Quirky Black Girls is the tangible manifestation of the spirit of a small group of students that nurtured me while I attended Spelman College. These girls dared to follow their own path and chart their own course in a conservative and sometimes hostile environment. This looked like piercings, tattoos, fishnets, and high platform heels. It sounded like Q’uranic Prayer, soul stirring poetry, and southern crunk music sung with an operatic cadance. And since then, I keep meeting black girls who did their own thing who looked, talked, walked, lived in ways that weren’t refected anywhere. In 2008 I met fellow QBG kindred Alexis Pauline Gumbs and when our powers combined, Quirky Black Girls was born! As co-conspirators of the Quirky BlackGirl Movement, we began to pull ourselves towards each other. Via a blog, a social network, a facebook group, regular arcade nights, jam sessions, cookOUTS, a Black speculative fiction reading group and more, QBG, allows a diverse group of self identified Quirky Black Girls to build bravery and challenge each other’s thinking. QBG facilitates mutually nurturing online and in-person spaces for Black feminist conversations, which honors and supplements the rich tapestry of Black feminism that has come before us.
I want a feminism that doesn’t tokenize or fetishize the marginalized folks within the movement, i.e. people of color, queer folks, people with disabilities, etc. To this end, I am really interested in the margins within the margins and how people with intersecting marginal identities create the world they want to see and resist others’ attempts to use their representations for their own purposes. How do we see ourselves? The Obsidian Project focuses dark skinned queers of color, seeing them/us in new light and listening with intention. By promoting the physical visibility of dark skinned queer folks of color I hope to counter dominating representations that only invoke black skin as a sexualized other. With detailed verbal description of the images, I intend to craft a new narrative based in people’s own realities. In talking with my subjects, I am learning a lot about what it means to be a dark skinned person in a world where colorism is still a difficult conversation, even among folks with a queer politic. This is a project about deepening our understanding of how internalized oppressions are operationalized in activist communities and healing these unspoken wounds.
Digital Humanities Projects
- Early Images of Medical Education
- SWAG Diplomacy
- Postcolonial Studies @ Emory
- Alien Bodies: Race, Space, and Sex in the African Diaspora Conference