This is in response to Senator Gardenhire’s irresponsible and ridiculous oped that stated it’s easy to vote in Tennessee.

When I was a student at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, I requested my absentee ballot to vote in the presidential election. I was registered to vote in Memphis but was attending school in Knoxville so surely, I thought, this was going to be the easiest way for me to cast my ballot.

Provisional ballots

Weeks went by and I still hadn’t received my ballot. I began reaching out to my professors to let them know that I would be missing class…

To: TN Secretary of State Tre Hargett; Director of Communications, Julia Bruck

The Town of Jacksboro in Campbell County has an election on 04/03/2021, one day later than is stated on the Secretary of State’s website and Election Calendar.

Organize Tennessee prioritizes the protection of voters and for this reason, we are urging you to correct this error on the Election Calendar for 2021. Voters rely on accurate information to register, request a ballot, and vote whether by absentee ballot or in person. Without accurate information, voters have a harder time during the electoral process, or worse, neglect to vote…

I went to Hutchison School, an all girls school, from the age of 3 until I graduated at 18. I grew up loving my friends and my friends loving me. When we were babies, I knew I was different from everyone but they didn’t make me feel any different for years. As we got older and entered middle school, things started to change, and I grew more aware of the feelings my classmates held about black people. They would feel comfortable talking to me about black people, as though I shared the same views as them. They would call me…

Dear Mom and Dad, I am in jail and let me tell you why.

You have always told me to stand up for what I believe in. I am certain that hearing these words repeatedly growing up has shaped me into the person I am today. However, as of late, standing up for what I believe in has made both of you uncomfortable and fearful for my safety. As a result, instead of “stand up for what you believe in”, I am more frequently told, “choose your battles” and “you can’t fight everything and everyone.” With that being said, I…

I’m black, gay, and a woman

Which part of me will I need to defend?

On January 20th, I didn’t know I’d need to protect myself

From someone I considered my friend.

“I’m gonna make you like guys again”

Are the actual words that he said

Just months before he carried me to his apartment

And laid me on his bed.

I was in and out of consciousness

Which makes it a lot harder

I wish I could’ve slept through it

And used sleep as some kind of mental armor.

But instead I remember

I remember it all

I remember…

Let’s be real: pretending you don’t see color doesn’t actually help racism; it just helps you sleep at night.


Colorblindness belief that one treats everyone equally with zero regard to a person’s race. Colorblindness also simplifies the complexity of institutionalized racism and the history of race relations in America.


As I write this, I recognize some people may be thinking, “Damn Kayla, It’s not even 9 AM and you’re attacking me like this?” That is not my intention. I recognize that many people believe that being “colorblind” is harmless and have no ill intention when promoting this ideology. However…

Betsy DeVos’ name was in the news a few too many times for comfort last week. This time, she wasn’t in the news for talking about bears or out of her ass about HBCUs, but for another low: considering whether to roll back Obama-era guidelines that outline how schools should address sexual assault on college campuses to uphold Title IX. …

Being a Black woman in America can be absolutely terrifying at times. One of those times was a year ago when I stopped for gas off an unfamiliar exit and left thankful I still had my life. At this gas station, I was both objectified and degraded in a White man’s twisted version of a compliment. When I went inside for gum, one man shouted at me, “Oh you’re a cute little nigglet, aren’t you!” Acknowledging the 15:1 ratio of White men to my Black ass, I turned to leave. Only to have one of them follow me. I left…

She wears a safety pin so everyone knows she’s an ally for minorities. Her cover photo has a Black power fist. She regularly discusses her love for the Obamas, the Black Lives Matter Movement, and her admonishment for this current administration. However, I would soon realize that nothing would shake her more than a confident, Black woman contradicting her in front of a classroom of her own students.

The Initial Downplay of Slavery

Quiz 1, question 14. The quiz question that cost my Professor her whole career. The question stated, “Historical research on African-American families during slavery shows that: A) Family ties weren’t important in…

The Importance of Teaching Your Children To Value Themselves

When my parents decided to have children, they did so for one reason. They believed that maybe their child would be the one who changes the world. So before I was ever born, my parents valued me as well as the difference they believed that I could make in the world.

Growing up, I had a great childhood. Throughout those years, my parents vehemently sought to instill in me that I was important and that I mattered. As a result of this, I had a very strong sense of worth and…

Renee Parker

The writings of a queer, Black, and fed up feminist.

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