November 13, 2008
Celebrating Obama While Mourning Proposition 8…
I still find myself pinching myself to see if this is in fact real. I haven’t felt this way since I was an international observer for the elections in 94 (exactly 30 years after my mother, Gwendolyn Robinson/Zoharah Simmons, at the age of 19, went to Missisissppi in 1964 where for 18-months she was the project director of the Laurel Project) when Nelson Mandela became president. I turned 25 during that his/herstoric time in South Africa. While I will never ever forget what I experienced (consistently overwhelmed with emotions)/witnessed there…I must share that this feels just as if not all the more special and I know it is because I am an African-American woman.
I am also very reminded that as a Black feminist lesbian I must work very hard, in concert with so many others, to dismantle patriarchy and heterosexism in both my own non-monolithic community as well as in the world. I’m a bit alarmed about the (community) conversations about Black manhood… Black masculinity (in the absence of Black womanhood) as it relates to President-Elect (love it!) Obama.
June 11, 2008
Aishah Shahidah Simmons, Independent Documentary Filmmaker interviewed by Sonya Shields
“Aishah Shahidah Simmons and I met over ten years ago in Washington, DC when she was dating an old friend. We spent a Saturday night with friends dancing at the Hung Jury and talking about our future goals. I remember thinking that she was intensely passionate and I followed her career. I had not seen Aishah since that fun night until I ran into her this past fall when she attended the event to celebrate Katherine Acey’s 20th Anniversary with the Astraea Foundation. I knew that I wanted to talk with Aishah about her work and journey to becoming an award-winning independent documentary filmmaker, television and radio producer, published writer, international lecturer, and activist living in Philadelphia…
What is your passion?
My passion is centralizing the margins of society. Making the invisible, visible. Documenting the lives of women of color globally. I am an activist. The camera lens is my medium to make social change irresistible.
April 28, 2008
Black Men Addressing Violence Against Black Women
As we come to the close of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, I wanted to highlight Misogyny & the Emcee: Sex, Race, & Hip Hop, a very powerful book that was recently written and published by Ewuare X. Osayande. Brother Osayande, has a demonstrated track record of being consistently unapologetic and outspoken about challenging Black communities to address violence against women and girls, with the same vigilance that the Black community addresses state sanctioned violence against Black men and boys.
March 12, 2008
Michael Simmons, an international human rights activist who,with his partner Linda Carranza, co-founded the Raday Salon in Budapest Hungary, recently wrote comments about his thoughts on the responsibility of African-Americans who are heterosexual to speak out against homophobia. Following are his comments: