Source: Walter McBride / Getty Jesse Williams’ recent BET Awards speech on Black liberation and racism woke up America and garnered new fans–including famed writer and activist Alice Walker. The Color Purple author inspired by the Grey’s Anatomy star, she wrote a powerful poem and posted it on her website. Here It Is addresses the…
On the week that would have marked the late leader’s 87th birthday, social justice groups Blackout for Human Rights and The Campaign for Black Male Achievement celebrated Dr. King’s legacy and more with MLK Now at the legendary Riverside Church in Harlem, New York. Monday night’s event highlighted historic speeches by civil rights heroes like MLK, Malcolm X, Fred Hampton, Sojourner Truth, and Shirley Chisholm, recited by Lin Miranda-Manuel, Andre Holland, Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, and civil rights icon Harry Belafonte.
Huffington Post Blogger, Irene Monroe, reminds us of Audre Lorde’s struggles and many contributions to womanist theory. Lorde pioneered the appreciation for African American womanhood and motherhood through poetry, essays, and living a life well served.
Lorde was shaping contemporary feminist and womanist thought well before her seminal 1984 book, Sister Outsider, a collection of speeches and essays unflinchingly depicting black lesbian women’s lives as interlocking oppressions — sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and classism — and a clarion call for change and activism:
As a Black, lesbian, feminist, socialist, poet, mother of two including one boy and member of an interracial couple, I usually find myself part of some group in which the majority defines me as deviant, difficult, inferior or just plain “wrong.” From my membership in all of these groups I have learned that oppression and the intolerance of difference come in all shapes and sizes and colors and sexualities; and that among those of us who share the goals of liberation and a workable future for our children, there can be no hierarchies of oppression.
Among scholars and activists today, Lorde’s depiction of “hierarchies of oppression” is lauded as an important theory on intersectionality.
Scholars say that what has grown from the collective is a boom in African-American poetry that’s arguably as aesthetically significant in the writing world as the work of the Beat Generation, the New York School, the Fugitives, the Black Arts Movement, even the Harlem Renaissance.
Welcome to Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest. Created by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud is administered in partnership with the State Arts Agencies of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.
“I swear you can’t f*ck with me
But I can f*ck your girl and make her nut for me
Then slutt for me, then kill for me, then steal for me
And of course it’ll be your cash
Then I’ll murder that b*tch
and send her body back to your a*s” – Lil Wayne, “We Be Steady Mobbin”
Imagine an entire generation of young people hearing lyrics like this on a daily basis, reciting mantras that glorify drug and alcohol consumption, the objectification of women, murdering other black people, anti-intellectualism, financial irresponsibility and every other thing you can do to destroy your life. Do you REALLY believe that a child can hear this message every single day, repeating these lyrics literally thousands of times and not have his subconscious mind altered by the messages he’s consuming? Do you REALLY think that the corporations earning billions of dollars from this form of weaponized psychological genocide care one bit about whether your son ends up in the prison, the morgue, the rehab center, the insane asylum or the unemployment line?