Category Archives: Activism

Angels and Ghosts

Every day I walk or drive through historic Black neighborhoods in Atlanta, Georgia where upwards of 50% of residential properties are vacant, abandoned and sometimes burned down (but not demolished).  I see empty buildings that used to be schools, recreation centers, community centers, and businesses.  I see extraordinary flooding each time it rains; rushing water nearly covers the street.  Sidewalks are non-existent or so torn-up you cannot walk on them so folks move through the middle of the street–parents with strollers and people in wheelchairs. On weekdays I see elementary, middle, and high school age youth sitting on porches at …Read more »

Black Queer Trouble in Literature, Life, and the Age of OBama: Part II

Originally Delivered by Cheryl Clarke as the Kessler Lecture on Dec. 6, 2013 at the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center   Scenes of black queer and feminist resistance; or “forced confinement and forced mobility” Recently I said the following at a “Symposium: Black Women’s Studies and the Transformation of the Academy” in 2010.  I shared the panel is Nikol Alexander-Floyd, Paula Giddings, and Cheryl Wall.  I think it is applicable to black queer trouble-making: “I remain convinced that there is no transformation in the academy unless black feminists engage in a kind of itinerant …Read more »

Black Queer Trouble in Literature, Life, and the Age of OBama: Part I

Originally Delivered by Cheryl Clarke as the Kessler Lecture on Dec. 6, 2013 at the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center  Note:  Elizabeth Lorde Rollins, my friend and sister, introduced me at the event.   Thank you, Beth.  Wonderful to see you again.  We miss your Mother.  In case I run out of time at the end, I want to make sure I read this for you, ‘Echoes’ from Lorde’s last collection, The Marvelous Arithmetics of Distance, 1993. I want to thank Jim Wilson and the CLAGS Board.  I am deeply honored and surprised to …Read more »

Fuck Sears, or When Mall Cops Attack

Any one that knows me, knows that I do not like the Internet. I just don’t trust it. Too much of our personal information is out there and it is completely out of our control. It took me years to get a smart phone because I thought that having a smart phone would jeopardize my already limited privacy. My little sister, the tech-geek of the family, finally convinced me to ditch my flip phone and get a smart phone. Apparently, I was embarrassing her with my “very archaic form of communication.” So I did. I linked it to my email …Read more »

De-Tangling Racism: On White Women and Black Hair

Pictures from a new exhibit by photographer Endia Beal called “Can I Touch It?” showcase several white women, all corporate execs, who agreed to get a “Black hairstyle” and then have their portrait taken. Apparently, this very quotidian fixation with Black women’s bodies and Black women’s hair is now the stuff of art exhibits. This project started when Beal began permitting many of her white corporate colleagues to touch her big red ‘fro, to pull it even, while she photographed them doing it. Over the summer, a friend and I happened upon the “You Can Touch My Hair” exhibit that …Read more »

Loving Ourselves: The Case for Radical Empathy

Her voice is a revelation and her concert last week in Atlanta was nothing short of a religious experience

It’s been a rough past few weeks, hasn’t it? Between the SCOTUS rulings, Zimmerman trial, another recent discovery of a serial killer who has targeted Black women, and the general tomfoolery of white supremacy experienced on a daily basis, it seems like we can’t catch a break. Certainly, it’s never easy to be a person of color, but it has felt, at least to me, particularly egregious recently.  We have a lot of work to do to get free and stay free, but in the meantime I’m really concerned about how we love (on) ourselves and each other—because the business …Read more »

Reproductive Injustice and the ‘War on Women’ or, An Ode to the Intersections

These days, it’s hard to read something in regards to feminist activism without hearing the phrase “war on women.” Despite important and sharp critiques regarding the limitations of the phrase, it continues to hold cache as a means to characterize the depth and fortitude of the conservative legislative attack on women’s reproductive rights. This attack, as characterized by many organizations that fight for access to reproductive rights, includes a full out state-based legislative strategy to restrict access to abortion via attacks on Medicaid coverage, earlier bans, mandatory ultrasounds, forced waiting periods, “fetal pain” bills, impossible physician and hospital requirements, mandatory parental …Read more »

this is how we do it: the crunk feminist summer mixtape series

Josephine Baker famously fled the U.S. for the reprieve from racism post World War I France provided. She called France her home for the rest of her life but continued to perform stateside. She also protested. She addressed the masses at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and juxtaposed the measure of dignity she enjoyed abroad with the degradation she was subject to as a black woman in the United States. Segregation enraged her. “And when I get mad,” she explained, “you know that I open my big mouth. And then look out, ‘cause when Josephine opens …Read more »

Happy Birthday Marsha “Pay It No Mind” Johnson!

Guest Post by Reina Gossett A few months ago I took the PATH train to Hoboken with my artistic collaborator Sasha Wortzel to interview Randy Wicker for a film we are making about Sylvia Rivera.  Randy is one of the few surviving members of Mattachine Society, an early queer radical organizing group in the US. Randy’s apartment is an archival space containing vital history, some shared visually through the photographs on Randy’s refrigerator door, other pieces held in the clothes adorning the wall, but most of it Randy passes to you through stories.  Randy befriended both Marsha P Johnson and Sylvia …Read more »

TODAY! Grassroots Fundraiser for Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition!

Earlier this week, CF Sheri wrote “Atlanta Harm Reduction: Prevention as First Response” to shine a light on the great work of the Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition (AHRC). Today, CFs EeshaP and Crunkadelic continue to lift up the AHRC that, like so many grassroots organizations doing direct service in our communities, is struggling with financial problems that may force it to shut its doors. If you are able, please consider giving a donation that would enable the AHRC to continue providing services to some of the most marginalized in the Atlanta community. There are many ways to create safety and …Read more »

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