Minneapolis poet Adina Burke, who identifies as a bisexual woman with Cerebral Palsy, has heard it all when it comes to how folks react to her identities. Some of the worst responses have come from folks she’s dated and even outsiders who comment about her relationships. “My partner who is a cis male, gets high fives and thumbs up for doing things a normal loving boyfriend would do like help me with my coat and ex-girlfriends have gotten praise from their peers because of how inclusive they are being by dating me,” Burke says. “But I’m not a Mitzvah project.” While Burke’s partners are lauded for performing basic relationship duties, she has found that she frequently asks herself, “What do I have to offer?” and worries that she is burdening her partner with her disability. “I’m a person with a lot of great qualities, and I’d like to live in a society one day that views my partner as lucky as I am to have them,” she says.
Whether you work at an office job or on the field of the NFL, white supremacy dominates work culture in the United States. In May, Twin Cities Daily Planet Arts + Culture Editor Caroline Taiwo brought us this in-depth analysis on confronting white supremacy in the workplace. In partnership with Pollen Midwest, we followed that article up with an event series and syllabus for further reading. On June 15, Taiwo appeared on KMOJ 89.9’s radio show Urban Agenda with Lissa Jones to talk more about her workplace experiences as a Black woman. With excerpts from James Baldwin and live Q&A phone calls from Minnesota listeners, this episode works to help folks – and people of color especially – recognize and activate around the white supremacy they interact with on a daily basis. Continue Reading
May Lee-Yang along with Saymoukda Vongsay and Naomi Ko — founders of the Funny Asian Women’s Kollective (FAWK) — started building the idea for a series of workshops to help Asian women work on their comebacks. They titled the series, “Clapback.” Continue Reading
One of the first things you notice at Jim Denomie’s home and studio in Shafer, Minnesota, are the horses. I’m not talking about live horses. He collects spring horses, like the ones you used to ride outside of the hardware store as a kid. There are about ten of them all in various conditions facing a trail on Denomie’s vast Chisago County property. He says they’re for his grandkids, but really they might be for him to have another playful go at childhood. Continue Reading
Do interracial couples experience more push-back than same-race couples, and if so, how do they deal with it? How does colorism affect the lives and academic experiences of students? And what are some strategies for processing historical trauma that non-Black and non-white mixed folks can use to acknowledge and move through complex family histories? These are just some of the questions that the first ever Midwest Mixed Conference attempted to tackle, through panels, arts activities, workshops and discussions. Held Aug. Continue Reading
After fights broke out in Chicago during the 2012 Pride Festival, Phillipe Cunningham approached a police officer to ask about a safe route to walk home. At the time, Cunningham had recently transitioned and noticed during this interaction a different type of aggression and animosity directed at him. “The more Black and masculine I began to look at first glance, that’s when the aggression had an uptick,” Cunningham said. “That was my first experience interacting with cops as a Black man. It shook me.”
Cunningham, a queer, transgender Black man running for Minneapolis City Council in Ward Four, said many queer and trans people of color and Indigenous folks (QTPOCI) have stories like this – times when they were trying to have fun, ask for directions or simply occupy public space – and a police officer responded with hostility. Continue Reading