Sunday, March 1, 2009

New podcast archived: On WOC feminist bloggers

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who tuned in for today's "The Best of What Tami Said" podcast. Inspired by recent controversial posts by Mandy Van Deven and Brittany Shoot, the topic was women of color in the feminist blogosphere. Professor Tracey of Aunt Jemima's Revenge joined me as a co-host/panelist and I was thrilled to have four other bloggers, whose work I greatly admire call in:

Faith of Acts of Faith
Monica of Transgriot
Renee of Womanist Musings (See her interview with Monica posted today)

We talked and talked till the show went off the air...and then kept on talking about how black women bloggers are marginalized within the mainstream femisphere and sometimes the black blogosphere; how transgendered black women bloggers are marginalized in LGBT communities; support and lack of support in the black blogosphere; whether WOC bloggers need white allies or should go it alone. As you can imagine, with such amazing, take-no-prisoners, truth tellers involved, it was a great conversation--frank, sometimes controversial, and never dull.

Black Sea Goat of Black Sapience was also on the line. He has crossposted a great article on black men and misogyny by blogger Frank Leon Roberts. Check it out. Black Sapience is a must-read, so I wanted to give it a shout out.

[Note: The focus of our discussion did eventually narrow to black, female bloggers specifically--I would imagine because of the voices represented.]



DaisyDeadhead said...

I'm listening right now, lots of fun to hear what you all sound like!!!

I'd love it if you had a show on public radio like this. I would be so there!

DaisyDeadhead said...

I'm listening right now, lots of fun to hear what you all sound like!!!

I'd love it if you had a show on public radio like this. I would be so there!

Rebecca Walker said...

Excellent work. Thank you.

Lady C said...

I'm listening to your podcast right now (late). Just wantt to say, I read Pam's Houseblend everyday. I enjoy reading her blog.

Color Online said...

Hi Tami,

I am black feminist. I'm a new reader here. I didn't know about the podcast. I run a community, Color Online. And our primary purpose is to promote women of color, specifically writers and activists.

I hate to repeat a point probably addressed, but how do we do more to be connected and support one another?

I have felt for a long time like I I was lost alone on an island. Granted I am new to blogosphere but I've been looking for sites like yours. Once I made a connection it was easy to blog hop. But why did it take me so long to find all these woc blogs? My search skills aside or better for women of color who are not acclimated to using the net, how do we connect with dynamic women like you?

And I have one last concern about bloggers in general. Often when I visit a blog, I make a point to comment, to comment often actually, and more often than not, the writer doesn't respond or responds to readers they clearly have an established relationship with. Coming from message board communities where interaction is key to a thriving community. I often feel a writer is talking at her audience instead of engaging them.

Lady C said...

Tami, I listened to the entire podcast twice this morning, because I didn't want to miss anything.

I'm another one who doesn't like labels. Maybe it's because feminist or womanist doesn't fit me. In the physical community, nothing has moved forward in terms of race relations because America has elected a black president. The country elected Obama, but that doesn't mean that the country has now miraculous accepted "all of us." Our status in this country hasn't changed.

So, if our status hasn't changed in the physical world, why would we assume that it has changed in the blogosphere?

Before the primary, I used to frequent a soap opera website hosted by some very intelligent women. Some were professionals, some were not. Our common interest was a lady lawyer, who was both beautiful and intelligent. It was good clean fun until the primary season began.

Once the primary started these intelligent professional women, all "Democrats", let me know in no uncertain terms, that Hillary was their candidate of choice. Well, she wasn't my candidate of choice. I didn't trust her, even when she was the First Lady, and I was not going to fall in line behind her.

After stating so, I was unceremoniously asked to leave the community because I was a troublemaker. I could not believe it. If I talk about silly "reel" situations on a soap opera, my comments are thought provoking and intelligent. When I want to talk about "real" situations, my opinion doesn't matter? I'm causing trouble by stating why I like Obama as a viable candidate over HRC, and I'm a troublemaker?

I understand the new buzz word is "privileged," but hasn't it always been "the way" with the majority, no matter what their status in life is--rich or poor; male or female. The state of being privileged comes with the territory. "They" don't see it because, we are now a post racial society. To point this out to "them" is akin to calling "them" racists. "They" don't understand that this is how black folk roll. We put it out on the table, because we honestly want to discuss it. We see it as an open invitation for discussion, and they see it as a threat to who they think they are.

Tami said...

Color Online,

That's the $100 million question: How do WOC bloggers support each other? A few things...

- Liberally link to and acknowledge WOC bloggers that you admire.
- Share opportunities and resources. If you are working with X magazine and you know that they are looking for Latina writers or that Z conference is looking for black bloggers to talk about their work, share the info.
- Participate in the blogs of WOC

As to the charge that some blogger don't interact enough in the comments section. I pleade GUILTY! I'm bad at that myself, but trying to get better. :)

Color Online said...

I added your blog to my blogroll immediately. I hope we fit the criteria for what you look for in a woc blog and if so, please link us.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed the pod cast, and I think it's a big challenge for women of color to come together on blogs. However, this seems like a really good start.

I'm not sure if any majority group ever "gets" the minority viewpoint. I know I have no patience at all talking to men about feminism. They waste my time and hold me back.

POC can waste time with these same old same old discussions with white people. I know as a radical lesbian feminist, that I just love it when I'm with my own sisters, and we're sharing a common realm of ideas and reference. Straight women are welcome to be with us, but it is on our terms. Perhaps white women just need to be in the minority and see that reality, just as we had one straight woman show up for our discussion, and it worked very well. But we controlled the agenda. It was women coming together as majorities and minorities, and this creates power and support.

It can feel often like we are the only ones a lot of the time, but we really aren't! It can really feel isolating, and that's a trap that white supremacy and male supremacy creates.

The challenge is, how much patience do we all have with racism or sexism or homophobia 101 again and again! It can seem as if the majority is as dumb as door knobs.

Since I felt my most powerful self in the company of other lesbian feminists, my two cents would be, don't waste too much time with
101, because you'll get exausted and frustrated. Finding WOC blog space and sharing the dialogue seems a far more exciting prospect.

Renee said...

I just wanted to say thanks for an excellent show the other day. I would love to do something like this again.

Monica Roberts said...

I have a lot of lurkers, but not enough commenters to my liking.

It's ironic because I actually enjoy responding to my commenters.

Tami said...

Color Online,

I have added you to my blogroll. Monica, I also added you. I've been reading your blog for a while and thought for sure you were already in my roll.

bittersweet said...

I listened to the whole archived show... thanks to all for a lively discussion. Tami, you are a moderator beyond comparison! :) I appreciated everyone's frank opinions. This is the sort of stuff I was hungering for a decade ago when journaling and blogs started to gain traction. Now, everyday, I can find some good, honest, left-leaning, critical thinking from brilliant WOC/POC. Thanks again!

Monica Roberts said...

Oh yeah Tami, be careful what you wish for in terms of podcast topic suggestions from yours truly. I already have a few percolating in my head already.

And don't forget I'm just down I-65 from you as well ;)


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