Surviving as a Black professional By Cecily Joy Willowe

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Surviving as a Black professional By Cecily Joy Willowe If you are a Black woman in America, regardless of how educated or successful you are, you are bound to deal with many episodes of racism in your professional life. For myself, I often found the subtle racial and gendered microaggressions I faced in the professional world more exhausting than overt racism. With overt racism I can more easily report, fight or disregard it as people being evil. When the N-word was chalked on my school … [Read more...]

Privilege and Racialist Paganism Talks at Pantheacon

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PantheaCon is one of the best formats for having broader community conversations that are important to the culture of what is happening around us. I have seen big festivals like this contribute to the direction and tone of Pagan culture, and so it could be very important for us to seize these moments in positive ways. I was honored to be on one of those panel talks, the Pagans and Privilege panel from 2013 and 2014. I was not able to be present at the Racialist Pagans discussion in the Solar … [Read more...]

A Community Influx: The Journey to Redefine the Umbrella

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I am back from two incredibly important and special trips this year. In back to back conventions, I got to speak about things that are very important to me personally and spiritually; Cultural empathy, multicultural community needs and addressing privilege. The Conference on Current Pagan Studies invited me to be one of the two keynote speakers this year for their 10th anniversary. I accepted and they flew me to Claremont, California to engage in one of the most important conversations I have … [Read more...]

Happy Birthday to Love

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Growing up in my home, with a southern mama, meant that Martin Luther King Jr. was a name that I knew well. I can recall watching many images on the television that would show the Jim Crow south, marches, dogs, firehoses, and lynchings. I remember feeling the sadness and rage that would come along with those images, but being a young child meant I was without the ability to understand what it all meant. It just translated to me as hate, and hate never feels good. As I have gotten older, I’ve … [Read more...]

My Personal Top 10 Pagans That Worked as Change Agents for Social Justice in 2013

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Out of my 2013 lists, this is one of my favorite ones to do. I have had some of the best experiences, and opportunity to learn, because of those who have done the incredible work of putting magic into the manifestation of justice for all people. And every time I have had the chance to learn from one of these people, it has been such an honor, and such a learning experience. There are a lot of people that deserve to be on this list, yet a list could only be so long. So I am just writing a list … [Read more...]

Kwanzaa in a Pagan Home: My Spiritual, Pride Practice

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I am ending this year with pride and culture. I have been hesitant to start the practice of Kwanzaa in my home for some time, not because I did not believe in the value of its practice, but because of…. fear. It is the continuous fear of breaking away from overculture, even though I am Pagan, and a Black woman. I will never fit into the norm of overculture, and it is not something I am trying to do anyway. It is often an unconscious fear that pushes us away from something that is new and … [Read more...]

Call for Writers– Bringing Race to the Table: An Exploration of Racism in the Pagan Community

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Very excited to announce this new writing opportunity to the community. This book will expand beyond the personal stories of the Shades of Faith series and into the voices of the community (not just Pagans of color) and into the realm of the academic. Please spread the word, pass it along, and consider writing for this incredible anthology in the making!     Call for Writers– Bringing Race to the Table: An Exploration of Racism in the … [Read more...]

Where is the Line?…..There is No Spoon

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Sometimes, especially lately, I have felt like I am talking about being Black all the damn time. On a normal day, I don’t wake up in the morning, reference my Black experience, talk about systemic or historical oppression. Instead I get up, and am in the rush of being a mother, wife, social worker, staff on school site, Master’s level college student, and human being; If I am lucky, I even get to eat and sleep. Yet I realize, more than some, that when I wake up every morning, I am a Black … [Read more...]

It’s In the Blood

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by Porsha Williams I was conversing lightly with my 'male bestie' earlier this week, while watching his DVR'd first episode of “Sleepy Hollow” on NBC.  As avid sci-fi and fantasy fans, we found ourselves immediately sucked into the lushness of this show.  Within the set of scenes that came after the commercial break, we both mutually chuckled at the scene where the African-American Police Lieutenant gave the 'evil eye' to the resurrected soldier Icabod Crane. In that scene, Icabod marvels … [Read more...]

50 Years Ago: Honoring the Healing of Four Little Girls in Birmingham

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“These children — unoffending, innocent, and beautiful — were the victims of one of the most vicious and tragic crimes ever perpetrated against humanity.” - Martin Luther King Jr.   "On Birmingham Sunday a noise shook the ground. And all over the hearth turned around. For no one recalled a more cowardly sound. And the choir kept singing of Freedom." - Joan Baez Fifty years ago, a church in was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four young Black girls.  Once September 15th, … [Read more...]