Melissa Harris-Perry on Shame-Inducing Stereotypes of Black Women

At a time when far too much of the public discourse about black women is either dooming us to eternal spinsterhood or “proving” our unattractiveness through racist pseudoscience, Melissa Harris-Perry’s Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America insists that black women’s feelings and experiences not only matter but also are “inherently political.” Harris-Perry […]

Why I’m Not Looking Forward To The Help

I picked up a copy of Kathryn Stockett’s bestselling novel The Help at an airport bookstore. I figured the four-hour flight to Texas would be enough time to absorb 544 plot-driven pages, and reading the novel during one of my frequent trips south seemed appropriate. For some readers, The Help calls up memories of being […]

Rape Is Still Rape, And No Still Means NO!

It took filmmaker and activist Aishah Shahidah Simmons 13 years to fund, produce, direct and release her inspirational and defiant NO! The Rape Documentary. NO! brings together archival footage, testimonies of rape survivors, performances and interviews with activists and scholars to examine rape in African American communities through a black feminist lens. The international acclaim […]

bell hooks speaks!

Last fall, after blogger Gina Ulysse lamented the public silence of acclaimed scholar and feminist icon bell hooks, the Ms. Blog hosted “bell hooks week,” inviting writers to reflect on hooks’ contributions and apply her trenchant theories to current cultural phenomena. Not surprisingly, bell hooks week was a huge success. We featured writing by Janell […]

Will Gay Ugandan’s Death Save Lesbian Ugandan’s Life?

On January 28, just two days after the brutal murder of Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato, the United Kingdom’s high court granted another Ugandan, lesbian asylum seeker Brenda Namigadde, a temporary reprieve from deportation. Namigadde’s initial application for asylum was rejected because she is not “lesbian enough.” Her appeal is scheduled for Friday. According […]

Remembering the Black Panther Party, This Time with Women

“What we remember about the [Black Panther Party] is sort of like ‘sexy black men with guns,’” Tanya Hamilton (left), writer and director of the Indie Spirit Award-nominated new film Night Catches Us, told Fresh Air’s Terry Gross in a recent interview. Few people know about women’s leadership in the Party’s education and free breakfast […]

For Colored Boys Who Have Survived Sexual Abuse, Is “For Colored Girls” Enuf?

On November 5, Oprah Winfrey aired the first of a two-part episode on male survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Two hundred men stood in the audience, each holding a photograph taken at the age their innocence was stolen by the priest, babysitter, or parent who molested them. Filmmaker Tyler Perry was among them, just two […]

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