August 6-7, 2022: Hettie Williams’ Guest Post on Beyoncé’s Renaissance

[This is the second Guest Post that my friend and the current AAIHS President Dr. Hettie V. Williams has shared with us, and hopefully not the last!] Of Trap Queens and Fallen Angels: Beyoncé’s Renaissance as Religious Meditation With her latest album Renaissance, Beyoncѐ Knowles the Queen Bey is telling us that her soul is unbroken despite the death of her beloved "Uncle Jonny" to whom Renaissance is dedicated. Though it is aesthetically a dance-romp extravaganza or very much, and mostly, a d

Memories of Mommy in the Cruel April Snow

I have known unimaginable grief in the last few weeks having lost three family members in less than two months (including both parents and one of my Aunts); but, the death of my Mom Gloria, on April 8 of this year, is the greatest loss I have ever experienced. Mom died after a short but valiant battle with a rare form of endometrial cancer. She was always a fighter but this diabolical disease won in the end. Mommy was my best friend, confidant, and closest advisor.

All Hail the Queen: Beyoncé Knowles and the Aesthetic Return Home in Contemporary Black Art and…

All Hail the Queen: Beyoncé Knowles and the Aesthetic Return Home in Contemporary Black Art and Popular Culture In her ground-breaking opening performance at Coachella, Beyoncé Knowles brought us home. All Hail the Queen. This pivotal performance was themed on historically black college culture (HBCU) signified by a step-show, a marching band, and a dance-off with her sister Solange. Home in African American cultural production is not always attached to physical space.

Gabrielle Union’s Hair

There has been a recent incident over race and hair. Gabrielle Union’s hair. Union apparently wore too many different hairstyles while she was a judge on the NBC show America’s Got Talent (AGT). She was also vocal about racial equality in the AGT workplace according to Variety, and reportedly branded difficult on set as a result. AGT decided to subsequently release her from the show following a series of alleged incidents involving racial bias.

Black Women’s Fictive Kin Networks and the Sisters in the House

African American fictive kinship arose out of a response to the chaos of enslavement. Slavery as an institution marred African family ties and their sense of community once defined by blood ties. The separation of blood kin from their children and families made the reliance on fictive kin a measure of survival. This phrase fictive kinship refers to a relationship that is developed between non-related members of a given group that develops out of common ancestry, history, social experience, or predicament while kinship connotes blood or marital ties.

Women in the Garvey Movement

Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), considered to be the largest, and most successful black nationalist association in world history, included the significant participation by women. At its height, the UNIA had more than 500 affiliates, and a membership into the millions across several continents including North America, Africa, Europe, and the Caribbean. Garvey developed this association with the support of women. Women probably made up the majority of UNIA members by the mid-1920s. Historians such as Ula Y. Taylor and Keisha N. Blain have noted the broad influence that women exercised in the development of the Garvey Movement.

In Pursuit of Self: The Identity of an American President and Cosmopolitanism

BARACK OBAMA PROJECTS AN IDENTITY THAT IS FRAGMENTED AS opposed to an identity that is essentialist or unitary. In nearly every public setting where the issue of his race has been introduced, Obama, although he routinely self-identifies (Avila 2010) as an African American, continuously acknowledges his mixed-race heritage. He rarely fails to mention the gratitude he feels towards his white grandparents for raising him. In his autobiography he states, "I can't even hold up my experience as being somehow representative of the black American experience" (Obama 1995, xvi).

Review of Black Women's Christian Activism

Black Women’s Christian Activism by Betty Livingston Adams, an independent scholar, and previously Associate Fellow at the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis, is a ground breaking historical monograph focused on the religious and social history of black women in New Jersey, and the nation, from 1898 to 1945. This is the first scholarly study published on the history of black women in New Jersey. For this, the author should be commended. Containing an “Introduction,” six concise chapters, and a “Conclusion,” the text is written with economy and clarity in under two-hundred pages.

@ISSUE: Williams: Blacks less homogeneous because of immigration

@ISSUE: Williams: Blacks less homogeneous because of immigration The most significant changes in the African-American community in the last 25 years including social, economic and political developments should be understood as incremental strides toward equality. Historically, social change for marginalized groups in U.S. society has not always meant a unidirectional tilt towards improved circumstances. The history of African-Americans has been shaped by positive achievements and glaring setbacks.

How Trump Became a Thug Life Idol

America has elected, to the highest office in the land, a man who seems to personify the thug life. This is a man—Mr. Donald J. Trump—who is enamored with celebrity, embraces a bombastic style of politics, and has no limits when it comes to the objectification of women. Trump has made a series of disparaging, at times violent, comments towards women. Some of the women he has directly targeted include comedian Rosie O’Donnell, Entertainment Tonight host Nancy O’Dell, news personality Megyn Kelly, former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, and MSNBC co-host of “Morning Joe” Mika Brzezinski among others.

Review of Daniel Matlin, On the Corner – AAIHS

On the Corner by Daniel Matlin, a Lecturer in U.S. History at King’s College London, is a historical analysis on three black intellectuals of the 1960s: Kenneth B. Clark, Amiri Baraka, and Romare Bearden. On the Corner is a title derived from a 1972 Miles Davis album signifying that these three intellectuals in particular were “down on the corner” of black urban America, and that they were “uniquely positioned to convey to white audiences the physical, social, and emotional realities” of this space (8). Matlin draws upon a wide variety of sources, including novels, academic monographs, newspapers articles, poems, theater productions, and illustrations in the visuals arts to construct this narrative. The text includes an “Introduction,” three chapters, with one chapter devoted to each intellectual, and an “Epilogue.”

A History of Truth in These Troubled Times – AAIHS

A History of Truth in These Troubled Times A conversation about history, truth, and the American experience is necessary in these troubled times. The truth is under assault in U.S. society at the present as the nation, and the culture, confronts an epistemological crisis in several sectors of knowledge. This crisis is exemplified in many arenas of society but, most perniciously, it is vociferously evident in contemporary politics as illustrated by the “alternative facts” and “fake news” propaga

Roundtable on Black Women’s Intellectual History Day 2: Parts Two and Three – AAIHS

Roundtable on Black Women’s Intellectual History Day 2: Parts Two and Three This is the second day of a four part roundtable reviewing the book Toward a History of Black Women Intellectuals. We began with Lauren Anderson‘s introduction to the series. Keisha Blain and Ashley Farmer will continue our discussion the next two days, followed by responses from Barbara Savage and Martha Jones, editors of the text. Today, Hettie Williams contributes a guest post examining Parts II and III of the collection.

Accidental Feminist: Stormy Daniels and Ending the Sound of Silence ~ Daring Woman

In a patriarchal society such as the United States (U.S.), women and young girls are often still expected to remain silent. Their right to speak is often compromised by a culture that does not prize women who speak freely—women who voice their opinions audaciously and unapologetically. This is especially the case when it comes to issues of sex, sexuality, and sexual assault. That is, until the #metoo moment, and the rise of the Times Up Now movement. How can we understand Stormy Daniels in the context of the history of women’s rights and feminism? Is Stormy Daniels a feminist?

Stop Shooting Us! African Americans and the Police Powers of the State in Perspective

“Stop shooting us!” was their mantra on the night of September 21, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Several protestors also had this phrase on the cardboard placards they carried. Their level of unease was evident as one woman collapsed into the arms of another lamenting through her tears, “stop shooting us.” These were the images that recently appeared on television detailing the demonstrations that have been on-going in Charlotte, North Carolina following the shooting of an African American
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