Friday, April 17, 2009

Voices Have Power

image Hello everyone and welcome to the third instalment of  WOC and Ally Blog carnival.  Once again we have a great line of posts either written by a WOC, or from an ally speaking critically about race and the different isms that it interacts with.   Each day we are told by the fauxgressives that race has become a non issue and yet our lived experience testifies the exact opposite.

This months feature post is from Berneta Haynes of Nickel for a Thought: Cultural Critique & "Other" Intellectual Adventures.

Irresponsible Black Mothers and White Female Saviours: The black female body, a central reproducer of whiteness and thereby Americanness contains transgressive properties and potentialities. As Toni Morrison suggests in Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination, blackness is a notion that calls whiteness into existence. Blackness, simply by virtue of its existence on the level of discourse, can and does reproduce whiteness. But for whiteness to maintain its position of superiority in the imagined racial hierarchy, blackness and particularly the black female body must be perceived as being physically incapable of reproducing whiteness. The black and “othered” female body, more specifically than blackness and otherness itself, is the precondition for whiteness and thus Americanness. Blackness, simply by virtue of its existence on the level of discourse, can and does reproduce whiteness. But for whiteness to maintain its position of superiority in the imagined racial hierarchy, blackness and particularly the black female body must be perceived as being physically incapable of reproducing whiteness. The black and “othered” female body, more specifically than blackness and otherness itself, is the precondition for whiteness and thus Americanness.



Does A Black Woman Have To Get Shot By Cops For Some Attention By Fain of Acts Of Faith In Love And Live:Oh wait that already happens! They get beat up and raped by cops as well - but somehow the press and "community" outrage is somehow always focused on MEN. Especially when they're Black. Admittedly there is a certain militaristic zeal by which law enforcement coupled with the legal system seeks to harm, maim and incarcerate a certain population. These men are always the victims and never the perpetrators though and that's just as problematic as the attacks launched against them without merit.”

Hello, There Are Beautiful Transwomen Who Are Black is from Monica of TransGriot:  “There's an old saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. One of the things I really get tired of is when the general conversation of transwomen turns to beauty and the discussion ignores us.”

Pam Jones Violence Against Transwomen Of Color In Representation is from Go Go Jo Jo of the Hip Hop Enthusiast: “It's great to see black websites cover the assault of a transwoman of color. To be honest I wouldn't expect it. At the same time, its frustrating and down right sad that we can't seem to do so in a way that is respectful. As if being willing to mention an injustice and crime absolves you from all duties of respect and civility. This is often seen in gossip columns and rags so I'm not really trying to say its a problem of *only* black gossip websites. I just feel especially frustrated that my people can't seem to get with it.”


Who Died And Made Y'all The Femininity Police? is from Monica of TransGriot:The fact that Black women's images have been under attack for several centuries and we are considered less than beautiful and feminine. Too many times Black men, who are supposed to be our swords and shields in standing up for us and calling out the haters have aided and abetted in that image destruction. If you are a woman above 5'7" tall and have what are considered 'masculine' features, you're automatically assumed to be a transwoman or insultingly called one as Ciara and a depressingly long list of Black women have been.”

The Myth Of The Strong Black Woman by Wambui Mwangi:

You see, we - being the black women who are the “johns” of this particular scam - think that being an SBW is something to which one should aspire; we feel complimented when we are included in the category of others similarly valorized; and we blame ourselves for any indication that we are falling below the standards of the SBW.

Is this not the most delicious trick ever played on anyone?”

Speak! Women of Color Create For Justice by Allison McCarthy for Colors ”After receiving financial help from the 2008 Allied Media Conference, SPEAK! members recorded personal tracks for a spoken-word CD. Each member brings their media talents to the project, volunteering to work on recording, advertising, designing and writing the CD and zine.”

Apache Girl ‘s Sunrise Ceremony by Cecila of Ojibway Migisi Bineshii: The sunrise ceremony is a sacred Apache ritual that marks the passage from adolescence to adulthood for young Apache woman. This is a four-day ceremony for Apache girls who have begun menstruating.”



Women Outraged that Honduras OutLaws EC is by Blanca Dole & Susanna Smith of AKIMBO: “In developing countries, about 40 percent of all pregnancies are unintended, often because people do not have access to the contraceptives they need and want. Too often unwanted pregnancies end in death: nearly 35 percent of women who die during pregnancy did not intend to be pregnant in the first place, and 13 percent of maternal deaths are attributable to unsafe abortion.

Now that Honduran women can longer access emergency contraception safely and legally they may turn to black markets to get it or seek an abortion for an unwanted pregnancy. This will threaten women’s lives in a country where women already face a 1 in 93 lifetime risk of dying during pregnancy or delivery.”

Controlling the Means of Reproduction: An Interview with Michelle Goldberg conducted by Mandy Van Deven: “After witnessing the impact of President Bush's reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule, Michelle Goldberg, journalist, author, and long-time critic of the Bush Administration's policies on sexual and reproductive health, decided that a book about the global battle for reproductive justice was long overdue. So she wrote The Means of Reproduction: Sex, Power, and the Future of the World.”


Ultimate Racism The Liberation of Paris is by Greg Laden of Greg Ladens Blog: In June of 1940, France fell to Germany. Among the troops who were overwhelmed by the German attacks were about 17,000 black West African colonial troops with the French Army. Many of these soldiers were shot do death by the Germans, who considered these Africans to be subhumans, as they stood in surrender. Surely, it would be fair to consider this to have been part of the Holocaust.”


Erasing The Black Marks On The White Pages from Directionless Bones:I only came across this fact with the discovery of documents showing that when they were about to actually enter Paris, the Allied leaders sneakily selected the whitest unit, and removed all the non-white soldiers from it.Because they didn’t want the image of black men doing something heroic - the liberators had to be white.”


Whiteness in Black Imagination Essay Part IV is by whatsername of The Jaded Hippy:  “Varying interaction with this hierarchal system also happens on an economic level. An interesting case is examined by Kathleen Brown; “tithing” in 1643 Virginia.(17) In the tithing system, all men were “tithable”, or taxable. This meant that taxes were levied on the household per man in it. It was also decided by the government (the English crown) that Black women would be taxable, whereas white women would not.”



PSA: Should I Blog About Some Racist Ish? is by This So-Called Post-Post-Racial Life:Many bloggers more able than I have burnt themselves out by tackling too much for too long with too few supports to help them. So what should I learn from this? When should I post about, say, some person calling Michelle Obama a bitch or trash, and when should I leave it alone?

Too Hard On The White Folk is by Renee of Womanist Musings:”WOC must not only deal with sexism that is aimed at them from men of color  and white men, we must deal with racism from white men and women.  It is not a matter which group participates in the most oppression, simply because the smallest amount of oppression is unacceptable.   White women cannot be given a pass on their racism  because we share a gender.  They have proven more than adept in the past of using our shared gender as an excuse to perpetuate a racist agenda.  Like wolves in sheep's clothing, they have extended hands in friendship and then accused us of focusing on race too much, or defending black men to often, as though these issues have no relevance to the state of the world and our lives.”

Bridges, Backs, Borderlands by Frau Sally of Jump Off The Bridge: From the moment I began reading Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, I knew I was going to love Gloria Anzaldúa. You do not need to be Chicana or even Latina to appreciate her work. It's like she could see what was in our souls. She pulled it out, examined it, played with it, and blew it back in, writing its truth in a way so very real to me. It may sound like I'm being overly dramatic, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way.

she doesn’t look native by Brandann of Random Babble: “how many times in the lives of a Native American is that person told, “Huh.  You don’t look Native”, or “You’re not Native, you are too white”, or “There is no way a Native has blue eyes” (tell that to my Uncle, who has a higher “blood quantum” than I do, but happens to have blonde hair and blue eyes.  I dare you to tell him he isn’t Native)?  It makes me simultaneously angry and sad at the same time that people who are not of Native ancestry would have so much gall to tell someone else exactly what a Native looks like.”

No Uplift on My Back an interview by MadamaAmbi and Renee Of Womanist Musings discuss parenting as a radical act, womanism as opposed to feminism, a social hierarchy of bodies, and the many forms of privilege.

Rape Trees and immigrant women: the silent victims is by Mzbitca What A Crazy Random Happenstance:For any decent, law-abiding American, to see a rape tree is to gaze upon the face of the enemy of civilization. To see the blood-stained ground beneath them is to behold the faces of their victims. Never forget that. When the proponents of illegal immigration and the liberal news media decry the Minutemen as “racists” and “vigilantes” ask them, “What about the rape trees?” Who besides the Minutemen are doing anything about the rape trees? And now that you know, if you do nothing, what does that say about you?”

The “N” Word, Part 1 is by Angela Dion of Let’s Talk About Race: Yes, I hate the word and I’m one of those people who thinks everyone should stop using it.

Who Is Black Enough is by Tammy of What Tammy Said: “I have had my "black card" revoked more times than I can remember. I think the first time was in the 7th grade. I was 12 years old and had left a predominantly white school for a better, and predominantly black, one. My gaffe? Saying "you guys" when "ya'll" was the preferred parlance for black kids. That was one of the first times my speech got me derisively labelled "white girl," but far from the last.”


Should Goldilocks always be white? Blonde? is by Anne Freeman of Embrace your age cause you livin'!: There is a series of kids books that re-tell European and European-American fairy tales with all African American characters. Jump at the Sun books include Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Beauty and the Beast, Rapunzel, and more.

Book Review Of Jewel Of Medina was authored by Aaminah Hernández at the Feminist Review:  The writing is of poor quality. Cliché runs rampant throughout the book. Characters are one-dimensional—simplistic, in fact. Although Jones claims to be inspired by A’isha and wanting to bring her story to the world, she does not succeed in making A’isha a likeable character. Nor does she manage to create even one other character that a reader can relate to or be similarly “inspired” by ok”

Book Review of Houston, We Have A Problem was authored by Tina Vasquez at the Feminist Review: I really wanted to like her Latina protagonist Jessica Luna. I was hoping she’d be fiercely smart, funny, and unexpected. Sadly, she stopped being promising about four pages in. Zepeda allows her character to fall victim to the usual clichés featured in both movies and literature pertaining to the Latino culture. Watch as Jessica Luna worries about the size of her ample ass. Watch as she pines and obsesses over the attractive Latino painter who treats her like shit, but superbly provides the drama she “loves.” Listen as she makes earth-shattering observations, such as, “He was the kind of guy who obviously loved his mother, and therefore he always treated women like gold.” Aside from that, Jessica Luna simply wasn’t a likeable character.


Friday At The Front Was Written by Yvette of This So-Called Post-Post -Racial Life:looking glum. Some people on the crowded sidewalk are walking his way, others hurrying in the opposite direction coming towards him. At some point, in the distance, he spies a beautiful woman walking toward him, quickly, also likely on her way to her place of employment. As both their steps bring them closer to passing, the man notices that the woman–very well dressed in smart business attire–is nevertheless nearly shirtless. Her blouse is unbuttoned past mid-chest and her bare left breast is clearly exposed.”

PART II can can be found here.


This concludes this months WOC and Ally blog carnival.  Thanks so much to all of the participants for yet another wonderful link roundup.  Please join us here again next month and don’t be shy about giving the carnival a little link love.


Alison Brown said...

thank you for another tremendous collection of writing. - Alison

whatsername said...

Wheeee! Another good show. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Renee for this great selection. And thank you to the bloggers for submitting these pieces. Some I never would have read were it not for this carnival. (Time to update the blogroll again!) Thanks also for including my selections.

Anonymous said...

This is the first time I've clicked over here and I would love to read these posts but the white (italic?) font on a light blue background is killing me. Please consider using a darker font or a darker background. Thanks.

Dancing Diva said...

Wow! Another amazing compilation. Thanks, Renee, and thanks for including me in this. I feel honored. Can't wait for the weekend to come and to enjoy reading reading reading these!

Dancing Diva said...

This is fantastic! Thanks, Renee, and thanks for including a post from me. Can't wait to spend the weekend reading reading reading!

Berneta Haynes said...

thanks for this compilation. i'm particularly in love with "The Myth of the Strong Black Woman" post. definitely time to adjust the blogroll on my site. said...

Hi there!

Thank you for these links! I will check them out!

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

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