Read This Week
This is my 79th Read This Week feature where each week I share the best articles, essays, Storify and/or journal articles/papers that I read in the previous week, which you may be interested in based on your interest in Gradient Lair.
Lupita Nyong’o and the Evolving Paradox of Black Femininity by @habeshafemme on Youngist is a remarkable essay. Exquisite. She writes about Lupita’s femininity breaking down the misogynoiristic, cissexist and colourist stereotypes of Black women but also notes how privilege impacts Lupita’s reception, something I myself have discussed a few times on Twitter. She also mentioned envisioning Black women’s womanhood even outside of the public/celeb gaze. Just powerful writing here.
12 Years A Slave: Black Women Suffered Uniquely During The Slave Trade by @tokenbg on Writers of Colour is a great review written beautifully and really underscores the unique and shared experiences of enslaved Black women and all enslaved Black people. I like how he discusses the film contextually and aesthetically. As I’ve mentioned several times, I only chat the film offline; while I don’t chat the film online—I’ve not been in a responsible enough space to do so—I do read reviews and this is one of the good ones. Unlike him though, I do think the film is great, not just good.
10 Trans Actors Who Could Have Played Jared Leto’s Role in ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ by @mhknott on IndieWire is really important. Jared did not even thank trans women for his win in a role that a cis man really shouldn’t have played. This article points out alternatives as there ARE trans women who act and the text before the list is important: "The concept of ‘passing’ betrays a corrosive misunderstanding that being transgender is in some sense a performance as opposed to a reality. By casting a well-known cis actor in a trans role, it makes it all about the performance."
Does That Make Me Crazy? Living With Bipolar II by @Basseyworld on XOJane is a great essay and important read, at least for me; I am truly sick and tired of the mental health needs and experiences of Black people being ignored as disabilities and MH issues are painted as “White” and as Whites regularly attempt to dominate all discourse on it. Here a Black woman describes her experiences with eloquence and passion and it’s honest and difficult.
Whitewashing Reproductive Rights: How Black Activists Get Erased by @RBraceySherman on Salon is great. It unravels the myths of Black people being inherently anti-choice and provides historical perspective on pro-choice politics in the context of Black bodies in White supremacy. Important read.
100 LGBTQ Black Women You Should Know: The Epic Black History Month Megapost by @Autostraddle is definitely something to permanently bookmark. So many legends and important Black women that you’ll know and maybe some you don’t. Must read and save!
Stay tuned for next week’s suggestions!