Whenever someone comes under harsh scrutiny, it’s easy to lean on the familiar advice of “focus on your own happiness first.” But if the person being examined and criticized on such an intimate level depends mostly on the public’s satisfaction for a living, that advice no longer applies.
Last week, I wrote about Washington’s NFL team and the resistance by team management, and their most prominent football player, Robert Griffin III, to do the right thing and demand that the team change its name. In a sense, the call to change the name is not simply about racism and who is offended by it, but also about language–how we deploy it, the fraught history it connotes, etc. With that in mind, I’d like to take a moment to address another semantic phenomenon in sports that seems omnipresent, given the immediacy of blogs and Twitter and such.
On the last Friday of Women’s Her-story Month, I want to honor black women who are what I call “border-crossers.” Border crossing is centered in the margins and “what moves people” . . . the fluid transmissions and the mergers. It comes out of womanism and black feminism. It comes out the frustration with borders and boundaries. It comes out of the need to build sustained and people-centered movements.
Note: Late week, Professor Cohen had a talk about the Black Youth Project, including the blog, on campus. I just want to say thanks to the folks who complimented me on my writing here. It means a lot, and I want to express my deepest gratitude. I’m sorry that I was socially awkward. I had hoped to engage with you better, but I’m a dork. That’s why I prefer to write.
Also, a special shout out to my friend, Rosa for suggesting I write a post on the Super Bowl.
I just don’t know how Chris Matthews does it! My experience at last year’s inauguration–a.k.a. the second biggest event in black history, just one acre and half a mule behind freedom–left me cold, irritable, hungry, and so over the large crowds only hours of attending rap concerts with my homegirl, Maegs helped me successfully navigate. I lost Hope at the Silver Spring metro station, but, encouraged by the sight of all those black folks draped in American flag-inspired fashions, I did stash a little post-race elixir in the glove compartment of my car, only to freak out when I got pulled over by a Pennsylvania state trooper, and demand that Maegs toss it out into the darkness of the Keystone State night. Since then, I’ve become even more obsessed with blackness. So much so that I can’t shake this feeling that somehow I must have mistakenly taken the red, black, and green pill instead of the blue one like I had intended. (Morpheus is such a trickster!) As a result, I’ve spent the last year haunted by race, becoming more racially paranoid than an octaroon at a Mississippi Klan rally.