By Arturo R. García Longtime readers of the blog will remember friend and alumnus Tamara…
Category: mental health
At Hyphen, writer Sharline Chiang tackles the stigma of post-partum depression and how her race influenced…
By Andrea Plaid
You may have seen the R’s cross-postings from The Feminist Wire (TFW), that brilliant collective of mostly writers of color doing their intersectional thang on topics like Black women’s self-care in academia, forums on World AIDS Day 2012 and voting, and–in full disclosure–an interview with one of the R’s staffers. (I’m telling you–it’s a treat of a lifetime to be interviewed by one of your heroes.)
So, mutual admiration is fair play.
I got to interview the great brain behind TFW, Tamura Lomax. Her bona fides: she’s the Assistant Chair and an assistant professor of African American Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her work has been featured at, among other spaces, Religion Dispatches. She’s working on a co-authored book about the Black feminist/womanist reponses to Tyler Perry’s work and a book on Black feminism and Black cultural production. And she’s just hella fun to clown around with online, which, of course, has led to some hush-hush plans for a future academic conference.
I’ve said too much already about the event. Here’s Tamura…
The Feminist Wire is a heck of a collective of some of the best minds thinking about the intersections of race, gender. sexuality, bodies, politics, etc. How did you gather such a great group of people and, more interestingly, why and how did you start the blog?
The Feminist Wire began as a concept in 2010. Hortense Spillers and I were working on my dissertation and we thought it would be neat to write something together—two black feminists working across generations. At this time, she even referred to me as a younger version of herself. We were definitely similar in terms complexion and hairstyles and–as we learned later–personalities. Her work and writing style definitely informs my own. Our initial idea was to write some sort of peer-review essay for academia. However, when the Shirley Sherrod incident occurred, we knew it was our time to put pen to paper–or, in my case, fingers to keyboard.
We wrote the essay, “Shirley Sherrod: Open Letters Between Two Frustrated Feminists, Hortense Spillers and Tamura Lomax,” which was a critical call-and-response about Sherrod, of course, but also black women and media. We shopped the essay, hoping to get it published at theroot.com. However, no one responded. Frustrated, we decided to “create our own damn site” so that we could publish what we wanted when we wanted. Due to timing, we published the essay on my now defunct webpage, tamuralomax.com, and began charting our path toward The Feminist Wire.
by Guest Contributor Renina, originally published at New Model Minority
It has taken me nearly a year to deal with the suicide of my play little brother Matteo.
I felt like shit when I first learned the news, nearly a year ago. In fact, I just laid on the floor and cried. When I saw that I had a phone call from a 510 number late on a Sunday night, I knew something was wrong; no one calls me from home that late unless something is wrong.
The day after I learned he passed, I still taught my class, but I mentioned to my students that someone close to me died, someone who was around their age.
After teaching, I went to Ben’s with Jerm the Perm to eat wings. #NOTtheAppropriateAayofDealingWithaDeath.
Teaching my students that day felt odd because I was able to be there for them, but I wasn’t able to be there for my play little brother. It made me question the meaning of what I was doing. If I can’t help people from my home, Oakland, then what am I doing? I’ve held on to this ambivalence until I went to Oakland three weeks ago and formally grieved his death. Read the Post When A Loved One Commits Suicide [The Mental Health Files]
Went through, deep depression when my momma passed/
Suicide, what kinda talk is that?/
But I been talking to God for so long/
And if you look at my life I guess he’s talking back- Kanye West, “Clique,” Cruel Summer
As often as Kanye West talks about the state of his mental health, one would think that we’d be having a national conversation on mental health–kind of like the way we had a wave of conversations about domestic violence in the wake of the Chris Brown-Rihanna incident. Yet, in the four years since Kanye began talking openly about the depression related to the death of his mother and the dissolution of his romantic relationship with longtime paramour Alexis Phifer, the conversations have continued to be one-sided.
A search for “Kanye West and Depression” brings up surprisingly few articles and discussions. There’s a sterile AP article describing his initial comments, Cord Jefferson advising Kanye to go to a therapist on The Root, an MTV news article on his path to recovery, and Tom Breihan in the Village Voice distilling 808’s and Heartbreak down to “emo bellyaching” and a “album-length tantrum at his ex.” While Bassey Ikpi later argued to have some compassion for Kanye, it was one small plea in a sea of indifference and condemnation.
After four years of being open about pain and vulnerability, I’m starting to wonder if society will ever really hear him. Read the Post Listening To Kanye [The Mental Health Files]
[W]hile obvious bias can’t be easily discounted, sometimes misdiagnoses are the unintended side effects of…