These two don’t know it yet, but I am their official little sister.
I love their power, knowledge and commitment to the uplifting of Black women. The fact is, the truth hit different when it comes from people that look like you! Going from what we know about James Baldwin that the goal of the artist is to disturb the peace. What better way to disturb the peace than to challenge the written, accepted narrative as it relates to race and class.
Within the last six months, The Ideal Firestarter has featured both of the women featured here. With last month’s pick, it is confirmed according to Feminista Jones the demographic of the ideal activist is Black and female (I cannot recommend Reclaiming Our Space enough! Click here for the review.). From the lessons learned from Feminista Jones, I cannot help but boost her social acumen to that was revolutionary.
My Big Sister Brittney is in the same category! With her book Eloquent Rage, it was everything I needed as an angry, distressed, Black girl. I needed someone that looked like me to tell me I had every right to be mad! Why? Because the world I inhabit it is f–ked up! I needed someone to affirm my Blackness, my intersectionality and the struggle of being Black and brilliant even among the people that look like you! Dr. Cooper is revolutionary because, and for, the sheer fact she has challenged what it means to be a feminist. And how, like Feminista Jones, speaks to the need for Black Feminism.
The idea of feminism or female empowerment is not new. We all know that. We all know that the 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote. But in the case of every woman of color, their sex got the right to vote before their entire person did!
Regular feminism [read: White feminism] isn’t sufficient. It isn’t sufficient. The narrative isn’t challenged. There is no room to be challenged, no space to reason or critically think. Revolution requires narratives and the old guard to be challenged! Being confronted with its reflection and the shenanigans it harbors–new thoughts and concepts are revolutionary. And they must be heard in order for change to be recognized and sustained. For change to be implemented, someone must point out what is and is not applicable of the people that these laws and concepts are supposed to serve.
Why I love these two is because they force me to think. They force me to examine the things which I thought I had no control over. The things I didn’t feel qualified as a Black woman to talk about (See my review for Eloquent Rage and the things Dr. Cooper makes relevant by clicking here. )
These women are what my writer-activist heart needed, what collective Blackness needs to remember. The work and space holding of Black women is not new, but is so often overlooked. One of my favorite quoted memes says ‘Black women will always be too loud for a world that never wanted to listen to them.’
Scripture tells us to wake up the mighty men so that they can fight. Sometimes those mighty men–are women.
[top image: from WHYY.com. Middle images: author’s own]