Friday, September 28, 2012

Black Power Conference

  On the weekend of September 20th- 22nd, the College of Charleston held its annual Black Power Conference. The theme this year, Reframing Black Power Across the 20th Century and Beyond. The notable speakers from universities all over the U.S.  inspired college students to take up activist roles at their own universities. Of the several panels hosted, one  that rose a lot of interests among the students was a round table discussion entitled: Reframing the Orangeburg Massacre: Protest and Police Reprisals. The speakers on that panel included Cleveland Sellers  of Voorhees College, a scholar and activist,  Judy Richardson, Director & Former SNCC Activist , Jack Shuler of Denison University and Jack Bass  of the College of Charleston.

"It was as if we were watching living history books" said one student who attended the conference. Each of the Presenters had been there at the time of the "Orangeburg Massacure" or had thoroughly researched the historic event. Judy Richards made the comment that racism has become systemic, the question then is how do we as a community change this system. Racism prevails in such drastic ways because African Americans are often referred to as "The Other". In being "the other" African Americans or anyone of African decent are considered to be "non- human".

An issue that was noticed at the conference, by one professor  was that " many Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) not encouraging or allowing students to question University policy’s as well as world events". She then went on to say that  "HBCU’s should also teaching more on the achievements of blacks both past and current. In many cases, students are encouraged to do just enough to get by as opposed to questioning everything as critical thinkers." The question I then ask is, what does it take to be a student activist in a time where our peers and colleagues are not as conscious of the issues as students who lived during the civil rights era.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Pioneers of Black Feminist Thought

•18th & 19th Century Scholars

1. Maria Stewart, was the first black woman to speak in public about women's. rights She was also the first woman of any race to give a lecture before a mixed audience of men and women both black and white

2. Sojourner Truth, is the woman most responsible for linking abolition and women’s rights.

3. Anna Julia Cooper, published the first book length black feminist text which provides a global perspective on racism, imperialism and colonialism.

4. Mary Church Terrell, was instrumental in creating an international awareness and bond among women. Her writings touched on issues of black female empowerment, lynching, woman suffrage and the glories of black history.

5. Ida B. Wells, has been known throughout history as the anti-lynching crusader and militant journalist. Her reports on lynching made a powerful connection between lynching, patriarchy, racism and stereotypes of white womanhood and black sexuality

• 20th Century Scholars

6. Alice Dunbar Nelson, fought for the voting rights of women during a time when Women were much more organized. She argued that while Black men received voting rights many didn't know what to do with that right.

7. Amy Jacques Gary, was a nationalist and argued that Black women need to define for themselves what it means to be a black woman. She urged Women to take up leadership roles

8. Sadie T. M. Alexander, was the first African American to receive a doctorate in economics. While she Proved herself educationally but could not prove it intellectually when she was unable to obtain a job in her field. Her works centered on the understanding of why women are forced into low class jobs.

9. Flo Kennedy, was one of the Founding members of the national organization of black women. She also Formed the National Black Feminist Organization. She was an outspoken attorney and civil rights activist

"Guy-Sheftall, Beverly. "Words of Fire: Anthology of African American Feminist Thought" . New York:  The New Press, 1995. Ebook (kindle)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Feminist Thought

Ever since I heard of something called a feminist or womanist, I knew that was something I wanted to be. I wanted to burn my bra in protest like the women on T.V. I wanted to stand for something and not stand alone. I wanted to join a sit-in/rally or march for equal rights. As a younger woman I knew I had much to offer. I believed in my voice and still do. I believe that all women need to be heard. This is not a movement about bashing men. It is about abolishing sexism and empowering women. Sexism has existed since the dawn of time and is often perpetuated by both men and women. So this is an effort to raise consciousness of both genders. The first goal of the feminist is to create stronger bonds between fellow women. There is much truth in the phrase that "sisterhood is powerful". But we as women need to stop judging and ostracizing one another. We all fall victim to the issue of male domination and thus all have a story to share and cause to stop it. Fact of the matter is, everyone can be a part of the feminist movement and in doing so we end sexism, classism and racism. Help to raise the consciousnesses!!!!!

bell hooks visits College of Charleston

         On August 31 the esteemed feminist scholar bell hooks visited the campus of the College of Charleston to deliver a lecture on Feminism. hooks spoke on a range of topics pertaining to what she does as a feminist and cultural critic as well as her views on the spiritual world. She spoke on the issue of how women deal with each other and the lack of sisterhood especially among black women. She mentioned that  before women can start a revolution we must come together. One such way of coming together is to develop "Sister Circles" where we share our stories, thoughts, ideas and works. hooks also talked about the issue of poverty and environmentalism and mentioned a novel she was reading titled "How the Rich are Destroying the Earth" by Herve Kempf.  The novel speaks to issues on capitalism, a major problem in the United States. In closing hooks relates that our strength begins with self-love, mindful awareness and spirituality. bell hooks is a wonderful speaker who has more than informed be but has inspired me. I too, have noticed the divide among women and have join the ranks to find the way to bridge the gap. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Dedication Post

This Blog is dedicated to recognizing and raising the consciousness on work of women in areas of Feminism, womanism and black feminist thought and theory. This blog is also dedicated to the uplift of black peoples everywhere. Please read and enjoy.

Thank You
Author: Jessica Corbin
Student of Claflin University
English Major
Education Minor
Black Feminist &Activist