Wow I cannot believe this time last year I launched my website Black Future Feminist!! A place that brings some culture, keeps you in the loop on television and film, adds to your book collection, and shares some good ol’ pop culture commentary. Each day I feel like I’m still growing, but I embrace that 100%!!
Ahhhhh…It feels like yesterday that I broke out of my shell and shared a little bit of me with you!
So stay tuned for more commentary, book recommendations, reviews, trailers, professional and personal stuff, and so much more!!
Ahhhhh it’s that time of the year again! It’s a Saturday morning 8:30 am in Richmond, VA on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University. The fall/winter season of graduation is upon us!! One thing I do like about VCU is that we have graduation twice a year, for those who finish in May and those that finish in December. December graduation this year was my first time participating in the entire school celebration at the Siegel Center here on the VCU campus. And this year was extra special as I had the awesome opportunity of hooding my former student and sister friend Dr. Lisa Winn Bryan!! Participating in this joyous moment is one that I will treasure for a lifetime. I remember when she asked me to take part in this incredible moment I had to make sure I was not dreaming, causing this is a serious thing. And what really got me was that morning as all the graduates are preparing for the big moment, Lisa walks in and sees me and she immediately begins to tear up and I had to fight back tears. That was the beginning of what would be one of the most rewarding days in my professorial career.
Graduation is ALWAYS one of my favorite times of the year here at VCU and I get to celebrate it twice once in the spring and also in the fall. This momentous occasion is one that with each year will become more and more special. This is what happens when you become invested in your craft and the students who play a role in its shaping.
This semester has been about self-determination and perseverance for not just myself, but especially for my students. Each one of them in their own unique way has charted a path to success on their own terms. I say this every semester, but it warrants being mentioned being a professor/teacher is way more than providing weekly/daily lessons and educating the future…it’s about being a listening ear, parting growing wisdom/advice, showing support in-person and via Zoom, creating platforms for stories to be told, and as my Soror and the first president of National Association of Colored Women (NACW) Mary Church Terrell once said “lifting as we climb, onward and upward we go.” Graduation is the culmination of all the hard work that students take part in during their academic matriculation, and we as professors get to see the fruits of their labor flourish. I am always grateful that I get to change lives regardless of how big or small.
This change was specifically seen in my Capstone Senior Seminar course! I had the opportunity to mentor 7 AFAM seniors as they completed their senior thesis research projects. The topics ranged from the importance of Black motorcycle clubs in the Hampton Roads, to the issue of colorism for Black men, to the need for academic safe spaces, to better representation in comic books, to healing and processing Black mental health in Black matriarchal figures. And if their oral presentations were just an appetizer to their research papers….I cannot wait till the main course!! I am so proud of each of them and the work that they have done. Overcoming fears, sharing their personal stories, being vulnerable, and taking risks that will make them better scholars and people!!
Look out world, there’s a new set scholars entering and they have something to say!!
What better way to start 2021 than by finally launching my website!! Launching Black Future Feminist has been a long overdue endeavor. Ever since I finished my PhD in 2019, I knew I wanted (and needed) to have a website. With each passing day, I realized the importance of tracking one’s journey personally and professionally. Black Future Feminist as a website creates a space that will allow me to share with the masses my inner thoughts, important ideas, significant moments, creative tools, expressions of joy, and hopefully make some sort of impact!
So you ask what is a “Black Future Feminist”? As a Black woman who identifies as a Black feminist and an Afrofuturist, I was always trying to figure out a singular way to blend these two frameworks/ways of thinking together. The work that I do within my research, my teaching, and my personal life is always centered around Blackness, gender, and the future. Plus, it is essential that I remind myself as well as others that “there are Black people in the future.” So when it was all said and done I came up with this definition, a Black Future Feminist is someone “who is actively working and living for the future, always seeking to give voice to ALL Black women’s experiences, and is always fighting against the struggles of racism, sexism, ageism, ableism, classism, all every other -isms.” Through this naming and defining, I aim to reflect those words into action via this site and beyond!!
Let me tell you I am thrilled and excited to share this part of me! Whether it’s getting the latest on what book I’m reading, television show I’m tuned into, movie I recommend, or public lecture that I’m giving, I just hope you enjoy the ride!!