Gone ‘Till May 3rd

I am busy prepping for the end of the semester. Grading papers, working on my teaching portfolio (shout out to everyone on Twitter who shared their teaching statement with me) and I am being observed for the second time this semester on May 3rd. Pray for me, I need to leave myself enough time to proofread everything. #Becomingbetterattimemanagement.

In the mean time, check out racialicious, the crunkfeminists, gender bending Zeds blog, Jamilah King @ Colorlines, Brittini and Arielle @Clutch Mag and quirky black girls.

There is also a Goldy update coming. I am playing her close to the vest as things have developed……

Here are some of my posts that you may enjoy in the meantime.

Michael Baisden is a Misogynist Pig

Thinking about Jay Electronica Choking Women During Sex

Ta-Nehisi Coates Asks “Is For Colored Girls a Classic”: My Response

Why Can’t The Obama’s Send their Children to Public School?

Michelle Obama and the Black Female Body

To all my homies, and readers, thank you for holding me down. You make this process less lonely and I appreciate it.

Love,

#Allcity.

Black Feminist Love x Black Feminist Sex

A few weeks ago I was on a date with Mr. Playful, on the third try of attempting to see that daggumit new Matt Damon flick. I was telling him that dating a Black feminist is awesome because yes means yes, no means no, and everything turns on consent.   He just kinda looked at me like, ok, that Feminism, ‘ish sounds cool, I think. Lol.

Side bar: Interestingly enough, I have not heard from him in a few weeks, #GodbemovingPeoplearoundtoMakespaceBecause, Ahem, spaceisneeded?

The manifesta for Come Correct talks about Black feminist sex, but today I am thinking about Black feminist Love, (which are not mutually exclusive, per se.)

Black Feminist Love. Full stop.

So, my little play sister is going through a break up, and when I talk to her, I constantly have to think “What does showing her that I Love her look like in this moment?”

Sometimes it means allowing her to vent.

Other times it means saying “If the little emails he sends you make you sad, then you have to tell him to stop. Contacting you is a privilege, not a right, your psychic space is YOURS to protect.”

Black feminist Love means holding people accountable, suggesting books that they can read to help them be more nimble thinkers. Black feminist Love means understanding that until we deal with our trauma and relationships with our parents, we will NOT be able to connect and have meaningful deep relationships as adults. Black feminist Love means pulling your homies aside and telling her that she is fucking up, without humiliating her. Black feminist Love means standing by the idea that everyone has the right to be who they are. Black feminist Love means forgiving your father even though he abandoned  you when you were a little bear, because we grown now and being mad at poppi is not what the streets want. Black feminist Love means that we understand that Love is transformative, precious and a gift.

So yeah.

Love.

#Boom.

Any thoughts on the ideas around Black feminist Love?

Musing on the Genealogies x Sex x Digital Black Feminisms #BettaComeCorrect

On Friday, on the Crunkfeminists blog, Crunktastic wrote a post titled “How Chris Brown is Effing up my Sex Life: A B-Side to Dating While Feminist.” In the post, she discusses the challenges that Black feminist face when a #boosnack has some janky gender politics.

As you can tell, I am clear on calling folks out on their janky gender politics when I see that they have space to grow. See here and here.

The post is awesome because she analyzes how our politics follow us into our intimate day to day interactions, #ItsNotaGame.

Context.

See, Latoya wrote a piece a couple of weeks ago titled “On Being Feminism’s Ms. Nigga.” While I found that last word of the title, to be both dangerous and violent, I do understand where she is coming from. We all have to navigate the tension associated with assimilation. As Black female bodies living in and interacting with institutions that we DO NOT control, we feel the burn honey. I also understand that the positions that we take up in these institutions can impact our careers in profound ways. Is it possible that strategic tokenism helps to keep us from being homeless?

More context, last fall Moya and Lex wrote an article in Ms. Magazine about how Black feminism is alive and well on the internet. They write,

When Black feminism’s words do live on, it is not by accident, default or simple popularity: It is often because Black feminists scraped together coins together to publish them, as when Black women’s social clubs raised the funds for Ida B. Wells to put out her 1890 anti-lynching and anti-rape pamphlets. Similarly, nearly a century later, in the late 1980′s Barbara Smith risked bankruptcy to continue funding Kitchen Table, an autonomous press for writing by women of color.

….So from these roots are a new(er) generation of Black feminist voices are coming out of academia using free and direct means of publication- the internet and social media- to spread our vision and to provoke and ongoing dialogue.

How is that for rooting our work in history?

I am also in an awesome feminist genealogies course, where we are looking at the historical connections between the theory created by women and women’s social movements. Some of the most enlightening texts that we have read are:

Benita Roth’s, Separate Roads to Feminism: Black White and Chicana Feminist Movements in the Second Wave. Powerful in how it shows the connections between these movements, along with the distinctions and the way race and class shaped how women put their energy in social movements in the 60′s and 70′s. #Ummhmm.

Sally Wagner’s,  “The Untold story of Iroquois Influence on Early Feminists.” Incredible, in how it details how early White feminists observed the Iroquois women, and their gender relationships and how it shaped White women’s ideas around feminism before, during and after the American Revolution.

So I am thinking about how knowledge gets produced by women of color online, who shares ideas with whom, who is in conversation with each other, who reads history. Then, Black digital feminism magic happened on Friday.

I was reading the comments on Crunktastic’s post, and I saw that Lex left a comment that kinda had be blown and so I tweeted it. She said,

…that black feminist sex is the best sex around and that folks who insist on ignoring the dynamics of gender violence in order to maintain their privilege are missing out.Makes me want to create an ad campaign that gives new meaning to the phrase “come correct.”

I left to go teach my class and I came back an hour later and there was a Bettacomecorrect Tumblr, a listserve thread, a Twitter account, a Facebook page in the works. It was on and cracking.

The manifesta for the site is:

because black feminist sex is the best sex ever…this site was created by those of us having and committed to having transformative erotic experiences with/as black feminists. (and both! oh both!!!!!!)

this is also a wake up call to anyone who insists on intimacy without accountability, condones violence against black women, or refuses to be transformed by the ecstatic miracle that black women exist. you are seriously missing out.

In some ways this site runs directly in the face of the politics of respectability. However, it is also important to note that because of our social locations as teachers, professors, instructors, students and administrators, and because of the history of Black women being constructed as lewd, lascivious and 50 million “hoe’s”, we also write with pseudonym’s because it is safer.

When I called one CFC later that Friday afternoon on the way from dinner, I was patched into a three way phone call where we were talking about possibly doing work on Digital Black Feminisms and sexuality at a conference next year. I also mentioned how I storified a conversation that a few of us had on Twitter last fall about Nicki Minaj, Jasmine Mans. It was like all of us have been in conversation with each other and that this is a natural outcome. What I like most about it is organic and collaborative.

You peep Betta Come Correct?

What do you think of the Manifesta?

Who knew Chris Brown could inspire this way?

#ChangeJobs #ChangeGods

A few weeks ago someone on Twitter said, women make friends at the club so easily. “Girls make friends so quickly. Yal be in the club “Hi you’re pretty, i’m pretty. Lets be pretty together…”

In the name of all things #VurnerableyFearless.

Two weeks ago, I was hiding, hiding from a spirit when I met Goldy. (@afrolicious has so aptly reminded me, you can’t hide from spirits. She ways right in ways I don’t think she is aware of.)

Well, it didn’t quite go like that, I was out marinating, it was spring break and as usual I was being my normal little talkative self. And I started chatting, we had things in common and I was like cool, she could be a new running buddy. Black girls can always use a homie who is down to do little artistic marination in the streets. Art shows, brunch, boom bap functions, indie films. Especially after I get through this long stretch of April that has both my bosses like come correct or don’t come at all.

So we go to brunch last weekend and she says after we have been sitting there talking a bit, “Are you seeing anyone?” I was like OH SHITRecord scratch. In my head of course.

I said, um, yeah, a few people. #Allhonesterrything. No one has broken away from the pack yet, though.

It was then that I put two and two together and realized I was being hit on.

Mind you, she is fahn, funny, a filmmaker (#Jesusbeafence) and grown. Meaning she garnished my Blue Moon with a blood red orange last week. #Nom to the #Nom.

The chemistry was defiantly on that helium balloon, but she is team earth sign, so she be on the ground, slow and driving my in the air ass out of my mind. Like come on, the air is way quicker than the ground. But I can stand to learn to sit still sometimes. <<< Admitting it.

However, I did have had to tell her, that if and when we are out, and people come at us side ways, I am AM going to say something because I take my right to be in public serious. #Nodomination.

That I assert my right to be treated like a human being when I am out by myself means I am sure as hell going to do it when we are together. I also mentioned that she is a little, ahem, smoother around the edges than I am, meaning I am little bit more confrontational and extroverted. But you know what, it is what it is.

And speaking of domination. I would say that the lack therein is one of the coolest aspects of chilling with her. I mean, it just be easy. It is in these moments that I have really become aware of how navigating patriarchy on that day to day adds another layer of labor to human social experiences. Furthermore, its clear that it simply doesn’t have to be this way.

I am not saying that women are NOT patriarchal. In fact, I contend that Black women can be some of THE MOST patriachal people that I know. What I am saying is that meeting someone with similar politics, politics that shape how we treat each other means that I don’t have to spend time “teaching” folks not to touch women without their consent. Its needed and I am grateful for the opportunities, but its work honey.

I am not sure what will happen, but I have spoke my piece and listened to her and we will take it from there. I will say that two things happened yesterday that got me blown. First. She brought me tulips. I was like dang. She beat me to it. But, I think perhaps, just as, or perhaps even more telling is seeing a copy of Leroi Jones’s Blues People on her bookshelf last night. See, Blues People holds a special place in my heart because I have felt for the last few years that it was my job to write the contemporary version of the book. But putting a late capitalist spin on it and adding a gender critique as well. I even had beef with Jay Smooth about Blues People last year. I suggested that he read it in a tweet. o.O I be serious about my Blues People. Her copy of the book had highlights and notes in it boo. #Kindablown.

Love and change are always possible?

Thoughts?

You ever be out with someone and you think its neutral, then they be like BALOW!*!#(@*, are you seeing anyone?

Sometimes the Intern Game Reminds me of the Crack Game

Well. The New York Times has a piece up about interns working for free. Shout out to @rafikam for the tip.

Ross Perlin writes in an op-ed,

The uncritical internship fever on college campuses — not to mention the exploitation of graduate student instructors, adjunct faculty members and support staff — is symptomatic of a broader malaise. Far from being the liberal, pro-labor bastions of popular image, universities are often blind to the realities of work in contemporary America.

In politics, film, fashion, journalism and book publishing, unpaid internships are seen as a way to break in. (The New York Times has paid and unpaid interns.) But the phenomenon goes beyond fields seen as glamorous.

Three-quarters of the 10 million students enrolled in America’s four-year colleges and universities will work as interns at least once before graduating, according to the College Employment Research Institute. Between one-third and half will get no compensation for their efforts, a study by the research firm Intern Bridge found. Unpaid interns also lack protection from laws prohibiting racial discrimination and sexual harassment.

Ah. Please reconcile how the “American Dream” means working for free with the promise of getting paid one day?

Why would I pay you later if you are working for free now?

The crack game is capitalism in its purest form. In some ways interns, the artists and the mommas being expected to work for free represents capitalism as that 100 percent uncut to the gut as well.

As a Black woman, I have a profound understanding of the idea of working for free. Black women, as enslaved people were forced to work for free in the fields picking cotton, and their children, and children’s children were subjected to the same. #ummhmm.

Our Beautiful y Peculiar Democracy…..