Monthly Archives: July 2010

Climbing PoeTree, on a Long, Summer’s Day

Some days are so long. Some days being an activist takes all the energy you have, and some that you don’t. Some days you get up in the morning and think about the moment, 12, 14 or 16 hours later, when you will get to be still again. But sometimes, on those long days, there’s an unexpected gift from the universe. Yesterday was, for me, a very long day. A day full of long strategy meetings, wonky conference calls, sticky summertime heat, and subway cars with no air conditioning. But then, many hours on, the day found its purpose. At …Read more »

A Broken hearted feminist

Okay, so now that I have shared with you the trials and tribulations of coming out to my mother, the difficulty of working in an often homophobic academic environment and revealed my most un-feminist moments, I feel like we’re friends now. I mean, you sure do know a lot about me. Some things you may not know about me: writing terrifies me, I’m so private that Facebook freaks me out on a daily basis, and I’m actually quite shy. But now that we are friends, and I have invited you into my life, I feel like I can share some …Read more »

Listen Harder. Look Longer.

“every 3 minutes a woman is beaten/every five minutes a woman is raped/every ten minutes a little girl is molested” –ntozake shange (with no immediate cause) Ntozake shange’s poem, with no immediate cause, begins with statistics that push us into awareness about the perpetual nature of violence against women in our communities.  And while I know, from personal witnessing and experiencing (and knowing somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody who has been beaten/raped/molested) how far reaching these pathologies are, it was not until this past week that I became fully conscious and aware of the responsibility that comes with …Read more »

Shirley Sherrod’s Victory: A Teachable Moment on Talking Race

Family, here’s the follow-up to Wednesday’s piece Shirley Sherrod’s War. Shirley Sherrod should retire from the USDA, get her book deal, and tell her story. I certainly would not want to work for a group of people that were so quick to hang me out to dry. But seriously, Ms. Sherrod should pick the options that are best for her, because one of the many victories in this whole sordid situation is that she is now a Black woman with options. Since the news of Andrew Breitbart’s sloppy and opportunistic editorial hatchet job on Sherrod’s career became apparent three days …Read more »

Who the hell you calling fat? … I hope it was me!

What y’all know ‘bout big girls in sassy outfits, swinging hips from left to right and daring anybody to say a damn thing about it? If ya don’t know and you want to, this post is for you. Let me introduce to the world of fatshionistas. Fatshionistas are reclaiming their right to enjoy their bodies and the clothes they put on them. They make up a growing movement of women who are instituting a new conversation about fat, size, women’s bodies and fashion, all through blogging. From posts on the summer or fall line of a particular designer to posts that …Read more »

Shirley Sherrod’s War: When Keepin It Racially Real Goes Wrong

It’s ironic how much time the daughters of Rosa Parks spend under the bus these days.  The administration’s willingness not to take a stand on behalf of Shirley Sherrod’s is the latest evidence that when it comes to race we are long on cowardice and short on integrity. This week, Sherrod, an employee at the U.S. Department of Agriculture was pressured to resign her post, after spliced and editd video surfaced of her giving a talk at an NAACP banquet in March. See full video here.   In that speech, she recounts an experience working with a poor white farmer …Read more »

How it feels to be…

Last week, I spent some time with thirty black high school students from rural Alabama as a part of a summer enrichment program. After leading a session discussing Zora Neale Hurston’s “How if Feels to be Colored Me,” I had the students break into small groups to talk about how it feels to them in 2010. I mean, Zora talked about feeling “so very colored” at times in the 1920’s, what does it feel like to be a young black person in 2010? There were lots of interesting answers. Some of the students were excited about the Obama family being …Read more »

Dating While Feminist, Part II: Last Words

My dating experiences, which I chronicled in a prior post, have a sparked a range of conversations that for both better and worse, I did not anticipate. In light of several misreadings of my post, both in comments on the CFC blog and in this recent response by Sai Grundy, I want to make a few observations. Feminism tells us that the personal is political. Therefore, feminism is a useful frame for helping me to make sense of the gender politics that may be at play in my dating life. When a card-carrying feminist goes on a date, it is …Read more »

Won’t You Celebrate With Me?

Trigger Alert: The following is a meditation on childhood abuse. A few months ago, the family of Oscar-winning actress Mo’Nique went on Oprah to discuss an issue that has torn them apart. After years of denials, Gerald Imes, Mo’Nique’s older brother, admitted to molesting his sister for several years. Though I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, what struck me the most about the interview was the family’s defensive posture regarding the situation. Another of Mo’Nique’s brothers was really invested in maintaining that his brother “wasn’t a monster” and that Mo’Nique seemed to have “gotten over” the abuse because she and …Read more »

glitches: the ballad of ebony brown

Kool G Rap’s “Men at Work” concluded The Roots’ Sunday evening set in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. In the swelter, a paunchy Black Thought perspired through the rap standard while his legendary crew capered Pip-like in the background. A master of breath control, Black Thought expelled not a pant and it was an exhausting exercise. The Roots are serious showmen and I can’t say that I wasn’t entertained but going to a hip hop concert and hearing that repeated declamation “Men at Work” prickled as a reminder that for too many “Men at Work” remains hip hop’s definition.

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