88 Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by Islamic extremists still missing

Twenty-four more Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by Islamic extremists have escaped but 85 are still missing, an education official said on Friday.

Some of the 129 young women who were abducted jumped off the back of a truck when they were kidnapped before dawn on Tuesday from a high school in the extreme north-east of Nigeria.

Others escaped into the Sambisa Forest, which bordered their school in Chibok town and was a known hideout of militants of the Boko Haram terrorist network.

Militant Muslim Leader Abubakar Shekau made the comments in a video posted online on Saturday, saying the group attacked a bus station in retaliation for the what he described as the government’s collusion with the United States in the killing of Muslims, but reamained mum on the fate of the schoolgirls.

Read more at theguardian.com.

ABWW Signal Boost: Tennessee’s Pregnancy Criminalization Law Will Hit Black Women the Hardest

I have been following Imani Gandy’s tireless work for reproductive rights for a few years. She is passionate, knowledgeable & incredibly funny as the co-host of the This Week in Blackness podcast. Read more of her work of her work  at  RH| Reality Check, The Grio.com, AlterNet,

In Tennessee, pregnant Black women have much to fear as a bill that would subject them to disproportionately higher rates of incarceration and detention sits on Gov. Bill Haslam’s desk, awaiting his signature. The bill, SB 1391, would impose criminal penalties on mothers of newborns who have been exposed to addictive illegal or prescription drugs in utero. While the bill appears race-neutral, prosecutors and judges will wield the law against Black women more so than white women, based on a long tradition of deeply embedded racial stereotypes about Black motherhood. Should Gov. Haslam ignore the growing outcry against SB 1391 from pro-choice and anti-choice advocates alike, the law would likely lead to Black women being thrown in jail for up to 15 years for aggravated assault should they choose to carry a pregnancy to term while struggling with an addiction to illegal narcotics

Read More at Tennessee’s Pregnancy Criminalization Law Will Hit Black Women the Hardest.

Let’s Talk About Our Uteri

Black Women’s Health: How To Talk About Reproductive Health | The Chicago Defender

Despite the grammatical errors. this young lady is speaking from the heart. We need more young women like her to spread this important message.

With all the conversation that you’re having with your girlfriends, who’s having the conversation about your health?There are countless blogs about Black women’s hair–what’s your curl pattern? What protective styles can you wear? How often should you wash? Is co-washing better? The natural hair conversation has taken off to dimensions my unborn grandchild will only understand.

We talk about the latest diet trend, but why aren’t we talking about how our diets will keep us from growing grapefruit sized fibroids? How often do you check in with your girlfriend’s routine breast exams? Have you ever discussed getting a pelvic ultrasound over brunch? Are you talking to your girlfriends about how often you and your boo get checked for STD’s or if they’ve ever contracted an STI or STD? What about the steps they took to get rid of it?

Read more at Black Women’s Health: How To Talk About Reproductive Health | The Chicago Defender.

ABWW Heroine of the Day: Dr. Alexa I. Canady

alexacanady

Dr. Alexa Canady & her young patient.

Conservatives may think that Ben Carson is some kind of anomaly but black doctors save lives every day. Dr. Alexa Canady was the first black female neurosurgeon and works to expand the opportunities for women of color in her field for over 25 years.

Dr. Alexa Canady was born on November 7, 1950, in Lansing, Michigan. While she was in college, a summer program inspired her to pursue a medical career.  Canady specialized as a pediatric neurosurgeon and served as chief of neurosurgery at the Children’s Hospital in Michigan in from 1987 to 2001.

Read more at Alexa Canady: Biography.com.

Read more at Changing the Face of Medicine| Dr. Alex Irene Canady

Congressional Black Caucus Joins Fight Against Army’s New ‘Racially Biased’ Hair Regulations « CBS DC

Women from the Congressional Black Caucus have joined the fight against the U.S. Army’s new grooming standards.

The regulations went into effect March 31 and have been criticized by people, soldiers and civilians alike, who have called them racially biased.

A We The People petition on WhiteHouse.gov, created March 20, has more than 17,000 signatures.

It says “the lack of regard for ethnic hair is apparent” and that the new policy should be revised to “allow for neat and maintained natural hairstyles.”

A letter signed by the Women of the Congressional Black Caucus sent to U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel April 10 asserts that “African American women have often been required to meet unreasonable norms as it relates to acceptable standards of grooming in the workplace.”

“Army officials have responded to criticism of the regulation by saying it applies to all soldier regardless of race, and that they are meant to protect their safety,” it goes on to say. “However the use of words like ‘unkempt’ and ‘matted’ when referring to traditional hairstyles worn by women of color are offensive and biased… We strongly encourage you to reconsider the updated regulation…”

Read More at Congressional Black Caucus Joins Fight Against Army’s New ‘Racially Biased’ Hair Regulations « CBS DC.

Brittney Griner Chats Book, Bullying, and Bravery

Brittany Grinier

Brittany Griner talked about her new memoir, In My Skin. She is a young, beautiful 23 year old, the WNBA‘s number 1 pick–who made international news last year by being the first active WNBA player to come out publicly–to be a little cocky. But perhaps not surprisingly, she was the complete opposite: approachable, authentic, grounded and very articulate. She casually wandered in with her agent after hitting up some of Portland’s notoriously delicious food carts, reached out her hand and said “Hey I’m Brittney”—as if I wouldn’t have known.

As a lifetime basketball player, lover of the sport, and an out lesbian for over 20 years, I have to say it’s incredible and a little mind blowing to witness the progression and growth of women’s sports over the years and to see such a courageous young woman like Griner–who’s not only a star basketball player but now a leader for so many LGBT groups–speak so matter-of-factly and confident about queer issues. I was delighted to sit down and listen to her talk about her journey, the WNBA and what’s next for her.

Read more at Brittney Griner Chats Book, Bullying, and Bravery.

Trends in African American Philanthropy

Black women put the most importance to giving to charity than any other ethnic group.

Myth: African Americans don’t give to charitable causes. Fact: African American households give 25% more of their discretionary income to philanthropic activities than Whites (Chronicle of Philanthropy, 2003). The question is where do they give?

Black giving, and the organizations around which it is focused, are rooted in efforts to overcome oppression. The history of Black philanthropy shows that Blacks are motivated by those who are close to them — efforts that make a difference in the daily lives of other African Americans. In many cases, their philanthropy has been a response to discrimination: slavery and segregation in the past; inequality in education and the workplace today.

Read more at Trends in African American Philanthropy : Charity Navigator.

Olivia A. Cole

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