use their hate
as an ointment
to glow even more

let them wonder
how people like you
they have tried
to break



ijeoma Umebinyuo

(via theijeoma)


#Ferguson is like #myAfrica. 50 years after our flag independence(s), nothing has changed. Just like with our family members in Ferguson.

Today’s India’s Independence Day btw… 15th August.


#Ferguson is like #myAfrica. 50 years after our flag independence(s), nothing has changed. Just like with our family members in Ferguson.

Today’s India’s Independence Day btw… 15th August.

"I said: “A tiger does not proclaim his tigritude, he pounces”. In other words: a tiger does not stand in the forest and say: “I am a tiger”. When you pass where the tiger has walked before, you see the skeleton of the duiker, you know that some tigritude has been emanated there."

Wole Soyinka.

Eighty years on earth and still roaring like a lion. Bless him.

(via theijeoma)

"An apology does not heal a trove of past abuses."

— (via chivalry-project)

(via immlass)



And that’s the story of how Nichelle Nichols stuck with Star Trek after the first season.

That is beautiful.

(Source: trekgate, via elizaevans)


The Sari-1951-1960

This kind of sari is seen often in the 1950s. While borders and pallus shot through with lines or bands of zari are common in Indian cottons and silks, these appear to be lightweight materials of the time like perhaps chiffons or nylons. There are numerous variants but almost all have similar pallus (i.e. the loose end of the sari) in that the pallu is of a contrast colour and has numerous bands/lines of zari. Often the border and pallu edge is a bit diffuse as in Pic 2.

In the pics: Vyjayanthimala in Sadhna (1958) and Madhubala circa 1951.

Other examples: X, X, fuller version of pic 2 and Meena Kumari’s half-saree version.


Most of the characters in my fantasy and far-future science fiction books are not white. They’re mixed; they’re rainbow. In my first big science fiction novel, The Left Hand of Darkness, the only person from Earth is a black man, and everybody else in the book is Inuit (or Tibetan) brown. In the two fantasy novels the miniseries is ‘based on,’ everybody is brown or copper-red or black, except the Kargish people in the East and their descendants in the Archipelago, who are white, with fair or dark hair. The central character Tenar, a Karg, is a white brunette. Ged, an Archipelagan, is red-brown. His friend, Vetch, is black. In the [Sci Fi Channel] miniseries, Tenar is played by Smallville’s Kristin Kreuk, the only person in the miniseries who looks at all Asian. Ged and Vetch are white.

My color scheme was conscious and deliberate from the start. I didn’t see why everybody in science fiction had to be a honky named Bob or Joe or Bill. I didn’t see why everybody in heroic fantasy had to be white (and why all the leading women had ‘violet eyes’). It didn’t even make sense. Whites are a minority on Earth now—why wouldn’t they still be either a minority, or just swallowed up in the larger colored gene pool, in the future? […]

I think it is possible that some readers never even notice what color the people in the story are. Don’t notice, don’t care. Whites of course have the privilege of not caring, of being ‘colorblind.’ Nobody else does.

I have heard, not often, but very memorably, from readers of color who told me that the Earthsea books were the only books in the genre that they felt included in—and how much this meant to them, particularly as adolescents, when they’d found nothing to read in fantasy and science fiction except the adventures of white people in white worlds. Those letters have been a tremendous reward and true joy to me.

So far no reader of color has told me I ought to butt out, or that I got the ethnicity wrong. When they do, I’ll listen. As an anthropologist’s daughter, I am intensely conscious of the risk of cultural or ethnic imperialism—a white writer speaking for nonwhite people, co-opting their voice, an act of extreme arrogance. In a totally invented fantasy world, or in a far-future science fiction setting, in the rainbow world we can imagine, this risk is mitigated. That’s the beauty of science fiction and fantasy—freedom of invention.

But with all freedom comes responsibility. Which is something these filmmakers seem not to understand.


— Ursula K. Le Guin, "A Whitewashed Earthsea: How the Sci Fi Channel wrecked my books" (via)

(Source: zuky, via thirtyknives)

"How does destroying yourself prove your worth to others?"

Questions for Ada

Ijeoma Umebinyuo

(via theijeoma)



The whole Maiden, Mother, Crone thing doesn’t work for me.
I’d rather be:
Free Spirit, Spinster, Crazy Cat Lady.
Or how about Wild Child, Spirit Worker, Wise Woman.
Or Rebel, Freedom Fighter, Philanthropist.
Daughter, Aunty, God Mother
Seeker, Student,…

(via thirtyknives)

"Here’s to the security guards who maybe had a degree in another land. Here’s to the manicurist who had to leave her family to come here, painting the nails, scrubbing the feet of strangers. Here’s to the janitors who don’t even fucking understand English yet work hard despite it all. Here’s to the fast food workers who work hard to see their family smile. Here’s to the laundry man at the Marriott who told me with the sparkle in his eyes how he was an engineer in Peru. Here’s to the bus driver, the Turkish Sufi who almost danced when I quoted Rumi. Here’s to the harvesters who live in fear of being deported for coming here to open the road for their future generation. Here’s to the taxi drivers from Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt and India who gossip amongst themselves. Here is to them waking up at 4am, calling home to hear the voices of their loved ones. Here is to their children, to the children who despite it all become artists, writers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, activists and rebels. Here’s to Western Union and Money Gram. For never forgetting home. Here’s to their children who carry the heartbeats of their motherland and even in sleep, speak with pride about their fathers. Keep on."

Immigrants. First generation.

Ijeoma Umebinyuo.

(via theijeoma)

(via theijeoma)

The 1940s in India


The 40s was an eventful and historic decade in India. At the beginning of the decade the Indian Army was part of the Allied troops with an approximate 87000 military deaths alone by the end of the war. Elsewhere the Indian National Army fought alongside the Japanese Army. 

In 1942, the Quit India movement was launched (see Aruna Asaf Ali, there were also more than a few women like Usha Mehta who were arrested and in prison during the period of the movement).

1943 was the year of the Bengal famine (though it hardly ended with the year), largely considered the result of British administrative failures. It was documented at the time by Chittoprasad in “Hungry Bengal” and Sunil Janah.

In 1947 of course, India gained independence. The Lahore Resolution of 1940 eventually formed the basis for a separate state for Muslims resulting in Partition and the formation of Pakistan.  Partition meant an unprecedented refugee crisis on either side of the subcontinent, mainly in Punjab, Sind and Bengal.

In 1948, Gandhi was assassinated.

Much of the latter part of the decade was taken with the drafting of the Constitution which became law on 26 January 1950.  Post 1947 also saw the integration of princely states into India.

On a lighter note, the way we were in the 1940s.

As for women, education and the freedom movement had meant their participation in public life which increased over the early decades of the 20th century. India’s first cabinet had a single woman minister (Rajkumari Amrit Kaur).  But the "modern girl" was less common in the 1940s* and by the end of the decade a movie like Andaz (1949) was, despite it’s mixed messages, an anti modern girl film.

*Homai Vyarawalla moved to Delhi in the 40s and this was probably the start of her documentation of India’s political life.

To sum up, as always you can follow posts tagged 1940s and sari history for a fashion rundown of the decade.

"I am the women of my dreams; each stage of growth, a woman unapologetically herself has emerged. This becoming myself is a process."

— Ijeoma Umebinyuo (via theijeoma)

"You have been expected to break. You have been expected to run back, to seek their approval. You have been expected to scream out in pain so they will come, they will come to say they saved you. Instead, you have shattered yourself and picked up pieces only you need again in this rebuild. Instead you have calmed the storm, breaking into a new soul, stitching yourself back to love. Expect their shock. Keep thriving, young warrior. Keep thriving."

Ijeoma Umebinyuo (via theijeoma)

"May no one ever force you into silencing your life."

— Ijeoma Umebinyuo (via theijeoma)