Loud Mouth Reading List: Week of Jan 31st

This week I've been thinking a great deal about racialized bullying and the ways that so many of our young people go unprotected as they are forced into institutions that claim to value their growth and well-being. The Loud Mouths of the week helped me to interrogate and unpack oppressive understandings of childhood and youthfulness and the power attached to age.

Sidenote: As I get into the trenches of the school year, I will be sharing quotes from these pieces rather than how I got to them and why I chose to share. While I hope that you sit with each closely, I also recognize in our busy lives reading can feel like a luxury. Maybe you read only the quotes on your way to work, maybe you read one of the articles and it leads you down a lovely path of inquiry all your own, perhaps you just see the photos and are inspired to write a story, perhaps you follow the writers on social media so you can stay up on their work, and maybe you read each piece and message me so we can chat for hours (this is my greatest wish). But whatever you choose, I am really enjoying creating these lists and I trust that you will arrive here and leave with all that you need. 

*Trigger Warning: Suicide, Physical Violence


Death at DC Boarding School Highlights the Alarming Increase of Suicides Among Young Black Children

Anne Branigin

"As Dr. Imani J. Walker wrote for The Root late last year, black girls are often seen and treated as older than they are, leading to overly aggressive school discipline, especially when compared with their white female peers. There is also the increased risk of exposure to violence and traumatic stress. Recent studies have shown that poverty, for example, triggers chronic stress and could make children more impulsive and increase feelings of depression and anxiety."


Professor Cheryl Fields-Smith on Why More Black Families Are Homeschooling Their Kids

Naomi Nix

"If you send your child to public school and do not do anything at home with them to teach them the contributions of African Americans and what it means to be African American, then your child’s identity can suffer. I know I had to supplement that with my kids, had to make sure that they knew their black history, because it’s not really being taught in public school. We get one month, and usually it harps on the same people. We have a very rich legacy of contributing to this country, and more than just in entertainment and sports."


Things The Block Taught Me, Part 1: 

Camonghne Felix

"I am fourteen. I am only as large as my fists. I am being
introduced to the bold swagger of knuckle to bone."


Raising Penelope, My Transgender Son

Jodie Patterson

"As if I became an LGBTQI advocate for the Instagram likes...I didn't. I did it because over 50% of transgender teens attempt suicide and because violence against trans people is an epidemic. I did it because the decision to love and support him is a decision that could make the difference between life and death. I did it because all kids deserve respect."


The Breaking

Natyna Bean

"They had been together for months so she refused to call it theft. Or transaction. No. She handed her body as gift. As contract. As pledge to her man and his calloused hands and pelvic bone. This must be what womanhood feels like. Pain and pleasure given as unsolicited two-for-one deals, granting her thrills unimaginable with only her youth as currency. She had gotten to the place where she had outgrown herself. "