Midweek Tribute: Joi “SJ” Harris

I was saddened to hear of the untimely and tragic accident which claimed the life of this courageous, determined, trailblazing woman. Joi “SJ” Harris, the first African-American stuntwoman, died on the set of Deadpool 2 in Vancouver, B.C. on Monday, 14 August. From CBC News:

The American stunt rider who died in Vancouver on Monday while shooting an action sequence for the film Deadpool 2 has been identified as SJ Harris, a 40-year-old from New York City.

Harris died in a motorcycle accident after she crashed through a window in Shaw Tower near Jack Poole Plaza…Deadpool 2 was Harris’s first gig as a stuntwoman. Her manager, Porsche Taylor, described her as a “trailblazer” in motorcycle road racing.

“Once she got on the track, she fell in love with it. And she was surprised that there weren’t very many women who were racing and no women of colour, or no African-American women, in particular,” Taylor said in an interview Tuesday with As It Happens.

“She was excited to be able to break some new ground.”

Harris began riding in 2009 and received her race licence in May 2013. She started competing in 2014, racing in the American Sportbike Racing Association Championship Cup Series.

“SJ was super competitive on the track,” Taylor recalled. “She would race with men as well as women — and often give as good as she got.”
In a 2015 profile published in Black Girls Ride Magazine, Harris was described as the first African-American woman to become a professional road racer.

“I am everything people never saw in this sport,” Harris told the magazine in an interview.

Muscle cars and motorcycles have always been a love of mine, and I know full well what Ms. Harris is talking about when it comes to the “good-ole-boys” atmosphere which is prevalent at any motorcycle or classic car event that I attend. With the events of Charlottesville still fresh in the mind, I recall how many confederate flags and other racist decals and emblems decorated various vehicles or articles of clothing, or people who had those emblems tattooed on every inch of exposed skin.

I’m certain that Ms. Harris was well aware of those who pushed back against her desire to succeed, and fought that much harder to prove them wrong. According to an article in the Huffington Post, Harris described herself on her website as the “first licensed African-American woman in U.S. history to actively compete in (American Motorcyclist Association) sanctioned, motorcycle road racing events.”

Kevin Elliott, president of the American Sportbike Racing Association, said Harris began racing with the association’s beginner-level Champion Cup Series in 2014 and this year moved up to a “feeder” series that is meant to prepare riders for racing at an expert level.
He said her other activities prevented her from competing enough to be automatically given expert status, but if she had requested it based on her 2016 and 2017 finishes, it would have been granted.

For the first two years she was racing on a bike that was too big, but when she switched to a bike that was more suited to her size, her talent showed itself to be “very promising,” he said.

“She was just a good, solid competitor. She rode well,” he said.

Ride on, sister…ride on. You were certainly an inspiration.

BGR 2017: Celebration in Pictures!

The Black Girls Rock 2017 celebration took place on Saturday, 5 August, but you wouldn’t know it unless you had marked the schedule on your respective calendars! I found little coverage and virtually no articles about this event, but I can’t say that I’m surprised – par for the course, sad to say.

In light of that, here are a few pictures with some positive, uplifting quotes for those of us who are overlooked and under-represented on a daily basis!

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Actress Cris Vianna and the importance of having black dolls; even with them being rare in Brazil, she has a collection of about 60-70 black dolls!

I was fortunate to have at least three Black dolls when I was a kid! They are becoming more and more available to children worldwide, and that’s excellent.

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Black Women of Brazil

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Note from BW of Brazil: One of these days I must meet the actress Cris Vianna! I’m really not much into what Brazil has to offer in terms of its media, but I would love to sit and pick Cris’s brain for an hour or two. She is one of the most beautiful women on television plus, even not necessarily coming across as a militant, she strikes me as someone who really “gets it”. What I mean is, she isn’t afraid to speak on issues of race, she always represents black beauty well on the small screen, has been in a long-term relationship with a very dark-skinned black man for a number of years and now I learn that she is an avid collector of black dolls! I don’t expect Cris to be on the front lines leading any protests against the ongoing slaughter of black youth, but…

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Shariah Harris, 19, Becomes 1st  Black Woman to Play in U.S. Polo’s Highest League

This is awesome – way to go, young lady!

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GOOD BLACK NEWS

Shariah Harris just became the first black woman to play high-goal polo, the top tier of U.S. polo. (Photo credit: KERRY MCCANN)

by Taryn Finley via huffingtonpost.com

A 19-year-old is making history and disrupting the wealthy white male-dominated sport of polo at the same time. On June 30, Shariah Harris of Philadelphia became the first black woman to play high-goal polo, the top tier of polo in the U.S. This summer, the Cornell University sophomore hit the field at the Tony Greenwich Polo Club in Connecticut to play for the Postage Stamp Farm team in the Silver Cup tournament. Harris told HuffPost that she’s excited about this barrier-breaking opportunity. “It’s great. Everything’s going by really fast, actually so it’s been great. This is something I’ve always wished I could do but never thought would happen. It’s pretty amazing.”

Harris became interested in the sport at age 8 or 9 after her…

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“Bonecas Pretas” (black dolls) video by Bahian singer Larissa Luz gives voice to the rising demand for black representation in the toy market

Saturday spotlight: Little-discussed topics, pertinent to those of us who are under-represented. Perfect post for Black History Month!
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Black Women of Brazil

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Note from BW of Brazil: The struggle continues…and voices demanding change, equality and representation also continue to grow! The fact that I have documented for the past five years is that black Brazilians are extremely under-represented in countless areas of Brazilian society. The media is a near complete whitewash. Politics is the home of white supremacy in which very few black aspiring politicians manage to enter the game. The toy market is yet another area in which more and more black voices are calling for more representation. If any of us care to think about it, very few of us can remember having had the opportunity to play with black dolls. In the world of the child’s imagination, how is a black child supposed to dream of seeing him or herself in the place of the superhero action figure or model doll when the overwhelming majority of…

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Nomine Michelle Obama – Named after Michelle Obama

I meant to post this on Mrs. Obama’s birthday…but, no harm done in re-blogging it now!
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Saturday Screen-Shots: 28 January 2017

Venus & Serena Williams

Here are a few of my in-game screen-shots from the past week. I also wanted to say congratulations to Serena Williams – winner of the Australian Open! Well done and kudos to her sister, Venus, as well…they are both admirable and inspiring!

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Looking through the “Bag of Holding”

Striking a pose

Nicely-designed tabards

Mounted up – the horses size to your character

Dancing a jig

A little Tai Chi

Shake that money-maker!

A drink at lakeside

Cheers!

Relaxing at the bath-house

The Cowgirls of Color: Black Women’s Team is Bucking Rodeo Trends

I love this – it’s awesome! These young ladies are an inspiration.
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GOOD BLACK NEWS

Pinky, Pennie (in background) and KB calm their horses before riding in the grand entry. (Photograph: M Holden Warren)

article by Annalies Winny via theguardian.com

The Cowgirls of Color are frustrated. It’s the final stop of Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo and the only all-female team has had a difficult first ride, making their chances at a victory very unlikely. “The whole point was to win, not just to be in [the event] because we’re girls,” says KB, a 39-year-old legal administrator who has been riding with the team for a year and a half.

In a sport dominated by white men, the all-female, all-black team is a rarity. At the Bill Pickett rodeo, the only black rodeo in the country, high-octane events such as bull riding and steer wrestling remain almost exclusively male. But every year brings more female contestants than the last.

Since the team formed two years ago…

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Russian photographer, surprised by racism in Brazil, decides to capture the beauty of black Brazilian women

If only more photographers would do this! It would be much easier for me to find one who knows how to work with proper lighting…
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Black Women of Brazil

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Note from BW of Brazil: Well it seems that Brazil’s ‘dirty little secret’ is becoming known by more and more citizens of other countries. And by ‘dirty little secret’, I speak here of how the nation treats and thinks of its black population and this population’s invisibility in so many areas of Brazilian life. Of course, this is not only the doing of a little blog like BW of Brazil, but also due to the entrance of many foreigners residing in the country for whatever reason. In the past, we’ve covered the experiences of African immigrants, Haitian immigrants, as well a few black foreigners from Europe or the United States. And while the experiences are not always exactly the same, each revelation informs us of the myriad of manners in which Brazilian racism re-produces itself. Below,  a Russian photographer shares her experiences as well as uses…

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Lack of Trust

I relate to this 10,000%…trust and respect must be earned. There is no other option.
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Espiritu en Fuego/A Fiery Spirit

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/trust/#like-250044

TheDailyPost

Oct 16, 2016

Trust

For me in terms of my personal experience Trust must be earned not given. I suppose because I’ve been in abusive situations my ability to trust humans has eroded over time. I no longer have faith in people like I once did and mostly keep to myself. The amount of lies and falsehoods folks tell is amazing. That’s why I don’t usually get involved with groups, causes or anything where I’d have to rely on other people or get involved in situations where I’d have to ask for help.

Nor do I like or enjoy going to any type of doctors. The only reason I’m engaging the medical profession now is because I’m in extreme unrelenting physical pain. Unfortunately in order to continue functioning in close to a normal manner I must allow these quacks to ponder, poke and prod…

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