NEED TO KNOW
Tubman Will Replace Jackson on the $20
In a slight superficially admiral move towards equality, the U.S. Treasury has announced Harriet Tubman will be the new face of the $20 bill on its upcoming redesign scheduled sometime before 2030. Let’s first just say that it’s about damn time we see a woman’s face on the front of a major American paper currency (although I will point out that few have obtained this in some fashion, like the short stint Martha Washington had on the silver dollar in the late 19th century). But let us also take a moment to absorb the irony of the most prominent abolitionist feminist activist in American history sharing this honor with a noted slavery supporter (who will remain on the back of the bill). And thanks to income inequality, women, especially women of color, will still have fewer Tubmans than men (Coincidentally, $20 is exactly the pension Tubman received from the U.S. Government as a veteran). But when it comes down to it, we can’t pretend like we won’t feel better about collecting our Tubmans (face up) than we ever did about stacking Jacksons.
We’ll just have to wait between 4 and 16 years to get our hands on the first one.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
While many were busy snapping pics of themselves channeling Beyoncé at Coachella this past weekend, a group of Saudi Arabian women were channeling their individuality and feminist vibes. Nouf Alhimiary's photo essay, “What She Wore”, features snaps of her and her friends in various locations while wearing the flowing black abaya that is compulsory in their culture. Alhimiary aims to project the independent spirits of the women closest to her, emphasizing she “wanted to highlight the differences that we individually choose rather than the similarities that the society imposes upon us.” (Take a look at that bold red lipstick on the woman posed in the classroom. Looking good.)
When was the last time you were gawked at while having your hair stroked? Margaret E. Jacobsen, sick of almost constant racially-charged microaggressions, documented two weeks of her redirecting these subtley racist motions back at the people who initiated them. When someone touched and commented on her hair, Jacobsen ran her fingers right back through the hair of the instigators and recorded their reactions. But Jacobsen admits she didn’t feel empowered by her responses. She writes, “I don’t think it’s OK to speak to anyone in a way that’s demeaning, no matter what their race is. And the fact that I was just doing what had been done to me hung heavy on my heart.” (An eye for an eye, right?) Jacobsen says she will return to ignoring these everyday microaggressions in a effort to protect herself.
WHAT WE'RE WATCHING
Alright Feministas, are you a Nana Yaa, Ngozi, Makena, Sade, or a Zainab? Watch Nicole Amarteifio’s An African City, and that answer will quickly jump to mind as you meet five intelligent, successful, and fashionable women experiencing life, love, and career back on “the continent” (specifically Ghana) after growing up abroad. Starting the show as a web series, Amarteifio allowed herself greater creative freedom and control in a majority-Christian, often paternalistic culture that can censor women’s sexuality and independence (wait, are we talking about Ghana or the U.S.?). Not free from criticims, though, the show has been accused ofskewing towards upper-class lifestyle, a story Amarteifio chose to delineate beyond the “single story” of Africa. After charming audiences across the globe (another testimony to the far-reach of YouTube), the show’s sophomore season will be available for purchase coming soon. There won’t be many lions or child soldiers in, but there will be plenty of sex, friendship, and “afropolitan” lifestyles.
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