About Cynfinite

One day, when I was in the 5th grade, my mother received my progress reports. In one of them, my english teacher Ms. Depre wrote, "Frenchie is a lovely student to have. She's advanced in reading and her creative writing is impecable! But . . . she daydreams a lot. Causing her to not pay attention." I haven't stopped daydreaming, btw. ------------------------- I'm Cynfinite (codename). 22 yrs young. Former hippie, current yuppie. Spoonfeeding the masses.

Feminista Jones & ‘Black Twitter’

I’m not sure about you, but when I first jumped onto the Twitter bandwagon, I knew it for its hashtags (which, in the beginning, was very juvenile when you think about it), its trash talk, its challenge to communicate within the 140 character margin, and its ability to let you speak your mind, illustrating whatever you deemed worth broadcasting to your followers. At first, I liked it. I had some fun, made some new friends. There came a time, though, when I got bored. Twitter was like high school, and at that point in time, I was already on my way to becoming a sophomore in college. I thought I left high school behind! The drama, the cattiness, and the immaturity that came along with it.

Then something happened. Right when I was going to leave Twitter, Twitter began to change. It became less social interaction about the Jonas Brothers and more social interaction about politics. About community. About the trials and errors of our celebrities and how it could be changing the way the younger generations view life. I began to see a lot more news outlets creating accounts to tweet links to articles they’ve written, tweets in which other people share by retweeting, therefore engaging others in a large conversation, similar to a chat room that anyone can jump into. And if you hashtagged it? Oh man. The more the merrier! So I stuck around. I began unfollowing people that used Twitter as a tool to trashtalk their ex boyfriend and started following people that used Twitter to generate a conversation, where people who felt they were alone no longer felt that way.

One of those follows that I still hang true to today and will forever is @FeministaJones, the sex-positive feminist blogger/writer who I came across via Twitter. She is not only one hell of a smart woman, actively talking smarts with her followers from log in to log out, but who is also about action where words aren’t enough. Through Twitter, she rounded enough people to stop Nivea, the beauty company, from continuing to run one of their ads, which happened to be racial. She also started up, via Twitter, something called #SexyShred, a 4-week weight loss challenge in which participants eat clean and work out for four weeks, and use the hashtag to inspire each other, keep each other updated, and share recipes and workouts.

One of her biggest accomplishments happens to be her involvement in Black Twitter, a community where mostly (though not limited to) black people come together to be who they are, to spread awareness, to inspire, to stir conversation, and to create and/or assist in activism toward the Black community. It was through Feminista Jones that I learned a lot about Black Twitter, and it was through her and the input, participation  and liveliness of other Black Twitter members that helped me to join, as well. A community as big as this, with a tool that keeps us all linked together is a gift, and one Feminista and many others do not take for granted. Just a few days ago, FJ wrote this article for Salon.com that explains what Black Twitter is, and how it helped to bring the Trayvon Case to life, to where it is today. Had Black Twitter not seen the case, evaluate it for its mistakes, and brought awareness to other people to the point where it became a nation wide story that everyone at home heard about, it probably would not have gotten the attention it got today.

DO YOURSELF A FAVOR: READ HER ARTICLE, “Is Twitter the Underground Railroad of Activism? How Twitter Fuels Black Activism” (click), FOLLOW HER ON TWITTER (click), AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION (click).

Social media is not just social media. It is a tool that can bring about change the world has never seen before. Black Twitter is a prime example, and leaders like Feminista Jones and the members of Black Twitter can help in bringing change.

Toure’s 8 Points on How to Talk to Young Black Boys About Trayvon Martin

The case of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin will undoubtedly be one for the books. Like the case of Emmitt Till, like the case of Sean Bell, like the case of Oscar Grant III and many other cases of African American men who were/are/will be profiled, judged, and attacked based on looks and/or race alone, this case seems to the be one that has almost the whole nation fed up in its results.

While many are ready to hit the streets with signs, shouts, and words of anger that have riled up for the past year, many are trying to remain peaceful. Many are hoping that, though we shouldn’t be surprised, if anyone is, this should not only keep them aware, but it should also give them a reason to use their voice. This case has touched the hearts of parents everywhere, specifically African American parents, who are raising sons in a country where they won’t be helped or saved. The same country in which they are born in, served their time to defend, and have contributed to its beautiful diversity. The country that praises freedom, yet keeps women and people of color on their toes.

One of the biggest questions asked is, “How exactly are we supposed to tell our sons, cousins, nephews, grandsons, and brothers about a case like this without scaring them? Without thinking that, at the age of 7, that the police won’t help you the way they should because of your color?” A tough question to answer?

Not so much. Well renown journalist and author of “Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness? What It Means to Be Black Now,” Touré Neblett wrote an article for TIME Magazine a month after the shooting took place. In it, the article illustrates 8 points that could be said to African American boys who have yet to understand the trials and errors of growing up Black in the United States, in hopes that it’ll keep them aware.

“Being black could turn an ordinary situation into a life-or-death moment even if you’re doing nothing wrong,” he points out in his first piece of advice. “If you encounter such a situation, you need to play it cool. Keep your wits about you. Don’t worry about winning the situation. Your mission is to survive.”

Toure continued to forewarn his readers with other pieces of advice, such as making allowances for other people’s racism, or to retreat when approached and probed by officers (he stresses to these young black men that they are trying to survive in a world that does not want them to). But if there’s on thing to truly appreciate about his 8 notes is note #3:

“There is nothing wrong with you. You’re amazing. I love you. When I look at you, I see a complex human being with awesome potential, but some others will look at you and see a thug — even if their only evidence is your skin.”