bell hooks

March is Women’s History Month. I’ve been trying to think how I could honor this month. Since this blog focuses on black feminism as a tool to resist oppression, I thought it would be proper to show love to a woman who helped revolutionize black feminism. That woman is the author bell hooks:

“bell hooks, is an American social activist, feminist and author. She was born on September 25, 1952. bell hooks is the nom de plume for Gloria Jean Watkins. bell hooks examines the multiple networks that connect gender, race, and class. She examines systematic oppression with the goal of a liberatory politics. She also writes on the topics of mass media, art, and history. bell hooks is a prolific writer, having composed a plethora of articles for mainstream and scholarly publications.”

I first learned about bell hooks in college (which is way too late if ya ask me). I took a course all about bell hooks. We read her books and discussed them in class. The thing I love about bell hooks is that she keeps it real. As a poster responded to an interview with hooks,“she gives it to you straight, no chaser.” This can be off-putting to folks, especially folks who have bought into what bell hooks calls Imperialist White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy. She is going to hurt your feelings. Rip out your heart, really. But it’s only because she wants you to think deeper about the world around you. Too many folks believe racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, etc., that it’s “just the way it is.” These oppressions have been normalized in our society. However, we must resist this conditioning. Someone shouldn’t be viewed as more valuable just because of the whiteness/lightness of their skin, because they are male, rich, etc. We all deserve to live our lives with respect and dignity.  That is all bell hooks is saying.

So much love to her this month and every month. I also like to give  honor to other pioneer black women feminists: Sojourner Truth,Fannie Lou Hamer, Alice Walker, Michele Wallace, Audre Lorde, and Patricia Hill CollinsOf course, this list  could go on forever!!

Happy Women’s History Month 🙂

Black and Missing Part. 4

According to the article, “The faces of the forgotten: Heartbreaking plight of the 64,000 black women missing across America… as the country turns a blind eye,” 40% of missing persons are black:

Photo from:–forgotten–toll-missing-black-women-U-S.html

Currently, 64,000 black women are missing. Thanks to organizations such as Black and Missing But Not Forgotten and the television show “Find Our Missing,” there has been renewed interest in finding these women. However, missing black women still tend to be ignored by mainstream media in favor of white female stories:

“Missing white woman syndrome is a phrase coined by social scientists to describe the extensive media coverage, especially in television, of missing person cases that involve young, white, upper-middle class women or girls.[1] Sociologists define the phenomenon as an undue focus on young, white women who disappear, with the disproportionate degree of media coverage they receive being compared to cases concerning missing women of other ethnicities, socioeconomic classes, or with missing males.[2][3] The PBS news anchor Gwen Ifill is said to be the originator of the phrase.[3]”

Black women have been so “othered” in our society, people don’t take our  issues seriously.   We generally don’t get “gender protection” (as Sojourner Truth asked “ain’t i a woman?”). We have been deemed “less feminine”so it’s not surprising folks think we are so hardcore/tough we can fight anybody and be okay.  It’s why folks cannot connect to the pain/tears/emotions of black women. Also, the fact that black women/people have to be “perfect victims” to gain support/sympathy.  If you have ever done drugs, been involved in criminal activity, picked less than the perfect partner, etc., forget it. You become just another lowlife black person in some folks eyes.

It’s disturbing that so many black women gone missing without much outrage. Many of these women have been missing since they were little girls/decades. It’s time for true equality in the representation of missing persons in media.