My essay with my alter ego Kismet Nunez, “Alter Egos and Infinite Literacies, Part III: How to Build a Real Gyrl in 3 Easy Steps,” is part of this very special issue of The Black Scholar Journal | Journal of Black Studies and Research “On the Future of Black Feminism.”
It is a short history of digital black feminist life and how, as Bianica Laureano says, #blackfemmessavelives. It is my story and Kismet’s story but it doesn’t exist without a very insurgent and beloved Kitchen Table – Moya Bailey Alexis Pauline Gumbs La Bianca Violeta Donawa Sydette Harry I’Nasah K. Crockett Maegan La Mala Ortiz Lisa Factora-Borchers Renina Jarmon Elle Gray ; my Chicago nerd beloved like Jamie Nesbitt Golden and Mikki Kendall; and people in collectives and organizations like Quirky Black Girls The LatiNegr@s Project: Being AfroLatino Allied Media Conference and #TransformDH . There is so much love here.
This is an incomplete list and my article is an incomplete story. It is already a trilogy and it is still an INCOMPLETE story. There is a world of history in digital black feminism and radical womyn of color activism, media-making, and organizing that still needs to be told and it needs to be told by the people who lived it. We need to make space for ratchet, hoodrat, black feminist work that was never meant to exist by people who were never meant to survive.
The article is also a bridge. It means something that it appears in this historic journal and EMBRACES digital, black feminist, and black/diaspora/queer intellectual production as CENTRAL to BLACK STUDIES. It means something that the editors are black women scholars I admire and who are dear to me – Treva B. Lindsey, Joan Morgan, Kaila Afrekete Story, Brittney Cooper, Tanisha C. Ford. It means something that Fiona Barnett and Uri McMillan supported Kismet when she didn’t even really know what she wanted from the world much less from me. I’m still obsessed with kinship; this is an act of the same. Thank you for being kin.
The issue went live yesterday, the same day as the #AssaultAtSpringValleyHigh. We are that girl, manhandled and thrown around a room by security guards, police officers, our partners. Once again, like Sandra Bland, like the McKinney girl, hands are laid on us for being mouthy, stubborn, womanish, and hoodrat. But these are synonyms for truthtelling. They mean, “I will do what I want to do and I’ll tell you something else…..” For this we should not risk bruises. Or death.
So the work is never done. We write, research, create, and curate. We organize and we teach and we clap back. My article is an origin story but the entire issue is love song. And for a limited time it is free. Click here.