Monthly Archives: October 2010

Holloween, The Mourning-After Poem

At a Halloween house party where I was one of two African American college students, I came to represent available, accessible sex. I was transformed from a sexual subject to object by the rap music and by the anonymous white guy who groped me. The rap music was so loud that I could not hear my soul yelling “No.” I felt hollow. I did nothing that night. I was consumed with rage. This is my mourning-after poem, my way of reconstructing and reclaiming that (body) part of me. I still feel the echo, My voice cursing This drunken 6 ft. …Read more »

“Words Hurt”: A (Personal) Reflection on Bullying as Verbal Violence


It began as daily torture and sickening waves of dread bellowing in my belly with tears collecting behind dark circles in my eyes too stubborn to fall. I learned the art of holding back the floods of hurt, that stung my eyes and soaked my pillows at night from daylight. They never betrayed me in public and would wait for the shame-filled walks from the school bus to the front door, re-playing the taunts from the day in my head until I found a place of solace to cry in peace, to be in peace, away from the judgment of …Read more »

(Not) About Jamal Parris: A Premature Critique of BlackQueer Conservatism

this is a repost of some things i am thinking through and have been for some time now.  lest we forget that the eddie long “scandal” is far from resolved, that conversation needs to be ongoing and intentional. So this is the weird me. Trying to think about my continual relationship and disavowal of what is called the Black Church and what I call BlackChristianity. Personal in reflection by some more general claims, hoping to get somewhere with this theorizing. So as much as I write against a certain BlackQueer conservatism, I write against myself.  This is a follow-up to …Read more »

How did I become a feminist?

This brief clip from the recent “Black Women as Public Intellectuals” symposium at the University of Alabama was such a wonderful interlude that it inspired me to reflect on my own trajectory in becoming a crunk feminist. Like many, instead of fitting into a neat narrative, my feminism came in fits and starts, inspired by teachers and friends. By my wonderful family. By poets and writers that spoke my own internal fears and hopes back to me. By musicians that sang my dreams to me.  So in homage to the work of the CFC, and the legacy of feminists from …Read more »

On ‘The Mean Girls of Morehouse’

Having gone to Morehouse’s (unofficial) sister school I feel compelled to comment on this Vibe Mean Girls article and subsequent fallout. In fact it feels kind of good to once again put this “audacity of parenting” thing on the back burner. Y’all ain’t ready 🙂 If you haven’t heard, Vibe acknowledged the fact that there are queer black folks in the world (more than CNN could do), let alone at the elite single sex HBCU, Morehouse College. The article profiles queer students who actively blur the binary line of gender and look damn good doing it. They wear their fierce …Read more »

A Crunk Feminist Collective Roundtable

Check out a brief clip from a recent CFC Roundtable on October 7, 2010 at the University of Alabama. Featured in this clip are CFs Susana, Robin, Brittney, Sheri, and Rachel speaking in that order. Full video forthcoming soon.

What I Value Most

Yesterday would have been my mother’s 66th birthday. She didn’t make it to her 55th though; she died of ovarian cancer.  The tumor was the size of a grapefruit when it was discovered, three weeks before my college graduation.  The doctors said that she probably wouldn’t live four months, but that was only because they didn’t (yet) know her strength. She fought through surgery, chemo, a stem cell bone marrow transplant, and more chemo.  She battled cancer for three years before she eventually passed away. When she died it wasn’t the furniture or new cars my brothers and I argued …Read more »

NUNU Pt. 2: We Mad Now!

Well, church. My pastor spoke a prophetic word when he said, “As long as you great, haters gon’ hate.” Just as the NUNU: No Uncles, No Uterus movement got off the ground, a huge scandal broke out in a southern megachurch. A group of parents recently accused Pastor John Jenkins(who goes by Uncle Pastor) of intent to manipulate their teenage sons and daughters. Uncle Pastor recently started two ministries, Pastor’s Adopted Nephews Teen School (PANTS) and Pastor’s Adopted Nieces Teen and Youth School (PANTYS), for the at-risk, uncle-less children of the church. Former members say that he often preached to …Read more »

NUNU: No Uncles, No Uterus

Gentle reader, I write this post with a heavy heart. To address the current crisis of my people, I must revisit the great depravity of my own childhood in order to highlight the disaster that is the contemporary American family: I, like countless contemporary children, grew up without an uncle in my life. I know, I know. My story is not a popular one in this day and age, when women are hell-bent on raising their children independently, without the help of their brothers. In fact, “brother” is a word that has faded from all but the most devoted nationalists. …Read more »

Sticks, Stones & Microphones

I can still hear a whisper (song). Arms oval. Neck curled. Hips sway to the familiar southern bass from a black (male) speaker rapping to me the dance floor.  Before I could face the voice coaxing me to move, he drops his hook—a line about a violent sexual fantasy, a common come-on echoed in hip hop club culture.  Still.  Arms raised, I am arrested by his lyrics likening sex to a beating. He wants to “blow my back out.” His lines are in step with other rap courters recounting sexual conquests by the penetrative acts of cutting, bussing, stabbing, screwing, …Read more »

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