In Elle, Melissa Harris-Perry “sent out a call of [her] own to writers and thinkers who center black women and girls in their work.” She says: “It is no secret that I am a platinum member of the Beyhive….But this is not just another music video. It is not just another Beyoncé video. Something different happened here, didn’t it?” The responses to MHP’s call are brilliant.
In Rolling Stone, Brittany Spanos wrote about Beyoncé’s reclamation of rock’s black female legacy: “Beyoncé’s choice to not only work with [Jack] White, a forerunner of the movement to bring back blues-rock in the new millennium, as well as sample Led Zeppelin’s “When the Levee Breaks,” which was itself a reworked version of a song by black Delta blues artists Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie, is a shrewd statement on the genre’s complex lineage. She re-appropriates a hard-rock version of a blues classic that gained more traction and recognition than the original, while teaming up with the new standard bearer for the intermingling of blues and rock.”
At Literary Hub, Juliane Okot Bitek wrote about her connection to the work of Warsan Shire, whose poetry features prominently in Lemonade: “Shire’s poems are provocative, often biting, but maintain a gentleness that carries the poem through to the end. A dying grandfather who remembers the names of every man he has ever killed will still wrench out your heart when he wants to be buried at home. Warsan reads like a fierce sister, one with whom you can share in the frailties of your family, beginning with your parents, and the grandparents who used to be as young as you are now.”
Jonathan Hobratsch interviewed poet Emily Skillings for the Huffington Post: “I don’t think traits make a great poet. I don’t know what makes a great poet. I think we’ve leaned away from preoccupations with greatness and this is a relief to me. I often become obsessed with things that are marked by what one might call ‘badness,’ that are sloppy or excessive or loud—art with leaks.”
In Bitch, Soleil Ho explored the most recent iteration of The Jungle Book‘s complicated relationship with imperialism: “Set against a climate of widespread social activism centered around ending imperialism, patriarchy, and white supremacy, The Jungle Book seems to be a reactionary work dressed up in vaudevillian whimsy.”
In The Atlantic, Megan Garber brings us mensesplaining: “the dynamics of mansplaining (men explaining things to women, usually extremely unnecessarily), reversed. Women enlightening men about something (most) guys will never experience themselves.”
Writer Jenny Diski, whose last book was an account of her life since her inoperable cancer diagnosis in 2014, has died. Her memoir, In Gratitude, was published a week before her death.
I guess Trump said another dumb thing, but Twitter’s response almost makes me happy he did:
In the Washington Post, Alexandra Petri enumerates the benefits of playing the “Woman Card.” For instance: “The Woman Card is not, itself, a form of birth control (no matter what Todd Akin suggests) but it can prevent you from getting coverage for yours.” Or: “Use the Woman Card at the library to get a book with squiggly pastel handwriting on the cover that Gay Talese will not take seriously.”
Oh cool, the New York Times is facing another discrimination lawsuit. Surprise, surprise.
What did we miss this week? Let us know in the comments! <3