Arts & Culture

For Harriet’s Kimberly Foster and Dr. Brittney Cooper in conversation: What happens to Black women and girls in a world without police?

19 June 2020
Online | Free

Kimberly and Brittney have a candid conversation about the erasure of black women and girls from mainstream discourse on state violence, police reform and calls to defund policing.

Topics explored:

  • Why Breonna Taylor’s death has gotten less attention than George Floyd’s
  • Backlash for fighting for Black women and girls
  • When will Black women be more than an afterthought?
  • Erasure is hurtful
  • Performative woke-ness
  • BlackWomenStayHome hashtag
  • What is state violence?
  • Including Trans and Non-binary people into our movements
  • Are Black women’s needs being left behind in social justice work?
  • What happens to Black women and girls if we get rid of the police?
  • Dr. Cooper’s book Beyond Respectability
  • What we need from white women right now?
  • “I am not my ancestors” is dumb

Listen and watch here

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Kimberly Foster is a writer, cultural critic and founder and editor-in-chief of For Harriet, a multi-platform digital community for Black women, and Black Girls Gather, a national live event series.

Founded in 2010, For Harriet is a leading voice for Black women’s journalism and storytelling. Kimberly began For Harriet while she was an undergraduate at Harvard University. The site has been featured in the New York Times, ESSENCE, and Forbes and Huffington Post. Kimberly has written for The Guardian, Newsweek, Quartz, and Fortune, and appeared on OWN, Huffpost Live, NPR, MSNBC, BET.com, and many local radio stations across the country commenting on culture and current events. video commentaries on current events and feminism have been viewed millions of times. In 2016, she was named to Forbes Magazine’s 30 under 30 list. In 2017 ESSENCE named her one of 50 founders to watch. In 2019, her video appeared on OWN’s “Black Women OWN the Conversation.” She has also been recognised by Teen Vogue and Huffington Post. Kimberly has been invited to give talks at dozens of universities across the country including keynotes at Cornell University, Boston College, and Emory University. She holds a degree in African American Studies.

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Dr. Cooper  is co-editor of The Crunk Feminist Collection (The Feminist Press 2017). She is author of Beyond Respectability: The Intellectual Thought of Race Women (University of Illinois Press, May 2017) and Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower (St. Martin’s, February 2018).  In particular, this work interrogates the manner in which public Black women have theorised racial identity and gender politics, and the methods they used to operationalise those theories for the uplift of Black communities. Along with work on black female public intellectuals, Dr. Cooper studies Black women’s organisations as sites for the production of intellectual thought.

Using Black feminist thought to understand contemporary articulations of Black womanhood is Dr. Cooper’s other major research area. She has published several book chapters and articles on representations of Black women in popular culture, including a piece on the representation of the “baby-mama” figure in Hip Hop music and film, the feminist implications of Janet Jackson’s 2004 Super Bowl mishap, and the importance of Michelle Obama in the tradition of Black female leadership.

Dr. Cooper is co-founder along with Dr. Susana Morris of the Crunk Feminist Collective, a feminist of colour scholar-activist group that runs a highly successful blog. The Collective also does speaking tours, conducts workshops, and engages in a range of activist causes related to women’s issues. Professor Cooper blogs for the CFC as “Crunktastic.”

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