Monthly Archives: October 2012

so far to go: a mix on finding your way

Listen, this isn’t what I expected: adult-onset acne, speech and eating disorders. I would have been struck dumb had you asked me to forecast these grown-up times in my ponytailed private school days. I daydreamed a lot but my imagined life was clipped: a timid choose your own adventure whose stalled plot was as foreseeable as it is now disappointing. And in running from that neuroses-made valley I am daily acquainted with pain, fired in it and conscripted to lay poultices on the skin of my kiln mates. Girl on fire is a punchline in the ‘buked wail of Alicia …Read more »

The Silliest Girl in Vagina Class, or Why Women’s Studies is Needed Now More Than Ever

sue

In the past four years, I’ve developed a favorite pastime: taking advantage of all services covered by my tuition. To my delight, I discovered that my university offers free sexuality counseling. So after spending an hour with the local version of Dr. Sue, I was invited by my new sex therapist to join a three-week class called “I Heart My Vagina.” I signed up enthusiastically, imagining the types of yoni workshops I’d read about in books like Female Ejaculation and the G-Spot: Not Your Mother’s Orgasm Book. Imagine my shock when I walked into a classroom full of undergrads with …Read more »

Overcoming A-stigma-tism: (An Affirmation) For Blackgirls Who Have Considered Suicide When Closed Eyes Are Enuf

astigmatism: the inability to see clearly stigma: a mark of disgrace or infamy -ism: a suffix added to terms to reflect a symptom or ideology “Sometimes you can’t see yourself clearly until you see yourself through the eyes of others.” I see you. You are beautiful and you don’t even know it. I mean it. You are! If no one has told you yet today, consider me the first. Sometimes just hearing the words can make all the difference in the world.  I know what it feels like when no one tells you that you are beautiful.  I know how …Read more »

She’s Not Heavy, She’s Our Sister: Love Notes for Sharmeka

Dear Sharmeka, I’m so sorry for what happened to you. I am sending you love. What happened to you has been a wake up call about the traumas of being multiply marginalized in this world. I hope you get exactly what you need. So much love, Moya Dear Sharmeka, Hey sis. I just wanted to reach out and let you know that I am thinking about you and sending you love and best wishes for a speedy recovery. What’s been going on with you, girl? Maybe you felt invisible, maybe you felt like you deserved this particular type of pain? …Read more »

When the Hoodies Are White: Justice4SharmekaMoffitt

On Sunday evening, Sharmeka Moffitt went to a local park in Winnsboro, Louisiana to “walk a mile and run a mile.” Sometime later, she was approached by three men in “white t-shirt hoodies” who doused her with flammable liquid and set her on fire. For good measure, they scrawled “KKK” and “nigger” on her car. Sharmeka was able to get to a spigot of water, put out the flames, and then call 911 for help. She is now in critical condition with burns to over 60% of her body at the Louisiana State University Medical Center in Shreveport, LA. As …Read more »

Returning To My First Love

“Once you learn to read, you’ll be forever free” Frederick Douglass The idea that literacy is a type of freedom might seem clichéd or even a bit earnest and naïve. Still, it’s an idea that continues to resonate with me. Mine is perhaps a typical story. As a kid, I had an almost insatiable appetite for books. Being a poor, chubby, black girl with glasses, I knew I wasn’t what others called beautiful and most didn’t expect me to be smart either. But in books I could escape into a world of beauty, love, fantasy, and adventure where I could …Read more »

Armed and… Ambivalent?

Let’s begin with a confession: I was born and raised in the great state of Texas and prior to two weeks ago, I had never fired a gun.  That will certainly be surprising to some folks as Texas often invokes images of shotguns, six shooters and gun-toting cowboys.  For me, however, Texas is about home, family, the State Fair and where my own brand of quirky country makes perfect sense.  While, like the rest of the country, I grew up in a pervasive gun culture, there was not one in my immediate family.  I didn’t grow up around hunting trips, …Read more »

Learning Community with Black Girls

In a two-part series called Meet the Authors, the CFC talks to Drs. Ruth Nicole Brown,  Chamara Jewel Kwakye, and Bettina Love about their recently released books, Wish to Live: The Hip-Hop Feminist Pedagogy Reader and Hip hop’s Li’l Sistas Speak: Negotiating Identities and Politics in the New South. Both books describe Black girlhoodand hip hop feminist teaching in the university and community classroom.  Ruth Nicole and Chamara coordinate SOLHOT (Saving Our Lives Hear Our Truths), which is a multi-sited, community-based space developed to celebrate and affirm Black girl genius using art.  Bettina organizes, Real Talk: Hip Hop Education for …Read more »

Happy Coming Out (and Going In) Day!

Donna Summer

Today is national coming out day so I called my girlfriend early this morning. “Hello? Are you okay?” she asked, sleep and worry mixed in her voice. “I’m gay,” I said. “Today is national coming out day and I thought you should know.” “Goodbye.” She hung up. She’s not a morning person. She also “came out” in her teens and I, a grown woman, am way behind. For me, coming out isn’t as scary as it probably was for her in the mid-nineties. I’m grown. I already had a baby “out of wedlock“, so I’ve experienced the worst of the …Read more »

Please Feel Free to Keep Your Bullshit Apology

So, I was on Facebook (granted, I know that was my very first mistake) and I came across a homophobic comment posted by my youngest brother. Back story: my little brother and I have the same dad but different moms. I don’t use the word “half-brother” because to me if feels like it somehow delegitimatizes our bond. Even though we grew up in different homes, we have a very strong history and have created many loving memories. Needless to say, I love my little brother very much. I am often saddened by the fact that we didn’t grow up in …Read more »

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