What We Saw: A Collective Reaction to “When They See Us”

A collab was required for a very dynamic, and emotional body of work! Read the pedestal’s review of “When They See Us”

The Pedestal Project

The Pedestal Project writing team was deeply moved by Ava Duvernay’s masterful interpretation of the infamous story of the Exonerated Five in Netflix series “When They See Us.” Based on the range of our reactions and the breadth of reactions that are still overwhelming our respective social media feeds, we decided to share a combined piece to reflect the feelings that seem to be plaguing our community. We recognize that it may be hard to verbalize how you might be feeling, and we hope that you resonate with one or more of the pieces below in your personal processing. May our words propel you forward in your pursuit of healing, truth, justice, and most importantly, change. – Tekita Bankhead, Creator/Editor-in-Chief of The Pedestal Project, LLC.

“Justice and Liberty for Some”- Madalyn McKnight

I speak the names of Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana Jr, Korey Wise, and Antron McCray. These…

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Black Excellence is Overrated

Read my latest post on black success and achievements!

The Pedestal Project

By Madalyn McKnight

All my life I have gotten applauded for my accomplishments. Every benchmark and triumph is a black benchmark and triumph and I do take pride in that. But lately, I have been questioning whether black excellence is actually an attainable standard, and why  this label always attaches itself to something seemingly grand and great. What is black excellence? Sure, the recent miracle that occurred at esteemed HBCU Morehouse’s Spring graduation is excellent. But so is a single mother pursuing her dreams all while attending the to the needs of her family.

Yes, I am working on my second graduate degree, but I am still stressed about my next step, naturally, because I am conditioned to wonder what’s next in an effort to keep the label I have been given. That comes with pressure and a lot of anxiety. Being told I am excellent is overrated; feeling excellent…

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Okay, Fellas; Misconstrue Information

Just becuase we want your attention does not mean we want YOU! Check out my horn take on this hot topic!

The Pedestal Project

By Madalyn McKnight

It appears that Beyoncé needed a remix for her massive 2016 hit.

Scrolling through Facebook and Twitter over the last few days and seeing commentary from men on recent Ayesha Curry comments have me rolling my eyes. I am reminded of the most quoted line from the 1998 Temptations miniseries:

“Ain’t nobody comin’ to see you Otis!” -David Ruffin

At this point, reading a fake woke thread from a man (or even a woman) on why Ayesha, or any woman for that matter, has certain thoughts and feelings men can’t fathom is literally exhausting. David Ruffin was on to something. So I’ll say…“AIN’T NOBODY COMIN’ TO HEAR YOUR INPUT”.

Photo by Pixababy via Nappy.co

After the latest episode of the hit Facebook show, Red Table Talk, people are choosing to attack Ayesha Curry for HER feelings about HER self, and just like after the R. Kelly…

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Damita Jo Taught Me Black Girl Magic

Check out my latest post for @pedestalproject

The Pedestal Project

By Madalyn McKnight

I feel like she is an aunt to me so I call her Damita Jo. But not just any aunt. That cool aunt that lets you call her by her given name and introduces you to style, independence, and the strength of a woman. That is how I felt growing up listening to Janet Damita Jo Jackson. Everything about Janet exudes black girl magic. I remember the first time I saw the Velvet Rope Tour on ABCFamily back in the day. I tried to mimic her moves and facial expressions.  I also remember voting daily for her to be entered into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Her illustrious career somehow came down to the vote of regular people that have final say on whether or not she was worthy.

She is not regular, and OF COURSE, she is worthy.

Her career doesn’t even require…

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Who Are You Calling Ugly?

Check out my latest post on @pedestalproject

The Pedestal Project

By Madalyn McKnight

You are black and ugly. Words I heard as a child growing up in the south from those who looked like me and those who wished they looked like me. Reflection during Women’s History Month means taking a look at my journey to womanhood and what has changed in the world.

My thick hair is now a crown. My glasses, now an accessory. My lips sought after from a tube in Sephora. And my hips, sculpted every day by medical professionals. My blackness is now popular, my features now celebrated. Build a time machine, go back about 15 years and tell my younger self that notion. Watch me show all my teeth in laughter.

Today, my only ugliness is a result of events happening in the world around me. Now, as a woman coming from a place of confidence and not boastfulness, I have learned that ugliness…

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Ain’t I a Woman?

Check out my latest post on @Pedestalproject !! Happy International Women’s Day

The Pedestal Project

By Madalyn McKnight

Reading the speech of “Aint I A Woman” allows me to simultaneously reflect on where we have been and how far we have to go as a people and as a nation. Sojourner Truth believed that women could make noise that would cause change. I believe she may have been on to something.  But we still have very far to go. A man gets to say who a woman is, what rights a woman has, and yet as an African-American woman, I don’t even get the courtesy of being treated as even a second-class citizen.

princess-684298-unsplash Photo By Princess via Unsplash

As Sojourner points out, being black and a woman is both challenging and miraculous. We are treated equally when it works to benefit of others but otherwise, we are not treated as equal as our counterparts, by our counterparts. God created Eve and she changed the…

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Hidden Scars: A review of “Black Earth Rising”

Learning extends beyond the classroom and I am so thankful that I was able to see this art and learn more about the horrors of the world and the beauty in new beginnings #BlackEarthRising

The Pedestal Project

By Madalyn McKnight

In one of the first scenes of the show, Michaela Coel’s character (Kate) lifts her shirt up to show the scarred skin from a wound that once hurt her physically but still scars her emotionally and mentally. She exclaims to her adopted mother, “Take a long hard look at it. This is what they did to me”. She is reflecting on her early childhood as a survivor of the Rwandan genocide that occurred in the mid-1990s and claimed the lives of more than 800,000 men, women, and children. This horrendous series of events are not taught in many history classes. I learned about the genocide after watching the movie “Hotel Rwanda” starring my favorite actor, Don Cheadle. The research that took place after seeing that movie really exposed me to the horrors that were taking place in what seemed like a world away.

Black Earth RisingCredit: BBC

Although Black…

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