It’s #SayHerName For A Reason

17 Aug

Last Friday I woke up to a message from a friend. In the message the friend raved about a new song from Wondaland. Being that I’m a huge fan of Janelle Monae, I immediately opened SoundCloud and was unprepared for what Hell You Talmbout was. From the very first drum beat the song is so beautifully Black. Harkening back to message songs from the 60s and 70s, Janelle and the rest of the Wondaland crew recite the names of so many Black people who have lost their lives because of police brutality and lynching. The song is equal parts a demand for justice as it is an expression of mourning for lives lost. By the end of the song I found myself crying, not from the weight of the subject, but as a release, because with every passing of the chorus I was reminded I am not alone in this feeling of danger in my own home.

http://ift.tt/1J2VKTz

But with everything that is beautiful, powerful and moving about the song it wasn’t until a friend of mine on twitter expressed her concerns that I realized that it gets one important detail wrong. Behind each name, the Wondaland crew demands that the listener Say His/Her Name, but loses track of where Say Her Name actually comes from. The hashtag was started to highlight the nearly forgotten Black women who were also killed due to Police and Vigilante violence. These names often don’t get as much attention as their Black male counterparts because of the false belief that Black women are not harassed by the Police like men are.

It isn’t until the third verse in the song that a woman’s name is even mentioned, and oddly enough the female victims are only mentioned by female members of Wondaland. In fact, of the 18 names that are chanted in the song, only 4 of them are women. This runs counter to the point of the  hashtag, and unknowingly does what the tag was trying to prevent. It drowns out the names of Black women and does so using a phrase/hashtag/space that was meant to be specifically for acknowledging Black women’s deaths.

I don’t want to take away from the beauty of the song, nor do I want to call out Janelle or the rest of Wondaland as being careless when they clearly were trying to do good with a song. However I also believe that an offense is an offense no matter the intent. The song is flawed, but I think it’s a flaw that the song’s creators can fix and learn from. Unfortunately there is a long list of both cis and trans women who have been murdered by police and vigilantes in just the past year. The song can be rewritten, the names spoken and Black women can still be honored and the song would still be just as powerful.

Check out this post on Nerdy Girl Swag

#CareFreeBlackGirl: Janet Jackson – “No Sleeep” Feat. J. Cole

16 Aug

Check out this post on Nerdy Girl Swag

#CareFreeBlackGirl – Tokyo Vanity – “That’s My Best Friend”

9 Aug

Check out this post on Nerdy Girl Swag

#CareFreeBlackGirls: Nicki Minaj – Anaconda

2 Aug

Check out this post on Nerdy Girl Swag

American Horror Story: Hotel

28 Jul

I’m not a fan of the American Horror Story television series. It’s not that I don’t like horror in general, or that the AHS series is particularly scary, I just don’t think the show is particularly good. I was only able to watch a few episodes of the Murder House and Asylum seasons of the show before I lost interest completely, and only stuck out the Coven season because of my love for Angela Bassett and Gabourey Sidibe. Sadly my love for the two of them wasn’t enough for me to forgive how terrible their characters were treated on the show so by the time Freak Show came around I didn’t catch a single episode.

Don’t get me wrong, while I’m not a fan of Ryan Murphy (Is it cool now to admit that Glee was a train wreck, and I’m STILL holding a grudge for how bad the second season of Poplar was), I think he’s definitely hit his sweet spot with this show. Murphy has issues with continuity, and having a show that resets every season means not having to worry about a plot point or character trait you established in the beginning getting in the way of a scene you just HAVE to include in later seasons. It works for him, and people love it. It’s just not for me.

That is, it wasn’t for me until they announced that Naomi Campbell would be part of the cast of American Horror Story: Hotel.


(Photo courtesy of Georges Biard [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://ift.tt/HKkdTz)], via Wikimedia Commons)

As reluctant as I am to do so, I’m going to watch this season of AHS, because it seems that since the Coven season, the show is making strides to increase the number of Black women characters on it. Granted the characters aren’t as fully developed as I would like, but to be honest none of the characters in the show are. Also unlike other shows like Sleepy Hollow, with every Black character that AHS loses it manages to replace them with another Black character. If we’re lucky, the return of Angela Basset will give the show an opportunity to pass the Racial Bechdel Test, but at the very least it will give us two amazing, Black female characters to watch.

Whether this season will make strides in storylines, character development or any of the other wonderful things that make a television show good will be revealed during the season. Until then, I’ll sit back and enjoy, at least until they’re both written off the show.

Check out this post on Nerdy Girl Swag

#CareFreeBlackGirl: Briki fa President ft. Ninene – Fat Girls

26 Jul

Check out this post on Nerdy Girl Swag

#CareFreeBlackGirl: Rihanna – Bitch Better Have My Money

19 Jul

Check out this post on Nerdy Girl Swag

#CareFreeBlackGirl – Congratulations Serena Williams #SerenaSlam

12 Jul

Check out this post on Nerdy Girl Swag

#CareFreeBlackGirl – Congratulations Serena Williams #SerenaSlam

12 Jul

Check out this post on Nerdy Girl Swag

#CareFreeBlackGirl: Nasimiyu – Warpaint

28 Jun

Check out this post on Nerdy Girl Swag

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 61 other followers