There is a reason your Black friends are sighing about it

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Image of Daphne and Simon from Bridgerton, a show on Netflix. (Liam Daniel/Netflix)

TW: Discussions of rape, coercion

Bridgerton was was made for white women who like historical romance, but are open to some diversity. It is Pride and Prejudice, with a bit of an edge. Although the show is set in 1813, it does something a bit different by allowing Black people to hold positions of social power within the world. However, it also awkwardly ignores racial dynamics, giving us a show that caters to the white woman gaze.

The show tries to carefully craft a color blind world where Black people are part of the nobility. However, it falls hard on old tropes of race that elevate white women, their sexuality, and positions of power within society. It is a show that does not challenge white women’s view of the Regency era, it caters to their interests. …

You want us to turn states blue but won’t call us for an interview

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Image of the author, who is tired of saving America.

I have been looking for full time employment for about seven months. It has been a process filled with disappointment, stress, and heartache. As I was pecking away at my keyboard in August, I saw a tweet that made me groan:

“Black women will save the United States,” stated Jorge Guarjardo. The responses from Black women were glorious. From citing the deaths from COVID to warnings that we are leaving the message was clear; Black women are getting tired of the abusive relationship.

There is an exhausting idea that Black women are soldiers. That no matter the situation, we will stand up save America from itself. This narrative creates an unfair standard for us; That no matter how much trauma and abuse we experience, we are expected to come out on the other side victorious. Many of us do not. Black women face down a double-edged sword every day, and then when the fate of democracy hangs in a balance, people call and plead with us to vote blue, to save America. …

Everything is awful, nothing is ok, and you have done such a good job

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Holding hands. From Pixabay by Alexas_Foto

It is month seven or eight of the pandemic. Longer, if you are counting from a non-western nation.

In the United States, millions of people are out of work, facing eviction, and have lost their health insurance due to the pandemic.

Every day, we are watching the numbers tick up. More deaths. More shattered families. More loss of life, talent, ideas, love, and futures. We are losing generations and we watch the world burn on CNN, unable to hold our loved ones.

The world is falling apart and everything is awful. …

Lovecraft Country and Watchmen made audiences grapple with nasty realizations about our history

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Scene from Watchmen, Tulsa Massacre, HBO

TW: Discussions of a massacre and Black death

Death creates conversation.

Over the last year, there have been two depictions of the Tulsa Massacre on the television shows Lovecraft Country and The Watchmen. In both cases, the scenes have inspired numerous articles, important discussions on social media, and widespread horror at the violence of the massacre. The scenes are disturbing and spare the audience no relief from the violence of May 31- June 1, 1921.

In Watchmen, the audience follows a young Black family in the Greenwood District of Tulsa as they weave between above portrayed scenes of violence: Klan members surrounding a Black man, people being shot from an airplane, and gun battles around cars. We watch as the parents place their young child in the trunk of a car, promising they will see him soon. Gazing out a whole created by a bullet, the little boy watches a bomb dropped from a plane kills his parents. In Lovecraft Country, the story is juggled through multiple perspectives. Our heroes go back in time to the night of the massacre in search of a family book. Viewers watch a Black family die in a burning house, the shooting of a Black queer teenage boy, and three children being attacked by a White mob. Our heroes flee the massacre, but not before one of the children, now a full adult who went back in time, recounts names of victims as he stares over his burning hometown. …

And how you kept them White

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Photo from Pixabay by Skitterphoto

Neighborhoods are not created equal. They never have been.

Neighborhoods have been carefully constructed with barriers to assure a certain aesthetic. For many years, the nice neighborhoods had a singular aesthetic: Whiteness. A space where people of color could not intrude on White comfort or White joy. It was the construction of White neighborhoods with carefully crafted barriers that have denied people of color access to resources, wealth, and prosperity. Housing, a basic human right has never been an equal experience in the United States and that has been on purpose.

The reality is, White people, we need to talk about your neighborhoods. …

I used to have a Marvel movie buddy. Now he is gone.

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Daughter and Dad from Pixabay by StockSnap

The first Iron Man movie came out six days before my 18th birthday.

A couple days later, Dad and I walked into the local movie theater in Walla Walla, Washington. We’d seen the movie trailers for the film and were curious about this Tony Stark character, who frankly sounded like a Batman knock-off.

We were so wrong.

Two hours later, we left the theater blown away by an experience. We were hooked. From then on, Dad and I had a new connection space: Marvel films.

Dad and I always had trouble connecting. He was a White man from Michigan who loved wandering about the wilderness. He enjoyed artistic films that challenged his mind. Meanwhile, he was the father to a Louisiana-born Black teenager — me — who was obsessed with Inuyasha, Yu Yu Hakusho, and Trigun. …

Its not because we hate the great outdoors or cooking over an open fire

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From Pixabay by FabricioMacedoPhoto

I grew up camping in the Pacific Northwest. From the chilly, Oregon Coast, to the deep sapphire waters of the Puget Sound, my summers were filled with exploring the wonders of the west coast and the waters next to it. However, as I recall my beloved childhood summers, I realized something: I never saw Black people at the campgrounds.

The easy answer for this, often from the Black community has been “Black people don’t go camping, that’s a white people thing.” However, I find this answer unsatisfactory. Black people do plenty of things that White people enjoy. …

In 1916, Jesse was killed by the people of Waco, Texas, after being forced to sign a confession he could not read.

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Image of a tree. Pixabay by LauraMR5

Warning: This article discusses a violent lynching. To respect the memory of Jesse, pictures of the lynching are not part of this article, however, descriptions are not sanitized. All links that contain photos of the lynching will have a (*) by them.

In 1916, an angry White mob killed Jesse Washington. He was a 17-year old child whose death was a public event where men, women, and children watched his torture. …

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San Francisco. From Pixabay by 12019

I am filled with nostalgia for a place I struggled to function in

The day my plane lifted off the ground from San Francisco International for the last time, I felt myself breathe a deep sigh of relief. It was over. My time in the Bay had ended. I was free from the overpriced housing, food, and lack of melanin in my neighborhood.

I had liked San Francisco for about a week. I landed in August 2017, desperately looking for a place to live, only to find housing costs that ate over 30% of my paycheck. I quickly found a housing market that was ruthless and picky about who lived in what neighborhood. For the first time in my life, I made a rental resume with a complete recounting of where I’d lived, landlord’s contact information. Attached was a screenshot of my bank account, credit score, and other information that made me stand out to landlords. After an exhausting week and half, I found a room in the Sunset District with a woman who eventually became one of my dearest friends. However, the struggle of finding housing soured me towards my new home. …

For a Black couple, the outside world feels too dangerous

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Apartment image by jarmoluk on Pixabay

Every morning, I watch my boyfriend leave the apartment and feel my body tighten up. He is going out there. Beyond the door of our apartment, where the world is waiting for him. Every time he leaves, my mind races with terrifying questions: Will this be the day he is speeding, the day a cop pulls him over? The day that some White man who feels heroic will point a gun at him? I find myself overwhelmed by these thoughts and try to push them aside. …


Nikki Brueggeman

Nikki Brueggeman writes about Black history, grief, and current events. Twitter: @warriornikki

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