Too often are Black girls and womxn placed at the edge of recognition and representation when exhibiting lifestyles, movements, and trends.

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Photo Courtesy of Shutter Stock

It’s 7:00 am, and I am doing my usual routine: sit at the tea shop, people watch, and write. I contemplated my next writing topic when the words of philanthropist and supermodel Aamito Lagum dawned on me. “Define what you want, ask yourself what do I want. If everything was to go away if I had no fear if I had no obstacles, what is it that I want?” And it was as if the flood gates opened and the water came bursting. I want simplicity, joy, and freedom. I want minimalism.

My earliest memories of minimalism were when I…


Overcoming my internalized racism and Black hair stereotyping.

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Photo by Fillipe Gomes from Pexels

I was afraid of the word “ghetto” when I was young. I was afraid that there wasn’t anything I would be able to do to prevent people from making assumptions about me —thinking the tall Black girl decked out in Baby Phat decals was a trouble-making little “hussy” (as my grannie would say).

Some days I wonder if I’m naturally soft-spoken, or if that’s a permanent vocal change brought on by the fear of being seen as That Loud Black Girl.

The result is that I spent a lot of time policing my behavior.


Writing

Everything you need to know about submitting articles

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Photo Credit | Allison Gaines made via Canva

Cultured is an online publication which curates high quality articles about social justice issues. Writers on our publication redefine culture through their writing. We want stories about race, culture, womanism, gender, sexuality, and equality. Journalistic, personal essays, and poetry are welcome forms on the publication.

We have a new home — www.readcultured.com. It’s still a Medium pub, but the domain will make it easier for readers to find and support your work. Social activists should use Cultured to share stories about their pursuits to overcome adversity. Personal stories from the trenches, political commentary, and societal critiques are always welcome.

Topics we amplify

When…


America needs our stories and perspective

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Photo Credit | Allison Gaines made via Canva

History Matters

White washed history must go

One month, not enough

We cannot separate Black history from American history. And while it’s amazing to see our history celebrated from sea to shining sea, one month is not enough to highlight our amazing contributions and triumphs. Black History month barely scratches the surface. Also, this subject is not universally accepted. Many people still fight against the idea that public schools should teach Black history.

So, it’s absolutely necessary for Black people to tell Black history from the lens of Black perspectives. In our absence, white historians have controlled the narrative. As…


Poem: Women Activists

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Photo by Chema Photo on Unsplash

Your unmatched courage
and freedom fighting instincts
were ingrained with ancestors’ blood
whose strength and heroism
broke barriers and conquered their plights
so that we can stand today — emancipated.

“Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.”
— John Lennon / Paul McCartney


The global case of skin bleaching and the Western ideal of beauty

(Left) Image of a vintage advert for Nadinola Bleaching Cream, (Right) Artra skin tone cream advert in Ebony magazine 1963.
(L) Vintage advert for Nadinola Bleaching Cream by Envisioning the American Dream, (R) Artra skin tone cream advert published in Ebony magazine 1963, (pg.107)

While this long read is primarily based on skin bleaching, it’s impossible not to write about the influence of Western standards of beauty in its entirety as it stems from promoting society’s belief in whiteness as the most beautiful and worthy of respect and admiration. A quick google search (eg. type beautiful women), proves the common sentiments of who is deemed attractive. It’s evident, spreading and pervasive influence sets a precedent in these conversations. They both go hand in hand, intertwined in a union that can’t be ignored as it has affected many aspects within society.

The issue of colourism…


Haiku

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Photo Credit | The author Allison Gaines created and owns this photo | made via Canva

Black Women Matter

their feelings are valid too

makes space for anger

Society puts unrealistic expectations onto Black women, namely that they must act accordingly or get slapped with the angry Black woman trope. While some view this stereotype as a harmless generalization, diminishing Black women’s feelings is no laughing matter. The harm caused by racist tropes are two fold — they dehumanize the marginalized group while simultaneously trying to control them. The angry Black woman trope aims to characterize Black women as over-the-top, out of control, and monstrous.

In the aftermath of slavery and the resulting social, economic, and…


Let's dismantle these microaggressive comments

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Photo by Roberto Okaka from Pexels

As black women, we encounter an abundance of remarks that are clearly offensive to us as a whole. However, society doesn't realise that some of the remarks they make towards us are derogatory, when they may think they are harmless in effect.

From my personal experiences, I can account for why these are disrespectful and wrong. It may be simple to say "just ignore it'' or ''it doesn't matter, they didn't mean it like that'' from an outside perspective, but as someone who has heard these remarks first hand, it is far more damaging than that.

As a society, we…

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