AAPF Takes Europe, Intersectionality in the Media and new podcast episode!
Executive Director Kimberlé Crenshaw was the subject of an expansive profile in Vox this week on the origins of intersectionality and its growing popularity, the concomitant rightwing backlash to the concept and Professor Crenshaw's analysis of this backlash. The profile reframes intersectionality in its Black feminist and Critical Race Theory legacy and away from the cultural wars it has seemingly been embroiled in.
Read the profile here.
In addition, these past few weeks have been a whirlwind period of activities for AAPF as we traveled to Edinburgh and then London, executing a series of informative, energizing and well-attended events celebrating 30 Years of Intersectionality. Our first stop was in Scotland where Kimberlé Crenshaw delivered the PIR Distinguished Scholar Series Annual Lecture at the University of Edinburgh. The lecture, entitled "30 Years of Theorizing Justice: Intersectionality, Critical Race Theory and Contemporary Challenges" was given to an enthusiastic crowd (pictured in the selfie below). Her address was closed with the powerful clarion call words of the late Vicky Coles-Mcadory, Aunty-momma of India Beaty, a Black women killed by the police in 2015.
"My biggest fear would be not to march, my fear would be realizing I didn’t put my all into something that’s right, something that we was born into a right of having. How could I not? How could I not?”
We then made our way down to London for Mythbusting Intersectionality UK a provocative panel discussion held at the University of Westminster where the esteemed panel combatted common myths about intersectionality and spoke of their own everyday intersectionality. This was followed by the culmination of Crenshaw's tenure as the Centennial Professor at the LSE Gender Institute with a conference celebrating Intersectionality at 30, where she gave the closing address. The final event was held at the Shaw Library at the LSE Law Department where Kimberlé Crenshaw was in conversation with Luke Harris and George Lipsitz about their new book, Seeing Race Again: Countering Colorblindness across the Disciplines.
As Phyll Opoku-Gyimah said at Mythbusting Intersectionality UK, which was emblematic of the generative connections we made during our time in the UK, " I have really started to present intersectionality as not only healing, but also the strength and resilience that we gather from it. And so it's all about reinventing and re-freeing ourselves. And creating spaces where this is possible."
As part of this programming, Kimberlé Crenshaw was part of a podcast episode with BBC Women's Hour where she and Executive Director of UK Black Pride Phyll Opoku-Gyimah discussed the urgency of intersectionality as it pertains to understanding the ways in which race, gender, heterosexism interact to create particular injuries. Listen to that episode here from the 34:10 mark:
Kimberlé Crenshaw has a new column in The New Republic called the 'Intersectionist' where she will be writing on race, gender and politics from an intersectional perspective. Her first essay is on how racial violence destroyed the first Reconstruction and how the rise in racial violence now threatens what is left of the Civil Rights Movement, the Second Reconstruction. Read more here:
For social media highlights, be sure to visit our Twitter Moment here
Start your week off right with this enlightening new edition of Intersectionality Matters with Kimberlé Crenshaw!, The Anatomy of an Apology: How Himpathy and Hubris Undermine Accountability.
In this episode of Intersectionality Matters, host Kimberlé Crenshaw (@sandylocks) talks to Tony award-winning playwright and activist Eve Ensler about her groundbreaking new book The Apology and how the withholding that is the touchstone of the inviolable code of silence among men can be broken. Ensler discusses the journey she traveled to conjure the apology she needed from her long-dead father for sexual and physical abuse.
We also hear from philosopher Kate Manne (@kate_manne) on himpathy, the term she coined to describe the disproportionate and inappropriate sympathy powerful men often receive in cases of sexual assault and other forms of gendered violence. Himpathy, she explains, may help us understand how some women who stood by Anita Hill are now embracing Joe Biden’s candidacy despite his failure to fully come to terms with his role in in her heinous treatment during Clarence Thomas’s senate confirmation hearings in 1991.
If he hopes to resolve lingering questions about his leadership, Biden will need to show fulsome and substantive accountability for the part he played in facilitating a process that portrays women--African-American women--as conniving bottom-feeders. As Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1991, he authorized conditions that made the humiliation and pathologization of Hill possible. Some of these failures include his refusal to call the multiple existing witnesses to corroborate Hill’s testimony, the decision to offer Justice Thomas the ability to testify both before and after Hill, his own aggressive and accusatory line of questioning of Hill and his public insistence that Justice Thomas’s character was beyond reproach.
Our host reflects on the inadequacy of Biden’s apology to Hill, and why Biden owes it to African American women to actually articulate why this happened, to pinpoint the cultural and institutional conditions that made it possible, and to provide an account of how he could have been a better leader and why we should trust that he can serve as a more effective leader now.
Tune in for a thought-provoking exploration of what it could mean for perpetrators and bystanders to genuinely confront and atone for violence they’ve either committed or enabled.
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The AAPF Team