On Campus lecture

April 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

I attended an out of class, on-campus lecture April 11.2012 in the BCC. This lecture was on the topic of Sister Citizen. I am not quite sure of the leader of the lecture’s name however she broke a few chapters down of the book and interpreted them in how she understood what was written. After the lecture the floor was open for open discussion to discuss all kinds of topics dealing with race and women.  Some of the things that were said and broken down were how in chapter 2 of the book there was a crooked room for black women. The crooked room was described to be a metaphor to confront race and gender. The task of being in a crooked room is that the woman has to find which way is up. Is she supposed to just lean and go with the flow so that it appears she is standing up straight or does she actually stand up straight against the complex structure of the room? “It can be hard to stand up straight”. It was stated that there are three methods to overcome oppression: conquer, defeated, and choose not to fight. I found that very interesting and true. I also learned that citizenship= public recognition and stereotypes=misrecognition, so members of a stigmatized group lack collective opportunity.

Three stereotypes of the black woman are mammy, sapphire, and jezebel. Mammy is an asexual figure and ever sacrificial. Sapphire is an emasculating figure that stems from anger. Jezebel, which of course we read in class, is the myth of the hypersexual and promiscuous black woman. The speaker also brought up three cases of black women having injustice brought to them and was met with mixed African American responses. These black women were Desiree Washington, Anita Hill, and the R Kelly sex tape minor. It was because black men were being accused that the African American community wanted to sort of take up for them oppressing the rights of these black women who had been wrongly done. Another topic that was just briefly touched on was the myth of the welfare queen, which black women will continue to have children just to get money from the government.

To end the lecture a discussion was held. One of the topics that we spoke about that I found interesting was about black women in the music industry. Of course Nikki Minaj was mentioned and questions were asked that if we don’t support or fellow black musicians wouldn’t we be selling out? So many opinions rose from this question and it basically boiled down to we have to get the Nikki Minajs out of mainstream and put the Erykah Badus in however this will be difficult because technology is needed and is not that readily available for lower class minorities to see the good music out of mainstream. We have spoken about this in class before but this lecture was very interesting and kept me intrigued.

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