As a graduate student in Race Politics and Black Feminism, I am entirely too familiar with what it means to be silenced and excluded from feminist theories and narratives which have historically been focused on middle class White women.
In my academic career at private White institutions (PWIs), I have had liberal White students – usually young women who consider themselves feminists – say things to me like “sorry we’re not all from the ghetto” and “this conversation is about women, not Black people.” These experiences are precisely why the Politicizing Beyoncé course at Rutgers University is so vital. But, it’s been cancelled. And, it is simply a travesty that the institutions meant to educate this country’s next generation of leaders and scholars do not use courses like these to disrupt the racist tendencies of mainstream White feminism. Instead, they reinscribe a status quo which ostracizes Black feminism and its most prominent members, namely Beyoncé.