Longform Links – Black Hair, Feminism, The Lives of Women of Color

Kameelah Writes – the day i decided to never straighten my hair (well at least in joburg) because the voltage conversion messed me up

there was a point in my life where i made the simplistic assertions that if you straightened your hair as a black woman than you hate yourself and by extension your blackness. yes, this was my back to africa phase sans the kente clothe and red, black and green accessories but heavy on the rhetoric. you know the rhetoric of a young girl who started college too early, got caught up in the cliff note marxists and pan-african ramblings and unsaid persons while forgetting to think. luckily, i left that phase by 18 during the beginning of my sophomore year of college, shook off the militant midget label and went for a more nuanced pan-africanism that was metered by my own understandings blackness, politics and representation and not by the pre-packaged revolution boxes you can buy at your local corner store of college classroom.

while i sincerely believe there is immense meaning in the way we as black people approach our hair, i find greater meaning in the hierarchies of blackness erected by self-righteous folks who in whatever covert/overt way make the assertion that folks who sport dreads or fros are in some way more enlightened. if hair is the only litmus test for enlightenment then we are beginning on faulty grounds.


A Womyn’s Ecdysis – Questions Surfacing

What role do US feminist identified activists have in transnational feminist activism and issues?

If our systematic ways of life directly contribute to the oppression, killing, and starvation of women in the world, what becomes of our advocacy, our social activism here in the US?

What is the practical application of “intersectionality,” this popular term bounced around in the femosphere? Is it just a means to better under and construct our kyriarchal society, or is it meant to lead to something specific in action?


Renee (Womanist Musings) for Feministe – Black Women Are Worth 10K

I came across this story at The Root but it was originally posted at Aunt Jemima’s Revenge. Chiman Rai So hated blacks that he hired a hit man to kill his black daughter-in law, Sparkle. The case was labeled an honor killing. Eight years ago Rajeeve came home to find his daughter unhurt, and his wife brutally murdered. When asked by police during the investigation of his wifes death about his parents, he referred to them as “a little racist”. This from a man that told his wife, and her family that his parents were dead, rather than deal with their racism.Eight years later the prosecutor is seeking the death penalty, and a little girl is growing up without both of her parents. Yes I said both, you see since the death of his wife, Rajeeve has remarried an Indian woman, and has not bothered to see his daughter. It seems that Sparkle’s death taught him which bodies matter in this society. [...]

I often wonder behind the PC speech where is the anger at our treatment. It seems it is fashionable to pay lip service these days to the oppressed but to articulate from a position of rage is a rare phenomenon. Passion and outrage are saved for the more legitimate causes, while daily the war against WOC is raged and the bodies are buried, unnoticed, unvalued, and forgotten. How many feminists have even bothered to ask the question why WOC are not featured when they are missing, or why there is no discussion when pregnant black mothers are killed? It does not diminish you as a woman to admit that WOC hurt too. How many men will continually privilege race over gender and in the process treat us, and our concerns as though they were invisible? I cannot sit in peace and watch as my sisters are made to pay the price for being black and female in our racist, and patriarchal society. I am an angry black woman and my rage is justified.