I started this blog as a writing accountability tool as I moved from my comp exams to my dissertation proposal. I came into grad school wanting to study Black women. I’m happy to report this year my dissertation committee gave me the okay to do just that. Thanks to everyone who’s been reading, subscribed, and shared my blog posts far and wide. I appreciate you keeping up with my writing and thinking process. Check out the most viewed blog posts ranked below!
I wrote this post after noticing the way intersectionality got misconstrued across social and mainstream media platforms. I saw the similar treatment of both the concept and intellectual tradition as what I experienced as a graduate student. I felt empowered when I learned more than the introductory texts and I hope it did to the people who made it my best performing post.
I want to be an expert on Black women because I think if someone had taught me what I know about Black womanhood now as a child, I think I would have understood the world around me better. I learned about Black feminism back in the days when you had to personally know a Black feminist (shoutout to Dr. Kecia Thomas) to ever get exposed to the information. I want the digital girlies to find these books and cite these women!
This blog post had an unexpected outcome, thanks to #AcademicTwitter and one of my faves Dr. Tressie Cottom. Librarians from multiple universities used the list as an impetus to stock their universities books with hard copies of these Black women’s books. This is the type of stuff I write for. I just want Black women to be seen, ya’ll!
I haven’t done too many pop culture or personal posts. I’ve used most of my blogging this year to practice improving my writing style. It’s important to make time for play too though, so I also like to think about the ways Black women are seen in media too. If you’ve checked out my Twitter, you know I love Beyoncé, Cardi B, and a wide range of Black women pop icons. Issa Rae’s success inspired me to shout out all the Black women on the small screen I enjoyed this year.
Dr. Jessica Marie Johnson kicked off Black Theory on Twitter this year, so of course, I thought “Well, what theories do we get when we center Black women?” Stories often get told from one normative perspective that serves as the presumed standard by which all get measured, defined as deviant. A certain set of scholars like to ask what about the people thinking from the margins?
I’m going to tell people a thing that they may not know since they frequently wind up here looking for it and this ain’t that kind of website. If you search keywords and may search engine optimization matchup, I’m gonna know you came here looking for something I do not have to offer you on this here site. I hope you stuck around to read the history of why you have those particular preferences though :).
I actually really love doing literature reviews. I love learning what the people who have similar thoughts reflected on before me, not even from a critical perspective, but in a common pursuit of knowledge kind of way. Siobhan Brooks’ article on racism in the strip club seemed like a great start for my dissertation so I summarized it. Mixedracestudies.org picked it up and shared it since one finding was about how biracial and multiracial received a wage premium in the clubs.
I don’t think I realized how much of problematic distortions of Black nationalistic rhetoric relied on the logic of long-dead academic and intellectual men. I wrote this particular piece after finding that many conversations I have about Black people get derailed with this particular sentiment, among others. It’s so surprising how many people truly believe it’s an original idea to blame Black mothers for the effects of colonialism.
While collecting data, I realized how integral rap music is to the identity of Black women dancers in strip clubs. Whenever I see something new in my data, I go back to the literature and see what others have said about what I think I’m seeing. I found this study and decided to summarize it since I saw similar dynamics in my data.
My dissertation centers Black women sex workers. My hometown of Atlanta has more (Black women-friendly) strip clubs than I think I’ve seen anywhere in my life. Further, I grew up during the rise of Atlanta hip-hop, which required the strip club as a site of performance and a metaphor in lyrics. However, I hadn’t heard too much that spoke from the perspective of Black women sex workers until I read women like Stephanie L. Tatum.