Sex, Power and Truth: Anita Hill 20 Years Later

Almost everyone has an Anita Hill story. Some of us remember exactly where we were when that theater of sex, race and gender called a “hearing” was broadcast in primetime. Others recall water-cooler and sidewalk conversations and debates about guilt and innocence, about sexual harassment as a “white lady’s problem,” about the effect of the […]

Writing Children’s Books While Black and Feminist

As an emerging young-adult author and activist blogger, I jumped at the opportunity to talk diversity in publishing with Jacqueline Woodson–one of the few queer, Black or feminist writers of bestselling contemporary children’s books. An author of 30 acclaimed books for young readers, Woodson is a legend in the world of children’s literature. I was […]

Ending Black History Month With Gusto

We’ve reached the fateful end of February–it had to happen at some point–and Black History Month has come to a close. Not sure how to commemorate the end of the month? Ms. has a few suggestions for you: First, try taking a walk with Sojourner Truth or maybe talking about race and reproductive rights with Dorothy […]

Beyond “For Colored Girls”: The Quiz

The recent release of Tyler Perry’s film For Colored Girls has sparked a resurgence of interest in Ntozake Shange’s work. But let’s not forget about all the other incredible African American women who have shaped our view of the world through their plays, poetry, prose and dramatic performance. How well do you know these trailblazing […]

Black-Grrl Power: Willow Smith and Sesame Street

There has been quite the response–supportive and enthusiastic–to Sesame Street‘s ode to loving black girls’ hair, and it’s deserved: Not since bell hooks’ children’s book Happy to Be Nappy has there been such an enthusiastic celebration of black hair for kids. For so many of us black women, who grew up with external messages informing […]

How I Picked 10 Best Feminist Teen Books of All Time

For my new Ms. magazine article on feminist young-adult fiction (YA), I set out to pick 10 Must-Reads–those books which every 13-year-old with a spark of gender consciousness should have on her (or his) bookshelf. Or, as I say in the piece, those books that offer young protofeminists “refuge or escape–or provide our first ‘click!’ […]

Dare to Read a Banned Book Today!

September 25th through October 2nd is the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week, showcasing those dangerous tomes that might warp the minds of young and old alike! Perhaps they touch on–lower your voice–sex. Or sexism. Or racism. Or on progressive politics. Perhaps they’re anti-war! In any case, someone or some group has either challenged these […]