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Blog Entries tagged 'glbtq'

Lambda: Black Cool

Rebecca Walker: Black is Cool

“…YOU CAN NO MORE SEPARATE COOL FROM BLACKNESS THAN YOU CAN SEPARATE HULA FROM HAWAIIANS, OR YOGA FROM INDIANS, OR FRENCH CUISINE FROM THE FRENCH. “

Rebecca Walker is cool. The origins of her cool aren’t located in some unquantifiable “swag,” nor is it strutting down a Fashion Week runway, cooing in a music video, or residing in a pulpit oratory whose cadence conjures protests of Southern trees bearing strange fruits. It isn’t even found in her casual Soho clothes or Noxema-clear complexion. Rebecca Walker’s cool stems from a mind, talent, experiences bred on both coasts (New York City and San Francisco, to be exact), and a pedigree of accomplishments that puts to shame many a slacker son and daughter of the 1%. Through her latest edited collectionBlack Cool: A Thousand Streams of Blackness, one would say that Walker cites the ground-spring of her cool in a residence both less and more obvious, depending on your embrace of stereotype and level of social consciousness—her Blackness.

Biracial, bisexual, but far too multi-talented to be binary in any other way, for two decades Walker’s tackled the tough subjects of identity, community, power and justice placing her own life and experiences at the center of her discourse and making “the personal political” mean more than a lefty slogan. Considered one of the founding mothers of Third Wave Feminism and a leading multimedia voice from the Gen X generation, the Yale graduate and long-time contributing editor of Ms. has demonstrated all the modern renaissance woman can be. Whether working punditry at CNN or MTV, touring the college lecture circuit to inspire a generation of fresh, eager-eyed feminists, or writing the books they’re all talking about, including: To Be Real: Telling the Truth and Changing the Face of FeminismBlack, White and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting SelfWhat Makes A Man: 22 Writers Imagine the Future and Baby Love: Choosing Motherhood After A Lifetime of Ambivalence, the multiple award-winning Walker’s proven herself more than her last name.

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May 1st, 2013

Prop 8: Maintaining Mental Stability

In response to the piece on Prop 8 about race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and the election I tweeted, womanist musings sent me her post on the subject and asked for my thoughts. As I posted:

(Regarding homophobia in the black community) I believe the issue of the black church cannot be overstated. And I hope that more African-Americans of all backgrounds can find a way to affirm their connection to the divine, or that which transcends ordinary reality, without dismissing or degrading others.

(Regarding racism in the GLBT community) I think it's important to maintain mental stability at all points of intersection. There are no monolithic black or white or GLBTI communities, and we should not proceed as if there are. Animosity and anger are important but also dangerous emotions. These directed at a group can create a potentially disastrous result. Careful, considered response will more likely yield more positive, non-incendiary results.

Working with people who support the right of all beings to be free, and cultivating understanding and compassion for those who do not is a good way to stay sane. It's certainly worked for Obama. Speaking to the best part of each of us, the part that wants to act with openness and integrity.

I certainly think it's important to try to build on the Obama win in whatever ways possible, rather than undermine the tremendous feelings of forward momentum. Adding to the rhetoric of change is a good idea. Getting into an alienating, acrimonious war that leaves all of us wounded? Claiming hierarchies of oppression? 

When you plant wheat you get wheat. When you plant rage and blame, you get rage and blame. As many philosophers have said:

In times of war, study peace.  

I'm interested to hear your thoughts.

November 9th, 2008