Growing up, I always thought I was weird. Even my own mother said so. I was a nerdy black girl who was quiet, shy and introverted; who struggled to find out who I was and to be comfortable in my own skin. For years I felt I had to put on masks of identities that didn’t fit me completely or reflect the way I saw myself. I felt alienated from the expectations of a fundamentalist-Christian identity, a black-church identity, a hip-hop-based cultural identity and other popular forms of identity associated with blackness.
Maybe you’ve heard and/or used the words “out of context” more times than you’re able to remember. The act of taking something “out of context” is usually applicable to some kind of conversational or verbal discourse. However, like conversation, when something is being communicated visually via today’s eye-in-the-sky technology, strong contextual elements are established.
As it relates to former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice’s and the NFL’s Roger Goodell’s actions, for most of us, the context we were given was strong and wrong.
St. Louis County has 90 municipalities – ranging in population from 13 to nearly 52,000 – and most of them sustain themselves by targeting, fining and jailing poor Missouri residents, many of them Black, who are unable to pay traffic tickets.
A “white paper” by ArchCity Defenders, a group that defends the poor in the St. Louis area for free, carefully details how Ferguson and other small villages and municipalities in the state have perfected the art of exploiting those who drive while Black – and poor.