Week 3: wrap-up

We wrap-up our conversations labeled defining feminism, womanism, masculinity this week, but we will work from these foundations for the semester. This next week’s conversation and readings will play a large part in that foundation as well.

But, this post is about wrapping-up week 3. I wanted to leave you all with a few notes and a few observations.

Note 1: There was much we did not get to talk about from the readings and from the talks of Adichie and Porter. Throughout the semester, you might consider returning to watch and listen to Porter and Adichie. I do, though, want to point to 2 concepts in our readings that I think must be highlighted:

In her description of a womanist worldview, Layli Marpayan writes “Self-actualization is the foundation of positive social change because free, creative, expressive, self-loving individuals make the most altruistic political actors and the most responsible and accountable servants of humanity” (43). She defines the process of self-actualization as one that includes self-knowledge; self-love; freedom to explore, express, and create from the place of one’s own vision; and a baseline of physical health. 

Ewuare X. Osayande worries about his 2 boys, “As long as domination and violence are considered central parts of masculinity, I worry about the future for my two boys. At ages eleven and eight, they are still becoming aware of themselves in the world. I am learning how quickly sexist socialization can take place. The system is relentless; it bombards my sons with sexist and racist messages on a daily basis.” (42)

Osayande writes an essay about his own process of self-actualization. He ends that essay by sharing how he is hoping that his own journey affects those around him, beyond just his own family. I learned new things from you this week. Even though I have been studying and reading these theorists for some time, your explorations offer me interpretations I hadn’t before considered. Thank you. How does your journey affect those around you? 

We are enjoying reading your journal postings. Keep them going! 

Last note: There are no rights and wrongs on your postings as long as you fulfill all of the 3 bulleted requirements in the prompt. BUT… and this is a biggie… from here forward (meaning DJP #2 forward), if you would like to get all of the credit for your post, pay attention to required videos and read the essays. When you haven’t, and have simply plucked the first line out of an essay or completely mis-interpreted a speaker’s meaning, it is noticeable. Most of you were quite insightful in your postings! Keep that going!

“My friends, I have come to tell you something about slavery – what I know of it, as I have felt it. When I came North, I was astonished to find that the abolitionists knew so much about it, that they were acquainted with its effects as well as if they had lived in its midst. But though they can give you its history – though they can depict its horrors, they cannot speak as I can from experience …”

Frederick Douglass, 1841

In the past decade or so, we have witnessed the rise of critical race studies, even something called Whiteness Studies. With the rise of Whiteness Studies on college campuses across the country has come the resurgence of whites as so-called experts on all matters pertaining to race. Among the most popular of them is the anti-racist speaker Tim Wise, who has become a regular presence on the college lecture circuit as well as in the media in the past few years. He has even been deemed the leader of the anti-racist movement by some of these very media outlets.

As Black liberationist, abolitionist, anti-racist and social justice activists, we would be wise to use this moment to ask some critical questions of ourselves and the state of the movement for racial justice in the U.S. We are thus compelled to critically engage Tim Wise and what his apparent popularity represents both in symbol and substance. In so doing, we confront the two fundamental issues in this work of eradicating racism: internalized oppression and white privilege.

Wise’s popularity among liberal whites is not that surprising to me. What is surprising is the level of popularity he’s gained within segments of the Black community. Some have even gone as far as to view him as some kind of Great White Hope. What is most curious about this apparent Black fascination with Wise is that when I hear certain Black people and other people of color refer to him, they talk about him in the same way they would talk about the first time they saw a white guy dance, rap or dunk a basketball. By internalizing the stereotypes of Blackness as defined by the white racist imagination, we have, in turn, embraced a codified image of Blackness. Thus, when we see white people cross the race-tracks and engage in behavior that has been deemed “Black,” we react with a kind of cultural “shock and awe.” In the case of Wise it is a little more complicated than that. Wise isn’t being acknowledged for his ability to sing or dance “like a Black person” but for his willingness to cross the tracks of race discourse and out whiteness – the ultimate racial taboo.  

Read more at the link above

& link to Tim wise’s offensive tweets as the link in the article doesn’t work