Midler Forgets Sankofa- White Privileged Feminism Ensues

By S. Christopher Emerson

Some attribute Bette Midler’s now-infamous tweet “Women are the n-word of the world” to Yoko Ono, who forthrightly regarded that “Women are the nigger of the world.” But the roots of the controversial comment stem far deeper and darker than Ono’s 1969 declaration.

In Zora Neale Hurstons 1937 Blackety Black Black coming-of -age novel “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” main character Jamie Crawford gets a lion’s share of motherwit from her grandmother Nanny, whose wisdom proves timeless in the present circumstances. No doubt that some may see Ono as a standalone force for change, but many attribute the foundation of Ono’s bold acknowledgement to Nanny’s declaration “De nigger woman is de mule uh de world so fur as Ah can see.”

Nanny provides an insightful, plainfolk analysis of the plight of BLACK women, with regard to gender and race, during a time in which an American women’s movement, built off the straight-backed energy and efforts of Black women abolitionists like Sojourner Truth and Mama Harriet Tubman during slavery, was gaining steam after having won the right to vote in 1919. The elder asserts that Black women, quite flatly, have to work the hardest, often driven to push and pull with all they’ve got, while deplorably being treated the worst. Others have since echoed this sentiment, even some men, namely Malcolm X, who famously said “The most disrespected person in America, is the Black woman.”

This is a central idea that Black women have been knowin’ and tellin’ and fightin’ to change for decades, centuries even; and only within the last 100 years, have mainstream ears paid heed.

And while Ono gathered this energy to give voice to the efforts for women’s equality in this country, let’s be clear that even that within those ranks, Black women like Nanny, and freedom fighter Bree Newsome, even Auntie Maxine Waters still stand firmly at the bottom of the hierarchy within white feminism.

Midler’s, eh… thought-provoking [*shrug] statement is a bit more problematic than at first glance, because it forgets to Sankofa- “Go back and fetch it.” Not only does she use language that we are in the process of simultaneously reclaiming and eradicating with reckless privilege, but she neglects the foundation of her statement, that would, no doubt, help her definitively, demonstratively and acutely call the racistly-informed patriarchy demon by its name.

This is why we fight not just for changes WITHIN the systems we find ourselves, but we’re also building a total cultural shift toward equity and inclusion across cultural, economic, gender, age, ability intersections. We don’t want white supremacy in Black face, with all the misogynist, capitalist trappings of time-honored, pale-faced, mayonnaise-flavored oppression. Quite frankly, the cultural mores, economic/capitalist structures, gender roles/norms, age assumptions and ability fallacies created and maintained by this euro, elite-dominated society are just not good enough for The People.

A humble analysis.

 

Love,

 

 

a Black man who sees Sistas out here, against the odds, working it out and making magic happen daily

Taraji Henson Launches Foundation to Address Black Mental Health

Actress Taraji P. Henson recently honored her father by creating the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation.

Actress Taraji P. Henson recently honored her father by creating the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation.

By MCNS Staff

Actress Taraji P. Henson launched the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation in Beverly Hills, California this past month in honor of her late father to help eradicate the stigma which surrounds mental health issues in the African-American community.

The foundation is named after Henson’s father who dealt with mental health issues following his time serving in the Vietnam War. The award winning actress also hosted a special fundraising event in Beverly Hills this past month for her Boutique of Hope, thus raising funds in order to provide resources to increase mental health support in urban schools.

“I named the organization after my father because of his complete and unconditional love for me; his unabashed, unashamed ability to tell the truth, even if it hurt; and his strength to push through his own battles with mental health issues,” said Taraji P. Henson to the L.A. Sentinel. “My dad fought in the Vietnam War for our country, returned broken, and received little to no physical and emotional support. I stand now in his absence, committed to offering support to African Americans who face trauma daily, simply because they are Black.”

Kaepernick to Receive Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Medal

Colin Kaepernick will receive Harvard's W.E.B. Du Bois medal.

Colin Kaepernick will receive Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois medal for his social justice activism.

By Malcolm Speaks

As a result of Colin Kaepernick’s unwavering commitment to African-Americans and people of color as well as his demonstration of social responsibility, he will receive Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois medal. Recipients are given the award “in recognition of their contributions to African and African American culture and the life of the mind.”

Last week, Harvard announced that Mr. Kaepernick, along with seven others, including comedian Dave Chapelle, and Kehinde Wiley, the artist who painted former president Barack Obama’s official portrait will be honored at their October ceremony. Previous award winners include Muhammad Ali and Maya Angelou.

Two seasons after he began protesting the police killings of African-Americans as well as the police brutality of people of color, Mr. Kaepernick still has not been signed by an NFL team. Therefore, it appears that this response is retribution on the part of the league for his activism.

Colin Kaepernick is also the focus of Nike’s 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign.

Melania Trump Visits Africa

While in Africa, Melania Trump will visit Ghanaian first lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo.

While in Africa, Melania Trump will visit Ghanaian first lady Rebecca Akufo-Addo.

By Chuma Kisu

According to news reports the United States First Lady, Melania Trump, is expected in Ghana today, Monday, October 1, as she kickstarts a four-nation African tour.

The tour is her first solo trip as First Lady and will take her to each region across the continent except for central Africa. An African trip was announced in August before the specific countries were listed last week.

Mrs. Trump, leading her “BE BEST” campaign will partner with United States Agency for Internal development (USAID) to undertake a series of events in Ghana, Malawi, Egypt and Kenya. She described her hosts as “four beautiful and very different countries.”

BE BEST, was launched with “the goal of combatting some of the issues that children face today by shining a spotlight on successful programs and organizations that teach children the tools and skills needed for emotional, social and physical well-being,” Melania said.

Mrs. Trump said of Ghana that “I’d like to take a moment and thank the First Lady of Ghana for being with us today. Mrs. Akufo-Addo, I look forward to visiting your country and know we will find ways to continue working together even after my visit.”

In Ghana, USAID’s programs have focused on healthcare by supporting efforts to expand the coverage and quality of healthcare for mothers and newborns, and educating women and young children about the importance of proper nutrition.

According to international reports USAID’s work in Malawi uses education as a key component to combatting poverty and promoting prosperity. Their efforts aim to increase access to education, and work to ensure all children acquire the skills needed to succeed in school and life.

In Kenya, USAID works on a variety of programs, including early-childhood education, wildlife conservation, and HIV prevention.

In Egypt USAID programs have directly supported a reduction in infant and maternal mortality rates, improved early-grade reading, and restored and preserved historical sites vital to Egypt’s tourism.