Pickaninny Papers Search

Powered by Squarespace
More Papers

Scrap Papers: Black Excellence

Photo courtesy of Book for Keeps

By Karima E. Rustin

Malcolm Mitchell, a 24-year-old rookie wide receiver for the New England Patriots, assisted New England in coming back from a 28-3 deficit to win the Super Bowl against the Atlanta Falcons, and take home the Vince Lombardi Trophy. While his teammates are reveling in their shared victory, Malcolm achieved another victory most people don’t know about. A victory he is more proud of than a Super Bowl ring.


The Pickaninnies March on Washington

By Lydia Holt



Perhaps it was a subconscious act of self preservation, but in the months and weeks leading up to the 2016 presidential election, I had convinced myself that America would elect Hillary Clinton as our 45th president--that we had no other viable option. If her opponent were elected it would be disastrous and to maintain my sanity, I firmly believed that we would come through the election with a capable and sane president. When I woke up to the reality of our now 45th, I damn near had a panic attack. Continue reading...

Welcome to The Pickaninny Papers! Have a look around our site and get to know the editorial collective.

We envision a socially conscious community where all people critically engage our democratic ideals.

Slick Chick, or Helen Morgan's Jazz Life 

By Nichole Rustin-Paschal

When Helen Morgan shot trumpeter Lee Morgan, she knew the price of the thing. In the aftermath, while locked up at Riker’s awaiting her arraignment, she reflected on her situation: “I said, ‘well Helen, you got to get yourself together. It’s done. You done put yourself in it now. So, you got to get yourself together. You got to get your mind together. You got to get yourself together mentally to accept what you have done.”




Let's Have That Conversation: Sexual Harassment 

Listen in as we tackle the heavily fraught and complex topic of sexual harassment and sexual assault. While this issue is not a new one, it has been gaining more traction in the public sphere with the recent allegations of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment against prominent figures in the entertainment industry including, Harvey Weinstein, Louis CK and George Takei, to name a few. There is no easy solution to such a prevalent problem but having a conversation is a start. Let’s Have That Conversation.



NEW on Let's Have That Conversation: DNA Testing

Would you do a DNA test to learn more about your ancestry and why? What are you hoping to learn?

If you have taken a DNA test, has it shifted your sense of cultural or racial identity? If so, how? If not, why not?

Regardless of your ancestry, how do you culturally identify? Share how your cultural identity aligns or differs from your racial identity or what you may have learned from a DNA test.

Listen in here.


NEW Let's Have That Conversation: Cognitive Dissonance

The Pickaninny Papers “Let’s Have That Conversation” is back! We spoke recently about cognitive dissonance--that discomfort we feel when holding two contradictory values at once. We loved Wonder Woman but were dismayed to learn that Steven Mnuchin--Trump supporter and our current U.S. Secretary of the Treasury--was one of the executive producers. We feel some tension in these situations because something we have learned doesn’t align with our values or who we think we are. Thinking about those moments of dissonance, how do they challenge who we think we are? Are we not “woke” or part of the resistance because we gave money to see a film funded by a Trump supporter who is cashing in big on this film? Where do we draw the line?

Listen in as we discuss how we justify continuing to enjoy, value or believe something that does not align with our values and who we think we are as “good people” and “feminists” and how we navigate dealing with cognitive dissonance.

Listen in here.


Remembering Bree Newsome on South Carolina’s Confederate Memorial Day

Daily Mirror UKDuring the late nineties and into the early aughts, several southern states declared April Confederate History Month. These official commemorations strike me as examples of white people feeling so threatened by the shifting demographics of our country that they feel moved to valorize the racist and traitorous actions of the Confederate states. As a black woman from Texas, you’ll never find me waxing nostalgic for the Ol’ South, but when South Carolina celebrates Confederate Memorial Day on May 10th, I will be remembering Brittany “Bree” Newsome. On June 27, 2015, Newsome, you may recall, removed the Confederate flag from the South Carolina statehouse grounds. Read more.