On August 29, 2016, internet personality and social commentator, Nicole Milfie (born Taylor Crenshaw) passed away. Taylor had a devoted following within black feminist and sex-positive Twitter circles. Known for her wit, insight, intelligent cultural commentary and unconditional love for Black women, Taylor is undoubtedly a culture icon that contributed largely to the community of Black women on Twitter.
Taylor’s transparency about her life struggles, passions, and beliefs won the hearts of so many Twitter users and allowed her to start a transformative movement that had many Black women embracing the unique intersections of their identity that they had previously suppressed. Milfie was so brilliant and strategic in dissecting pop culture through her informative threads, and she expertly educated us on the ins and outs of celebrity life, the importance of women being sexually liberated, destroying misogynistic viewpoints, the different avenues and truth about sex work, and drug abuse. She was truly a genius. It is safe to say that without Milfie, many of the things Twitter users are now talking about, probably wouldn’t be discussed in the manner that they currently are. Taylor captivated Black women across the world and humbly taught and healed many of them without them ever knowing that it was needed.
Taylor is also known for “What Happened To Tila Tequila?”, a documentary she made that chronicles the rise and fall of MySpace sensation and TV personality, Tila Tequila. The film details Tila’s career, social networks uprising, and using fame as a tool and weapon. Taylor released this film on September 22nd, 2015 via YouTube.
Taylor was also a young mother whose love for her daughter Madison was unmatched. A week prior to her death, she infamously called out a “star” of Real Housewives of Potomac for falsely using photos of her baby girl as her own. Madison was undoubtedy the love of her life and will be a testament to the great person that her mom was. She actively worked to instill values of freedom and liberation into her baby girl.
My hope is that Baby Madison knows that she was love and cherished by her mother who is unfortunately gone too soon. To donate to Taylor’s baby girl Madison and assist Taylor’s parents in caring for her, click here.
Check out this interview with SaddestAngel that Nicole Milfie did prior to her passing.
In the early morning hours of September 12, 2016, several images of 4th grade Atlanta, GA teacher, Patrice “Tricey” Brown began circulating the internet causing a commotion. According to many (and most) people, she was too sexy for school and should not be wearing what some deemed “club attire” in the classroom. One mother insisted that Ms. Brown “would not be caught teaching their children.” I call BS!Let’s just keep it all the way real and get to the root of the issue. Let’s be honest and say that it’s not the children who feel any particular way about Ms. Brown, it’s the parents- specifically mothers, trolling on the internet, upset with Patrice Brown’s body.
While this is a very silly situation, we can not afford to overlook and ignore it due to the very serious implications. The jealousy and anger from many parents (many of whom aren’t even remotely close to Atlanta, GA) have led them to begin seeking ways to have Ms. Brown fired or placed on administrative leave. In reality, here’s the issue: Black women’s bodies (historically, as well in the “urban”/modern context) are policed and scrutinized simply for being whatever they are. For centuries, the bodies of Black, femme identifying people have been viewed as undesirable and their natural curves imply an element that is simply… too much: Our hair was too nappy. Our skin was too dark. Our lips were too big. Our thighs and behinds were too… much. Now, big lips, thick thighs, and big behinds have been deemed attractive – and even celebrated – but only when attached to non-Black women’s bodies. That’s crap. Even when our body parts are commodified and supposedly desired, what is natural to us and on us is still always declared unacceptable.
As a “society”/ “community” we take immense concern with the natural way Patrice’s body curves more than we’re take concern with the non-Black teachers who resemble bad breeds of Matilda, Daria & Nanny McPhee that are actually interacting sexually with their extremely young students. Worry about them. Police them. Patrice’s professionalism and ability to educate 8/9 year old children is not somehow compromised because she wears stilettos and her dresses fit her form. No matter what she wears, she is a curvy, Black woman. Therefore, her figure is going to show, and while her figure is gorgeous it is not a mate calling.
Comments on the internet are evidence of how dangerous internalized misogynoir and anti-Blackness is. The hypersexualization of Black women’s bodies must stop and if Patrice’s plight isn’t enough for people to see that, I don’t know what it’ll take.
If y’all really want to be upset about something and you insist on calling the school board, consider calling about what her salary may be. Think about Patrice’s income and benefits in relation to what is should be considering that she has to deal with parents like the ones on the internet and their children. I’m sure she, like most teachers, isn’t paid nearly enough for the crap she experiences. I’m certain that a majority of the parents who commented against Patrice on the numerous sites that exploited her, have never even stepped foot inside a PTA meeting. It’s easier to be a concerned parent online than only a daily basis, within the walls of the schools.
Patrice’s cyberbullying draws many comparisons to Saartjie “Sarah” Baartman’s experience as a Khoikhoi woman who underwent an unprecedented amount of abuse at the hands of ‘whiteness’ during the 19th century. She was the most well known of at least two Khoikhoi women who, due to their large buttocks, were apart of freak show attractions in 19th-century Europe under the name Hottentot Venus. Two centuries ago, on December 29, 1815, Sarah Baartman died after years spent in these “freak shows”. The exhibition continued, “featuring” her remains. After the show ended, her brain, skeleton and sexual organs remained on display in a Paris museum until 1974. It wasn’t until 2002 when her remains were repatriated and buried. In reality, many people don’t believe that Patrice’s outfits are inappropriate, but are actually implying that her body itself is inappropriate.
This has by far been one of the most annoying internet debates yet and the fact that so many Black women are spewing the hate is ridiculous.At the end of the day, Patrice is a beautiful, educated, Black woman and unfortunately, the deeply misogynoiristic and policing of body expression only applies to Black women. Class/social status, career aspirations, and poise don’t matter. Our community has failed yet another Black woman. Patrice was in fact “reprimanded” at her job after numerous phone calls were made to Atlanta Public Schools. It’s sad and utterly disgusting that Patrice has to experience that while she simply spent 99.9% of her time minding her own business, trying to teach our “next generation”. The principal at the school where she works released a statement stating that Patrice is being “guided” in how to dress appropriately and she is in fact not a teacher, but a paraprofessional. That also has elicited a flood of criticism with comments like “All this fuss over a bitch who isn’t even licensed or certified lol”. The Black community claims to love Black women so much, but refuses to offer them basic rights and privileges. Ms. Brown is a beautiful Black woman and that has been enough for her to be vilified by internet trolls, many of whom should be calling her “sister”.
Today makes 20 years since Tupac Shakur passed away after sustaining life-threatening gunshot wounds in a drive-by shooting. At 19 years old, I attribute a majority of my wisdom and perspective to him. In his honor, I’ve decided to share 19 very important tips/pieces of info that I’ve learned over the course of my life thanks to the GOAT, Tupac Amaru Shakur.
“I’m not saying I’m gonna change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world.” – Tupac Shakur