Say What?: On Speechlessness, Racism and Respectability in #Ferguson

“I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood. That the speaking profits me, beyond any other effect. My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you.” (excerpt from The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action, by Audre Lorde)   As I prepare the syllabi and lesson plans for my fall classes I am dealing with uncertainty about how to teach about Ferguson and the merciless assault on black bodies and minds …Read more »

When We Are Young

When we are young, often too young to fully understand the anxiety in their voices and the fear in their eyes, many of us listen to our parents tell us how to behave when, not if, we are stopped by the police. Usually these cautions beseech us to be aware of our surroundings, comply and assert our compliance out loud, to polite and cooperative, not combative or defiant.  They tell us the things they think will protect us. They tell us not to be alone. They tell us to be vigilant. They know what we will face. They are black, …Read more »

Summer Self Care Survival Kit

  Everyday I read, watch, or discover something that makes me want to throw in the towel on humanity and crawl back into bed. I don’t really—none of us really—have that luxury though.   There are Nigerian schoolgirls still missing. Ebola outbreaks marked by fear and/or indifference. Kids dying in hotass cars. There is apartheid and genocide in Gaza. Renisha McBride, Eric Garner, Marissa Alexander and other chokeholds, death grips, suicide trips. White folks columbusing Dead trans women every week.   Sometimes talking about self care in the midst of so many forms devastating forms of institutional violence seems like …Read more »

The Blame Game: Black Women, Shame, and Victim Blaming

(Trigger Warning) I will never forget listening to the raging voice of a man I didn’t know on the other end of a phone line alongside my homegirl in Florida.  We sat in a room with the door closed while she told me what had happened the night before to preface the voice mail I was about to hear.  The man behind the voice was someone her sister had recently started dating.  He left the message on her voicemail several hours after beating and berating her in front of her child and leaving her bloody and unconscious on the concrete …Read more »

A Poem for Renisha McBride

  Hopefully, you have been following the trial of Theodore Wafer, a Michigan man, who killed 19 year old Renisha McBride last fall when she came to his door in the early morning hours after a car accident begging for help. He shot and killed her through a locked door, because he claims he felt afraid. Local residents in Detroit, marched and rallied on Renisha’s behalf and ensured her killer was brought to trial. But there has been no national outrage of the sort we saw last year with Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis. Wafer’s attorney has attempted to prove …Read more »

Maleficent Unpacked: A Black Feminist Review

*Trigger Warning: This article contains material addressing rape, gender based violence, and mutilation.* Hello Everyone, I’m Judith and I’m currently an intern here at CFC.  I’m a student at Agnes Scott College double majoring in Women’s Studies and Political Science. Outside of my academic interest, I make zines and ponder feminist theory.  From the moment I watched Tomb Raider; I have been a fan of Angelina Jolie. When I first heard word of the film Maleficent, a remake of Sleeping Beauty, the idea of Angelina, draped in black, casting spells on people sparked my interest. Before I went to the …Read more »

Unbreakable or The Problem with Praising Blackgirl Strength

It has been almost three years since we learned the name Amber Cole, a fourteen year old blackgirl who was secretly recorded while performing fellatio on a former boyfriend.  Images and taunts spread quickly as the video went viral and commentary about Amber’s agency, privacy and sexuality sparked controversy across the interwebs.  There was slut-shaming, blaming, and judgment of Amber and her family (especially her mother) with little mention of the three boys involved (the boy receiving oral sex, the boy recording it on his phone, and a third who watched in the background).  In my gender class we discussed …Read more »

Detroit Goddamn

From Occupy.com

Growing up in the 80s and 90s, I mistakenly thought that environmentalism was something simply to do with saving the rainforest and the ozone layer. “Environment” was a fancy word for places far away from the working class former factory town where I lived. Certainly, “saving the environment” was important for all of us, but it was hard to think about forests and the ozone while living next to a crack house and being battered by Reaganomics. I did not learn until I was much older and formally learning about Black feminism in a classroom that environmental justice was inextricably …Read more »

My Brother’s Keeper & the Co-Optation of Intersectionality

  Yesterday, while we lamented the SCOTUS decision to exempt Hobby Lobby and other Corporations-cum-People from paying for birth control because it violates their religious freedom, I learned that 30 Black women released a signed letter offering their support for the President’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative.  This letter from women like former Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin and Rev. Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr., comes on the heels of two major letters from the African American Policy Forum, one from a group of 200 Black men asking for the inclusion of women and girls in My Brother’s Keeper …Read more »

Dear Octavia

  Dear Octavia, Yesterday, it was your birthday. Happy birthday, dear! I’ve been missing you a lot and thinking about you a lot lately, especially since there’s a newly discovered crop of your short stories. I feel like that was a gift for all of us. Your work has continually been a gift to me and, though you have transitioned to being an ancestor, I want share my appreciation for you life and your work. I’ve been a fan of science fiction and fantasy since I could read. Reading about lords and ladies, outer space, and other fantastical things were …Read more »

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