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.