Monthly Archives: March 2010

Trying to Make a Dollar Out of Fifteen Cents: Women, the Wealth Gap, and Why Race Still Matters

Re-posted from  Race-Talk In a recent Facebook post, one of my friends was incredulous that more than half of all single mothers live below the poverty line. He asked, “What can we do to solve this problem?” His question reminded me of the report released earlier this month by the Insight Center for Community and Economic Development. Among the shocking and disheartening statistics, the report found that Black women between the prime working ages of 36 and 49 had a median wealth of $5, [i.e., not even enough to remedy a stressful work day with a McDonalds or Starbucks binge]. …Read more »

J. Simp Goes to Mumbai: The Price of Beauty is Pretty High

A proud owner of a DVR box and many cable TV channels for the first time in about 10 years, I have recently entered the world of docu-dramas, reality competition and most recently a show called, “Jessica Simpson’s ,The Price of Beauty.” J. Simp goes All! Over! The! World! to find out what different cultures consider beautiful. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Why on earth would you watch Jessica Simpson trek around the world pontificating on beauty?”  Thing is, I dig the notion, and Jessica is an interesting choice considering how much she has been through, in the spotlight, …Read more »

Necessary Fierceness

Its not my day to post but recent events caused me the catch the spirit and pick up the laptop. If you haven’t heard, Erykah Badu released the video to her second song  off her 6th studio Album (Release party @ the crib tomorrow, feel free to roll through) New Amerykah Part II: Return of the Ankh. *spoiler alert* In the video, she gets naked. Actually, its not that simple. A more accurate statement would be that she gets real vulnerable. We know this not just because of what we see on screen but because of what she has been tweeting …Read more »

The Gifts Among Us

This past week I was talking with some friends about race and racism in academia, social circles, and beyond.  One of my friends, a white woman, asked my opinion on how  people in general, but particularly white people should address racism.  My answer was racism should be addressed in community regardless of the race of the individual.  While I agree with Audre Lorde’s insistance that people “do their own work,” I am also cognizant that she encourages us to work across differences because no matter how brilliant we may think we are, no one can read their way out of racist practices or beliefs.   I am a straight …Read more »

Babykillers, Baby Daddies, and Why Health Care Can’t Wait

It went down on the floor of the House of Representatives Sunday as our elected lawmakers, the progressive ones I mean, struggled to insure passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Perhaps the most heated moment came when Bart Stupak rejected last-minute GOP attempts to appropriate his anti-choice language for ultra-conservative ends. When Stupak sided for once with his own Party, someone from the GOP shouted out “baby killer.” Clearly the Republican Party and their Supreme Court minions have a contagious case of diarrhea of the mouth. But in this case, what bothers me is hypocritical posture of …Read more »

For Educated Black Girls Who’re Just Tryin to Maintain when Degrees Ain’t Enuf

A Black woman academic steps into a bar. . . Okay, okay. It’s not a funny joke. So here’s what happened. I decided to venture out  to a bar for St. Patty’s Day in my small predominantly white college town.  The beats, which I could hear as soon as stepped out of my car, immediately put me in the mind of a different version of my life, a time in the not-too-distant past where I could meet with my girls, grab a drink, and shake something. But when I stepped in the door,  I immediately started thinking of one of …Read more »

They aren’t talking about me…

As a queer woman in love, sometimes it’s hard to relate to what my straight sisters are going through. What used to make me want to hold rap stars accountable is now likely to pass my ears without so much as a raised eyebrow of concern from me. This is deeply disturbing and I don’t know what to make of this shift. Is it age? A creeping conservative that has me running from my radical roots? I honestly feel like I’m just so sick and tired of being sick and tired, I’d rather overlook the rampant misogyny and sexism on …Read more »

Reflections on coming out and family

As a queer Latina I juggle intertwining, complex and often competing identities. One of my most defining identities is that of daughter. My mother is one of the most amazing women I know. Although she would never refer to herself as the “f” word, I firmly believe that I am the independent, strong, determined, educated and fierce feminist I am, thanks to her example. Growing up in a single-parent household meant that for most of my life, my mother was my best friend. That all changed, however, when I came out to her. Although realizing that I was queer meant …Read more »

Mo’Nique at the Oscars: Politics vs. Performance

Happy International Women’s Day! Now let’s get to it . . . Mo’Nique might have said last night that it was about “the performance and not the politics” but when she invoked the legacy of Hattie McDaniel, the first African American woman to win an Oscar, she proved that it is always about the politics. Back in 1939, McDaniel wanted simply to be “a credit to [her] race.” Beyond merely paying homage to McDaniel in words, Mo’Nique attempted to embody her, wearing a large white flower reminiscent of the one McDaniel wore when she received the award. By (rightly) situating herself …Read more »

A Counterstory: Gabourey Sidibe Academy Award Acceptance Speech

CFC’er Sheri Davis imagines the kinds of cultural work a Gabby Sidibe Oscar Speech might do: Presenter: And the Academy Award for performance by an actress in a leading role goes to Gabourey Sidibe. Sidibe: Wow Oh My God Wow. I’m so um. Let me just read because I have so much to say and so many to thank. I’d like to thank my mom for exposing me to the arts, teaching me to express myself and to love being a black girl and a black woman. I gotta thank my professors for encouraging me to pursue all my passions. …Read more »

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