Black Women’s Histories: A Conversation With Barbara McCaskill

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Black Women’s Histories, a conversation series, will profile different feminist scholars engaging black women’s histories and narratives during Black and Women’s History Months (February and March, respectively). The Black Women’s Histories series continues with a conversation with Barbara McCaskill, associate professor of English at the University of Georgia, and author of the forthcoming Love, Liberation, and […]

#AskHerMore and #OscarsSoWhite are Not Separate Issues

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To every woman who gave birth. To every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America. So proclaimed Best Supporting Actress winner Patricia Arquette at this year’s […]

Black Women’s Histories: A Conversation with T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting

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Black Women’s Histories, a conversation series, will profile different feminist scholars engaging black women’s histories and narratives during Black and Women’s History Months (February and March, respectively). The series continues with T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt distinguished professor of African American and Diaspora Studies and French at Vanderbilt University, and the author of the newly […]

Black Women’s Histories: A Conversation with Mireille Miller-Young

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Black Women’s Histories, a conversation series, will profile different feminist scholars engaging black women’s histories and narratives during Black and Women’s History Months (February and March, respectively). This week’s scholarly conversation profiles Mireille Miller-Young, author of A Taste for Brown Sugar: Black Women in Pornography. An associate professor of feminist studies at UC Santa Barbara, Miller-Young’s work […]

Selma Shows Why We Need More Black Women Filmmakers

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Last year was a stellar one for black women filmmakers. First, there was Amma Asante’s exquisitely filmed Belle (starring an impressive Gugu Mbatha-Raw), followed later by Gina Prince-Bythewood’s emotionally layered Beyond the Lights (also starring Mbatha-Raw). The year finally closed out with Ava DuVernay’s critically acclaimed historical drama, Selma. However, while Belle was summarily dismissed by movie critics as a “black Jane […]

Women Claiming the Streets, Women Claiming Community

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The streets have always been a site of political struggle, but this year, how women have been positioned on the streets is a lesson in community building and feminist solidarity. While the Ferguson, Missouri, protesters became a huge story in 2014—even coming close to being named Time‘s Person of the Year—few may remember just how […]

Nicki Minaj and the Performance of White Supremacy

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“[Hitler] killed Jews and Gypsies because he didn’t have us.” — from Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon I had already read the numerous condemnations before actually viewing the lyric video for Nicki Minaj’s latest single, “Only.” Just how bad could it be? I thought. After all, I had not seen prior indication that the pop star was given to anti-Semitism. […]

Gender, Race, and the Supernatural: Appreciating Sleepy Hollow‘s Abbie Mills

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Just before the start of the fall TV season, New York Times writer Alessandra Stanley caused a stir online for misrepresenting TV showrunner Shonda Rhimes and all of her fictitious black women characters as “angry black women.” Of course, many in the feminist blogosphere rushed to defend both Rhimes and her black heroines, Olivia Pope of Scandal […]

Angry or Complicated?: Misrecognizing Black Women

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Anyone who may have seen interviews with Shonda Rhimes, read her forthright speech on diversity on television, or watched her hit TV show Scandal, would not recognize her in Alessandra Stanley’s description of an “angry black woman.” It would be easy, actually, to become an “angry black woman” after reading Stanley’s New York Times review, but what such descriptors […]

Too Sexy to be the “Perfect Feminist”?

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Whatever debates have occurred among self-identified feminists about Beyoncé’s brand, there was no  bolder statement than from the pop star herself when she stood on stage in front of the brightly lit word “FEMINIST” before an audience of millions watching MTV’s VMA show broadcast on Aug. 24, 2014. As Ms. associate editor Anita Little notes: Beyoncé is invaluable to feminism […]