Making Hip-Hop and Black Feminism Tangible for Girls

It’s no secret that we’re Crunk Feminist Collective fans here at Parlour and the ladies have struck another gem by profiling Doctors  Ruth Nicole Brown,  Chamara Jewel Kwakye, and Bettina Love. The three college professors recently released the following books on hip-hop feminism, black girlhood and teaching the babies, Wish to Live: The Hip-Hop Feminist Pedagogy Reader and Hip hop’s Li’l Sistas Speak: Negotiating Identities and Politics in the New South. Obviously, we support higher education and women professors — Sherry completed her master’s in the UK recently, clap for her — so here’s an excerpt from the CFC crew’s chat with the threesome about putting ideology into practice by working with young girls.

On addressing queerness in the classroom:

Bettina:  I have a chapter in my book that talks about starting my research with my limitations. I walked into this research project thinking that I knew everything about Atlanta and I knew everything about hip hop. I looked like these girls. I never thought that I had to address all of my messiness that I had in my life. These girls brought it out of me.

My queerness was on display for them. During the first interaction I had with these girls, they walked up to me and said, “You gay?” Being quick-witted and not wanting to put my guard down, I said, “You in my business.”

I could not research them, get to know them, understand them, and tell their stories until they put me on blast. They did something that was very interesting. They started talking about lesbians in their school an earshot away from me. I truly believe that they did this to let me know: Let your guard down. We’re cool. Talk to us. I couldn’t tell their stories until they put me on blast. …

I also think as Black feminists, it calls us to get outside of the ivory tower. It really does. To do this work and to live this work, you will not be able to do this work with integrity if you only stay in higher ed.

Read the rest at Crunk Feminist Collective.

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