November 2, 2012
"

"…I was punished. I wrote a critical book review essay that spoke my truth as I saw it, regardless. I knew it would cause tension. However, I never imagined fire. To my mind, I was jumping into a game of intellectual hopscotch, just as I’d seen my male colleagues do many times before. Naively, I thought it was my turn. However, I learned quickly that the game of intellectual criticism is not only gendered, but also has psychological, emotional and reputational (and thus, representational) risks—if you are a black woman.

I was a newly minted black feminist scholar of religion…who critiqued the work of a tenured black male scholar. Among all other sorts of criticisms re: staying in my lane, people asked, “Are they fucking?” Really?!?? I pledged Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. at Sigma Chapter at Clark Atlanta University in 1995. I know full well how to let things that people say about or to me, “roll off my back,” and have been known to withstand the harshest of criticisms without even flinching. However, the idea that my work as a black feminist scholar religion and black cultural critic was somehow underpinned by some sort of fantastic and unscrupulous sexual liaison between the author and I sent me into a year long, deep depression and almost two years of silence…”

~ Tamura A. Lomax, “Black Women, Black Criticism, and the Unremovable Veil of Jezebel” (Day 5: The Feminist Wire’s forum on Black (Academic) Women’s Health)

http://thefeministwire.com/2012/11/black-women-black-criticism-and-the-unremovable-veil-of-jezebel/

"

October 20, 2012
"

"…After O.J. Simpson was acquitted of murdering Brown Simpson white America wanted his scalp. Nicole was the perfect victim, the beautiful tragic heroine who died too young at the hands of a savage. The so-called trial of the century hinged on redeeming a white woman’s honor and bringing her Negro killer to justice. Brown Simpson was grieved globally, transformed into a symbol of the deadliness of intimate partner violence and martyr of a legal system—signified by the “dumb” biased black female jury that acquitted Simpson—run amok.

The underside of the verdict and the global valorization of Nicole Brown Simpson was the disreputable black female abuse victim. Each year thousands of black women are shot, stabbed, stalked, and brutalized in crimes that never make it on the national radar…” ~ Sikivu Hutchinson, “The Spectator Sport of Bashing Black Women” for The Feminist Wire

http://thefeministwire.com/2012/10/the-spectator-sport-of-bashing-black-women/

"

April 27, 2012
None of Us are Free until All of Us are Free

Who Will Revere Us? (Black LGTBQ People, Straight Women, and Girls)

From April 23, 2012 through April 26, 2012, The Feminist Wire published Aishah Shahidah Simmons' four part series titled “Who Will Revere Us? (Black LGTBQ People, Straight Women, and Girls).” Through a comparison of selected cases, Simmons interrogates why Black/African-American/African descendant communities have tremendous difficulty addressing various forms of violence perpetuated against LGTBQ people, straight women, and girls. Following is the introduction to the series.

Introduction

The title of this four part article is a metaphorical nod to the legendary jazz singer, songwriter, actor, and activist Abbey Lincoln (also known as Aminata Moseka) whose essay, “Who Will Revere The Black Woman?” is featured in the ground-breaking anthology The Black Woman. Edited by Black feminist author, screenwriter, and visionary activist Toni Cade Bambara, this all-Black woman anthology focused on the issues most pertinent to Black women and our communities. Originally published in 1970 and reissued in 2005 with a forward by Dr. Eleanor W. Traylor, The Black Woman was the literary wo/manifestation of the impact of the intersection of the Civil Rights/Black Power movements and the second wave of the Women’s Rights movement on Black women’s lives. In short, Ms. Lincoln’s ageless essay is a demand for justice and protection for Black women. In her concluding paragraph she writes,

[…]Who will revere the Black woman? Who will keep our neighborhoods safe for Black innocent womanhood? Black womanhood is outraged and humiliated. Black womanhood cries for dignity and restitution and salvation. Black womanhood wants and needs protections, and keeping and holding. Who will assuage her indignation? Who will keep her precious and pure? Who will glorify and proclaim her beautiful image? To whom will she cry rape?

In her 1983 prophetic and timeless essay, “There Is No Hierarchy of Oppression,” self-defined Black feminist lesbian mother warrior poet Audre Lordewrites,

I cannot afford the luxury of fighting one form of oppression only. I cannot believe that freedom from intolerance is the right of only one particular group. And I cannot afford to choose between the front upon which I must battle these forces of discrimination, wherever they appear to destroy me. And when they appear to destroy me, it will not be long before they appear to destroy you.[1]

I am struggling to find the right time to discuss inter and intra-racial gender-based violence in the midst of the justified outrage about the rampant and virulent racialized violence perpetrated against straight Black boys and men. Even with this being Sexual Assault Awareness Month, now doesn’t feel like the best time to write about the gender-based and state-sanctioned violence perpetuated against Black straight women, girls, and LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) people both inside of and outside of our racial/cultural communities. I fear that sharing what’s on my heart and mind, might be construed as my taking away from the “real” issue at hand in most Black communities, which seems to be solely white supremacist and/or state-sanctioned racist violence against straight Black men and boys. Audre Lorde’s writings remind me, however, that discussions on oppression within Black communities should never be taken up within an either/or frame. The diverse herstories/histories and contemporary realities of Black straight women, girls, and LGBTQ people have consistently revealed that the issues that directly impact us often take a back seat, if they even make it into the metaphorical car on the freedom and liberation highway. There is a collective understanding among many in multi-racial, radical progressive movements, that the white supremacist, patriarchal, heterosexist, imperial, and capitalist power structure is the root of all oppressions in the United States. While I believe that to be true, even in the company of other oppressed people, Black straight women and LGBTQ people are still under attack. Too often we are caught at the intersections of race, gender, and if we identify as LGBTQ, sexuality. In spite of our shared his/herstories of oppression, struggle, and perseverance against the odds, not enough Black people view sexism, patriarchy, misogyny, heterosexism and transphobia with the same kind of activist passion that we view racism, white supremacy, and state-sanctioned violence perpetuated against straight Black men and boys. The reality is this: when Black straight men and boys are beaten, brutalized, and/or murdered as a result of state-sanctioned and/or white supremacist violence, it becomes (as well it should be) a national issue in the Black community and in a few, definitely not all, instances, the outrage moves beyond the Black community. Yet, when Black straight women, girls, and LGBTQ people are raped, sexually assaulted, beaten, brutalized, and/or murdered as a result of misogynist, patriarchal, state-sanctioned, and/or white supremacist violence, it is too often the victim’s individual issue.

Shepard Fairey illustrator

There are so many egregious, known and unknown, cases of racial and gender-based violence perpetuated against all Black people, regardless of their gender, gender identity, and sexuality, that it is literally impossible to write about all of them. I want to highlight a selected few of the far too many, however, to ask Black/African-American/African descended people to consider our responses when any of us have been railroaded into the prison industrial complex, sexually or otherwise assaulted, or murdered. I want us, Black/African-American/African descended people, to consider our responses to issues that affect many as opposed to those issues affecting someof us based on our gender, gender identity, and/or sexuality.

***

Part 1, which was published on April 23, 2012, can be read in its entirety here. On April 24, 2012, Ebony.com aggregated part one. You can read it here.

Part 2, which was published on April 24, 2012, can be read in its entirety here. Part 3, which was published on April 25, 2012, can be read in its entirety here. Part 4, which was published on April 26, 2012, can be read in its entirety here.

April 24, 2012
"

"…Where were the “I Am Nafissatou Diallo” campaigns in the same way that there were “I am Troy Davis” campaigns? Isn’t she as much a part of our non-monolithic communities as Troy Davis was? Why do we continue to act as if racism is something that only impacts Black straight men and boys? Nafissatou Diallo was a victim of both racism and sexism.

I long for the day when all of us, regardless of if we’ve been raped, molested, and/or assaulted or not will begin to publicly identify with rape victim/survivors. I believe it is very important to support those women of color victim/survivors who have the ability and courage to come forward and risk being metaphorically raped again by the court of racist/sexist/misogynist public opinion, the media, and their own racial/cultural communities, not to mention the legal defense team of the (alleged) rapist. What would it look like if we had “I Am…” campaigns for Black women rape survivors in the same way we have had them for straight Black men who’ve been brutalized and murdered by white supremacist and/or state sanctioned violence?” ~ Aishah Shahidah Simmons, “Who Will Revere US? (Black LGTBQ People, Straight Women, and Girls) (Part 2)” for The Feminist Wire

"

Read part two of this four-part article in its entirety HERE

http://thefeministwire.com/2012/04/who-will-revere-us-black-lgtbq-people-straight-women-and-girls-part-2/

Read part one of this four-part article in its entirety HERE

http://thefeministwire.com/2012/04/who-will-revere-us-black-lgtbq-people-straight-women-and-girls-part-1/

April 24, 2012
""…There was a time when an African descended woman would accuse a white man of sexually assaulting or raping her and the African-American community would not only be alarmed, but they would mobilize into direct action. That time is long gone. Ms. Nafissatou Diallo, an African immigrant from Guinea who worked as a maid at the Sofitel Hotel in New York accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who, at the time, was managing director of the International Monetary Fund, of sexual assault and attempted rape on May 14, 2011…" Aishah Shahidah Simmons, “Who Will Revere Us? (Black LGTBQ People, Straight Women, and Girls)” (Part 2) for The Feminist Wire."

Read part two of this four-part article in its entirety HERE

http://thefeministwire.com/2012/04/who-will-revere-us-black-lgtbq-people-straight-women-and-girls-part-2/

Read part one of this four-part article in its entirety HERE

http://thefeministwire.com/2012/04/who-will-revere-us-black-lgtbq-people-straight-women-and-girls-part-1/

April 23, 2012

Who Will Revere Us? (Black LGTBQ People, Straight Women, and Girls)

(Part 1) by Aishah Shahidah Simmons for The Feminist Wire

"The title of this four-part article is a metaphorical nod to the legendary jazz singer, songwriter, actor, and activistAbbey Lincoln (also known as Aminata Moseka) whose essay, “Who Will Revere The Black Woman?” is featured in the ground-breaking anthology The Black Woman. Edited by Black feminist author, screenwriter, and visionary activist Toni Cade Bambara, this all-Black woman anthology focused on the issues most pertinent to Black women and ourcommunities. Originally published in 1970 and reissued in 2005 with a forward by Dr. Eleanor W. Traylor, The Black Woman was the literary wo/manifestation of the impact of the intersection of the Civil Rights/Black Power movements and the second wave of the Women’s Rights movement on Black women’s lives. In short, Ms. Lincoln’s ageless essay is a demand for justice and protection for Black women…

…I am struggling to find the right time to discuss inter and intra-racial gender-based violence in the midst of the justified outrage about the rampant and virulent racialized violence perpetrated against straight Black boys and men.  Even with this being Sexual Assault Awareness Month, now doesn’t feel like the best time to write about the gender-based and state-sanctioned violence perpetuated against Black straight women, girls, and LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) people both inside of and outside of our racial/cultural communities. I fear that sharing what’s on my heart and mind, might be construed as my taking away from the “real” issue at hand in most Black communities, which seems to be solely white supremacist and/or state-sanctioned racist violence against straight Black men and boys.

     Audre Lorde’s writings remind me, however, that discussions on oppression within Black communities should never be taken up within an either/or frame.  The diverse herstories/histories and contemporary realities of Black straight women, girls, and LGBTQ people have consistently revealed that the issues that directly impact us often take a back seat, if they even make it into the metaphorical car on the freedom and liberation highway…”

READ PART ONE of this FOUR-PART ARTICLE IN ITS ENTIRETY on The Feminist Wire http://thefeministwire.com/2012/04/who-will-revere-us-black-lgtbq-people-straight-women-and-girls-part-1/

Parts two through four will be published, Tuesday, April 24, 2012 through Thursday, April 26, 2012

February 29, 2012
""…I wanted so much to side with Davis during her showdown with Smiley, but she sidestepped the primary point. There’s no doubt that film critics overwhelmingly celebrate the debasement and pathology of African Americans. While the more than 94% white and 77% male Oscar voters award the varied, complex performances of white actresses, it seems Black women are only visible when we are playing out our most damaging cultural mythologies. Smiley makes it clear that his frustration lies with the racist Hollywood system that dictates what makes it to theaters. Conflating that criticism with a dismissal of the actresses is misguided…"
~ Kimberly Foster, “Dear Viola, We Don’t Hate The Player, We Just Despise The Game” ~
http://bit.ly/yKogbZ"

February 15, 2012
Blow The Whistle: Too $hort's Bad Advice for Boys

‎”…The 45(!)-year-old [Too $hort] isn’t telling the young bredren how to get a date to the school dance or how to ask a cutiepie classmate for her phone number. No, $hort Dogg is explaining in very graphic detail how to digitally stimulate a young girl sexually, or how to “finger” one, if you will…” ~ Jamilah Lemieux

February 15, 2012
Too $hort and the Anatomy of a Weak Apology

Akiba Solomon breaks down Too $hort’s egregious behavior….

"There’s a major difference between profit-driven behind-covering and making a meaningful public apology that addresses the core issues of a violation or mistake…”

February 15, 2012

 .@PETA's #misogynist & sexist advertisement. Tell The Body Shop @thebodyshopusa (http://www.thebodyshop-usa.com/), one of PETA's corporate sponsors that this type of advertising is UNACCEPTABLE!!
As a FEMINIST vegetarian who is almost a vegan, I’m OUTRAGED. 

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