5 Interesting Reasons People Give for Hating Educated Black People

There are some stigmas educated Black people have to deal with that other educated groups don’t. You can’t speak proper English or wear clothing outside of hip-hop styles without being labeled as trying to be white. Most people should know that white people don’t have a monopoly on education, intelligence or class.

_DSC0433Name Assimilation  

When people of color have children, they have to decide whether to give their child a name that is stereotypically white or a name representative of their culture and people. “Creative naming has reached every race and class, but it is largely and profoundly the legacy of African-Americans,” writes Eliza Dinwiddie-Boyd in her baby-naming book “Proud Heritage.” However, there are issues with this. In the documentary Freakonomics, economist Steven Levitt put it to the test. People with white-sounding names got more callbacks from future employers than Latinos and African-Americans with non-white names. The facts are clear: racism and prejudice are real. Parents have every right to give their children whatever name they choose, but the world isn’t always an accepting place. Hopefully, one day no one will be judged based on their name, but that day has yet to come.

Over 35 Black Artists and Their Works to Be Featured at 2015 Venice Biennale

The Venice Biennale has taken progressive steps in regards to diversity, appointing its first African director, Okwui Enwezor, in December 2013. Now the annual contemporary art exhibition is set to take further steps forward by including more than 35 Black artists in the 56th annual Venice Biennale (May 9 to Nov. 22, 2015). Enwezor (also the director of the Haus der Kunst museum in Munich, Germany) states, “No event or exhibition of contemporary art has continuously existed at the confluence of so many historical changes across the fields of art, politics, technology, and economics, like la Biennale di Venezia,” and the inclusion of so many black artists is reflective of that. Featured artists include Kerry James Marshall (work pictured), Wangechi Mutu, Chris Ofili and Steve McQueen.




This post is courtesy of AFROPUNK. To read more from Alexander Aplerk visit afropunk.com

The Victoria and Albert Museum Explores the History of Black British Culture

For the last seven years, the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum in London has been working with Black Cultural Archives to compile a collection of photographs that document the lives of Black people in Britain. Now with a collection of 118 works by 17 artists, the museum is currently displaying the collection in an exhibition titled “Staying Power” until May 24 at V&A Museum. (A concurrent exhibit runs until June 30 at the Black Cultural Archives in London.) It aims to “raise awareness of the contribution of black Britons to British culture and society, as well as to the art of photography.”


Al Vandenberg, “High Street Kensington,” 1976, from the series “On a Good Day.” Museum no. E.432-2010. © The Estate of Al Vandenberg / Victoria and Albert Museum, London.



Armet Francis, “Self-Portrait in Mirror,” London, 1964, gelatin silver print © Armet Francis / Victoria and Albert, London


Normski, “African Homeboy – Brixton,” London, 1987, printed 2011, c-type print. © Normski / Victoria and Albert, London

This post is courtesy of AFROPUNK. To read more from Alexander Aplerk visit afropunk.com

5 Reasons Blerds Have Created Their Own Space

Embrace Intelligence and Blackness

A debate has recently ensued over “The Acting White Theory,” suggesting Black students are less inclined to be studious and smart because it is associated with being white. This  theory originated in the 1980s with anthropologist and former professor at University of California Berkeley, Dr. John Ogbu’s research. It is commonly used to explain the present-day achievement gap between Black and white students, according to theroot.com.

Although this theory has been cited by President Obama as a call to action to bring education and intellect into our communities, author and Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson pushes back, believing that these anti-intellectual stereotypes of Black youth  are not founded in reality.

Researchers over the last three decades have consistently found that Black students have more positive attitudes about education than their white peers, although academic achievement is lower overall, theroot.com reports.

Blerds have created their own space to support Black intellectual creative abilities, and the desire for achievement in our communities.

Separate From Stereotypes of Black Culture

In today’s culture, Blackness is confined to a small scope. Modern-day images of Blackness often revolve around star athletes, hip-hop moguls, gangsters or TV housewives and baller’s baby’s moms. Oftentimes, these stereotypes reinforce accepted violence, hatred and ignorance against African-Americans.

On Aug. 9, 2014, Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager who a witness says raised his hands in surrender, was shot and killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri. Racial profiling may have led to his death and his race may have also influenced stories shared in the media about his possible criminal involvement, in attempt to justify and excuse the blatant disregard for his life.

Blerds have created their own space to separate from the stereotyped images of the Black culture and find sanctuary in the freedom to be who they were born to be.

Pay Homage to Intellectual Predecessors 

African-American intellectual Blerds, such as sociologist and activist W.E.B. Du Bois, educator and orator Booker T. Washington, academic and activist Cornel West and President Obama, all pushed the envelope, advocating the advancement of African-American rights, specifically, opportunities to higher education, reform of the criminal justice system, the end of the school-to-prison pipeline, and access to higher political office.

Blerds’ expression of themselves as intellectuals in their own space pays homage to the Black intellectuals, innovators and achievers that came before them.

Define Themselves and Their Narratives
Since 2002, Black journalists in the U.S. have lost 993 newsroom jobs, more than any other minority groups, according to The National Association of Black Journalists.
In An Open Letter to America’s Black Journalists, Eric L. Wattree, a Los Angeles journalist, declares that Black journalists do have a special and unique mission — to educate and help the Black community connect the dots and understand the complex structures of exploitation, prejudice and disenfranchisement of Black people in mainstream society.
As the number of employed Blacks dwindle across all sectors, it is even more imperative to create our own spaces in which we can thrive and support. Blerds have created their own space to define themselves and share their own narratives.
Document Their History For All Time
In today’s modern world, Africans and African-Americans have been misidentified by mainstream thought as inferior, lacking the skills, education and the drive necessary to succeed.
The little-told narratives of our ancestors , who created mathematics, martial arts, universal education and more, highlight the true nature of people of African descent, according to Atlanta Blackstar article, “When Black Men Ruled the World.”
Blerds have created their own spaces to document our successes so that our history is never again forgotten.