Written Work

Let’s be honest, black women have been brushed aside in the comedy world forever. We just don’t seem to get the same respect as our male counterparts. However, it’s nice to see that there are ladies out there, on television, in web-series’, or doing stand-up comedy where they can prove that black women are indeed funny.

While everyone’s waiting for the next Chappelle’s Show to come around (by Dave or anyone else that could be his replacement), wouldn’t it be great if it was by a woman?

Here’s my list of funny black women doing their thing right now, low and high on everyone’s radar:

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I was having an interesting conversation with some friends on whether women truly put their close male friends in the “friend zone.” For anyone who doesn’t know what the “friend zone” is, according to the always hilarious Urban Dictionary, it’s the following:

“What you attain after you fail to impress a woman you’re attracted to. Usually initiated by the woman saying, “You’re such a good friend”. Usually associated with long days of suffering and watching your love interest hop from one bad relationship to another. Verb tense is “Friend-ed”.”

Ironically, most of the other definitions on Urban Dictionary paint this similar picture:  that men are the sole victims to being looked at as just friends by the women they care for, but who don’t happen to feel the same way back. Or what I would call victims of unrequited love.

The way some people perceive the “friend zone” bothers me because it’s usually only implied to men. Most movies and TV shows present men who feel they are victimized in some way because they didn’t get to that next level with their romantic interest and because she didn’t share his feelings.  Just because you buy a woman dinner, or take her out on a date, or spend time with her doesn’t mean she’s automatically required to either sleep with you or become your significant other and immediately feel the way you do.

I’m not saying that there aren’t people out there who take advantage of men’s kindness, because that would be a lie. We can all probably find a time where we’ve accidentally or purposefully played with someone’s emotions, but to think that it’s only women who do this to men? That’s my problem with the perception of it all.

I’ve been friend zoned plenty of times. I’m either too cute or too sweet to the guys I’ve found myself interest in, and I’m always someone’s “kid sister” or “one of the guys.” Guys have given me some indication that they were interested in me, but then after they get what they wanted,  be it physical, emotional–whatever–they have pulled the “You’re great and all, but we just don’t have that spark. We should just be friends.” There have been guys who I’ve liked, but their only interest in me was to be friends and they never tried to lead me on and “play” like me in a romantic sense. As much as it might happen to men, it definitely is something that women go through just as much, and it might even be worse. Whether the man in the picture gets what he wants from you (be it companionship, someone to vent to, etc) but says he “doesn’t look at you that way” or not, being thrown in the friend zone isn’t something exclusive to one sex, despite popular opinion that paints women as heartless maneaters.

What am I supposed to do if someone doesn’t like me? Make them like me? Uh, no thanks. And it’s funny, because if a woman does it she’s a crazy psycho, but if a man does it, he’s a hopeless romantic. Thank you romantic comedies such as, 500 Days of Summer and Just Friends, for proving this point.

Rejection isn’t easy for anyone, but at the end of the day if someone genuinely doesn’t like you and was honest about it, what can you do? If people had more open and honest surroundings, it would create for stronger relationships and friendships. So while Urban Dictionary and others might like to play like women always rarely know what they want, use men and then play them because they’re “too nice” and would be better used as friends, men get down the same way…

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It’s nice to see a young black women my age doing something productive with their time, especially creating a community that supports positivity amongst black women. In the media it seems like black women in particularity are always tearing each other down, so it’s nice to see there are people who fighting against the stereotype. Blogging platforms like Tumblr have created great spaces for black women to come together and celebrate everything that has to do with being black and woman. For Brown Girls is a great example of this cross section. Showing off the beauty that is brown skin girls who don’t always feel validate, especially in a European beauty standard dominated society. Colorism is a problem that is still rampant in our community, as well as other people of color’s communities.

Karyn Washington a 20 year old junior majoring in Public Relations at Morgan State University is the founder of For Brown Girls. She is a Western High School graduate, born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. At Morgan State she is involved with the Public Relations Club and outside of school is a member of Parts of Peace, a student run charity organization.

Karyn currently interns for Zoë Damacela Apparel as a social media intern while running and maintaining her own blog as well. She is the founder of For Brown Girls a project created to uplift and encourage females with darker skin complexions to feel confident. The ultimate message is to promote self-love along with self-acceptance. Karyn believes that when you become truly comfortable with yourself, you are then able to uplift others and embrace your purpose in life.

I was able to interview to Karyn. Check out her story:

When did you start up For Brown Girls?

The blog was created in June of 2011 by my cousin and I. Later on, we decided to go in separate directions and I carried on with the blog, started the site and continued to build the brand on my own.

Why did you start up FBG?

When the blog was initially created, my cousin and I were dealing with self-esteem issues relating to our complexion and we would vent to each other.  Through talking it out and building each other up, we felt better but also didn’t like the fact that we were even having these feelings to begin with. We also realized that other girls may be going through the same thing and wanted to use Tumblr as a means to vent, encourage others and overcome. Since then, I have gained a greater passion for the cause and helping others. I have dedicated my time, money and efforts to building and developing the brand. I very much enjoy running the blog because I feel like I am making a small difference. I want to encourage and inspire girls to overcome this complex about their skin color. I want to help all girls with a darker skin complexion feel confident and comfortable in their skin. To hear that even one person was blessed by my efforts ,that they were inspired or that something on the blog made them smile, makes it all worth it.

Who are some of your favorite celebrity ‘brown girls’?

“Brown Girls” whom I admire and who inspire me would have to be Oprah, India Arie, KeKe Palmer, Andrea Lewis, Bre Scullark, Aeshia Devore Branch, founder of, Maya Angelou, Kerry Washington, Gabrielle Union, Michelle Obama, Iyanla Vanzant and Amber Riley.

Has your site ever gotten any hate mail?

I wouldn’t say the site has received any “hate mail” per say, but a question I have gotten quite a few times is why it’s only for girls with darker complexions, excluding lighter skin as if FBG is some sort of clique. At times, it is frustrating only because I feel that my efforts can be taken in the wrong context. My purpose is to build others up, not to bring anyone down. My answer to them is just that- and that “for” also means “in support of.” Anyone, no matter age, shade or gender is welcome to view and share on the blog. I’m sure most are aware of colorism and I know it can affect those who are light in complexion too, but I can only relate from my experience, and that has been being a girl with a darker skin complexion. Also, there are instances of people thinking I don’t want to claim being a black girl by calling myself brown. In calling myself and others “brown girls” I am only referring to our complexion. I’ve also received submissions from girls on the blog sharing their experiences and have found some extremely heartbreaking. This further motivates me to help them change their perception of themselves and claim their beauty. What is also very encouraging are the positive comments I’ve received from young ladies, and a few times guys, thanking me for creating the blog and sharing how it is helping them. I’ve gotten positive feedback on the site and blog from men and women all ages and shades.

Do you think colorisim in the black community will eventually come to an end?

I am really not sure but am extremely hopeful. The only way to stop this cycle of self-hatred is for people to really believe that all shades are equally beautiful. The media and the home are the two biggest influencers, in my opinion, on young girls self -esteem.

Who do you considered a ‘FBG’? Some people classified brown or darker hue people/women differently, are there qualifications to being showcased on your website?

My site is for girls whose shade of brown is on the darker side of the color spectrum. For those who have been made to feel less beautiful because of the color of their skin. There has been a bit of confusion because there are light shades of brown as well but I really loved the name ‘For Brown Girls’ because even if a girl is darker skinned she is still a shade of brown. It’s like “ok she’s dark,what?” It’s funny because some people call me “brown skinned” and some people call me “dark skinned.” I used to prefer being called brown skinned over the latter, but now I can truly say I love my complexion and I don’t mind either one. I also didn’t want to use the name ‘For Dark Girls’ for fear of people getting my project confused with the documentary by Bill Duke and D. Channsin Berry of the same name. Some still do. I got the privilege of seeing the documentary when it came to Baltimore. It was excellent! I recommend that everyone go see it when it comes to their city!

Is your site just for black girls, or other racial groups such as Afro Latinas, South Asians, Middle Eastern women, etc?

For the most part, the content is geared toward black girls, because I am one, and that is how I am relating my experiences. But, I realize the effect colorism has on brown girls of other ethnicities and cultures. I make sure to post articles and pictures relating to other ethnicities that are affected by colorism as well. While I don’t specifically address them all the time, the message is universally the same: To love and accept yourself, because you are beautifully and wonderfully made. They too have possibly had thoughts of wishing have a lighter complexion to fit society’s idea of beauty.  I hope to help young girls and women overcome their insecurities. I’ve interviewed one young lady of Indian descent and interacted through the blog with a few others as well. Running the blog gives me the opportunity to learn every day so I do welcome others to share their thoughts and experiences with colorism. The purpose of this blog is to not to discriminate but to uplift and encourage, empower girls to be confident, and embrace the skin they are in. On the blog I seek to recognize beauty in darker skin, discuss experiences and share with one another (whether it be hair/makeup tips, links , articles, poetry, pictures etc.) Unity is key, especially among women. We all need to support and uplift one another.

Explain what your ‘brown skinned girl spotlight is about’?

I really appreciate those who follow the blog and support FBG. It warms my heart see to young ladies excited about the project and to hear that it makes them feel special. I created this spotlight because the blog is for them and I wanted to feature them on it! I ask the girls to fill out a short questionnaire so I and others can get to know them.  In the feature, the girls also share their favorite quote, what they love about themselves and what inspires them. They send that along with their picture to the FBG email. I then format it all in a post and feature the ladies throughout the week on the blog. I also wanted to do something a little different than other blogs which also focus on darker skinned beauty. Instead of just pictures, I want to make sure my blog has substance.

Where do you think this will go in the near future?

I would like for ‘FBG’ to be a catalyst for change encouraging self-love and instilling pride in one’s skin complexion. The movement’s goal will be for new generations of darker skinned girls to not even have one thought of wishing to be lighter, to never doubt their beauty. My hope is for this “issue” to eventually be nonexistent but it does start with us. I’m also hoping I can do my part and make a change to where , darker skinned girls know they are beautiful no matter what anyone says. I want to mentor, do meet-ups and organize events to reach out to girls. I am also working on coming out with a t-shirt line to further enforce these ideas, promoting self-love. The first T-shirt design of my collection is out right now, the “I Love My Shade” Tee. It’s to encourage anyone no matter what complexion they are to love their shade! It’s available for purchase on the site and blog.

Karyn hopes to start fundraising and getting donations for her organization in the near future so she can finance her meet ups and speaking engagements.

Check out For Brown Girls’ pages:

Main Site:
Facebook Page:

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We all fell in love with The Misadventures Awkward Black Girl web series and are truly excited for its success. Many of us can relate to J’s natural awkwardness and have been in similar situations. The series has also showed us how us awkwards deal with the tricky topic of romance.

Here are some love lessons we learned from J and the crew:

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It’s a question the blogsphere tried to answers months ago. Many felt it was plausible, suggesting actress Gina Torres play the Amazon in a film adaptation. But these talks aren’t new.  There have been talks to have Wonder Woman on the silver screen and even a tv show was supposed to air back in 2011. Adrianne Palicki, a white woman, was picked to play the title character  but the show got cancelled before the first episode even aired.

It reminds me of the same debate that was going around on the interwebs a couple of years ago when Donald Glover was campaigning to be the next Spiderman in the newest film installment. We all know how that went. Andrew Garfield will be starring as the next Peter Parker in this year’s reboot of the Marvel movie comic book adaptation.

However some would say Glover’s campaigning worked,seeing that Marvel introduced Miles Morales: a half black and half Hispanic young man who becomes the next Spiderman in the Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man.  The creators said that Morales was inspired by Glover.

So if Spiderman can be black and there is even a black Batman, is there room for a black wonder woman?

Anyone familiar with the series knows there was actually a black Wonder Woman named Nubia in the comics. She was the twin sister of Wonder Woman.

It is sad enough there hasn’t been a major motion picture with a leading female superhero; but to add insult to injury, they are making a sequel to 2007’s flop “Ghost Rider.” (Good comic, terrible movie)  Actually let me rephrase that, there hasn’t been a successful major motion picture with a leading female comic book superhero. Sorry Halle, we wanted to like “Catwoman” but that movie was a train wreck. (She looked fierce however.)  And don’t even get me started on Elektra.

With the current cancellations of two major black comic book series, I wonder if the world is truly ready for a major motion picture with a black leading superhero and a successful female lead at that.

Do you think we should even worry about making white superheroes black? Or should we just support all the black characters out there, the ones we know and even the ones we don’t but should?

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After reading about the Trayvon Martin story last week, it really hasn’t been sitting well with me.

Trayvon Martin was shot and killed back in February in his father’s gated community by neighborhood watch leader, George Zimmerman. He was only 17-years old.

Martin was an unarmed black child and only had a bag of skittles and Arizona Ice Tea on him.

This story touches me because it happens way too often. That kid could have been my cousin, my brother, my best friends. I just can’t. All I can do is continue to spread awareness. This child deserves justice. This just wasn’t another cop kills armed black kid story. This was a man who took upon himself to kill an unarmed kid, instead of waiting for the police, after he was instructed to do so.

Zimmerman currently hasn’t been arrested because he is saying that he shot Martin in self-defense.

There has been a lot of chatter online about whether Zimmerman’s self-defense case is actually legitimate.  Some people believe that he had every right to protect himself; others believe that he had no reason to take on the cop’s job.

My mom has 20 + years of criminal justice experience, she’s an NYPD cop who works in one of the roughest neighborhoods in NYC. My mom didn’t have to read any book or take a class to know what happened to that kid was a tragedy and what Zimmerman did was the epitome of a racially motivated attack.

I know what it’s like to be afraid to go into certain neighborhoods because I’m black. I know what it feels like to go into some high end retail store and be followed around by the white employees like I’m going to steal their overpriced items. Being black in America still means you’re a criminal by default for some folks. Trayvon Martin could have been my future nephew, or future son. I fear one day, if I were to ever bear a son, he must live everyday with the fear that some crazy lunatic will shoot him in cold blood because the perception America still holds on to when it comes to our black and brown babies.

There’s a petition going around on, started by Martin’s parents, to persecute Zimmerman for the murder of their son.

On the petition the parents describe their son:

Trayvon was our hero. At the age 9, Trayvon pulled his father from a burning kitchen, saving his life. He loved sports and horseback riding. At only 17 he had a bright future ahead of him with dreams of attending college and becoming an aviation mechanic. Now that’s all gone.

This is truly a heartbreaking case and I can’t even phantom what his family is going through. Trayvon Martin didn’t deserve to be shot down like an animal, and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

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The Tennessee tea party wants to move “incidents” like slavery and genocide out of the history textbooks. Why? Because they are afraid that these “incidents” would tarnish the image of the founding fathers of the U.S.

Yes, you are reading this right. They want to erase history and the fact that our country was founded on both slavery and the wipe out of the native’s population.

On January 11, members of the Tennessee tea party presented this idea to their state legislatures, with five priorities of action to change the state’s history curriculum and supposedly to educate students on “the truth” about America.

Some of the changes presented that they’re hoping for include the following: to reference the slave trade as the “Atlantic Triangular Trade,” to have the first black President to be announced as “Barack Hussein Obama,” (how convenient) and to state that the Constitution created a Republic and not a Democracy.

Salon reports that the tea party also doesn’t want their kids to learn that many of the founding fathers owned slaves.

Fayette County attorney Hal Rounds, the group’s lead spokesman during the news conference, said the group wants to address “an awful lot of made-up criticism about, for instance, the founders intruding on the Indians or having slaves or being hypocrites in one way or another.”

Overall it would push for a more biased and skewed version of history, one that is completely false and untrue. It is bad enough that the educational system doesn’t teach our full American history or that of other individuals of color who helped build this country. Unfortunately, American history equals white history and the occasional lessons of slavery, the civil rights movement, and if you’re lucky (as hell) the Harlem Renaissance. But now people are trying to rub out the little acknowledgement of our struggles and history that we get?

This is a complete white wash of history at its finest. Will they actually get to change the curriculum? Most likely not, but it’s scary to think there are people out there are who are trying very hard to paint a false picture of our country’s history and founding fathers as clean as a whistle for the most random and useless of purposes. Go get a hobby.

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