Who you callin a bitch?

I am a grammar snob. Just ask my students. If I get a paper with noun-verb disagreement or the inclusion of anything besides the Oxford comma, I have a mini convulsion.

So when I got an update on my phone this weekend indicating more preposterous rhetoric spewed by he-who-shall-not-be-named (HWSNBN), I shrugged it off as yet another CNN alert designed to give me heightened anxiety.

But then I read it again.

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Matty Williams
Charlottesville - if not you, then hoo?

“Overnight, Charlottesville had become known for something for which it never wanted to be known.”

Oh, my dearest Charlottesville, there is a difference between aspirations and reality. The city of Charlottesville, Virginia — of which I was a resident for five years during my clinical psychology doctoral program — does not want to be known for racism, anger, fear, and the loss of life. But the reality — that Thomas Jefferson founded the flagship institution for White men on the backs of slaves who were angry, fearful, and stripped of their lives — is ever present and unresolved.

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Riana Anderson
Keep Austin…White?

After taking a picture with my colleagues to emphasize the importance of focusing on Black children at the Society for Research on Child Development’s (SRCD) biennial conference, my friends and I left out of the building to go to another conference event. My research partner and I would have the pleasure of facilitating a Black Caucus Early Career Meeting on “Keepin it 100 in Academia” and we all had on our shirts, proudly displayed.

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Riana Anderson
The Rose in me sees the Rose in you | Racist Roles Highlighted by Get Out

If you haven’t gone to see Get Out, what’s wrong with you?

I mean, you should probably go right now. *Eye rolls annoyingly*

Anywho, my friends and I have been waxing poetically about allathe themes you can catch in this delightful film. You would’ve thought we were getting paid out here the way we’re like, “but, if you hold it up to the light, you’ll see this perspective.” “Ahhhhh!”

But Jordan Peele is in fact not paying us, so we should probably get back to work.

Except, my work is actually to better understand racial dynamics and, well, Get Out was chock full of them.

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Riana Anderson
Justice for #EricGarner

[Dec 8, 2014]

As I laid out on the cold, hard concrete for 4.5 minutes, I began to weep. I was not anticipating the Yale Law School die-in demonstration having an effect on me, after all, I had both organized and participated in many protests throughout my young life. But there was something about staring at the infinite sky that brought stinging tears to my eyes.

And when I say tears, I mean sniffly, chest-heaving, uncontrollable weeping.

It was during this time that both simultaneously and instantly, two hands on either side of me caressed my arms to console me.

The hands of relative strangers let me know that they heard me and — in the spirit of this movement — wanted me to be able to breathe.

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Riana Anderson
Justice for Jordan Davis

[Oct 2, 2014]

Earlier this year, I was on the phone with my academic bro and sis about the trial of Michael Dunn. These were the same folks I spent hours crying to regarding Trayvon, and later Mike Brown, and I think I was out of tears at the start of this year. I couldn’t bring myself to write another blog or feel anger for another injustice.

But this is an important time in our history. An important occasion to know that people are mad. What hung one jury during a time where the Zimmerman verdict may have been too far removed was not an issue for the current jury, deciding in 6 hours that Dunn pulled a gun out to intentionallyshoot Jordan Davis. Shooting Jordan because he was playing loud music. Shooting Jordan because he talked back. Shooting Jordan because he did not know his place in America — and that is to be subservient, don’t start nothin, and stay in your lane. Or hood. Or borough. But just out of my way.

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Riana Anderson
Justice For Oscar Grant

[July 27, 2013]

SPOILER ALERT: If you HAVEN’T seen Fruitvale Station, do not read this post.

I am PISSED.

ELEVEN MONTHS?!?!?!?!?

Let me get this straight. The value of the life of black Americans has been no jail time and eleven months for the murderers of Trayvon and Oscar, respectively? Bull.

While the circumstances of both murders were arguably exceptionally different, the common thread — as I’ve written before — is that of the fear of the black male in America. The police officers involved in the killing of Amadou Diallo, Malice Green, Oscar Grant — I mean gosh, I must’ve just gotten tongue tied with the loss of life of unarmed black males — looked at Oscar and thought that he was a threat. Why else would they kick and beat someone who was the VICTIM of an altercation on a train? Moreover, why was he targeted on the train in the first place? I’ll grant you, movies may indulge in the facts, but I find it believable that Oscar was pulled off the train because he looked suspicious (sound familiar George Zimmerman?).

Click the title to read my full post on MEDIUM.

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Riana Anderson
Why America is afraid of her own son


[July 16, 2013]

I study parenting. Whenever I do a workshop, I ask a parent what exactly it means to be a parent. I have never, repeat, NEVER heard a mom say, “Oh, I want my son to be feared. I hope that I can never look him in the face again. I pray that he has is so uncared for and neglected by society that it will just make me beam.”

And yet, that’s exactly what we’ve done for our black sons.

America has been a baaaddddd mother. She stole our black son from another country (well, several other countries…all huddled together under their mother, Africa). She forced our black son to work when she didn’t require that of another son of hers. The prized son. The son she reserves all of her hopes, dreams, and aspirations for. No — she thought that working hard would make her black son strong and an excellent source of income.

Click the title to read my full post on MEDIUM.

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Riana Anderson