Personal is Political.

Our “Personal Is Political” column honors personal narrative as a source of theory and analysis, politics, pedagogy, and survival. Thus, in keeping with the feminist legacy of naming the private and personal as sites that are no less political than the public, we are committed to making space for explicating and interrogating the lives of feminists, as well as the space necessary to offer self-reflexive analyses. In this column, we will publish first-person essays, autobiographical accounts, testimonies, and memoirs that pay homage to and elevate the lived experiences of feminists throughout the world. NOTE: Please review each category carefully to make sure you’re submitting your work to the appropriate reviewers.

Toni Cade Bambara of Simpson Avenue

November 21, 2014
By
Nikky Finney(Rachel Eliza Griffiths photographer)

I knew this tradition. Older Black women handing over younger Black women to the next Black woman in line for her Finishing work. It took me several weeks to get up the nerve to call. Next thing I knew, I was walking up the hill to Toni Cade’s Pamoja writing workshop. This was the...
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Toni Cade Bambara’s “Toni-Isms”

November 21, 2014
By
Carole Brown and Toni Cade Bambara circa 1950s
courtesy: Carole Brown

You have touched thousands of aspiring and seasoned writers, students, and just plain folks worldwide. Your fame has never taken the place of your love for our Black community, because you desired success for everyone you came in contact with—even strangers. Never once did you feel that you should receive disparate treatment because you...
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TCB Is What She Did and Was Who She Was

November 19, 2014
By
Clarke V

It was at the National Conference of African American writers held on the campus of Howard University in 1974 that she read her short story “Gorilla, My Love.” I fell in love with her voice, its cadence capturing the sound of young people. It was like hearing Charlie Parker playing “Cherokee” for the first...
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Posted in Activism, Ethnicity, Personal is Political., Poetry, Racism, Toni Cade Bambara, World, Writing | 1 Comment »

Reflections on Toni Cade Bambara

November 19, 2014
By
rosemari hugging sam

Hearing Toni’s voice in her poetry presentations was both serious-determined with a jazzy lyrical flava. I strongly believe Sista Toni’s readings, writings and mentorship would have a great and direct influence on the younger upcoming poets, such as Jessica Care Moore, Tony Medina, Kevin Powell, Asha Bandele, and the late legendary musician and spoken...
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Toni Cade Bambara

November 17, 2014
By
giddings paula j. ap1 (2)

The relevance of the to-do list, nearly a half-century later is remarkable; the sensibility definitely our own; and the attitude shaped the attitude of succeeding generations. As Beverly Guy-Sheftall and bell hooks have pointed out, The Black Woman showed us a still unfamiliar and highly contested terrain: a transformative vision of the world not...
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bell hooks Remembers Toni Cade Bambara

November 17, 2014
By
bell hooks photo

Toni Cade Bambara was a central and important figure in the development of my political conscience, because she was by far one of the most radical black thinkers of her time. Unlike many black writers, Toni was deeply aware of global politics. In the tradition of Lorraine Hansberry, she continually linked the struggle for...
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Posted in Academia, Black Women, Feminism, Personal is Political., Toni Cade Bambara, Writing | No Comments »

The Unbearable Hush of My Day Job

November 4, 2014
By
LaBue

Though I declined the opportunity to speak face to face with my harasser, as I was afraid of being made to feel even more uncomfortable, the next day I was forced to sit down with him anyway. After this awkward talk, with the manager halfheartedly apologizing with, “I’m sorry you misunderstood my joke.” I...
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Posted in Bodies, masculinity, Patriarchy, Personal is Political., Privilege, Sexism, sexual violence, Work | No Comments »

Late Bloomer

October 28, 2014
By
Nessler

Of course, “slut” was cloaked in phrases like “appropriate appearance” and “giving a professional impression.” Sitting across from this woman who obviously had not signed up to be a mother or middle school hall monitor, I kind of felt sorry for her. How did we both get here?
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Posted in Patriarchy, Personal is Political., Sexism, Work | 2 Comments »

Thank You So Much for Telling Me I’m Pretty

October 21, 2014
By
Harlan

Thank you so much for telling me I’m pretty. Because I can’t possibly know if I’m pretty unless you tell me. How could I know? Clearly, I must need you to tell me. I must need three, seven, ten men to tell me everyday.
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Posted in Bodies, masculinity, Patriarchy, Personal is Political., Sexism | 8 Comments »

Can the Subaltern Catcall?

October 14, 2014
By
Caterine

If we wish to sincerely practice intersectionality in our feminism, then we must look with eyes unclouded by idolization at the white feminists of the past.
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Posted in Black Women, Feminism, media, Personal is Political., Popular Culture, Privilege, Racism, Reproduction, sexual violence, Sexuality, Stereotypes, White Privilege, White Women, Whiteness, Women of Color | 1 Comment »

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Arts & Culture

  • I’ve Got Something To Say About This: A Survival Incantation Kate Rushin
credit/copyright: Rachel Eliza Griffiths

    I see the whole thing played out.
    I’m bludgeoned, bloody, raped.
    My story is reduced to filler
    buried in the back of the paper,
    on page 49, and I say, “No. No way.”

  • what is left M. Nzadi Keita
photograph: ©Elizabeth Ho

    By M. Nzadi Keita                     after Toni Cade Bambara   death rides a silencer into your blood and swims toward the mind what you remember starts with a smile a raw edge a single snip from the someone dead it is [...]

  • Praise to the Writer Toni Cade Bambara,
Southern Collective of African American Writers (SCAAW), 1988
©Susan J. Ross

    Toni Cade made an art of living
    Toni stood and we were lifted
Toni spoke and our lives were saved
    Toni listened and we were validated
    She is the breast that fed our union
    Hers’ was the womb of our nourishment

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