benny Golson

Short Story by Kalamu ya Salaam 


Kalamu ya Salaam – vocals

Stephan Richter – clarinet

Wolfi Schlick – tenor

Frank Bruckner – guitar


Recorded: May 31, 1998 – Munich, Germany