I watched the Melissa Harris Perry show  for the first this weekend, and I think I’m hooked.  #nerdland stand up!

On Saturday’s show, one of my feminist mentors  Joan Morgan and a few other panellists were talking about the 15th anniversary of the death of  the Notorious B.I.G  and hip hop culture in general and it was a amazing 20 minutes of television.  There were biggie quotes and music clips and a shout outs to female emcees and a discourse on hip hop that you would be hard pressed to find on any other mainstream show.

What really struck me was when Joan Morgan spoke of her relationship with hip hop being one of complexity and complicity. This was one of the clinchers in her 2000 book When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost. How can we be feminist when we sometimes *cringe* like/accept/promote the very things that we are seeking to challenge? It is present not only in music, but all over our culture and manifests through interpersonal relationships, cultural events (sigh, my beloved carnival) and socio-political life.

I was hoping that this discussion, among others that I have had or listened to, would have some magical answer for addressing this issue, something that I could add to my feminist care package to carry around along with my cell phone and keys and eloquently whip out when I am challenged by others and even by myself. Don’t know if that answer exists.

What I do get from these discussions is the dynamism of this cause we call social justice. We have lots of suggestions and ideas but cannot declare any as the way. We question and we analyse and we make choices individually and in our collectives that we hope to chip away at inequality and oppression. I also come away renewed that feminism actively engaging women and all marginalised groups in all our interconnectedness is the missing piece to the puzzle. Our voices, our action, our curiosity is critical to our survival as long we strive towards social justice.

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Comments on: "In Complexity and Complicity" (2)

  1. I love this post Asha 🙂 “Our voices, our action, our curiosity is critical to our survival as long we strive towards social justice.”

  2. @ Linisa definitely a great piece of writing you quoted there.
    @ trendsettah, I definitely struggle with the complicity that as you say far extends hip hop but I’ve always reasoned that coming up in this world means that we fall victim to the niceties of this world and how we enjoy things will always be inextricably tied to how the world constructs enjoyment that is often not in the favour of the other.
    I must say though that these conversations does not always leave me feeling renewed. I often get sad, despondent, hopeless around what I perceive as inactivity (on my part) and how much more can be done (by me). So thank you for this week’s challenge, re-finding the transformative power in these conversations and have it further drive in me in actionable ways towards social justice.

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