Crunk Feminist Dreams: What 2014 May Bring

December is the month of the top ten lists, reflections on the past 12 months, and critical assessments of the year and its goings on. There are even top-ten lists that curate the top ten best top ten lists. Then January comes. We recover from our exertions over the holiday season, return to our schedules, perhaps with a resolution in tow or some loose intention about being better this year, or doing more, or doing less. But now, it’s almost February and what of our intentions? What of our hopes for this year? In an effort to say things out …Read more »

Dear Gabby

  Dear Gabby, Hey, girl! It’s me, Crunkadelic. I’ve been a fan for a long time, but I just wanted to drop you a line and send you a bit of love. Things seem to be going really well for you, but I see that you’ve experienced a fair bit of shade this past weekend for your outfit at the Golden Globes. Well, it’s a truth universally acknowledged that haters gonna hate. Folks were up in arms about your cream colored ensemble. Some said it wasn’t flattering and, of course, there were the comments on your weight that varied from …Read more »

Being Single: On Mary Jane, Gabrielle Union & Those of Us Who Are Imperfect

  Last year, Gabrielle Union received the Fierce and Fearless Award at Essence magazine’s sixth annual Black Women in Hollywood pre-Oscars luncheon and gave a dope speech about her journey in Hollywood and learning to love herself and other black women.  She opened up and shared the truth of her experience, her pain, her insecurity, and her power (this was the same speech that inspired an episode of Oprah’s Next Chapter that featured Viola Davis, Alfre Woodard, Phylicia Rashad and Gabrielle Union talking candidly about being black actresses).  I watched Oprah’s Next Chapter (and Union’s speech later) in awe, once …Read more »

Twerkers Beware: Juicy J Thinks Reading is Fundamental

  Yesterday, Juicy J announced the winner of the $50,000 twerking scholarship that he began advertising in October in a partnership with World Star Hip Hop.   The winner, 19 year old biology major Zaire Holmes distinguished herself from many other applicants by deciding not to twerk. It turns out twerking was not required.   Congratulations are in order for Ms. Holmes. She is not only a student, but also a full time single mom, with a clear cut set of goals for becoming a doctor and achieving her dreams. That’s awesome and I  am peacock proud of the sister …Read more »

When You’re “the One”

It was the summer of 2004. I was a grad student with experience in resident life and I had taken on a job as co-director of a summer program hosted at my university. The pay was good and it gave me time to read and prep for my first go at teaching that fall. At first, the job was cool. I was co-directing with one of my best friends and the high school kids I worked with were sweet. That is until my boss, a surly, hapless white man who spent most of his time avoiding work, decided to show …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 »

Open Letter to Bishop Joseph Walker and the Members of SHIFT

  [Note to our readers: One of the things we are passionate about is challenging structures of domination. Crunktastic is especially passionate about challenging those structures in the Church, which plays a disproportionately significant role in the lives of Black women and women of color. So the open letter printed below is in response to an egregious act of sexism recently committed by members of the Full Gospel Baptist denomination of the Black Baptist Church. Thanks for reading and sharing.]   December 12, 2013 Open Letter to Presiding Bishop-Elect Joseph W. Walker III and the “By Invitation Only” Attendees of …Read more »

5 Reasons I’m Here for Beyonce’, the Feminist

Last night while we were all still trying to get our lives after the Scandal Season Finale Part I, Beyonce’ stealth dropped a new self-titled totally unpromoted album.     The fact that she managed to pull that ish off undetected means we can conclude only one thing: #BitchBad!       Yes, I said, “Bitch bad.” Didn’t even do the watered down version “Bish.”Sometimes to make a statement you have to use all your vowels and consonants!     Since I usually be feeling kinda spent after the weekly rendezvous with Scandal, I fell asleep. But woke up to …Read more »

The Western Gaze: On Photography in the Two-Thirds World

A note on the title. [1] A young guy with a sandy brown mop of hair, t-shirt, khakis, and sneakers crouched about 10 feet from where I stood in Dilli Haat, an outdoor crafts market in New Delhi, and focused his telephoto lens. My eyes followed the direction he pointed his camera, where I saw it to be aimed at one of the artisans who had come to sell his wooden handicrafts. About 80, the artisan is wearing a crisp, white sherwani, amidst bright pink and yellow sheets of fabric suspended from a stone tower in a pattern evocative of one …Read more »

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