Black feminism and more on Beyonce

In the weeks since Beyonce’s visual album Lemonade was released there has been a lot of discussion, judgement and dialogue about its strengths, merits, message, imagery and intention. Critiques and praise have been given by a diverse range of individuals including celebrities, scholars, journalists and academics. Whether or not you are a fan of the album you can not deny that it has sparked a conversation and made an impact.

Personally I continue to read, watch, listen and meditate and my opinion of the album is still developing. I see much to be praised – the centering of black female bodies is one example – and also some things which I might critique – such as the lack of intersectional representation. However, if there is one thing which I am most excited about it is this: Lemonade has created SPACE for all of us to engage in meaningful dialogue about black/intersectional feminism and has included voices in this conversation which usually do not get heard.

Conversations about feminism are usually centered on experiences of white women, and the voices that get centered are often those same women. Now that we are finally having a conversation that is centered on black women we are able to focus on the voices and experiences of women of colour and to me THAT is a wonderful shift, one which has been a long time coming, and which I hope will allow us to dig deeper. Here is some of the commentary around the album which I have found especially interesting:

Melissa Harris-Perry in Elle Magazine

bell hooks’ critique

commentary on the critique by bell hooks

Ijeoma Oluo in The Guardian

Evelyn from the Internets video response

 

I would love to hear your thoughts, and if you have any other articles worth reading please feel free to share in the comments.

On white feminism

I am a feminist. Social justice and equity are important to my work and my life. I believe that we need to critically examine our society to ensure that we are creating space for all individuals (and communities) to experience their optimal well-being. I also believe that it is imperative that we use an intersectional framework which recognizes that individuals experience the world based on ALL of their identities and that there are multiple systems of oppression which intersect differently for each of to create our reality. I have found that as a black feminist some of the most vocal opponents to my work are themselves feminists, and this has always astounded me. I came across a video today which speaks to this and thought I would share it as it is a good starting point for discussing how feminism can become more inclusive so that we can address gender, race, ability, sexuality and all other forms of oppression.

Why We Need To Talk About White Feminism – YouTube