Protect Black Women

By: Laisha Harris

Sunday night, America sat and watched in disbelief as a Black woman was protected by her husband on an international broadcast of the Oscars. Chris Rock, in poor taste, made a “G.I. Jada joke,” which prompted Academy Award nominee Will Smith to rise from his seat, walk on stage, and slap the comedian. In that moment, Smith was not thinking about his 36-year career as an actor; he was not thinking about the award for Best Actor, nor was he thinking about the possibility of legal consequences for assaulting a fellow comedian on national television. He was thinking about his wife, and her struggle with a medical condition called “Alopecia.”

All I could think about are the abundance of jokes that are made at the expense of black women. Houston is the home of many wonderfully talented Black women: Beyonce, Solange, Michelle Williams, Kelly Rowland, Lizzo, Simone Biles, Megan thee Stallion, and Normani. While wealth and fame are something they have in common, they’ve also found themselves to be the center of some of the most hateful and insensitive conversations. The public made fun of Blue Ivy’s hair, prompting Beyonce’s line “I love my baby hair with baby hair and afro’s.” Lizzo, a Black entertainer who embraces her beauty and size, ended up in tears on Instagram over the constant body-shaming and racist comments she receives on her pictures. Megan Thee Stallion, rapper and TSU graduate, received jokes and accusations of lying after being shot by rapper Tory Lanez. Simone Biles, Olympic gold medalist, had to defend herself online regarding her hair and not the history she was making by placing first in the 2012 Olympics.

We can usually handle our own with the “clap-backs that silence the haters” such as Beyonce’s “Formation,” Lizzo and Cardi B, “Rumors,” or Megan’s “Tuned In,” but this trend tends to beg the question – who and what can we count on to protect us?

Black women have always been the glue that holds the family together. From our great-grandmothers who taught us how to harvest our own fruits and vegetables, our grandmothers who raised twelve children, our mothers who worked 60-hr weeks to provide food and shelter, to our younger sisters and daughters who are still learning and still growing. There’s also the family we choose – the wife that supports your dreams, bears, and rears children while maintaining her own identity and independence.

Black women have also been victims of a wide array of abuse. As children, like was the case with Blue Ivy, our features are ridiculed. Like Simone Biles, our accomplishments are overlooked while our beauty is minimized and criticized. You may even think of the black women who were victims of sexual assault by entertainers like R. Kelly, Trey Songz, or Russell Simmons. As we get older, the obstacles become more complex as we balance our mental and physical health while balancing any familial priorities. In 1962, Malcolm X pointed out that the most disrespected, unprotected, and neglected person in America is the Black woman. Forty years later, the statement still holds true, as some of our most personal and intimate moments are used to propel a journalistic agenda of devaluing the human experience of Black women.

People reacted to Smith’s actions in different ways. Some called for criminal charges and advocated for his arrest, some brought up the controversial history of the Smith’s marriage as justification for the joke, others projected themselves into the situation, focusing on their own shock and trauma from witnessing the assault, completely ignoring the private and personal struggle endured by a Black woman. The response was not empathy towards the personal struggle endured by Mrs. Smith, nor was a healthy discussion of the medical condition that attacks hair follicles and causes hair loss proposed. In fact, the response to the events Sunday night completely overlooked the subject of the punchline and focused solely on the response that the punchline elicited. The events that night brought forth a thought I believe is worth emphasizing and exploring – black women deserve more. We deserve to be seen, our human experience deserves to be recognized, and we deserve to be seen as more than punchlines to poorly written jokes.


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October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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