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I recently watched a television show about standards of beauty around the world. I sat in awe as little Chinese girls went ga-ga for White Barbie, and their mothers and sisters stood in a drive-thru line to have a surgeon slice away the fat from their eyelids to make them more Euro-chic. On one level, it felt good to know that African-American women are not alone in the emotional struggle to love ourselves enough to call ourselves pretty. But that feeling quickly vanished as the show then focused on Nigerian women who loathed their natural locks, opting for lye to straighten them out and a needle and thread to weave in wigs of women

March 24, 2010 - Posted by Charisse Carney-Nunes in Democracy


I have received several emails and phone calls from friends and family who have been moved to tears of sadness (laced with hope) by what they saw on CNN last night. The program made me reflect on an exchange I had with a colleague a few years ago when my son was less than two years old. My colleague was an older White man for whom I had unyielding affection and respect. Despite his political leanings, which were opposite from mine, we actually shared common values and principles including a love of justice and fairness and a commitment to education and hard work. I called him friend. On this particular day, we were discussing my career choices and the impact on my young family. I remarked about the challenges that confronted me raising a Black boy in today

July 25, 2008 - Posted by Charisse Carney-Nunes in Democracy


This past Thursday millions of Americans paused to give thanks for the multitude of blessings in our lives. As we gathered around our dinner tables amidst the turkey, stuffing, and sweet potato pie, I hope that we did not forget that the annual ritual of appreciation is about more than a feast or the harvest, or even simply reconnecting with family. From the earliest recorded Thanksgiving celebrations in 1619 in Jamestown, Virginia and in 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts, Thanksgiving has always been about the future

November 19, 2007 - Posted by Charisse Carney-Nunes in Democracy

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