Black Women Diarists Have Always Looked to Black Future Month

Black Americans have kept and published diaries for more than 150 years, chronicling their experience in the moment and using the powerful conventions associated with the diary form—privacy, honesty, confiding in a trusted audience—to create a stark picture of lived experience under racism. Diaries by African American women document personal experiences within social contexts of injustice—and show how their own actions make history. These stories offer evidence that apparently new developments like the Black Lives Matter movement, white fragility exposure, and intercultural dialogue practices have long roots in the past.

January 2023 Reads for the Rest of Us

Each month, I provide Ms. readers with a list of new books being published by writers from historically excluded groups. Here’s to a new year and, hopefully, a better one for us all. I wish you a year of peace, collectivity, good health, bountiful joy and, of course, fantastic reading! You can start with these 33 titles that I am most excited about this month. 

Rest in Power: R. Dianne Bartlow, Emmy-Winning Producer and Director

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.

October 2022 Reads for the Rest of Us

Each month, I provide Ms. readers with a list of new books being published by writers from historically excluded groups—to do my part in the disruption of what has been the acceptable “norm” in the book world for far too long (white, cis, heterosexual, male); and to amplify indie publishers and amazing works by writers who are women, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, APIA/AAPI, international, queer, trans, nonbinary, disabled, fat, immigrant, Muslim, neurodivergent, sex-positive or of other historically marginalized identities—you know, the rest of us.

Make some time to read one or two of these 30 new books, or whatever goes well with your pumpkin spice latte or hot apple cider.

Beyoncé’s Ode to Black Joy: Merging Past and Future in ‘Renaissance’

Renaissance, Beyoncé’s seventh solo album, offers a much different vibe and one that also represents an intergenerational inheritance engulfed in the pleasures of Black dance music vibrating across the various subcultures of Black communities around the world.

Black women—across genders, sexualities and communities—have been the blueprint, and Beyoncé’s Renaissance proves that.

Oakland Museum of California’s ‘Hella Feminist’ Exhibit Grieves, Celebrates and Provokes

In a world where the meaning of “feminism” is increasingly being questioned by those on both the right and the left, a thoughtful contemplative examination of the term’s history and future can be hard to find. But the Oakland Museum of California’s “Hella Feminist” exhibition does just that.

(“Hella Feminist” is on view at the Oakland Museum of California in Oakland, California from July 2022-January 2023.)