I like women. When Mos Def in ‘Ms. Fatbooty’ is like ‘Ass so fat you can see it from the front.’ Damn, that’s an ass! That’s an ass I kinda wanna see. That’s an ass I appreciate. So I’m trying to figure out how do we talk about feminism in this case, or being a Black man who is pro-feminist who at the same time can acknowledge heterosexist desire. And that’s real. There’s a fine line between objectification of Black female sexuality and appreciation of it. So what do you do with ‘Baby Got Back’? Is Sir Mix-A-Lot objectifying Black women’s asses, or is he having a real conversation about the inherent beauty of Black women’s bodies in a society that has always derided Black women’s bodies as strange and unusual and ugly? Thank hip-hop for allowing us to have this conversation out in the open, hopefully in productive and progressive ways.
Mark Anthony Neal, on being, and being classified as, a Black male feminist — A Brand-New Feminism: A Conversation between Joan Morgan and Mark Anthony Neal
Activism is an engagement with the hauntings of history, a dialogue between the memories of the past and the imaginings of the future manifested through the acts of our own present yearnings. It is an encounter with the ghosts that reside within and inhabit the symbolic and geographic spaces that shape our worlds.
The cover of our new book, The Traumatic Colonel features the death mask of Aaron Burr—from the incredible Laurence Hutton Collection of Life and Death Masks at Princeton University Library.
Love it as much as we do? Browse the collection online, which includes high-quality photos of life and death masks from historical figures like Abraham Lincoln, Napoleon, Shakespeare, and more!