Category Archives: Patriarchy

On Becky, M.I.A.,and the Problem of that “Good Hair”

It’s a ‘do you remember where you were when…?” kind of event. Years from now, I’ll say, “I was at a friends birthday party where some of us gathered around the TV, shushing the others, to watch Lemonade premiere.” It was a warm, April evening in Houston and I got to the party with about 4 minutes to spare. We had a hard time hearing, but we leaned in to hear. We gulped the visuals down with wide eyes, like we’d never seen any music video before. There was hollering, cheering, praising, waving, conferring, and more than a few times, …Read more »

Black Girl Is a Verb: A New American Grammar Book

In her famous essay, “Interstices: A Small Drama of Words,” the venerable literary critic Hortense Spillers wrote, “Black women are the beached whales of the sexual universe, unvoiced, misseen, not doing, awaiting their verb.” At the time, Spillers was talking about the lack of texts about Black women’s sexuality and the lack of a collectively-honed voice and articulation about Black women’s sexuality from Black women themselves. She was writing in a moment that is very different from this one. In Spillers moment, controlling images of Black women as jezebels and mammies ruled the day. These days, the careful labor of …Read more »

New Series: Dalit History Month – We Are Because He Was

We at the CFC believe that our work crosses issues and borders. We believe that transnational feminist solidarity is a key element of feminist praxis for those of us who live in the US. We have much to learn from and share with feminist thinker and organizers from around the world. Over the month of April, to commemorate the first ever Dalit History Month, we will be sharing with you a series of posts to raise awareness about the history and organizing done by the Dalit community, in India and abroad. In coming weeks we will be sharing Dalit feminist …Read more »

What Does Black Masculinity Look Like?

Over the past few weeks, in the midst of teaching a pre-summer class on black masculinity in which we have discussed, debated and dreamed about the possibility for fluidity in raced gender performance, I have listened to a black man weep and express his love for his teammates and his appreciation for the sacrifices of his mother (see Kevin Durant’s NBA MVP acceptance speech); watched a black man kiss a man, full lips, on live television in celebration of an unprecedented accomplishment (see Michael Sam draft coverage on ESPN); and relished in the Pepto-Bismol-pink-colored-Cadillac a black man gave to his …Read more »

Scandalous!

Some spoilers ahead. You’ve been warned. Watching Scandal is a weekly ritual for me. I love to sit back on my couch, phone in hand (cause I gotta get my tweet on), and revel in the ridiculousness of this frothy primetime soap. Shoot, sometimes I bust out red wine and popcorn too. After my tweets and retweets, I go onto the Facebook and laugh and kiki with the Facebook folks about their thoughts. I even click “like” on the statuses of the Scandal haters who clown the rest of us. It’s all good fun. Then I love reading recaps by …Read more »

To Rachel Jeantel, With Love

On the stand: unbought and unbossed

If you’ve been following the George Zimmerman Trial, the name Rachel Jeantel probably rings a bell. Rachel is 19 years old and was one of the last people to speak with Trayvon Martin before his murder. Brought on as a witness for the prosecution, this brave young person has been ridiculed in the mainstream media  and social media for her size, her complexion, her speech, and her mannerisms in ways that betray how unsafe, and yet how necessary, it is for a Black woman to unapologetically speak truth to power. Rachel has been fierce and steadfast through it all. We …Read more »

Bringing Back Wonder Woman

AS LOVELY AS APHRODITE – AS WISE AS ATHENA – WITH THE SPEED OF MERCURY AND THE STRENGTH OF HERCULES – SHE IS KNOWN ONLY AS WONDER WOMAN. Dear privileged Hollywood women, We need you. It’s time. You can no longer remain silent. You must act. You must step up. White men alone cannot decide the fate of the Wonder Woman movie. As I write this, I understand the sad truth that many people (ie too many of our young) today do not know Wonder Woman: her power, strength, ideals or her significance to women’s empowerment and history. So, strap …Read more »

Django Unchained and Why Context Matters

Some spoilers ahead, but mostly I’m  just feeling all my feelings… Growing up, I had to deal with my mother’s love for Westerns. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen The Outlaw Josie Wales. One of the many joys of expanded basic cable (besides the Cooking Channel, of course) is that I get Encore Westerns. Between that and reruns of Walker, Texas Ranger, I know that when my mama comes to visit she will be thoroughly entertained. I don’t get her love for the genre. I mean, I get it on one level. I know my mother appreciates …Read more »

A Theory of Violence: In Honor of Kasandra, CeCe, Victoria, Savita and Anonymous

**trigger warning** A few weeks ago, a young Indian woman went to the movies. On her way home she took a bus on which she was raped and brutally assaulted by six men. We don’t know the name of this 23-year-old student.  We do know that  she was tortured so badly that she lost her intestines and needed numerous operations. Six people – including the bus driver – have been arrested. On Friday, December 28 she died. I don’t know her name. I don’t have an adequate response, but I feel I should say something. Because I was born in …Read more »

After the Love Has Gone: Some Thoughts on Radical Community After the Election

If you’re like me you’re probably geeked that the election is finally over.  I mean, now I can turn all of my attention back to Parks and Recreation, Scandal, and the Real Housewives of Atlanta. Finally! But, seriously. I’m glad the election and the election coverage is over. Sure, I love a giddy Rachel Maddow gushing on MSNBC. Sure, I like the idea of chastened, sullen, defensive conservatives whining and licking their wounds, embarrassing themselves by saying increasingly stupid, pitiful, and asinine things, while all the while revealing to anyone with good sense that their ideology and policies are out …Read more »

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