The movements that have arisen recently to challenge racism and violence in our justice system have created not only discussion and outrage, but a cultural shift. Out of racism and violence and sexism has come creativity: songs, chants, art, policy ideas, creative ways to push back against power and reimagine the way our world can be. On today’s show, we’re looking at the culture that has grown from recent protests—in Portland, in New York, in St. Louis, San Francisco, and Cleveland—from art made on the streets to songs that wind up at the Academy Awards.
First, writer Tasha Fierce reads an essay that will be published in the upcoming Law & Order issue of Bitch exploring the history of black women leading civil rights movements—from the 1960s all the way to Black Lives Matter. Then, we listen through a growing archive of protest chants and think about how future historians will look back on today’s protests. Finally, musician and writer Jordannah Elizabeth makes us a mixtape of current protest music.
October is Black Speculative-Fiction Month. The month is drawing to an end, so it's time to stock up your bedside table with titles by Black women authors that you can spend the next 11 months reading.
There's been a recent awakening in the film business. Studio executives seem to have realized–again!–that people of color, specifically black Americans, want to see movies that reflect our cultural and individual experiences with love.
Film bigwigs are investing dollars in movies like the burgeoning Think like a Man franchise, The Best Man Holiday, and the other black romantic comedies slated for release in the coming months.
There are few women as pleased and disgusted with the sudden revival of black romantic comedies as I am. I'm infatuated with romantic comedies. I'm not ashamed to admit that I spend hours watching modern princesses claim their princes and gallivant off into the skyline of Los Angeles or New York. These days, I watch romcoms for work: I'm a media studies scholar working on a thesis about romantic comedies.
Writer Jordannah Elizabeth wrote up a list of her five favorite black women musicians for Bitch this week. People loved the post and wanted more. So Jordannah put together a whole mixtape of Black women artists. Enjoy!
R&B/Soul mixtapes can be cheesy and predictable! I want to spice this mixtape up with songs from Black female musicians from different genres and eras. These amazing women had strong and influential careers and enormous talent! All of the tracks are thoughtful, empowering, sweet and emotionally penetrating, just like every strong and classy lady should be!
Being a Black, female music journalist, I have to admit that I've only written and published one article about a Black female musician in my entire career. Being an American journalist in general, it's very hard to be able to cover Black musicians that are not huge pop stars like Rihanna and Beyonce. I don't want to write about Rihanna and Beyonce! I want to write about women who paved the way for today's biggest African American female musicians.
As with the issue of female sexual submission, racial imagery in a BDSM context is an issue apt to cause heated debates, so I want to include both sides of the argument. Today, I'll examine the objections to the use of racialized imagery in kink, and in my next post I'll look at the responses by those who defend it.
Writer-director Julie Dash returns to the Bechdel Test Canon with her 1982 short film Illusions, which asks some mighty big questions about the racial and sexual politics of constructing images and a film industry that finances the production of those images.
Brown vs. Board of Education—the Supreme Court decision that ruled school segregation unconstitutional—passed in 1954, but turning legislature into action took several years to transpire. It wasn't until 1957 that nine black students, already enrolled at Little Rock Central High, began their first day of school, only to be met with an angry crowd and the Arkansas National Guard. The governor of Alabama, Orval Faubus (names don't get much more evil-sounding than that) prevented the students from entering the school. It took a presidential intervention on the part of Eisenhower to send the National Guard to escort the students. Behind the scenes though, was Daisy Bates.