On Reading Ta Nehisi Coates

TaNehisiI haven’t always been a very political person. But then I got to college and started to learn about the history and politics of gender and of race. I remember being horrified when I became fully aware of what slavery and racism meant. When you grow up in a majority black country, you think that racism is simply when people are mean to you because of your race. But it’s so much more than that. Racism is a culture and an institution.

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Women Who Read

WomenWhoReadA few days ago I came across this post by Bikozulu’s Facebook page where he was talking about his opinion on why it was important for women to read, and why he was making sure his daughter developed reading habits. I commented on it, disagreeing with what he said, and a few people responded to what I had to say. I’m trying to engage less in debates on social media because I don’t think it’s always productive (especially with a post shared among so many people) but then I had a conversation with a friend who suggested that I shouldn’t shy away from expressing a much lengthier opinion on this. So, here we go: 8 thoughts on Bikozulu’s “Women Who Read” post. As a disclaimer, I am writing this as a layperson and as a woman who has always loved to read, not as an academic authority.

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Pyrethrum

BloomJanice
Sketch by Janice Angengo.
Words by Wanjiku Mungai.
The Chrysthanthemums— the pyrethrum flowers– had been harvested and laid out flat on a burlap sack to dry in the sun. If it started to rain it could be disastrous, so the two of them watched to make sure that in this case, they could very quickly move them out into the shade.
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Flower Girl

IvyNyayiekaBloom2By Ivy Nyayieka. 

I have only ever been a flower girl once.

I was six years old, wearing a white dress, before I started to feel that white dresses accused me of things, before the priest said that we wear white to show that we are free from sin.

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Do You Sanitize?

sanitizedTrigger Warning: This post contains mention of suicide.
The other day, I was at a dinner with a group of old schoolmates when the topic of “sanitizing” social media came up.
According to the online dictionary that pops up on Google, to Sanitize is “to make clean and hygienic.” or “(Derogatory) to alter something regarded as unacceptable in order to make it more palatable.”

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Mirror Mirror

MirrorMirror1OK, so there are a few things that let you know that yes, you have grown old. One is that you realize that the newly born infants of 2000 are now in their second year of secondary school and it horrifies you a little. Another is that you start to compare yourself to younger kids and to think/ say things like “in my day…”.

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