Moonlight Musings & Motherhood: On Paula, Teresa and the Complicated Role of (Bad) Black Mamas in Film

I attended a campus screening of the film Moonlight on Monday night at the University of Alabama (shout out to Lamar Wilson, Jennifer Jones and Steve Mobley, Jr. for hosting).  Moonlight is a coming of age film about black boyhood, masculinity, sexual identity, friendship, love, and chosen family.  The film was written and directed by Barry […]

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 […]

Love, Hip Hop, and Ratchet Respectability (Something Like A Review)

  In a recently published book chapter called, “Brains, Booty, and All Bizness”:  Identity Politics, Ratchet Respectability, and The Real Housewives of Atlanta, I define ratchet respectability as “a hybrid characterization of hegemonic, racist, sexist, and classist notions of black womanhood,” which allows black women to combine ratchet behaviors (generally linked to race) to the […]