This week we found out that Beyoncé is on the cover of TIME and Lupita ( she is a mononym now get glad) is on people.
Knowing what we know about mainstream media, about capitalism , about the entire god damn game, This is monumental . Yes for representation but also for audience draw.I remember when it was supposed ” Black women wouldn’t sell ” . Glamour had employees tell BW about unprofessional hairstyles like afros and dreads… and now it’s the most beautiful in the world. That means that somewhere someone did the calculus of who they would draw, who would be excited , who was pushing attention and chose accordingly.
Black women are visibly important,black women need to be SEEN as visibly important. Brands, media, content and “intellectualism; wants to be SEEN with Blackness. They always want to consume it , to appropriate it but to be seen with it.
Something has changed and it’s important,troubling and so very real. Black women in channels non regulated by fear not just on social media have made their voices heard, have asserted a mastery , a presence publicly . Publicly people have derided,exotified,appropriated and disrespected that voice. Privately hands were wrung, emails are flying , discussions are desired . I congratulate Black Twitter. I congratulate Black acheivement , I also observe the struggle.Everything is shifting but people want to avoid acknowledging that BW played a large part of it.
This isn’t about wanting apologies or wanting ” some people on their knees” but about how we build power. Even with these acheivements , people are struggling to admit that black women and girls ( and not just the more palatable ones ) ESPECIALLY the ” toxic ones” have changed something fundamental about the way media moves. This is about how that recognition ferments and fosters power.How tactics to make that invisible not only remove things from the historical record but deny agency to make positive changes in BW lives. This is about what’s next.
Beyonce I’ve written about . What interests me is that Sheryl Sandberg writes ( or is credited) with her write up. Sheryl Sandberg whose Lean In media campaign is dogged by the observations of it’s calssism and racism. A Lean In touted by a feminism who has gone to infinity and beyond to DENY Beyoncé as a feminist . Schisms and articles have flown ( one by me) llinking the vitriol against Beyoncé. No matter what else I think this is MASTERFUL for Sandberg , to take an emerging maternal diverse feminist ( and now covergirl) and mae her an eblem. Feminism , leaning in now not only looks like a black woman ( one of it’s largest critics) but the most influential woman in the world.
It will be harder to speak about the whiteness of Lean In , it will be harder to attack the classism and the solipsism, but it denies the material of how Black women used media to challenge that.
This is Poynter reporting social media by Black women. Using it for hit counts but wanting the challenges and corrections to be private. Black women can push media , can be used ,can provide hits but fixing the public damage must be private. It’s noticing that much of media since that has changed how it reports and how it interacts , but BW didn’t do that?
This just happened.
This is Planned Parenthood and MSNBC getting told about themselves in not differentiating between women and BLACK WOMEN. And changing it ever since but not noting who made that happen.
This is all those entities coming together to mine BW spaces and thoughts, but not understanding ( mostly just not caring) about Black women’s safety or space or consent in doing so.
This is about what happens now the net is not neutral . About Chait and Bundy believing that black people must always do more when liberal intellectual and feminist organizations don’t want to admit or acknowledge what Black people do. This is about BW having higher grad rates, lower drinking rates and bigger social involvement rates and having AA be struck down>
But Time will and People will and Orbitz will be in a black hashtag in moments
Black women, whatever else right now ? Take your bow and protect your necks.Social media take your bow, protect your necks . Black women ON social media . We may not agree about anything but we are powerful and .. I hope your ready. No one else may say it but people know we are change the word
This is about what’s next