Malcolm X is (a Girl Power Academy) featured Activist recommendation




Recommended Reading:

Alex Haley, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, (1964). Balentine Books, New York.

George Breitman, Malcolm X: The Man and His Ideas, (1965). Pathfinder Press, New York.

Malcolm X, Two Speeches by Malcolm X, (1965). Pathfinder Press, New York.

Malcolm X, Malcolm X Talks to Young People, (1965). Pathfinder Press, New York.

Malcolm X, Malcolm X On Afro-American History, (1967). Pathfinder Press, New York.

George Breitman, Malcolm X Speaks, (1965). Pathfinder Press, New York.

George Breitman, Malcolm X, By Any Means Necessary, (1970). Pathfinder Press, New York.

George Breitman, The Last Year of Malcolm X, (1967). Pathfinder Press, New York.

Bruce Perry, Malcolm X, The Last Speeches, (1989). Pathfinder Press, New York.

George Breitman, H. Porter, & B. Smith, The Assassination of Malcolm X, (1976). Pathfinders Press, New York.

Sue Coe, X, (1986). Raw Books & Graphics, New York.


Portrait of Malcolm X by Sue Coe from the graphic Novel X
Portrait of Malcolm X by Sue Coe from the graphic novel X
X (a graphic novel) by artist Sue Coe
X (a graphic novel) by artist Sue Coe



Dominique Christina is (a Girl Power Academy) featured Poet recommendation

Dominique Christina “The Period Poem”  SlamFind (performance poetry video) SlamFind is a free performance poetry mobile app that allows you to easily find every poetry slam & poetry-friendly open mic in North America. 

For more Dominique Christina, check out her book, The Bones, The Breaking, The Balm: A Colored Girl’s Hymnal, available now through Penmanship Books:


So let me be very clear. I wrote this poem with a very specific intent. I have a 13 year old daughter. It is important to me that I throw every part of my experience, whatever wisdom I’ve gleaned from that, every part of my backbone, toward her, to sustain her, to offer her language that lifts her up and keeps her up.

That said, there is for me, a necessary conversation that seeks to undermine the shaming that happens to some girls around menstruation. I had that experience of starting my period in 7th grade, boys, finding out that I had started my period. And then it was some shit, like I’ve been to class with the frantic, “I’ve got to go to the bathroom now,” waved and they’re like, “You’re on your period, aren’t you?” You know, that dumb shit.

And so then my daughter, like she starts her period and she’s stricken and walks out the bathroom looking like she’s died or something, and I wanted to undermine that. So I threw her a period party, my home is red up, dressed in red, and there was red food and red drinks. It was great.


It was great. So all red, everything. I loved it. So, that’s what it was and it was wonderful. And then, when I was in Austin, Texas for Women of the World this year, she sent me a screenshot of a tweet and in 140 characters, this dummy, damn their, undermined my legacy. This is my response to the aforementioned today. You’re welcome.

The dude on Twitter says: “I was having sex with my girlfriend when she started her period, I dumped that bitch immediately.”

Dear nameless dummy on Twitter: You’re the reason my daughter cried funeral tears when she started her period. The sudden grief all young girls feel after the matriculation from childhood, and the induction into a reality that they don’t have to negotiate, you and your disdain for what a woman’s body can do. Herein begins an anatomy lesson infused with feminist politics because I hate you.

There is a thing called the uterus. It sheds itself every 28 days or so, or in my case every 23 days, I’ve always been a rule breaker. That’s the anatomy part of it, I digress.

The feminist politic part, is that women know how to let things go, how to let a dying thing leave the body, how to become new, how to regenerate, how to wax and wane, not unlike the moon and tides, both of which influence how you behave, I digress. [laughter]

Women have vaginas that can speak to each other and by this I mean, when we’re with our friends, our sisters, our mothers, our menstrual cycles will actually sync the fuck up. My own cervix is mad influential, everybody I love knows how to bleed with me. Hold on to that, there’s a metaphor in it. [applause]

Hold on to that. But when your mother carried you, the ocean in her belly is what made you buoyant, made you possible. You had it under your tongue when you burst through her skin, wet and panting from the heat of her body, the body whose machinery you now mock on social media, that body, wrapped you in everything that was miraculous about, and then sung you lullabies laced in platelets, without which you wouldn’t have no Twitter account at all motherfucker. I digress.

See, it’s possible that we know the world better because of the blood that visits some of us. It interrupts our favorite white skirts, and shows up at dinner parties unannounced, blood will do that, period. It will come when you are not prepared for it; blood does that, period. Blood is the biggest siren, and we understand that blood misbehaves, it does not wait for a hand signal, or a welcome sign above the door. And when you deal in blood over and over again like we do, when it keeps returning to you, well, that makes you a warrior.

And while all good generals know not to discuss battle plans with the enemy, let me say this to you, dummy on Twitter, If there’s any balance in the universe at all, you’re going to be blessed with daughters. Blessed.

Etymologically, bless means to make bleed. See, now it’s a lesson in linguistics. In other words, blood speaks, that’s the message, stay with me. See, your daughters will teach you what all men must one day come to know, that women, made of moonlight magic and macabre, will make you know the blood. We’re going to get it all over the sheets and car seats, we’re going to do that. We’re going to introduce you to our insides, period and if you are as unprepared as we sometimes are, it will get all over you and leave a forever stain.

So to my daughter: Should any fool mishandle that wild geography of your body, how it rides a red running current like any good wolf or witch, well then just bleed, boo. Get that blood a biblical name, something of stone and mortar. Name it after Eve’s first rebellion in that garden, name it after the last little girl to have her genitals mutilated in Kinshasa, that was this morning. Give it as many syllables as there are unreported rape cases.

Name the blood something holy, something mighty, something unlanguageable, something in hieroglyphs, something that sounds like the end of the world. Name it for the war between your legs, and for the women who will not be nameless here. Just bleed anyhow, spill your impossible scripture all over the good furniture. Bleed, and bleed, and bleed on everything he loves, period.

Ntozake Shange is (a Girl Power Academy) featured Poet recommendation

Poet Ntozake Shange reading at the Global Fund for Women
Poet Ntozake Shange reading at the Global Fund for Women

Ntozake Shange was born Paulette Williams into an upper middle-class African-American family. Her father was an Air Force surgeon and her mother a psychiatric social worker. Cultural icons like Dizzie Gillepsie, Miles Davis and W.E.B. DuBois were regular guests in the Williams home. Shange attended Barnard College and UCLA, earning both a bachelors and master degree in American Studies. Shange’s college years were difficult, however, and frustrated and hurt after separating from her first husband, she attempted suicide several times before focusing her rage against the limitations society imposes on black women. While earning a master’s degree, she reaffirmed her personal strength based on a self-determined identity and took her African name, which means “she who comes with her own things” and she “who walks like a lion.” Since then she has sustained a triple career as an educator, a performer/director, and a writer whose work draws heavily on her experiences of being a black female in America.

To learn more about the poet check out: 

Poetry Foundation Bio for Ntozake Shange

“Enuf” Poem by Ntozake Shange
at 4:30 AM
she rose
movin the arms & legs that trapped her
she sighed affirmin the sculptured man
& made herself a bath
of dark musk oil egyptian crystals
& florida water to remove his smell
to wash away the glitter
to watch the butterflies melt into
suds & the rhinestones fall beneath
her buttocks like smooth pebbles
in a missouri creek
layin in water
she became herself
brown braided woman
with big legs & full hips
seriously intendin to finish her
night’s work
she quickly walked to her guest
straddled on her pillows & began
æyou’ll have to go now /
a lot of work to do / & i
with a man around / here
are yr pants /
there’s coffee on the
stove / it’s been
very nice / but i cant see
you again /
you got what you came
for / didnt you’
& she smiled
he wd either mumble curses bout crazy bitches
or sit dumbfounded
while she repeated
æi cdnt possibly wake up / with
a strange man in my bed / why
dont you go home’
she cda been slapped upside the head
or verbally challenged
but she never waz
& the ones who fell prey to the
dazzle of hips painted with
orange blossoms & magnolia scented wrists
had wanted no more
than to lay between her sparklin thighs
& had planned on leaving before dawn
& she had been so divine
devastatingly bizarre the way
her mouth fit round
& now she stood a
reglar colored girl
fulla the same malice
livid indifference as a sistah
worn from supportin a wd be hornplayer
or waiting by the window
& they knew
& left in a hurry
she wd gather her tinsel &
jewels from the tub
& laugh gayly or vengeful
she stored her silk roses by her bed
& when she finished writin
the account of her exploit in a diary
embroidered with lilies & moonstones
she placed the rose behind her ear
& cried herself to sleep.

“Sorry” Poem by Ntozake Shange

one thing i don’t need
is any more apologies
i got sorry greetin me at my front door
you can keep yrs
i don’t know what to do wit em
they dont open doors
or bring the sun back
they dont make me happy
or get a mornin paper
didnt nobody stop usin my tears to wash cars
cuz a sorry

i am simply tired
of collectin
i didnt know
i was so important toyou
i’m gonna haveta throw some away
i cant get to the clothes in my closet
for alla the sorries
i’m gonna tack a sign to my door
leave a message by the phone
‘if you called
to say yr sorry
call somebody
i dont use em anymore’
i let sorry/ didnt meanta/ & how cd i know abt that
take a walk down a dark & musty street in brooklyn
i’m gonna do exactly what i want to
& i wont be sorry for none of it
letta sorry soothe yr soul/ i’m gonna soothe mine
you were always inconsistent
doin somethin & then bein sorry
beatin my heart to death
talkin bout you sorry
i will not call
i’m not goin to be nice
i will raise my voice
& scream & holler
& break things & race the engine
& tell all yr secrets bout yrself to yr face
& i will list in detail everyone of my wonderful lovers
& their ways
i will play oliver lake
& i wont be sorry for none of it
i loved you on purpose
i was open on purpose
i still crave vulnerability & close talk
& i’m not even sorry bout you bein sorry
you can carry all the guilt & grime ya wanna
just dont give it to me
i cant use another sorry
next time
you should admit
you’re mean/ low-down/ triflin/ & no count straight out
steada bein sorry alla the time
enjoy bein yrself


A Laying on of Hands Poem by Ntozake Shange
from “for colored girls who have considered suicide  when the rainbow is enuf”

i waz missing somethin
somethin so important
somethin promised
a layin on of hands
fingers near my forehead
makin me whole
sense pure
all the gods comin into me
layin me open to myself
i waz missing somethin
somethin promised
somethin free
a layin on of hands
i know bout/layin on bodies/layin outta man
bringin him alla my fleshy self & some of my pleasure
bein taken full eager wet like i get sometimes
i waz missing somethin
a layin on of hands
not a man
layin on
not my mama/holdin me tight/sayin
i’m laways gonna be her girl
not a layin on of bosom and womb
a layin on of hands
the holiness of myself released

i sat up one nite walkin a boardin house
screamin/cryin/the ghost of another woman
who waz missin what i waz missin
i wanted to jump up outta my bones
& be done wit myself
leave me alone
& go on in the wind
it waz too much
i fell into a numbness
til the only tree i cd see
took me up in her branches
held me in the breeze
made me dawn dew
that chill at daybreak
the sun wrapped me up swingin rose light everywhere
the sky laid over me like a million men
i waz cold/i waz burnin up/a child
& endlessly weavin garments for the moon
wit my tears
i found god in myself
& i loved her/i loved her fiercely


Angel Haze is (a Girl Power Academy) featured Hip Hop Artist recommendation

Angel Haze (photographed by Elisabeth Hoff)
Angel Haze (photographed by Elisabeth Hoff)

Raeen Roes Wilson, Angel Haze, is an American rapper and singer. In 2012, Angel Haze released the EP Reservation for online and later signed a record deal with Universal Republic Records before moving to Republic Records.  On December 31, 2013, Angel Haze released the debut album Dirty Gold, which features the single “Battle Cry”. 

Angel Haze was born  in Detroit, Michigan to a military family, of African and Native American ancestry and a self-taught speaker of Tsalagi.  Angel Haze was raised in the Greater Apostolic Faith, but is no longer practicing.

Angel Haze identifies as pansexual and as agender. Knowing the value of representation, Haze has said “I’m glad there’s an actual woman of color representing queerness and pansexuality, someone who is like me in the spotlight.” In an interview with The Guardian, Haze stated that, “Love is boundary-less. If you can make me feel, if you can make me laugh – and that’s hard – then I can be with you. I don’t care if you have a vagina or if you’re a hermaphrodite or whatever.”  In 2015 Haze noted in an interview with BuzzFeed that “I feel like my agenderness and my gender identity have evolved”,while a year later she explained that “I sound like four people when I get written about as ‘they’. It drives me crazy. If you call me ‘him’ or ‘her’ it doesn’t matter to me. I don’t consider myself of any sex. I consider myself an experience.”

The Angel Haze “Cleaning Out My Closet” (music audio) is being posted here for NO COMMERCIAL PURPOSES. (Shout Out and Thanks to Ms. Apple Sauce in Hong Kong… for introducing me to this song and Angel Haze a few years ago!)

angle-haze-album-cover-classickAngel Haze “Cleaning Out My Closet” LYRICS:

Now, this might get a little personal
Or a lot actually
Parental discretion is advised

Yo look look

When I was ten, shit, I believed I could fly
I would just flap my fucking arms and try to meet with the sky
And in my mind I’d envision that I was speaking with God
And then I’d chop his fucking fist off and beat him with mine
But this is just a fucking portion of the war with my mind
So I’mma take you fuckers back and through the vortex of time
When I was seven envision me at the bottom of stairs
And I solemnly swear that this is the truth, no fallacy here
See I was young, man, I was just a toddler, a kid
And he wasn’t the first to successfully try but he did
He took me to the basement and after the lights had been cut
He whipped it out and sodomized and forced his cock through my gut

See it was weird because I felt like I was losing my mind
And then it happened like it happened millions of times
And I would swear that I would tell but they would think that I was lyin’
And now the power that he held was like a beacon of mine
So now I got used to it, I put up with the shit
And now my hate was so volcanically eruptive and shit
But this is nothing ’cause I guess he told his friend what he do
And they ate it up, shit I was like a buffet for two

And then it happened in a home where every fucking one knew
And they ain’t do shit but fucking blame it on youth
I’m sorry mom but I really used to blame it on you
But even you, by then wouldn’t know what to do

And now it happened so often that he was getting particular
And I’m more scared every time, word to my speed and ventricular
One night he came home and I was asleep in my bed
He climbed on top of me and forced himself between my legs
He told me, hey Ray, I see you like them Popsicle sticks
So put your mouth on my dick and fucking swallow the spit

And I was confused but I was scared so I did what he said
I had no idea the effect it would have on my head
My heart was pumping it was thumping with like tons of my fear
Imagine being seven and seeing cum in your underwear
I know it’s nasty but sometimes I’d even bleed from my butt
Disgusting right? Now let that feeling ring through your guts

I thought of offing myself, I thought of killing these niggas
Wanted to take a fucking brick and push they teeth through they liver
Wanted to smash the fucking world and burn its leftover parts
Wanted to rip it out and just fucking step on my heart

Then I grew up and I wasn’t within the reach of these men
But that didn’t keep me out the motherfucking reach of my sin
And psychologically I was just as fucked as they come
I was confused, I had to prove I wasn’t fucked from the jump
I was afraid of myself, I had no love for myself
I tried to kill, I tried to hide, I tried to run from myself
There was a point in my life where I didn’t like who I was
So I’d create the other people I would try to become
Sexuality came into play and with as scarred as I was
I was extremely scared of men so I started liking girls
I started starving myself, fucked up my bodily health
I didn’t wanna be attractive to nobody else
I didn’t want the appeal, wanted to stunt my own growth
But there’s a fucking reason behind every scar that I show
I never got to be a kid so that’s as far as I grow
My mental state is out of date, and that’s as far as I know

My biggest problem was fear, and what being fearful could do
It made me run, it made me hide it made me scared of the truth
I’m not deranged anymore, I’m not the same anymore
I mean I’m sane but I’m insane but not the same as before
I had to deal with my shit, I had to look at my truth
To understand that to grow you’ve got to look at your root
I had to cut off the dead, I had to make myself proud
And now I’m just standing living breathing proof look at me now
I made it through everything, I made you look like a clown
I’m fucking great, can’t fucking hate, you nigga look at me now

Now I’m just saying this to tell you there’s a way from the ground
The makings of a legend are often hidden in trials
So just be strong and just move on and just accept what you can
Because it makes your story better when you read at the end

There’s a story behind every single scar that I show
I made it out, this a me nobody’s gotten before
I had to open my wounds, I had to bleed til I stopped it
Thanks for joining me here as I cleaned out my closet
I said I opened my wounds, I had to bleed til I stopped it
Thanks for joining me here as I cleaned out my closet

Published by
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

The Angel Haze “Werkin Girls” (music video) is being posted here for NO COMMERCIAL PURPOSES.
Werkin GIrls off of Reservation:

Directed by: Alex Lee & Kyle Wightman

Angel Haze “Werkin Girls” LYRICS:
Okay I’m Rambo I ramshack
I’m next to that cheese like rat traps
On top of that green like grass ass
That’s over y’all head like snapbacks
I get it where I fit in, put up then I put in
Tryna find an ass I can put my fucking foot in
Run this shit no I run this shit
Don’t give one fuck bitch I done this shit
I did what I say I did
Did not fabricate one bit
I have been the fucking realest since my exit near the clit’
That’s where I was born fuck what you on
All about me bitch fuck what you doin’
Round of applause bitches happy with some garbage
Show my whole fucking ass like a fat bitch in chaps
But I’ll be running that shit like a motherfuckin’ tracker
Like I run on sense like a motherfuckin’ chopper
Like a cheetah in the jungle but I’m motherfucking faster
Like a pre-teen boy in the church with a pastor
Hold up I’m not serious I’m just playin’ psych
Fuck your opinion bitch I mean it when I’m sayin’ that

Money and more money is the only shit I’m after
You can cut the fake shit
I’m not a motherfuckin’ actor
I’m on top of my green like a motherfucking tractor
You niggas you ‘bout to be bitches you bitches ’bout to be Casper

I’ll be on that other shit got that from my other bitch
She come from an island or a desert or some tundra shit
I am multi-faceted, bitch I do a ton of shit
Like I’m diarrhea or whatever sitting under it
I’m nasty, I’m insane, I’m too much, I spit grains
I came from the fuckin’ bottom
I’m top now, I shift lanes,
I kick shit, like dope shit
Like no shit, like oh shit
Get in my way I fuck up everything
Like ho shit, see, they said that I wouldn’t
I do whatever they said I couldn’t
I’m not the one to be fucked with
Or to be tough with
I be on your head like duck, duck, duck bitch
I be in the air like pump-pumped up fists
Nah, I’m like up-chuck like gut fish like hands up my skirt
Like when you gon’ let me fuck bitch (Hold up)

Money and more money is the only shit I’m after
You can cut the fake shit
I’m not a motherfuckin’ actor
I’m on top of my green like a motherfucking tractor
You niggas you ‘bout to be bitches you bitches ’bout to be Casper

I’m an undefeated bastard
My tongue is the fucking rapture, bitch
I be at my peak, I am not the one to be mastered
I’m the one to be after, I’m sweeping you while I’m dusting
I just popped up out the blue, I’m spontaneously combusting
Spit a little different, give me just a minute
Beat the beat down bitch, fresh it then I kill it
We are not the same but they don’t really get it
Tell ‘em do the math, hoe, fraction, division
Sick flow sick ho, drop me in the clinic
Eat ’em ’til the end ’til they back at the beginning
Cause I ki-ki-ki-kill it ‘til it’s flat dead
And never pass a rock like a motherfucking crackhead

Money and more money is the only shit I’m after
You can cut the fake shit
I’m not a motherfuckin’ actor
I’m on top of my green like a motherfucking tractor
You niggas you ‘bout to be bitches you bitches ’bout to be Casper


Written by Angel Haze, T. K. Kayembe • Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group

For true stories and real jump-rope rhymes in cut-paper Check Out the graphic novel: 

Girl Soda Atlas Recess Edition: “Learning the Ropes” by K. J. Legry

The Angel Haze “Battle Cry” [PARENTAL ADVISORY] ft. Sia (music video) is being posted here for NO COMMERCIAL PURPOSES.
If you are affected by any of the themes of this video, help and support is available internationally through:

Follow Angel Haze:

angel-haze-album-cover-dirty-goldMusic video by Angel Haze, Sia performing Battle Cry. (C) 2014 Angel Haze, under exclusive licence to Universal Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Ltd and Republic Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc

Angel Haze “Battle Cry” LYRICS:
Money cannot buy
All the love that’s here tonight
All the love that’s here tonight
Ooh ooh
There’s just you and I
So lift your hands toward the sky
Lift your hands toward the sky
Ooh ooh

It seems like yesterday that I was nothin’
Then all of a sudden I’m a volcanic eruption
Then all of a sudden it’s like spontaneous combustion
And I’m all up in your face yellin’, “Bitch, you can’t tell me nothin'”
‘Cause I came from the bottom, now everybody’s watchin’
I said it was my time, now I’m who everybody’s glockin’
And I’m just out here sprintin’, I’m runnin’ right through my vision
I’m trying to outrun my past, but still trying to defeat my limits
‘Cause you only get one moment in this life to be great
And you give it your all despite what it takes
And you never let ’em kill you, you take everything they give you
And throw it right fuckin’ at ’em and tell ’em it doesn’t build you
And no it don’t ever break you, and no it can’t overtake you
Life’s like a bed of roses, you take the thorns and you make do
Sometimes you have to hurt for the ’cause to be reached
But one day you’ll be stronger then all that you beat
And you can say

Money cannot buy
All the love that’s here tonight
All the love that’s here tonight
Ooh ooh
There’s just you and I
So lift your hands toward the sky
Lift your hands toward the sky
Ooh ooh

I woke up one Sunday morning, stopped believing in Jesus
Stopped believing in churches, I stopped believing in preachers
I realized I was a teacher, not just one of the heathens
I’m born to destroy the fallacies, stop creating believers
Start creating the leaders, tell ’em who they should follow
Nobody but themselves, especially if they hollow
Especially when they empty and death reserves for fulfillment
You the only person alive who holds the key to your healin’
So you take it and you run with it
And keep going even when your suns hidden
Because the time we spend in darkness when the rain comes
Is where we often find the light soon as the pain’s done
There ain’t material things in the world
That can change the fact that you feel lonely
Despite the fact that it gets hard, you take it all and you still go
Take the sun and you still grow, lose the light and you still glow
I been there, I’m still here and I know how you feel, so

Money cannot buy
All the love that’s here tonight
All the love that’s here tonight
Ooh ooh
There’s just you and I
So lift your hands toward the sky
Lift your hands toward the sky
Ooh ooh

We don’t wanna fight
So sing with me our battle cry
Sing with me our battle cry
Ooh ooh
Money cannot buy
All the love that’s here tonight
All the love that’s here tonight
Ooh ooh

It’s hard to explain my way of living to people who never lived it
A minute in my position filled with my opposition
That anybody not different fighting to stay the same
I got lives in my hands and I’m fighting to make ’em change
Couldn’t accept responsibility, find somebody to blame
The emotions that I’m harboring ’bout to drive me insane
Tried to say fuck everything, but I ain’t have the heart to
Rarely had the heart to do a lot of things I ought to
So now I spit it for people who say their cords missing
Inspire life into anybody that’s forfeiting
‘Cause it’s easy to keep pretending that there’s nothing wrong
But it’s harder to keep their head up and be fucking strong
So, now they telling me “go, Haze, they can’t stop you
Heavyweight flow, if they can’t lift you then they can’t drop you
The pinnacle, if they can’t reach you then they can’t top you
Man, they can’t do anything that you’re about to”

Money cannot buy
All the love that’s here tonight
All the love that’s here tonight
Ooh ooh
There’s just you and I
So lift your hands toward the sky
Lift your hands toward the sky
Ooh ooh

We don’t wanna fight
So sing with me our battle cry
Sing with me our battle cry
Ooh ooh
Money cannot buy
All the love that’s here tonight
All the love that’s here tonight

Written by Shaffer Smith, Jesse Wilson, Chaz Jackson, Orlando Williamson, Reynell Hay • Copyright © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, Fox Music, Inc

Angel Haze in Ruthless Baseball Attire
Angel Haze in Ruthless Baseball Attire

Erykah Badu is (a Girl Power Academy) featured Hip Hop Artist recommendation

The Erykah Badu “Love Of My Life” (An Ode To Hip Hop) ft. Common (Music Video) is being posted here for NO COMMERCIAL PURPOSES.
Music video by Erykah Badu performing Love Of My Life (An Ode To Hip Hop). (C) 2002 Geffen Records spent four weeks at number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart, and reached number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song also won a Soul Train Lady of Soul Award for Best Solo R&B/Soul Single. It additionally won a Grammy for best R&B song in 2003.
The song won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Songon the 2003 award ceremony, and was nominated for Best Urban/Alternative Performance and Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media.

Erykah Badu video still from Love Of My Life (An Ode To Hip Hop)
Erykah Badu video still from Love Of My Life (An Ode To Hip Hop)

American singer-songwriter, record producer, disc jockey, activist, and actress Erykah Badu grew up listening to ’70s soul and ’80s hip-hop, but drew more comparisons to Billie Holiday upon her breakout in 1997, after the release of her first album, Baduizm.

“I’m a touring artist, not a recording artist,” she says, and she remains a big draw throughout the world. Her concerts and other appearances, combined with her garrulous presence on social media, have helped to solidify her position as one of the country’s most revered singers: a nineties star whose early hits have aged well and whose later work is both warmer and bolder than the songs that made her famous. She has also become a touchstone for a generation of younger musicians—the cool big sister they always wanted, as well as a self-empowered sex symbol. (“My ass and legs have gotten thick,” she once sang. “Yeah, it’s all me.”)”

~for source of quotes and full article go to:

erykah-badu-1More often, though, Badu’s love life has inspired curiosity, along with jokes about her supposedly mystical power over men. During an interview on BET, she acknowledged the chatter: “There’s an urban legend that says, If you get involved with Erykah Badu, you’ll change gods, wear crocheted pants, and all this other stuff.” (“Crocheted pants” was a reference to the rapper Common, whose music and outfits grew notably more outré when he dated Badu, in the early aughts. He has admitted that she did buy him a pair of knitted trousers, but insists that the ill-fated decision to wear them for a photo shoot was his alone.) Badu once wrote a song called “Fall in Love (Your Funeral),” in which she uses the rumors to create a negative-psychology pickup line. “See, you don’t wanna fall in love with me,” she coos, while sending precisely the opposite message: of course you do.

Raven Taylor is (a Girl Power Academy) featured Poet recommendation

Raven Taylor performs “How To Survive Being A Black Girl” (Button Poetry Video)

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bell hooks is (a Girl Power Academy) featured Feminist, Activist, Author recommendation

bell hooks (New School lecture series) photo
bell hooks (New School lecture series) photo

Simply put, feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression. This was a definition of feminism I offered in Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center more than 10 years ago. It was my hope at the time that it would become a common definition everyone would use. I liked this definition because it did not imply that men were the enemy. By naming sexism as the problem it went directly to the heart of the matter. Practically, it is a definition which implies that all sexist thinking and action is the problem, whether those who perpetuate it are female or male, child or adult. It is also broad enough to include an understanding of systemic institutionalized sexism. As a definition it is open-ended. To understand feminism it implies one has to necessarily understand sexism.

bell-hooks-book-cover-1As all advocates of feminist politics know, most people do not understand sexism, or if they do, they think it is not a problem. Masses of people think that feminism is always and only about women seeking to be equal to men. And a huge majority of these folks think feminism is anti-male. Their misunderstanding of feminist politics reflects the reality that most folks learn about feminism from patriarchal mass media.”  (~quotes from bell hooks, chapter 1 ‘FEMINIST POLITICS Where We Stand’ in Feminism is for Everybody)

To Read the complete chapter or read the book Feminism is for Everybody go to:  Feminism is for Everybody by bell hooks PDF


May 11, 2016

“The issue is really one of standpoint. From what political perspective do we dream, look, create, and take action? For those of us who dare to desire differently, who seek to look away from the conventional ways of seeing blackness and ourselves, the issue of race and representation is not just a question of critiquing the status quo. It is also about transforming the image, creating alternatives, asking ourselves questions about what types of images subvert, pose critical alternatives, transform our world views and move us away from dualistic thinking about good and bad. Making a space for the transgressive image, the outlaw rebel vision, is essential to any effort to create a context for transformation. And even then little progress is made if we transform images without shifting paradigms, changing perspectives, and ways of looking.” (~ from Black Looks: Race and Representation)

To read more of bell hooks blog check out the bell hooks Institute at:

cinematographer Arthur Jafa and bell hooks New School lecture series photo
cinematographer Arthur Jafa and bell hooks New School lecture series photo

This is one of the best in the lecture series by bell hooks at the New School.  Cinematographer Arthur Jafa discusses Transgressions in Public Spaces, ‘who is looking’, and the common ground of racism and sexism with bell hooks as well as shares some of his stellar film work.


“Poetry is a useful place for lamentation…poems are a place where we can cry out.” ― bell hooks, Appalachian Elegy: Poetry and Place

“The Woman’s Mourning Song”

i cry
i cry high
this mourning song
my heart rises
sun in hand
to make the bread
i rise
my heavy work hand
the voice of many singers
the warmth of many ovens comfort
the warrior in me returns
to slay sorrow
to make the bread
to sing the mourning song
i cry high
i cry high
the mourning song
go away death
go from love’s house
go make your empty bed
by bell hooks

“sometimes falling rain
carries memories of betrayal
there in the woods
where she was not meant to be
too young she believes
in her right to be free
in her body
free from harm
believing nature
a wilderness she can enter
be solaced
believing the power
that there be sacred place
that there can be atonement now
she returns with no fear
facing the past
ready to risk
knowing these woods now
hold beauty and danger”
quote from bell hooks, Appalachian Elegy: Poetry and Place

Those who have influenced bell hooks include African-American abolitionist and feminist Sojourner Truth (whose speech Ain’t I a Woman? inspired her first major work), Brazilian educator Paulo Freire (whose perspectives on education she embraces in her theory of engaged pedagogy), Peruvian theologian and Dominican priest Gustavo Gutierrez, psychologist Erich Fromm, playwright Lorraine Hansberry, Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, African-American writer James Baldwin, Guyanese historian Walter Rodney, African-American black nationalist leader Malcolm X, and African-American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr (who addresses how the strength of love unites communities). As bell hooks says of Martin Luther King’s notion of a beloved community, “he had a profound awareness that the people involved in oppressive institutions will not change from the logics and practices of domination without engagement with those who are striving for a better way.”