T. Martin T. Martin

How to Talk to Young Black Women About Trayvon Martin

In the wake of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, many are writing about how to talk to Black boys about this tragedy. But, how do we talk to young Black girls and women? With a nod to writer/comedian Touré for his “Eight talking points about the potentially fatal condition of being Black,” here, then, are seven talking points for young Black women:

1. You are not the problem, although sometimes you may be made to feel like you are. One day you will grow up and become aware of all the “research” out there that blames Black women for the ills of the Black community. You will learn about everyone from Senator Daniel Moynihan of New York (who saw the possibility of you growing up to raise a child on your own as the major cause of our community’s problems) to Life Always, (a pro-life group which insists that the most dangerous place for a Black child is in your womb).

I hope that you will recognize this for what it is: an offering of Black women as a scapegoat for a society where being Black is still one of the most dangerous things that you can be. Trayvon Martin has taught us that the most dangerous place for Black boys is not your womb or your household. The most dangerous place for Black children is still the streets of America.

2. It is okay, even wise, to nervously clutch your purse when you run into a Black man on a dark, deserted street. This is the same nervousness you should feel when you run into any man on a dark, deserted street. Do not fall prey to the characterization of Black men as inherently more dangerous than their counterparts of other races. You know better.

3. You are not safe, little sister. Just as negative stereotypes have led to the perception of 17-year-old Black boys armed with nothing but a bag of Skittles as dangerous criminals, you will have to deal with stereotypes that portray you as immoral, aggressive and hypersexual.

Since coming to this country, your body has been bartered and sold everywhere from slave auctions to popular culture. Even if you grow up to become the First Lady of the United States, people will still have no more qualms discussing your “big butt” than if you were a girl in a rap video. Be on the look out for individuals who seek to emotionally or physically harm you based on what they have “heard” about “girls like you” – i.e. Black girls.

4. Unfortunately for you, you are the daughter of two of our country’s greatest social ills – sexism and racism. You have been raised your entire life in a society that does not see you as the beautiful, intelligent, strong and worthy individual that you are. In our country’s seeming war on women and war on minorities, it is hard not to end up a POW.

Sometimes white women will not understand your loyalty to your Black brothers and sometimes Black men won’t understand the depth of your feminine pain. This is your cross to bear. While I would like to believe that this duality will soften or fade in your lifetime, I refuse to give you false hope. Being Black and a woman will not be easy, but I have faith that you will shoulder this burden with strength and grace, just like those who have come before you.

5. I know this is hard to hear but our justice system is not your knight in shining armor. Historically, African Americans have not been granted the same protection of the law as their white counterparts. Trayvon is one striking example of this. You could be the next.

The Victorian concept of "true womanhood" that characterized white women as unquestionably moral and pure, also labeled African American women as depraved and sinful. Such notions are still alive and well in the minds of many. Under these terms of engagement: no matter how dire your straights, you will never be a “damsel in distress.”

6. Being Black is going to make feminism more difficult for you. We could never belong to a movement which would turn us against our brothers but it is okay to love Black men fiercely, fight for them always and still challenge them to love and respect you just as deeply. Make their fight yours and help them make your fight theirs.

7. Most importantly: be careful, little sister. Be careful of the places that you go and of the people you are with. Be careful of what you are wearing, whether it is a mini skirt or a hoodie. And, if ever you find yourself in a dangerous situation, never assume that your civil rights are a given, never lose your cool or your dignity and never, ever forget Trayvon Martin.

Trayvon is your brother. Trayvon is you.  Trayvon is us.

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SZA called for peace and understanding at Billboard's Women In Music event Thursday (Dec. 6).

During her speech for the Rule Breaker award, singer-songwriter recalled today's climate, asking her peers and those watching at home for a little bit of peace.

"I'm sorry for the state of the world honestly, for everybody in this room and I pray that all of us just get through it a little bit easier and just try not to lash out at each other," she said.

The recurring theme of unity among women was also heard on the carpet from artists like Tierra Whack. In addition to her message of love, the "Broken Clocks" singer also thanked her TDE family for rocking with her creative process.

"I'm just so thankful for everybody having patience with me, " she said. Shouting out the key members of her family in attendance, the TDE affiliate gave praise to her mother, father, and grandma. In this brief speech centered around the artist's growth Solána Imani Rowe, known more commonly as her stage name, Rowe everyone for their trust in her.

"I'm grateful for everybody taking the time to have the patience to watch someone grow, it is painful and sometimes exciting but mostly boring. And I am thankful for Top (Top Dawg Entertainment's Anthony Tiffith) for not dropping me from that label. For Peter, who I change my ideas every day and he be like okay I like this," she continued.

Thanking the likes of musical powerhouses like Alicia Keys and Whack, "The Weekend" singer offered her appreciation and condolences to Ariana Grande.

Watch SZA accept the Rule Breaker award above.

READ MORE: Anderson .Paak, Tierra Whack And More Praise Female Artists At 2018 Billboard Women In Music

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Beyoncé, Rihanna, And J. Lo Make Forbes’ Highest-Paid Women In Music List

As November comes to a close, many publications will be crafting their year-end lists for all things pop culture. Forbes released a ranking of the world's highest-paid women in music on Monday (Nov. 19), with Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, and Rihanna holding it down for women of color.

Beyoncé comes in at No. 3 on the list with an earning of $60 million as she made most of her money through her historical Coachella performance, the joint album with husband JAY-Z, Everything is Love, and the Carters' On The Run II Tour in support of its release.

Jennifer Lopez made No. 6 for earnings tallying of over $47 million thanks to her lucrative Las Vegas residency, endorsements, and shows including World of Dance where she serves as a judge.

Rihanna follows behind the "Love Don't Cost A Thing" diva at No. 7 with earnings of over $37.5 million. Although she hasn't toured since 2016—thanks to her cosmetics and lingerie lines, Fenty Beauty and Savage Lingerie—the Bajan pop star has been keeping herself busy.

Forbes' annual list (which factors in pretax earnings from June 1, 2017, through June 1, 2018) has placed Katy Perry at the top with over $83 million in profits due to her gig as an American Idol judge and her 80-date Witness: The Tour that brought in an estimated $1 million per night.

Scroll down to see Forbes' full list below.

Katy Perry ($83 million) Taylor Swift ($80 million) Beyoncé ($60 million) P!nk ($52 million) Lady Gaga ($50 million) Jennifer Lopez ($47 million) Rihanna ($37.5 million) Helene Fischer ($32 million) Celine Dion ($31 million) Britney Spears ($30 million)


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Kelly Rowland Hops In Her Bag With New Single "Kelly"

Kelly Rowland has it all and isn't afraid to brag about it on her new single, "Kelly."

Released Thursday (Nov. 22), the singer goes the clubby, confident route while rightfully dropping her attributes like her relationship with God, smoldering looks (a.k.a the drip) among other things. With "Kelly" being the first single since her 2013's Talk a Good Game, the singer comes out swinging, reminding everyone of her power in the game.

The mother of one has promised that her new tunes will be edgier and most honest than her past work that included vulnerable tracks like "Dirty Laundry" and massive hits like "Motivation" and "Commander." Speaking with Vogue over the summer, Ms. Kelly disclosed a few details behind the album.

“It’s about love, loss, and gain and whether it’s professional or with family or whatever, it’s just honest," she said. "I had no choice but to be honest and authentic with this record: it’s about friendship and marriage.”

She also explained a drop in confidence caused her hiatus. “I was thinking about pulling back from recording, but I couldn’t help myself: I still wanted to record. I still felt like I was missing something. The third year just came and left so fast. The fourth year I said: ‘I have to get to work’ and now I’m ready to release some music! I felt like I wasted so much time, and it was my husband who actually called me out on it. He said: ‘Babe, as great as those records were, I think you were nervous, you got gun-shy’, and when he said that it was like boom, a gong went off.”

Glad to have you back, Ms. Kelly. Listen to the eponymous record up top.

READ MORE: Kelly Rowland Debuts Smoke x Mirrors Eyewear Collection At Barneys New York

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