On Saturday, we tried to open the doors. In a small period of time, girls went from spouting Moynihanisms to writing messages of encouragement to Amber Cole as members of her “crew.” Many of the girls sounded like our mothers. They said things like, “We are all fully human, no matter our skin color” and “It’s okay to have a voice” and “You think I ain’t smart because of the way I talk, but I AM” and “I only have a mother and I am VERY loved.” One girl had a daughter named Beautiful, and I believe that says it all.
In November 2011, Sheri Davis-Faulkner, Mashadi Matabane, Chanel Craft and Asha French introduced 10 black teenage girls to feminism, as part of the National Women’s Studies Association conference. They recounted the experience in a post on Crunk Feminist Collective.
Call it feminism. Call it womanism. Call it gender politics. One thing is certain–it is imperative that black girls and young women understand the societal and institutional forces aligned to diminish them. Not just because of Too Short or Amber Cole or Very Smart Brothas, but because, quite simply, black girls are awesome and, to borrow from sister Whitney (RIP), they are the future. And we love them.
So how do we do this? How do we teach black girls about gender bias and equality? More importantly, how do we let them be heard on the issues that most effect them? Here’s a start:
Join us for a live panel discussion, Images in the River: Black Girl Dialogues, at 9 am ET, Saturday, March 31, featuring Sheri Davis-Faulkner, member of the Crunk Feminist Collective; American Studies doctoral candidate, Mashadi Matabane; Bianca Laureano, founder of the LatiNegr@s Project, who has worked with and taught youth of color and speaks at national and international organizations advocating sex-positive social justice agendas; and Asha French, to discuss planning, funding and facilitating feminism 101 discussions for black girls. The conversation can be accessed on Love Isn’t Enough, Crunk Feminist Collective, What Tami Said and Cover It Live.
This is not just a conversation, but a call to action. Following the panel discussion, we encourage participants to host their own workshops with black girls and we invite you to share the process and outcomes on Love Isn’t Enough so that others may learn from your efforts. (Details to come.) Tweet using the hashtag: #blackgirlsdialogue.
This effort may be focused on black girls, but appreciate the beauty and possibility in all girls. Everyone is welcome to contribute and learn from this conversation.
JOIN US and please help spread the word about this upcoming event.