Did Your Mom Believe Anita?

Image courtesy of TIME Magazine.

Image courtesy of TIME Magazine.

On October 11th, 22 years ago, tens of millions of Americans watched, mesmerized as writer and Professor Anita Hill bravely testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the repeated acts of sexual harassment she suffered while working with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Nominee Clarence Thomas. Thomas would go on to become one of the Supreme Court’s most racially conservative Justices after infamously declaring his dealings with Prof. Hill a “high-tech lynching.”


Icons: Women of the Black Panther Party

Image courtesy of thestrugglefortheworld.wordpress

Kathleen Clever stands next to the Black Panther’s co-founder Bobby Seale. Image courtesy of thestrugglefortheworld.wordpress

The voices of those in the Black Panther movement had to be strong, loud, and relentless if they were going to go against the power of a government backed by a nation so engrained in racism.  Some of the strongest, loudest, and most relentless people in this movement were the women. They had to be, not only to survive the daily struggle of being a woman of color in a white man’s world, but to also combat the sexism within their own movement.


Participate in an ImageVoice Workshop

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Do you work with a group of people who are impacted by violence, lack of health care access, inadequate public education, police misconduct, mass incarceration, reproductive injustice, economic inequality or discrimination against the LGBTQ community?  Give them a platform by participating in an ImageVoice workshop where they share their stories and ideas about solutions on our blog by taking photographs or creating a short video.  This empowering skill-sharing method enables community members who are most impacted by social problems to document their experiences and envision how they can help create solutions.  Email us at community@progressivepupil.org to find out how to bring our ImageVoice workshop to your group, school, organization or congregation.

The Definition of Cisgender

Caption: An example of a gender neutral bathroom sign. This bathroom can be used by people with any gender identity.

 An example of a gender neutral bathroom sign. This bathroom can be used by people with any gender identity.

The term cisgender, which is often abbreviated to simply “cis”, in its most simple definition is a person who identifies as the sex/gender they were assigned at birth. For example if your birth certificate reads “Female” and you continue to identify as a woman you would be cisgender, or more specifically you would be a cisfemale. Conversely if you were assigned male at birth and continue to identify as such you are also cisgender but a cismale. Cisgender individuals are those who do not identify with a gender variant experience or in other words are gender normative.


Look What We Found On the Internet

Black_and_Cuba_poster_Final-page-0 There was a recent interview with our director, Dr. Robin Hayes, about Black and Cuba up on the front page at ColorLines, written by a new friend of Progressive Pupil, Carla Murphy. Check it out and let us know what you think of the interview and the movie.

Meeting Miss Major

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Image courtesy of missmajorfilm.com

Filmmakers Annalise Ophelian (producer/director) and Storm Miguel Florez (co-producer) have raised more than $27,000 online towards the production of their film MAJOR! – a documentary love letter and oral history of the life and times of activist and proverbial mother Miss Major. With the recent opening of the Miss Major-Jay Toole Building for Social Justice here in New York City and MAJOR! exceeding its KickStarter funding goals, the story and work of Miss Major Griffin-Gracy is taking a front seat on trans-gender oppression. Also couldn’t help but notice how this story is in the Zeitgeist with Orange is the new Black’s  Laverne Cox playing transgender woman Sophia Burset who went to prison with a son on the outside  – a storyline honoring closely the life story of this legend. Knowing little about Miss Major but with this topic trending, this should be a great time for this films release.

After the murder of a dear transgender friend was ruled a suicide by police, Miss Major realized the intense need her community had for activism and began the “do it ourselves” strategy of change she still works toward today. As the Executive Director of the Transgender, Gender Variant, Intersex Justice Project (TGI Justice Project) in Oakland, CA this ageless (as folks says she’ll give different ages all the time, teehee) wonder continues to affect the lives and fight for the rights of transgender persons worldwide.

by Dorit Avganim

Struggles of The Women of Brewster Place

The Women of Brewster Place miniseries cover. Photo courtesy of imdb.com

The Women of Brewster Place miniseries cover. Photo courtesy of imdb.com

The 1989 miniseries, The Women of Brewster Place, artfully captures the struggles of women as their stories weave together on Brewster Place. Although shown on television more than twenty years ago, the challenges faced by the characters reinforce the need for continued action today.


Girls for Gender Equity


Photograph courtesy of Girls for Gender Equity, Inc

As we celebrate the month of Black Women’s History, we would like to showcase Girls for Gender Equity (GGE), a Brooklyn, New York based intergenerational grassroots organization that develops feminist leadership among teens. Founded in 2001 by a first generation Haitian American social worker and activist, Joanne Smith, GGE has been working towards engaging communities of color to improve gender and race relations and socio-economic conditions for vulnerable youths and women.


Looking for Submissions: Afro-Asian Solidarity Month

Shown: Richard Aoki displaying support for imprisoned fellow Black Panther Huey Newton.  Photo courtesy of Racialicious.com

Shown: Richard Aoki displaying support for imprisoned fellow Black Panther Huey Newton. Photo courtesy of Racialicious.com

Progressive Pupil is looking forward to celebrating Afro-Asian Solidarity Month in May and we need your help! Artists, teachers, activists, local business leaders, we want to hear your stories about working for racial justice in your community and share your struggles and triumphs with our readership. Essays, photo journals, film reviews and creative fiction are all welcome. Please limit submissions to 750 words or less and include at least one photo or video. Send submissions to: community@progressivepupil.org

On The Perils of Having a Single Black Mother


Photo courtesy of Madamenoire.com

Are children of black single mothers less likely to thrive today? Yes, if you would ask someone who has no connection to a household with a black single mother or the U.S. Census. Being raised by a single black mother provides a unique environment for growth. Not only was my mother a black single mother but also a teenager, she had me at the young age of 14. Whoa if I wasn’t a statistic waiting to happen.