#InTheseTweets | Fourth Edition
In These Tweets is a weekly cultural dive into trending topics on Twitter. A collection of snapshot analyses on a variety of moments impacting our world. Sometimes serious, sometimes light, always substantive. We outchea, #InTheseTweets
Select Democratic presidential candidates gathered in Selma, Alabama, in recognition of the 55th year anniversary of one of the most horrific and transformative days in US history. “Bloody Sunday”, the violent uprising by law enforcement and vigilantes against supporters of the Civil Rights movement, happened on March 7, 1965. Scores of Black citizens and their allies planned a march from Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery, Alabama, in the name of lobbying for voting rights for Black residents of the state.
Shortly after beginning the march, they were brutally attacked at the Edmund Pettus bridge. In addition to marching for voting rights, the participants were hoping that the news media would get coverage of the merciless brutality endured by Black southerners in their struggle for voting rights. That part of the plan worked, as the violence documented on “Bloody Sunday,” forced then President Lyndon B. Johnson to send federal troops to Alabama to protect marchers ahead of their next voyage from Selma to Montgomery.
Needless to say, left-leaning American politicians are hyper-aware of the significance of this moment. They also know that in a still present era of Black voter suppression, it is good optics at minimum to be in Selma for the “Bloody Sunday” 55th year anniversary. I went to the 50th anniversary in 2015. You know who was the main speaker there? Then president Barack Obama. The Dems were gonna pull up, because to avoid it would have been highly self-destructive to their campaigns.
March is internationally recognized as Women’s History Month and even though we live in a hyper informational age, there’s still a significant amount of people who are still not aware of this month of recognition. Maybe because it immediately follows Black History Month? Maybe because there’s not always the same effort to gender societal achievements as there is to racialize it? Maybe because patriarchy allows us to avert our attention from the significant contributions women have gifted our society, while simultaneously praising every dude that ever farted in an innovative manner? Whatever the case is for a cultural lack of awareness, we need to get our shit together and put some respect on March and Women's History!
Speaking on things women and history related, my dear home state of Louisiana is again bottoming out in an important socioeconomic metric. Louisiana Governor, John Bel Edwards, has gone on record for noting that the state has the highest gender pay gap in America. That gap deepens along racial lines.
When I think about my mother, my aunts, female cousins, and friends who are residents of Louisiana and are often raising families on grossly disproportionate levels of income, I think about how we are often at a place that can articulate our inadequacies but are normally slow to change them. There are a lot of cultural norms in Louisiana that are influenced by much of the landscape of the state being rural. One of those antiquated norms is the idea that the man is the principal provider in the household and therefore must be the larger breadwinner. And to say that we are also a state with exceptionally high divorce rates, domestic violence stats and incarceration rates, it would be greatly beneficial to the women of Louisiana and their families for the income gap to diminish quickly.
Houston rapper Megan Thee Stallion recently talked about her struggles to re-negotiate a bad record deal she signed at the beginning of her career. The fiery emcee who spearheaded the “Hot Girl Summer” movement and is known for her sexually-charged women empowering lyrics, is having the release of new music held hostage by her current label, 1501 Certified Entertainment. By her own account, Megan did not become aware of the problems with her contract prior to being managed by Jay-Z’s Roc Nation imprint. Her story is a familiar cautionary tale of eager, young artists who have found themselves in inequitable deals at the hands of label owners that exploit their naivety and desire for fame.
About the Author
Donney Rose is a poet, educator, essayist and Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow from Baton Rouge, La