Category Archives: Race

Two Polynesians Walk into a Bar…

“Two Polynesians Walk into a Bar…”

It sounds like the start of a joke, but this incident is far from funny. If you’re of Pasifika decent and living in the US, you’ve probably already heard about Willie’s – the bar in Utah that reserves the right to refuse to serve alcohol to Polynesian men. I watched this video yesterday, and was definitely taken aback by the idea that the staff was instructed specifically not to serve “Polynesians.” As one of my Utah-based friends so eloquently said yesterday, “I didn’t know I lived south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Or maybe it’s 1960?” Seriously. It’s 2016. And in 2016 people are being refused service based on ethnicity. Houston, we have a problem. Continue reading

How Far We’ve Come and How Far We Still Have to Go

We are so pleased to share this guest post by one of our very favorite people ever: Dr. Fatimah Salleh! Dr. Salleh was born in Brooklyn, NY. She is the oldest of seven children.

Dr. Salleh first learned to love the scriptures from her grandmother, Madeline Riley. It was Nana’s Bible stories that captured Dr. Salleh’s attention.

Dr. Salleh received her Bachelor of Arts in History at Utah State University. She earned her Masters in Newspaper Journalism at Syracuse University and her PhD at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in Mass Communication.Dr. Salleh is currently in her senior year at Duke University pursuing a Master’s of Divinity .

Dr. Salleh is the mother of four children. She has been married to her husband, Eric, for 14 years.

fatimah

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An Additional Narrative : Discussion of Chapters 1 and 2

Welcome to our first discussion of the book “Doers of the Word”: African-American Women Speakers and Writers in the North (1830-1880) by Carla L. Peterson. If you are confused about this Black History Month segment, please see our post from last week that outlines the book discussion concept.Doers of the word

As Carla L. Peterson explains her purpose and begins to explore the lives of women highlighted throughout the book, I am most struck by the realization that before this book, I knew mostly names of black women connected to southern slavery. This is the narrative of black history. It ends and begins with slavery. When I think of northern abolitionists I think of white people but mostly white women. Black women have been completely erased from the northern abolitionist narrative, which allows for the development of a narrative that views northern whites as the savior of enslaved southern blacks. This, of course, continues an ongoing hierarchy of indebtedness and development of the benevolent oppressor. I believe the very act of expanding our awareness of the diversity of experiences of black people in the 1800s breaks down the oppressive nature of our history and forces us to view the black experience as an individual experience. Our history is not a homogeneous monument to one specific type of oppression (slavery). Just as there is not one narrative of oppression to capture black experience today, there was not of the past either. Continue reading

Black History Month Book Discussion

Doers of the word

As we round out our first blog year and move into our second, we have decided to make a greater effort to focus on identity and awareness months. Today marks the first day of Black History Month. We thought we would try something new and feature a book that we can read and discuss together.

We have selected Doers of the Word: African American Women Speakers and Writers in the North. You can download a copy through the Kindle app or have one shipped to your home. This book features African-American women preachers, lecturers, and writers from the North from 1830-1880. I will be reading this book for the first time along with anyone else who chooses to participate, so for a more comprehensive review please see the Amazon summary.

Each week, we will cover 2 chapters. We will post a blog about the chapters each Monday and open the comments up to discussion. We ask that all related comments be posted on the FEMWOC website to aid in unified interactive discussion. We hope you will find the time and will have a desire to participate as we read about historical African-American women who were engaged in social justice action and work. I’m sure this will be a very enriching and enlightening experience!

Remembering Coretta Scott King

It is right and proper that we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  His work, his writings, and his words made him a leader in the Civil Rights Movement and helped to secure the passage of federal legislation prohibiting discrimination in employment and public accommodations and guaranteeing voting rights.

However, as we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King, I would urge us also to remember and celebrate the life and legacy of Mrs. Coretta Scott King, not simply as his wife or his widow, but as a strong and courageous civil rights leader and activist.

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Missing the Mark

Photograph of Martin Luther King JR at a press conference, standing at a podium behind microphones and speaking, 1964. Text Reads "Why Can't W[ait]"

[This post was originally published at Feminist Mormon Housewives by Natasha Smith on February 9, 2015. The original text can be found here.]

Let’s be real, Feminist Mormon Community. We just had a major opportunity to embrace intersectionality, and we squandered it. What am I talking about? Martin Luther King Jr. Day. On that day, I watched as post after post dribbled through my social media co-opting Dr. King’s message. I saw many posts that talked about how Dr. King’s words apply to issues today as if racial inequality is not an issue today. I’m all for equality in every form, but given the current political and racial climate of the United States and the recent racial deconstruction of the Feminist Mormon Community, we needed to do better.

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Another Lesson in White Privilege

white privilege

A Facebook page called “The Good, the Chad, & the Ugly” shared this post today. When I saw it I felt compelled to share it with an added comment, to wit: 

Another day. Another lesson about white privilege. Will I ever complete this course? ‪#‎ComplexionfortheProtection

I then felt compelled to share some other thoughts.

When my oldest daughter was in kindergarten, her class would do a little chant/song at the end of the day to identify what they had learned.

The teacher would ask: “What did you learn at school today?”

The children would reply (in unison): “Sharing, counting, coloring,” or whatever they had learned that day.”

The children were eager to learn, eager to share what they had learned, and eager to return the next day to learn some more.

I, too, love to learn. I especially love the fact that I can receive all sorts of lessons and learn how to do all sorts of things from cooking to carpentry, from weaving to woodworking, and from sewing to sanding, all while enjoying the comfort of my own home.

There are some lessons, however, that I no longer need to learn.  White privilege is one of them.

Believe me, I know all I need to know about white privilege.  I can recognize it in all of its forms.  I can even recognize it when it masquerades as something else.  I can recognize it even when it does not recognize itself.

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