Tag: Race

Teaching in an Era of Black Lives Matter

One of the functions of social movements is to raise consciousness around a particular problem or issue. The Black Lives Matter movement is no different. Activists have successfully used disruptive protest, policymaking, and social media to influence public debates around structural racism, state violence, policing, and mass incarceration. The movement, as well as my experiences… Read more →

Venus Revisited

“Creepy.” “Weird.” “Messed. Up.” Such are the visceral responses of my women’s history students to an admittedly bizarre and complex historical phenomenon: the Anatomical Venus. Designed to be realistic and anatomically correct wax models of the female body, Anatomical Venuses emerged in eighteenth-century Europe (primarily Spain, Italy, and Austria) to help train medical students who… Read more →

“Ain’t No Bitches Gonna Hunt No Ghosts”

2016 is Terrible, So Go Watch Ghostbusters, Laugh, and Let Feminism Save Us All Dear Ghostbuster boys. Sit down and close your mouths. Stop talking. Stop leaving your stupid Rotten Tomatoes reviews, and your comment threads, and doing your misogynist, racist, sexist tweeting and mansplaining. Just. Stop. First, you drove Leslie Jones off Twitter with… Read more →

“Why does Congress wish to have mothers and babies die?”

It takes a rare political personality to gain regular air-time on today’s political pundit shows. Former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner is one of those personalities. If anyone is going to grab precious minutes on air it’s Turner, a politician who wore a T-shirt emblazoned with the words “GOP — Get Out of My Panties”… Read more →

Sex and the Purple Guy

Originally published by Tropics of Meta on April 21, 2016. For a generation of youth — queer and non-queer alike — Prince cleared the path to a different way of embodying gender and sexuality. I recited the intro to “Let’s Go Crazy” at my wedding reception in 2006, to a room of largely puzzled fifty-… Read more →

“Serving the People”: A Review of The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

As singer Beyoncé and her team of black beret and leather-sporting background dancers reminded viewers during the Super Bowl halftime show, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party. In October 1966, Party co-founders Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton began working on building an armed self-defense organization to… Read more →

The Other Side of Choice, a Review of Independent LensNo Más Bebés

Anyone who is even vaguely familiar with contemporary American culture likely understands that female fertility has been a hotly contested, and highly politicized, issue for over forty years. Typically, these discussions revolve around abortion. There is, however, another side to reproductive choice: the right to reproduce. It is this often overlooked aspect of “a woman’s… Read more →

An Interview with Historian Heather Ann Thompson (Part 2)

The second in a two-part interview with historian Heather Ann Thompson, whose seminal article on mass incarceration, “Why Mass Incarceration Matters: Rethinking Crisis, Decline, and Transformation in Postwar American History” appeared in the December issue of the Journal of American History. In this interview, Thompson talks with Austin McCoy about her scholarly trajectory, the impact… Read more →

An Interview with Historian Heather Ann Thompson (Part 1)

2010 was an important year for scholarship documenting the history of the carceral state. In January, legal scholar Michelle Alexander published The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. Historian Khalil Gibran Muhammad’s The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America arrived the next month. Heather Ann… Read more →

Suffragette, T-Shirtgate, and a Taylor Swift Tweet: Breaking Down the Historical Problem of White Lady Feminism

Can rich, white ladies be effective feminists? In the court of public opinion these days, it seems the answer is no, mostly because they keep saying and doing really stupid things. Women of color and those of us lacking in the silver spoon department have been telling everyone from Taylor Swift to Erica Jong to… Read more →