"I Did Not Come Here To Equivocate."- eleanor roosevelt

trayvon martin essay over 13,000 facebook shares


featured essays:



Black Folks, It’s Time To Stop Taking Care Of White People (over 13,000 Facebook shares)

(click link to read) http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/black-folks-its-time-to-stop-taking-care-of-white-people

ESSAY # 2:


The Irresponsibility of (the documentary) ‘What Happened, Miss Simone?’

(over 9,000 Facebook shares)

(click link to read) http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/the-irresponsibility-of-what-happened-miss-simone-20150629



Why Bree Newsome’s Action Was The “Amazing Grace” I needed

(click link to read) http://www.yesmagazine.org/peace-justice/why-bree-newsome-s-grace-is-more-amazing-than-barack-obama-s



SPD Inspiration Blue Note_thumb_w_580

The Value Of Dead Black Men (creative nonfiction)




‘Beyonce’ Serenades Teenage Boys & Black Feminists

(click link to read) http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/beyonce-serenades-teenage-boys-black-feminists



White People Don’t Get It Because They Never Had to

(click link to read) http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/white-people-dont-get-it-because-they-never-had-to-20141113



The Gentrification of Black Film

(click link to read) http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/the-gentrification-of-black-film-20140804




The End of the White Girl

(click link to read) http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/the-end-of-the-white-girl-of-course-it-happened-in-brooklyn




‘Hobby Lobby,’ and a Woman’s Right to Sexual Exploration

(click link to read) http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2014/07/10/hobby-lobby-womans-right-sexual-exploration/


ESSAY #10:


Tarantino’s Candy: Slavery In The White Male Imagination

(click link to read) http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/tarantinos-candy-slavery-in-the-white-male-imagination

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24 comments for “featured essays:

  1. August 8, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Thank you for this insightful essay. It will become part of my curriculum for this and future semesters. Once again thank you.

  2. August 10, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Yes. The jurors in the Martin case had a choice and they made the wrong one, again. T. Martin is the new Emmett Till. No justice no peace!
    Nice essay.

    • admin
      August 10, 2013 at 3:34 pm

      Thank you.

  3. August 14, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    this is beautiful, heartfelt, real. i’m very disturbed by the comments on this article published at shadow and act. i am deeply disturbed that they allow such horrible comments to be posted there.

    please republish this at http://demotropolis.org

    the site is just getting going, specifically set up to empower everyone to publish . if you have any questions about it, mail to demo… at demo… dot org will get you the answers

    when you publish there, you can link back to your site here, to trade traffic!

  4. shireen liane
    August 18, 2013 at 6:27 am

    thank you so much for your lovely essay. I initially read your piece on Shadow & Act, & wanted to respond with my own story as a white-ish (these things depend on who you’re talking to) ally who was absolutely gutted by the Treyvon verdict, but when I started reading some of the responses… I thought I was going to throw up.

    I”m an American who has lived in the UK for the past 18 years. we have problems with racism – Stephen Lawrence’s name isn’t going to be forgotten any time soon – but it wasn’t enshrined in Constitution and law for over a century and in practice for over 500 years. the last time I was back in the States, I thought I felt a shift – nothing that I could actually put a name on, but a dropping of that invisible apartheid in the most unexpected quarters, and that includes your example of black people taking care of white people. black men & women meeting my eye, not blanking me or making themselves somehow smaller to take up less psychic space the way I had always felt in America. I gotta say, I found it so refreshing, I almost felt high!

    so I was walking around back in London, thinking things had turned a corner. silly hopeful fucking me. those comments below the line on Shadow and Act were just sickening, but a harsh wake up call. where do these people get their “facts”, anyway? a cracker jack box? ugh. we’ve got work to do. thanks for doing your bit – I’ll keep doing my bit to hold up my half of the sky.

    • admin
      August 18, 2013 at 9:07 am

      Thank you, Shireen. Was good to hear your perspective. Unfortunately, someone posted the article on a white supremacist website. That is why the comment section on ‘Shadow and Act’ is out of control. The Editor of ‘S&A’ is also receiving hate mail. And, some of them have sent me messages that include a lot misspellings and a lot of anger. That type of American lacks critical thinking skills. Fortunately, the article has continued to do extremely well. Now at 12,000 facebook ‘likes’ and counting. So, the positive far outweighs the negative. And, sometimes, the negative lets you know you hit a nerve:). Thanks for taking the time to share on this site. And, I love your words “thanks for doing your bit – I’ll keep doing my bit to hold up my half of the sky.”

  5. August 28, 2013 at 12:10 am

    Thank you for your words, here. PEACE&BLESSINGS, JG

    • admin
      August 28, 2013 at 4:11 am

      Thank you, J.G.

  6. Hans
    September 1, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Thanks for the laughs, you go girl.

    • admin
      September 2, 2013 at 9:51 am

      Thank you. Appreciate when people recognize my sense of humor.

  7. Thea McMorris
    September 17, 2013 at 9:36 am

    I love a person who asks why? Real answers…getting to the source and working upward. Thank you. I felt your frustration and I feel ya. But, I am sick and tired of comparing ourselves to white people. Who are they to be equal to? We will NEVER be equal, racism is here and will never leave. When we continue to talk about being equal what we are saying is that we want what they have. I have met MANY white people, who will turn the stomach of a staunch saint. Yeah, I know they can get by with it and we can’t. Okay. But ask why would I want to get by with that?! Now that we know racism is here and has been here for YEARS, what are we going to do? Continue talking about the same things we did in 1960? I tell my kids, you do what YOU are suppose to do. Don’t compare yourself because it can rob your joy. There is so much blame to pass around and it’s old now. I thought about your cheese story of buying something as simple as CHEESE. Cheese? I understand where you are coming from but thank you that you realize that it was bowing. I have done something similar and you know what? It was tiring and relief from feeling have to do that to fit in is RELIEF. I think it’s growth….

    • Cryss
      September 27, 2013 at 6:06 pm

      Why do we have to be equals, every single person is unique in their own way…no matter what color we are. The way we make the world better is by being our best, whatever that may be…waitress or CEO. I think everyone has a “point of view” that is formed by when, where and how you grow up. As a white mother of two boys i know that i am not molding them in to what we(as a human society-stereo-types) think they should be, feel or desire. They will be able and encouraged to make their own decisions and choices.

      I was raised by a white woman who thinks she is “right” about everything. If you disagree you are shunned. “How dare you have your own opinion” was a sentence that heard on a daily basis. When I was in Jr. High my first real boyfried was black. This was 1984 Dallas, Texas and basically I was one of a handful of girls who did this. Most people called us names like hore and slut and easy. Everyone thought it was wrong and treated us like they hated us. Really we scared them for being brave enough to be different. At the age of 13 I was judged so harshly, that Deron Davis, my first boyfriend comforted me and he was a truly kind, caring part of human society. He taught me that you don’t have to be who everyone expects you to be, you don’t have to worry about what other people think. Now, that does not mean to go around and treat people like dirt, it means you treat them like you would like them to treat you. He made me feel beautiful. In 1989, Deron was violently shot to death in South Dallas. May you rest in peace, my friend, I will always love you. And thank you for all your lessons on life.

      Years later, I made some bad decisions and got a couple felonies. I ended up in prison. I was out numbered, only white blonde girl in my pod. Some girls would not even talk to me or try to get to know me. It was instant hate. They judged me, automatically assumed that I lead a life of priviledge and i threw it away. If they only knew I wore handmade clothes made by grandmother because it was cheaper. My mom was single because my Dad wouldn’t put down the bottle. She remarried a man that beat her and sexually abused me, and this all happened by age 6. Boohoo, poor me…NOT. That happened a long time ago–GET OVER IT, already!!!

      In prison, preconcieved notions, had the other girls believing that I was mean and snobby. It reminded me of Deron. There were days I didn’t think I was going to make it. But, guess what, I told myself I cannot change anyone but myself, a lesson was taught by a dear friend;-) !

      That which does not kill me, can only make me stronger! Afterall, I am a proud white mother. “Female and white, shes got two strikes against her” they would say. Since, there is nothing we can do to chage how they feel, but we can share what we know about real Life. It’s the lessons we are given along the way that show us what REALLY matter. That’s why I tell my children “you do what YOU are supposed to do!!!” We all breathe, eat and drink from the same places.

  8. October 20, 2013 at 1:33 am

    Thanks for heart touching essay, I have experienced couple of instances where people shown racism on nationality, color. Racism is still challenging issue in most of the countries today. By no means is racism as overt as it was fifty years ago with enforced segregation, but today racism is more covert and often hides behind closed doors to only strike out when least expected. We can expect racism will continue to decrease only through education.

    • admin
      October 20, 2013 at 6:52 pm

      Yes, education is KEY!

  9. steve mohr
    October 22, 2013 at 9:51 am

    i’d be interested in having you speak at our church if you would. I don’t know how you feel about religion. what you have said in this article and your response to the 12 years a slave film were very helpful to me.

    • admin
      October 22, 2013 at 10:54 am

      Thank you, Steve. I am always open to sharing my thoughts, in hopes of generating dialogue. Inbox me details.

  10. Gary
    November 29, 2013 at 5:38 am

    Hi Tanya, really good the things you have written.

    I am a afro carribbean living in England and I too see the hush hush approach we still have concerning racism in our country.

    I am an actor and budding playwrite, we still dont have anything really positive going out on the media that gets to the heart of who we are as a people in the Uk. Where does one begin to turn the tide to make a real difference for us as a people in a very underplayed multicultural society. We are under represented in tv and film in this country and it is my burden to see this change. ‘What people see of us they believe of us’, we have beautiful stories throughout history that need to be told. I am with you, ‘let us walk with a straight back and no fear in our eyes, let us be the pride of our people, destroying racist lies’. Bless you Gary from the UK.

    • admin
      November 29, 2013 at 11:59 am

      Thank YOU, Gary.

  11. kay Dickie
    December 6, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    I totally agree with you re racism.You can not change what is built in for generations.Sometimes all poeple do is follow their upbringing. If any community protects their children by being with them when they are growing up.Family sticking together always gives child confidence (fathers and mothers have to stay together ,sacrifices have to be made. Children are created by both man& woman. Not just women because they give birth . When we will ask this question to men where are you guys when your children are punished ,descriminated by jusice system which is BLIND TO THE REAL FACTS,NOT WHAT JUDGE,JURY THINK .Sunny (Lawyer on CNN) should not worry about what she should tell her boys re how to behave with POlice .She should bring confidence in them by do the right thing ,stay away from bad folks,no matter what colour they are black,white,grey or rainbow. Be proud,educate yourself ,skills, do feel sorry for those who are descriminatory because they are ignorent.
    You have come so far ,there is no way back.

  12. Peggy
    December 12, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    Thank you Tanya! It’s refreshing to know there’s someone else out there who doesn’t care if a bigoted white person’s feeling are hurt if we don’t bend over backwards to try to make them feel good about themselves. Especially when they are telling you how you should behave and what you should do. White people are not special, and no one has given them divine rights to manage other peoples. Have no fear of white people tell them what you think. If they don’t like so what.

    I don’t make a habit of watching Black oppression movies. I told a friend I didn’t want to see 12 years a slave, because I don’t need a reminder of how self serving and evil some white people are. He talked me into going to see that garbage. I walked out and trust me he won’t ask me to see another one of those MAMMY movies. If producers, writers and directors can’t think of more positive roles for black entertainment I’ll save a lot of money. I simply won’t watch the trash, Just how much more convincing do we need before we understand there will always be racism until we Blacks decide to change.

    • Thea McMorris
      December 12, 2013 at 4:12 pm

      Well said and I concur…

  13. margaret mccarroll
    February 7, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    beautiful beautiful article re victims of abuse ie Dylan Farrow – everyone should read this – dead on right – knifeblade accuracy and elegant compassion – thank you so much Tanya Steele for this most important article

    • admin
      February 7, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      Thank you, Margaret, for taking the time to send a note. Much appreciated!

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