There is always something that stirs inside me when I pick up James Baldwin. I find it hard not only to be inspired by him veracious vocabulary and the fiery passion he puts into every sentence. Going into the class room I had anticipated a wide array of discussion topic since The Fire Next Time […]Read more "Reflection: James Balwin and how We View History"
Photographs are powerful objects that take us back to certain memories and places, even if we do not know anyone in the photo. Lorna Simpson uses the power of images in recalling memories in much of her work. Growing up in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, Simpson attended the High School of Art And Design and the […]Read more "Look at me: Photographs and Identity"
In today’s world, it is hard to imagine walking down the street and seeing a body hanging from a tree or a light post. However, for African-Americans during the Jim Crow years, the fear was finding the body of loved one, or being the one attached to the rope. America has a long history with […]Read more "Blood on the Leaves, Blood on the Roots: The Aftermath of Jim Crow"
“I’m Socrates but my skin more chocolatey” -Kanye West, “See Me Now,” My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, 2010 When we spoke about artistry and provocativeness last class, immediately my mind jumped to Kanye West. Most everybody in our class knows that I am an unapologetic Kanye lover. I love his music, his antics, his rants, […]Read more "An Artist & An Asshole: Deconstructing Kanye West"
The United States holds a strong history of racially based segregation that very clearly follows through to the twenty-first century. African Americans in particular have faced persecution, enslavement, and separation in American society simply because of the color of their skin, and their status as African Americans. The book A Chosen Exile explores the idea […]Read more "Passing Privilege"
Man, woman; African American, Asian; gay, straight; rich, poor. No matter where we are born in the world, we are assigned various classifications by which others can identify, relate to or alienate us. These identities become a part of who we are, and how we view ourselves. However, what happens when we are abused, mistreated, […]Read more "A Passing Identity: The Ellen Craft Story"
For many African American women, their sexual expression and the perception of their bodies by others has not been historically theirs to own. With stereotypes such as the view as an overtly sexual being such as the “Jezebel” having followed them for centuries past and present, African American women struggle to express their sexual freedom. […]Read more "Express Yourself: Sexual Expression in Black Women Across Class Boundaries"
Three of the main racial stereotypes applied to black women today were formulated to rationalize the treatment of black slave women by white owners. These stereotypes—Mammy, Jezebel, and Sapphire—were crafted to assuage owners who treated slave women atrociously. By asserting that female black slaves were overly lewd or angry, white slave owners justified raping and […]Read more "Racial Stereotyping: Black Women and the Need to Shift the Narrative"
“Some may ask, why bring up ‘the past’ and these atrocities now?…we should bring these events up so we can face our collective past in order to see how it might affect the present and future.” –The Mary Turner Project Lynching is a difficult, painful topic from U.S. history that does not often find its […]Read more "Addressing the Legacy of Lynching: The Mary Turner Project"
Southern trees bear a strange fruit Blood on the leaves and blood at the root Black bodies swingin’ in the Southern breeze Strange fruit hangin’ from the poplar trees – “Strange Fruit”  The first time I heard “Strange Fruit”, a song popularized by legendary jazz songstress Billie Holiday, I was transfixed. Lulled by the […]Read more "Strange Resistance"