Wednesday, March 31, 2010

On This Last Day Of Women's Herstory Month...

hello all! its been a minute. been the busiest i've maybe ever been, building, building, building. Its a good thing.

I kept coming across things i wanted to post, and i knew i wanted to post at least some of em before the month was over. Of course, awareness of gender continues throughout the year, but i wanted to share some thoughts and salutes... so here are several items of interest:


Please Sponsor Me In The San Francisco Walk Against Rape!

This will be my 3rd year of walking the San Francisco Walk Against Rape, and each year folks have just floored me with how generous they are, and how passionate they are about this cause. I'm hoping that you can donate anything at all towards supporting essential services for survivors in San Francisco's only community run crisis center. Click here to go to my fundraising page. Click here for reports from previous walks. It has always been a powerful and beautiful experience. Thanks in advance for any support!


Only The Congolese Will Initiate And Bring Change To The D.R. Congo

a sobering message from the women of DRC; a powerful stance on their humanity, and being tired of being seen as victims by the world, as opposed to being seen as some of the strongest and most resilient women in the world. They also state that if things are gonna change, its gonna have to be on their terms, not the terms of well intentioned people who are not from DRC. Real talk.


The Crunk Feminist Collective: Where Crunk Meets Conscious And Feminism Meets Cool

Just wanted to shout out this hot new blog! Nuff props. If I may share some of their mission statement:

The Crunk Feminist Collective (CFC) will create a space of support and camaraderie for hip hop generation feminists of color, queer and straight, in the academy and without, by building a rhetorical community, in which we can discuss our ideas, express our crunk feminist selves, fellowship with one another, debate and challenge one another, and support each other, as we struggle together to articulate our feminist goals, ideas, visions, and dreams in ways that are both personally and professionally beneficial.

The CFC aims to articulate a crunk feminist consciousness for women and men of color, who came of age in the Hip Hop Generation, by creating a community of scholars-activists from varied professions, who share our intellectual work in online blog communities, at conferences, through activist organizations, and in print publications and who share our commitment to nurturing and sustaining one another through progressive feminist visions. This collective is a forum where we seek to speak our own truths, and to both magnify and encourage the feminist credos that shape and inform our lives and that we use to engage and transform our world. Crunk Feminism is the animating principle of our collective work together and derives from our commitment to feminist principles and politics, and also from our unapologetic embrace of those new cultural resources, which provide or offer the potential for resistance. Crunk(ness) is our mode of resistance that finds its particular expression in the rhetorical, cultural, and intellectual practices of a contemporary generation.

And then they go even deeper into the paradigm of "crunk(ness)" and how it relates to a revolutionary platform when combined with a feminist lens. It's off the hook. Peep the rest of the mission statement, the blog, and GET YOUR MIND RIGHT!


Erykah Badu's "Window Seat" Video

***If video is removed, go to Erykah's official site to view!

Sooo... maybe if you've been busy spring cleaning under a rock lately, then perhaps you haven't heard about this new Erykah video that is making huge waves on the internets. People love it. People hate it. It's known as the video where Erykah gets nekkid at the site of JFK's assassination. I am one of the people who love it, and see this as a timeless, provocative, thought provoking work of art. If you haven't seen it, check it out and then read on....

A lot of people are not happy about the combination of nudity and the JFK thing. Or just the nudity. And why JFK, people might ask? Why not MLK, or X? Who knows... to broaden audience? To not ruffle the feathers of people in the black community who would already disapprove of the video? Simply because its a more scenic location? Or because its her home town? Who knows.

I will cut and paste what i said on The Root about this video, where images of Venus Hottentot and Aunt Jemima were raised, as well as seeing the liberation that Erykah is evoking:

i am definitely hearing all of the perceptions and views on this video. my feeling is that this may be the first video where a black woman's body is shown in a way that causes people to think about deep issues, our own shine, how much we may repress of ourselves so we don't get "assassinated" in literal or virtual ways. Those deep issues gave rise to this post and thread! In my opinion, this was a huge depart from just being another dime a dozen portrayal of the black woman's body as a hypersexualized object for mass consumption by men. I have not looked at those videos and thought of deep messages around liberation, evolution, body image, and more.

in truth, Erykah probably knows that a segment of our population will "assassinate" her for "revealing herself". I feel that she is clear that she is of divinity (as all of us are) and that her body is not something to be ashamed of. I thought this was a very meaningful video that resonated with even me as a black man, and how much psychological armor i must wear to walk through the world. I will never know the black female experience, but i imagine that she was speaking about disrobing of the black female version of that armor, and getting free, evolving.

There is also a good short commentary on this video on NPR.

Go on Erykah. I'll be picking up that album soon.


...And One More Music Selection: Janet Jackson "Nasty", The Classic Dancefloor Filling Anti-Harassment Anthem

Do you remember when you first heard "Nasty" and it was the rawest, edgiest, crunkest beat you had ever heard? Wanted to close out with this 80's gem, where Janet was bringin the fierceness, making anti-harassment cool, asserting strong boundaries without apology, all while rockin the then groundbreaking Paula Abdul choreography (she is in the video too!). Enjoy the memories!
Her name ain't baby y'all....

...feels good to have finally made a post. May all the revolutionary seeds that people planted this month come to glorious fruition this spring! Heartful salute to all the moms, sistas, women and girls. Bless up


Susana said...

Thanks for the love to the CFC! You are doing some crunk work over here yourself.

richard said...

Thanks Susana! Glad to have y'all in the blog community :)

pam pam said...

Hello,, Richard, I too,, Love the video! I think Ms. Badu was Fabulous,,,now this opinion is coming from a woman who love to see beauty in most booties,,, Anyhoo, I say Ms. Badu you go girl. Its time for us all to get down, to the truth of the matter! Its all about Love!

SeBiArt said...

YOU ARE SUCH an excellent blogger and I love this post and I love when you post and I can't wait for more posts - truly.

Everything here is a gem, but I'm currently most blown away by the Congolese women speaking up from a place of strength, Erikah's video (speechless from awestruck-ness from looking through the fogless window man!), and your choice of closing this whole recap on the fem-month with JJ's 'Nasty'.

Thank you and come back soon.

Only love and always in abundance.

richard said...

@pam pam: oh gawd pam pam!! if you were a man, i would have a lot to say about makin this video about the bootie, but hey, you just appreciating a reflection of yourself, what can i say! :)

@SeBiArt: my best investment was to pay you to come on my blog and speak so glowingly about me and my blog. haha! ah joke :) glad you feelin the selections, i may consider doing a monthly post like this where there are multiple issues that can stimulate, creating more space to conversate (i don't care if that word isn't in the dictionary! i'm gettin crunk up in here too!)

i think i gotta go watch JJ again. Amazing.


richard said...

that is, love and THANK YOU!!