A Sista’s Got To Work It Out
I’m inspired by Dr. Kyra Gaunt to regularly blog about my work, research, and interests. Afterall, this stuff can’t just live up inside of my head and it’s a welcome break from all of the heavy academic reading and writing I do daily. Now at the end of my third term as a doctoral student, I am really narrowing down my ideas. Luckily, my interests have not changed since beginning my program, but they have grown. I’ve sometimes sat with this notion that I must drill deep into one idea and flesh it out, but I can’t. I won’t. My interests are all connected, not just in the academy, but in the everyday, the practical, that praxis that so man of us want to engage in. At least I am certain that my end-goal is to be a community accountable scholar in many of the ways that Dr. Alexis Pauline Gumbs expresses it, particularly:
I also intend that when you finish graduate school you are not grabbing for crumbs based on what academic institution wants to hire and tokenize and overwork an under-represented person with your specialties, but rather that you will be able to choose to continue your passionate inquiry on your own terms in ways that prioritize and support strategies of power for the communities you love.
My overall interest is the health, wholeness and liberation of Black women and girls–for us and by us. But within that, I’m fascinated by artistic production, Afrofuturism, Afrosurrealism, historical grief, inter-generational trauma, post-colonial Afro-Francophone culture(s), Gullah/Geechee culture, Black women’s pleasure and the politics of it, and African/Black religions and spirituality. Whew, I know!
What have had to recognize is that there is life after my dissertation and that I have the capability to produce amazing work in this next phase of my life. But best believe, I will somehow integrate all of this (even if in tiny morsels) into my graduate work and am looking forward to the years afterward where I get to do more of it. Please know, I am not saying I will blog every week, but I will be using this space to work on some issues, confront some ideas, and pull my work together. I am grateful to have so many Black woman academics, artists, and cultural organizers to look up to, share with, and learn from.