This week, I had a lot of feelings about the busy week in news. Let’s get to it.
Sandra Bland was laid to rest this past weekend. Initial autopsy reports may indicate that her death was not a homicide but Bland’s family (and logic) says otherwise. For a summary of events, you can read actor Jesse Williams’ insightful tweets.
The police department also released dash cam footage that looks heavily edited (as director Ava DuVernay spoke about) and doctored to support their story that Bland was inciting officers. Either way, this is the case of yet another black life taken by the police in America.
Here is Prince’s video for his “Baltimore” track.
Feministing looks at anti-black violence in America and the need for black communities to heal and self-care in the face of this terrorism.
India Clarke and K.C. Haggard are the 10th and 11th Trans women killed in 2015.
Over at The Aerogram, a look at sexual violence, queer identity and the silences in Indian American communities.
Haudenosaunee Women’s lacrosse team had to withdraw from the World Championship when UK officials did not recognize their passports as legitimate.
Rachel Dolezal is back and in Vanity Fair because why wouldn’t she be?
Spelman College has ended a Bill Cosby-funded Professorship.
The Internet was abuzz with the Nicki Minaj/Taylor Swift “feud” this past week. A lot of the Internet reacted with a combination of “lol women catfighting” “why is this news?” and “lol youths” while ignoring the actual issues raised by Minaj in her Twitter statements about the disproportionate acclaim between white artists and black artists, particularly regarding black women’s bodies, music and hip hop in general. Swift’s interjections pointed at her ill-informed pop feminism and the issues with white feminists talking over or derailing larger conversations.
Celebrities had (sometimes wrong) opinions and the media started to take Taylor to task for her brand of feminism-lite. While the women may have “reconciled” the real test is whether Taylor Swift will learn from this and use her position to highlight the struggle of all women, but she might just continue assembling her team of interchangeable and disposable “cool” friends.
After a frustrating conversation about race, Jon Stewart once told Wyatt Cenac to “fuck off.” While most people are quick to point to how quickly the internet might turn on their favorites, what this really shows us is that for people of color, critiquing and checking white supremacy, even in so-called “safe,” liberal spaces, is often tense, uncomfortable and alienating. These uncomfortable situations which are quickly dismissed as internet mob mentality are why silences continue to exist.
You know, I wanted to believe Quantico would be good just because I want to believe in shows with diverse casts, even if Priyanka Chopra is a terrible actress, but these promos are not helping.
Angelina Jolie is working with Netflix to direct First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers based on the memoir from Cambodian author and human-rights activist Loung Ung about surviving the deadly Khmer Rouge regime.
Jay-Z and Will Smith are teaming up to produce an HBO mini-series about Emmett Till.
Don Cheadle’s Miles Davis biopic is closing out the New York Film Festival in the fall.
Ava DuVernay opens up about why she decided not to pursue the Black Panther movie with Marvel.
Key & Peele is ending after this season which begs the question: where else am I gonna find videos for this column?
Dave Chappelle talks about a comeback and about political artists.
John Boyega is getting us excited for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Naomi Campbell is joining American Horror Story: Hotel, and that might actually get me to watch.
Supermodel and ageless fashion icon Iman celebrated her 60th birthday last week.
Taye Diggs is the new Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which is the first time the show has had two black leads.
Amandla Stenberg has an EP out with her band Honeywater, where she sings and plays the violin because she really is the best.
Today the EP that my best friend and I made is out on iTunes. I've been fortunate enough to play violin and sing in Honeywater for a couple years now. I've loved every second of it – it has given me the opportunity to grow and develop as a musician, to push myself and be adventurous. I hope you'll enjoy Honeywater. Link in bio
You can trace the trajectory of M.I.A.’s music evolution over at Kajal Mag.
Because we can’t get enough of Janet Jackson news, here’s the actual video for “No Sleep”:
Bobbi Kristina Brown died on Sunday. The daughter of Whitney Houston has been in hospice care for the past month, after being found unresponsive in her bathtub. R.I.P. Bobbi Kristina.