Part of “Turning 50“—an exploration of women in hip-hop and their role in the feminist movement—here are 10 notable songs and five momentous albums from the last five decades, with in-text explainers from editor Janell Hobson.
A feminist history of the past five decades of hip-hop ought to be told. Far from being secondary players, women and girls have been integral to this cultural phenomenon.
(This series is part of “Turning 50,” which recognizes the women who shaped hip-hop.)
Marcela Howell, an advocate and policy strategist, is retiring after 35 years of advocating for women’s rights and reproductive freedoms. The founder and former president of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, Howell spoke with Ms.’ Janell Hobson about the current state of affairs, reproductive justice, and why more of us need to listen to Black women.
“If Black women in their full force come out and vote in elections, conservatives lose; their policies lose. If you want to control Black women, you control their bodies, control their votes, control what they learn in school, control their history.”
Friday, March 10, is Harriet Tubman Day, which marks the 110th anniversary of Harriet Tubman’s passing on March 10, 1913. Last year, we celebrated Tubman’s bicentennial birthday with Ms. magazine’s Tubman 200 project. Today, we continue in the celebration of our Black feminist hero as we recognize the latest Harriet Tubman Monument. Designed by artist Nina Cooke John, Shadow of a Face opened to the public yesterday in Newark, N.J., in Harriet Tubman Square, renamed from Washington Park on Juneteenth of 2022.
The new Harriet Tubman monument replaces a statue of Christopher Columbus, which was removed in 2020. Newark’s arts and cultural affairs director Fayemi Shakur said the city’s choice to replace of a symbol of conquest with “an ideal figure for democracy and freedom” is part of a larger project of healing.
Rihanna’s pop star persona has always maintained this edge of “regular woman” meets “island girl” realness. During her 13-minute halftime show, America rejoiced at the simple magic of a Black woman being herself and resonating across the spectrums of humanity.
Such hopeful images are especially powerful against the backdrop of disturbing stories of Black women experiencing higher maternal death rates and the realities of how Black pregnant people are devalued in our healthcare system.
There is a pattern here: Black women must ride on the coattails of protective manhood—a respected dad, a Hollywood white male “bodyguard”—to secure the top prize.
In a world that constantly tells women in general, and Black women specifically, that we just might be “imposters,” Beyoncé affirms us and allows us to luxuriate in a Black woman defiantly and truthfully announcing that “I’m the bar.” We revel in her excellence, even if some would try to diminish that greatness as “not good enough.”
PBS’ American Experience premieres documentary film on pioneering writer and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960). Directed by Tracy Heather Strain, Zora Neale Hurston: Claiming a Space is the first film to explore Hurston’s life and ethnographic work in great detail.
“Anthropology only started looking at the literary styles of novels and non-scholarly writing in the late ’80s. But Zora had already been there and done that,” said Irma McClaurin, Black feminist poet, anthropologist and Hurston expert.
It’s that time of year to reflect on highlights of 2022 and the ways that feminism showed up and showed out in our popular culture.
From Wednesday Addams’ cool confidence, to some fabulous baby bump reveals, to Megan Thee Stallion’s spotlight on mental health … here are our top 10 favorite moments.
A new documentary on the extraordinary life of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks (1913-2005) premieres this week on Peacock. Co-directed by Yoruba Richen and Johanna Hamilton and executive-produced by Soledad O’Brian, The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks does much to prove she was more than a symbol.
The Ms. community, family, friends and colleagues recently said goodbye to R. Dianne Bartlow—professor, scholar, feminist writer, Emmy-winning producer and director. She’s left too soon, at the age of 67 after a short battle with lung cancer.
I remember Dianne for her easygoing temperament and her patience. Dianne was humble and down-to-earth, which is why I was surprised to learn of her accomplishments as an award-winning television writer-producer.