Latifah Miles via Twitter
When it comes to the topic of race in America, tackling certain subjects with nuance can often present a major challenge. Increasing tensions in the wake of anti-police brutality protests also mean that many writers and thinkers are attacked even more than before when talking about race.
Writer Latifah Miles, who blogs at Young, Fabulous, & Natural, launched “Ask a Black Chick,” an anonymous forum where users can submit questions about race. Miles hopes the forum will give black women, who are often overlooked in discussions of gender and race, a voice.
“Between the media, racists, and men, black women are voiceless. Everyone else speaks for us, tell us who we are, and how we act. They are wrong and I want to talk about it. I want to create an honest and harmless space for you to understand black women. From fun stuff like why we refuse to get our hair wet to more serious issues like the fetishism of our culture.”
When it comes to her motivation for launching the forum, Miles says:
“One of my white friends told me once that she doesn’t want to ask a question because she doesn’t want to sound ignorant or rude. That speaks volumes to me,” Miles said. “She would rather walk around in a cloud of ignorance than be wrongly labeled a racially insensitive person. Totally understandable.”
Every week Miles selects one of the questions submitted to the forum sends it out to a group of 50 different black women who then send Miles their responses. She posts the responses every Friday. So far 3-4 questions are submitted each day. So far Miles has fielded queries like ” How Can White People Be Black Allies?” and “Is It Cultural Appropriation When Black People Straighten Their Hair?”
Miles also cites her own son as motivation for creating the forum.
“I have a 3-year-old little boy that’s going to grow up in America,” she says. “If I’m not doing something to preserve his life, 23 years down the line when he’s my age, I’m going to regret that.”