“Education Not Incarceration!”: Are Prisons False Needs?

I took this photo outside of Chuco’s Justice Center, which is a youth and community space, located in Inglewood, that works to challenge criminalizing youth of color, police brutality, and the expansion of the prison industrial complex. This photo is part of a large mural painted on the front of the building, and its main message is: “Education NOT Incarceration!”

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“Black Feminist Thought” in Billie Holiday’S Music

You Let Me Down – Billie Holiday

After our recent readings about race and feminism, I thought it would be appropriate to introduce black feminist sociologist Patricia Hill Collins, author of Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment. The chapter, “Black Feminist Thought in the Matrix of Domination,” discusses the connection between race, class, and gender, which, she says, are the “three systems of oppression that most heavily affect African-American women.” With this belief, she argues: “By portraying African-American women as self-defined, self-reliant individuals confronting race, gender, and class oppression, Afrocentric feminist thought speaks to the importance knowledge plays in empowering oppressed people.” After reading this, I immediately thought of my favorite singer, Billie Holiday. In her songs, although many examine love and patriarchal relationships, she expresses an underlying sense of consciousness about her identity as a Black woman in the elite/white/male dominated society of the 1930/40’s.

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Using Spoken Word to Challenge Today’S “Racialized Social System”

Super Negro – Al B Back

This is a video of Def Jam spoken word poet, Al B Back, reciting his poem, “Super Negro.” Here, he presents a satire of the racial prejudices he has encountered as a black man in today’s society and how they have given him “supernatural powers.”

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