Where are you from?
How do you spend your time?
I spend most of my time reading, writing, teaching, talking to people and smoking a million cigarettes. I’m getting my PhD in Anthropology at the University of Chicago at the moment so my life is both incredibly exciting (to me) and kind of dull (on paper at least). I try to make dance as often as possible because that is what truly makes my heart sing.
What’s your story?
I was born in raised in a commune in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood but I grew up in New York. I knew very little of the world before I moved to The City to go to college. I learned about love and loss, about working hard and failing miserably. I danced professionally after I graduated before coming back to Chicago to go to graduate school.
What’s your feminist story?
I came to feminism through scholars like Audre Lorde, bell hooks, and Patricia Hill Collins— radical thinkers who recognized that what most people perceive to be the object of feminism often fails to address the problems of racial prejudice. Indeed, growing up as a light skinned black girl in the inner city of Chicago made it impossible for me not to acknowledge that mainstream feminist discourse seemed to push my most pressing concerns (getting harassed on my way to school by the cops, etc.) to the side in the name of "equal pay" and "a woman's right to chose."
While I learned what feminism looked like from my mother and grandmother, it wasn't until college that I really developed the language to speak about the various ways in which race, gender, and sexuality intersect to produce the problem space the black feminism takes up as its primary concern.
What is feminism?
For me, feminism in general and black feminism in particular is a way of thought, a politics, and a practice. It is a way of approaching the world and a form of critique that examines the material worlds that we each inhabit and uses those materials at hand to fight for liberation and freedom. There is so much to say about my love and commitment to feminism but I’ll end by saying that what sustains me in my work toward liberation and freedom is what remains the foundation of black feminism; at its heart, black feminist work is collaborative and improvisational. These two aspects make it possible for me to imagine a radical future.
What does "Feminist as Fuck" mean?
To be “Feminist as Fuck” means having a willingness to ask the hard questions (even when its uncomfortable). It means being open to listening and responding to many different types of conversations and being able to use whatever tools are at hand to push toward liberation. It is always an aspiration because we all fail now and again but it nevertheless is a state of being in the world that is powerful.
What feminist topics are most important to you?
ALL OF THEM