Mychal Denzel Smith

Mychal Denzel Smith is a Knobler Fellow at The Nation Institute and contributing writer for The Nation Magazine, as well as columnist for Feministing.com and Salon. As a freelance writer, social commentator, and mental health advocate his work has been seen online in outlets such as The New York Times, The Atlantic, Salon, Al Jazeera English, Gawker, The Guardian, Ebony.com, Huffington Post, The Root, and The Grio.

Posts Written by Mychal

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Dear Evin and Camille: I don’t know Bill Cosby

Evin Cosby, daughter of Bill Cosby, released a statement to Access Hollywood earlier this week, defending her father from the recently resurfaced (and some brand new) allegations of drugging and sexually assaulting numerous women over the course of decades. Her statement, in full, reads: “He is the FATHER you thought you knew. The Cosby Show was my today’s tv reality show. Thank you. That’s all I would like to say :).” 

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The importance of Ava DuVernay’s Golden Globe nomination

 

Ava DuVernay has become the first black woman to receive a Golden Globe nomination for best director. The announcement came this morning alongside all of the other Golden Globe nominations, including three others for the film DuVernay wrote and directed, Selma.

 

Ava DuVernay has become the first black woman to receive a Golden Globe nomination for best director. The announcement came this morning alongside all of the other Golden Globe nominations, including three others for ...

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Ishmael Reed is still mad about The Color Purple (and other observations)

Ishmael Reed thinks I said Ray Rice represents all black men.

I was on Melissa Harris-Perry’s show this past Sunday, and we discussed how Rice’s indefinite suspension from the NFL had been lifted, along with Janay Rice telling her story as the woman whom Ray Rice punched and then dragged from an elevator.

Ishmael Reed thinks I said Ray Rice represents all black men.

I was on Melissa Harris-Perry’s show this past Sunday, and we discussed how Rice’s indefinite suspension from the NFL had been lifted, along with ...

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Lincoln University president expresses great concern for the futures of accused rapists

Because of the work by activists such as our very own Alexandra and Dana, the issue of sexual assault on college campuses is now one of national priority. With the increased scrutiny, colleges and universities should now be taking extra care to address sexual assault and work toward implementing more effective preventive measures and protections for those who are assaulted. Enter Robert R. Jennings. 

Because of the work by activists such as our very own Alexandra and Dana, the issue of sexual assault on college campuses is now one of national priority. With the increased scrutiny, ...

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Cari Champion, Artie Lange, and the price of being a black woman in public

While the country was voting, or trying to convince people to vote, or wondering if Lil’ Jon would make it to Georgia in order to vote, or debating Lena Dunham, comedian Artie Lange was being a racist, sexist asshole. 

While the country was voting, or trying to convince people to vote, or wondering if Lil’ Jon would make it to Georgia in order to vote, or debating Lena Dunham, comedian Artie Lange was being a racist, ...

Why we need to get over Clair Huxtable

Brittney Cooper has a provocative piece up over at the Crunk Feminist Collective about (symbolically) slaying the patriarch and matriarch of The Cosby Show clan, Cliff and Clair Huxtable, in light of resurfaced concerns over real life patriarch Bill Cosby’s rape accusations. There’s a lot there to make you reconsider just how warm and fuzzy and lovable the character of Cliff Huxtable was. But here I want to talk about Clair.

I was born into a world where the Huxtables were near-universally beloved and held as the gold standard of black romantic possibilities. Each was an ideal partner in the context of a heteronormative relationship. But Clair even more so.

Brittney Cooper has a provocative piece up over at the Crunk Feminist Collective about (symbolically) slaying the patriarch and matriarch of The Cosby Show clan, Cliff and Clair Huxtable, in light of resurfaced concerns ...

When black women die from street harassment

Who cries when black women die?

I’m not asking that as some type of rhetorical, poetic question, meant to move you toward ferocious finger snaps. I want to know. Who cries when black women die?

Further, who cries when black women are killed?

Mary Spears was killed. The man who killed her did so because she refused to give him her phone number. She told him “I have a man I can’t talk to you,” and yet he persisted. Rather than respect her wishes to be left alone, he shot her.

Who cries when black women die from street harassment? 

Who cries when black women die?

I’m not asking that as some type of rhetorical, poetic question, meant to move you toward ferocious finger snaps. I want to know. Who cries when black women die?

Further, who cries ...

Keeping Marissa in mind

I was honored to participate in this campaign, Keeping Marissa in Mind, organized by the extraordinary activist Mariame Kaba. The poem I’m reading in this video is called “Flare” and it’s written by National Book Award winner Nikky Finney

I was honored to participate in this campaign, Keeping Marissa in Mind, organized by the extraordinary activist Mariame Kaba. The poem I’m reading in this video is called “Flare” and it’s written by ...

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