Memphis Hip Hop: A Brief History

Memphis hip hop music played a central role in the city’s strip club industry as I observed as part of my dissertation. Zandria F. Robinson, the sociologist at Rhodes College, provided a scholarly interpretation of this soundscape in her 2009 piece “Soul Legacies: Hip Hop and Historicity in Memphis,” published in the first volume of… Continue reading Memphis Hip Hop: A Brief History

Productive Writing for Critical Race Scholars

I designed this document for the 2019 Critical Race Initiative Writing Workshop at the University of Maryland. This document offers a strategy for educators to offer budding critical race scholars guidance on academic writing. I had the pleasure of leading about an hour and a half dialogue with graduate students in the social sciences and… Continue reading Productive Writing for Critical Race Scholars

How Colorism Privileges Light Skin Black Women

The term colorism describes social hierarchies that privilege light-skin people of color over their darker-skinned peers. I see colorism mentioned from time to time in stories about Black women actresses in Hollywood, for example, in this 2017 Teen Vogue article written by Tiffany Onyejiaka. For me the first time I think I noticed colorism in… Continue reading How Colorism Privileges Light Skin Black Women

Church and Black Women’s Sexuality

One reason why I focused my dissertation on Black women’s sexuality is because of the messages the Christian church teaches on the topic. I attended churches affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention for most of my childhood. At some point during middle school, the youth pastors pushed us adolescent churchgoers to pledge our virginities to… Continue reading Church and Black Women’s Sexuality

What is Toxic Masculinity?

Toxic masculinity appears to be a topic of increasing public interest, depending on which online spaces you frequent. As a Twitter user, I straddle the academic online public sphere and the racialized virtual space of Black Twitter. While toxic masculinity is a topic germane to academics interested in gender or sexuality, the concept appears to… Continue reading What is Toxic Masculinity?

Exotic Dancers in the New Millennium

In 2008,  Sociology Compass published a review of sociological research on the strip club by Professor Mindy S. Bradley. According to Bradley, most research focuses on micro-level processes of interaction and strategy, examining both customers and dancers. Appeal to customers relies on strategic body language, speech, and style of dress. They also engage in strategies to… Continue reading Exotic Dancers in the New Millennium

The Jezebel – Slavery and Black Women’s Sexual Freedom

Recent movies 12 Years a Slave, Django, and the Birth of a Nation center Black men protagonists and include Black women in supporting roles as mother, spouse, or child. Historian Deborah Gray White wrote Ar’n’t I a Woman? Female Slaves in the Plantation South because most accounts of slavery tend to focus on Black men.… Continue reading The Jezebel – Slavery and Black Women’s Sexual Freedom

Atlanta: The Black Mecca, MARTA, and the Gridlock of Racism

Atlanta’s population has continued to grow since the early twentieth century. Despite Atlanta’s constant growth, its suburban sprawl and inability to annex unincorporated areas make it the 41st largest city in the nation as of 2007.   During the seventies and eighties, the city started to increasingly become Black. During the 1990s a number of Black… Continue reading Atlanta: The Black Mecca, MARTA, and the Gridlock of Racism

Archives on Black Women – A List of Collections

I’ve come to learn the importance of archives while working as a graduate student for the African American Digital Humanities Initiative (AADHUM). Our work has centered around how digital tools and data can represent the longevity, diversity, and uniqueness of the African Diaspora. As always, I focus on Black women and their work so I… Continue reading Archives on Black Women – A List of Collections

The Geography of Slavery and Black Women’s Bodies

Geography in the United States tells the story of slavery. Ties between ownership and Blackness identify Black bodies as commodities. McKittrick describes this as a territorialization of the body that renders it as claimed, owned, and controlled outside one’s self. This territorialization renders a body measurable as a unit of wealth and therefore subordinate, inhuman, and deviant, mapping a placelessness onto… Continue reading The Geography of Slavery and Black Women’s Bodies