Over 100 Black Women Participated in Historic Photo in Edward M. Kennedy Institute's Replica of the US Senate Chamber

“Visual protest” highlighted the anniversary of Barbara Jordan’s historic Democratic Convention keynote address; Photo took place after national week of racial tragedy and unrest

BOSTON -- Despite the growing electoral and economic imprint of America’s 23 million Black women, they are still seriously underrepresented and underserved.

After a week of racial tragedy and unrest, Higher Heights and Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley asked 100 Black women on Tuesday evening to “Take Your Seat” in the Edward M. Kennedy Institutes’ replica of the U.S. Senate chamber seeking to elevate Black women’s voices in the political process through a photo taken symbolically in a chamber that currently has ZERO Black women serving.

The epic and uplifting photograph shone a light at the end of a very dreary week. The photo also took place on the 40-year anniversary of Barbara Jordan historic 1976 Democratic Convention keynote. A member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas, Jordan became the first African-American woman to deliver the televised landmark address before that audience. 

“I was overwhelmed by this event. Watching 100 women come through those Senate doors after a week where I felt disheartened was so inspiring for the possibilities that exist for Black women that lead to move this country forward,” said Glynda Carr, Co-founder of Higher Heights. “This chamber and the lack of Black women representation in the US Senate is the most blatant example of us being shut out of the process and our voices not being heard. We are 7 percent of the population, yet we are 3.4 percent of congress, and out the 100 major cities in our country, there are only four black women mayors. There is work to be done, and we all have a role to play.”

According to Higher Heights and Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University’s 2015 Status of Black Women in American Politics, Black women are 7.4% of the U.S. population yet make up only 3.4% of Congress.

Only two women of color have ever served in the US Senate: Carol Moseley Braun, an African-American Democrat from Illinois who was elected in 1992 and served until 1999, and Mazie Hirono, an Asian-American Democrat from Hawaii who was elected in 2012.

"This is a visual protest ...to affirm for ourselves and to the nation that Black women lead, Black women run, and Black women vote. Today we affirmed that Black women are leading, in this city, in this commonwealth, and I honor their contributions,” said Pressely. “The visual shot heard around the world today is merely a snapshot of our contributions, but a visual protest and demonstration nonetheless as we take over a space we have historically been underrepresented in.”

Attendees of the event included Diane Patrick, First Lady of Massachusetts, and Sarah- Ann Shaw, the first female African-American reporter to be televised in Boston, amongst others. 

Faith leader and Dorchester resident, Mariama White Hammond attended Tuesday’s event for encouragement and hope.
“Over the last week we have seen so many images of the ongoing issues of racism in our country. In the midst of so much strife and grief, I came to this event because my soul needed to be lifted by the image of 100 strong Black women claiming their leadership,” said Hammond. “It helped me to imagine the world that could be and to reinvigorate my commitment to working for justice. I took my seat because I know that I stand on the shoulders of amazing and courageous Black women. I took my seat to honor the legacy of my ancestors and in hopes that my life will allow another generation to rise to even higher heights.”
Pressley called Tuesday’s event, “the visual shot heard around the world”, that 
will draw awareness of the gap in Black women’s political leadership but also inspire and empower Black women to imagine the possibilities that exist.

“We gathered over 100 diverse women who are leading every day in their communities to take a seat for the countless Black women across the country that do not think they have a seat or voice at the table”, said Kimberly Peeler-Allen, Co-Founder of Higher Heights. “2016 is a movement building opportunity for Black women to truly harness our collective political power and leadership potential from the voting booth to elected office.”

Photo Credit: Eric Haynes




Queen of Katwe - A Story of How to Win at the Game of Chess and How to Overcome Incredible Life Challenges


Queen of Katwe is the colorful true story of Phiona Mutesi, a young girl selling corn on the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess, and, as a result of the support she receives from her family and community, is instilled with the confidence and determination she needs to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion. Based on the book by Tim Crothers, Queen of Katwe stars David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong'o and newcomer Madina Nalwanga.

The film is scheduled for release on September 23.


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Tennessee State University student breaks the internet


Racial Denise Poston TSU

Check out this very inspiring photo of Indianapolis, Indiana native and senior at Tennessee State University (TSU), RaCia Denise Poston. This photo went viral and Ms. Poston received much praise for her accomplishments while at TSU.

Just to share a few of her accomplishments: Poston is in the U.S. Army; a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority; a former Miss Collegiate 100; President of TSU’s Student Government Association; and soon to be the first college graduate in her family. 

Leadership…brains…beauty. Such is the #blackwomanmagic developed and nurtured at HBCUs. Congratulations, RaCia Denise Poston, continue to let your light shine!


#hbcu #hbcupride #tsu #tennstate #tsutigers #bigblue #think #work #serve #dst #deltasigmatheta #womenlead #brainsandbeauty #makeeducationapriority #army 


I Can Be One If I See One: Kim Godwin [VIDEO]

Kim Godwin is an example of awesome industry leaders produced by this nation's HBCUs. Check out this video tribute featuring her family and colleagues at CBS Evening News. A product of the J-School at Florida A&M University, Godwin's numerous awards include an Emmy and an HBCU Innovation Award. Congratulations, Kim!



#hbcupride #famousjournalists

Broadcast premiere of controversial film ‘Dark Girls’ airs on OWN, 6/23, ABPSI and CHN provide solutions to dilemmas posed by the film


Watch the world television premiere of Dark Girls on OWN. Tune in Sunday, June 23, at 10/9c.

Dark Girls is a fascinating and controversial documentary film that goes underneath the surface to explore the prejudices that dark-skinned women face throughout the world. It explores the roots of classism, racism and the lack of self-esteem within a segment of cultures that span from America to the most remote corners of the globe. Women share their personal stories, touching on deeply ingrained beliefs and attitudes of society, while allowing generations to heal as they learn to love themselves for who they are.

The Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi) announced that, in response to a request from the Oprah Winfrey Network, it is providing resources to facilitate healing conversations about the ground-breaking film, Dark Girls, which will have its world television premiere on OWN on Sunday, June 23, 2013. ABPsi’s resources will be available at www.abpsi.org

In addition, ABPsi is providing information about its collaboration with the Community Healing Network (CHN), which is working to mobilize the Black community to overcome internalized beliefs about the inferiority of Black skin, Black hair, and other characteristics associated with people of African ancestry. 

Dark Girls explores the blows to self-esteem faced by dark-skinned women all over the world, and ABPsi psychologists have compiled a summary of the issues raised in the film and their psychological implications, emotional wellness tips, and links to helpful resources. 

To address the broad range of problems related to the idea of Black inferiority, ABPsi is working with CHN to create a network of self-help groups focused on emotional emancipation, healing, and wellness for Black people. ABPsi has developed a ground-breaking, research-based Emotional Emancipation (EE) Circles Toolkit and Curriculum in partnership with CHN, which will be available to the public in August 2013. EE Circles are safe, flexible gatherings in which Black people can come together to share stories, learn more about the impact of historical forces on emotions, and learn and practice essential emotional wellness skills. 

“We believe,” said Community Healing Network President Enola Aird, “that the only real solution to the problems illuminated in Dark Girls is a vibrant grassroots movement for the emotional emancipation of Black people, and it is our hope that EE Circles will be catalysts for personal reflection, dialogue, and action that will help heal, revitalize, and transform the Black community.” 

For more information, visit www.abpsi.org and www.CommunityHealingNet.org.



Related Links:

The Official Dark Girls Movie Website

Dark Girls



"Dark Girls" is Sad, Powerful and Haunting [VIDEO]

It's 2011, why are black people still dealing with skin color and hair texture issues?

Dark Girls: Preview from Bradinn French on Vimeo.

How many times do black people have to address the issue of dark skin vs. light skin...good hair...bad hair. It's so sad and so unbelievable by people who are not black, regardless of whether black American, Black Hispanic, Caribbean black, etc.

If the truth be told, the problem of self-hatred and skin color envy is so deep and pervasive. If the truth be told, it goes beyond blacks. The desire for blonde hair, blue eyes and light skin is prevalent throughout the  ethnicity spectrum and damages the psyche of many not naturally born with those genetic traits. It's easier and perhaps more damaging to blacks who are farther away from Nordic blonde, but others are suffering also.

This madness will continue until people start really loving their natural selves. It's okay to recognize beauty in others but when you do that while hating yourself, the cycle continues. Some of comments from blacks in this video make me angry and sad --- in that order. We know better, let's do better. And to my dark girl sisters, you are beautiful. Know it. Own it. Be it.


Michelle Howard: Quietly Kicking Butt and Taking Names

HOWARD-%20M2 While the world was focused on the seizure and rescue of Maersk Alabama Captain Richard Phillips from Somali pirates, little notice was given to the history-making leader of the anti-piracy crew who took charge and rescued him. That would be the one and only Rear Admiral Michelle Howard who assumed leadership of the crew only three weeks prior to the hostage situation. Who is she? Well, read her bio at this site.

See, I always knew that a sister in a few key places will resolve a lot of the problems this country is experiencing. Anyhoo, perhaps there are other Michelle Howards doing things in the world. If you know of other history makers, give us a shout here.