Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Writing While marginalized - Pt. 3


How do other folks who are members of historically marginalized groups, and who write about race and gender and sexuality, wrestle with writing for mainstream spaces? Do they? Should we? Are there topics writers will not or should not discuss outside of a "safe space"? Are there story ideas writers reserve for "of color" or GLBT spaces?

I asked some smart, writerly, social justice-minded folks to weigh in. And I'll be sharing their thinking all this week. Today, New Black Woman.

NEW BLACK WOMAN 



At first, I really didn’t know what to make of The Washington Post's [series on black women]. While I wanted to applaud them for even taking an interest in black women and proving to the world that we are indeed just like every other group of women out there, the cynical side of me felt they were just practicing the "othering" of black women. That cynical side believes [the newspaper] felt their privilege granted them the authority to explain why black women are the way we are. This entire series plays into the notion that black women are part of a mysterious subhuman culture that warrants a series of articles and scientific polls to introduce us to America.


PANEL DISCUSSION: Images in the River--Black Girls Dialogue

Teaching feminism to black girls


On Saturday, we tried to open the doors. In a small period of time, girls went from spouting Moynihanisms to writing messages of encouragement to Amber Cole as members of her “crew.” Many of the girls sounded like our mothers. They said things like, “We are all fully human, no matter our skin color” and “It’s okay to have a voice” and “You think I ain’t smart because of the way I talk, but I AM” and “I only have a mother and I am VERY loved.” One girl had a daughter named Beautiful, and I believe that says it all.
In November 2011, Sheri Davis-Faulkner, Mashadi Matabane, Chanel Craft and Asha French introduced 10 black teenage girls to feminism, as part of the National Women’s Studies Association conference. They recounted the experience in a post on Crunk Feminist Collective. Call it feminism. Call it womanism. Call it gender politics. One thing is certain--it is imperative that black girls and young women understand the societal and institutional forces aligned to diminish them. Not just because of Too Short or Amber Cole or Very Smart Brothas, but because, quite simply, black girls are awesome and, to borrow from sister Whitney (RIP), they are the future. And we love them.

So how do we do this? How do we teach black girls about gender bias and equality? More importantly, how do we let them be heard on the issues that most effect them? Here’s a start:

Join Love Isn't Enough for a live, panel discussion, Images in the River: Black Girl Dialogues, at 9 am ET, Saturday, March 31, featuring Sheri Davis-Faulkner, member of the Crunk Feminist Collective; American Studies doctoral candidate, Mashadi Matabane; Bianca Laureano, founder of the LatiNegr@s Project, who has worked with and taught youth of color and speaks at national and international organizations advocating sex-positive social justice agendas; and Asha French, to discuss planning, funding and facilitating feminism 101 discussions for black girls. The conversation can be accessed on Love Isn’t Enough, Crunk Feminist Collective, What Tami Said and Cover It Live.

This is not just a conversation, but a call to action. Following the panel discussion, we encourage participants to host their own workshops and individual dialogues with black girls and we invite you to share the process and outcomes on Love Isn’t Enough so that others may learn from your efforts. (Details to come.)

This effort may be focused on black girls, but we appreciate the beauty and possibility in all girls. Everyone is welcome to contribute and learn from this conversation. JOIN US and please help spread the word about this upcoming event.

Tweet using the hashtag: #blackgirlsdialogue.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...