Get Crunk! Two Years and Counting!

10 Apr

Picture of Round Cake with Icing that says "Celebrating 1 year CFC"

 

http://www.ustream.tv/embed/recorded/21662874
Video streaming by Ustream

I’m in a reflective space after the Black Thought 2.0 Conference at Duke. I want to begin by thanking the conference organizers for inviting me to be on this panel. It felt good to be recognized as a junior scholar for my work and contribution to a growing network of black thinkers concerned with the digital. I’d also like to thank the often unnamed people of color who make campuses run, the people who maintain the buildings, who cleaned up after we left, who built this building, the indigenous and black people whose lives and land was taken for us to be at Duke last weekend. Even as we move through the settler colonial United States we can remember that’s what we are doing. Ashe.

Like the crunk music it references, the Crunk Feminist Collective has a multilayered herstory. From our archive:

In 2004 while Brittney Cooper and Susana Morris were students at Emory University, they were part of an informal group of women of color feminists who routinely convened with one another for fellowship, commiseration and strategizing about how to be successful in grad school. They began to refer to themselves affectionately as the Crunk Feminist Collective, in part influenced by the Southern musical ethos of Atlanta, but also by their absolute willingness to “get crunk” or to deploy crunkness as a form of resistance to the racist, sexist, and heterosexist assaults that they routinely experienced. Revived in 2010, the CFC aims to articulate a crunk feminist consciousness for people of color, who came of age in the Hip Hop Generation, by creating a community of scholar-activists from varied professions, who share intellectual work in online blog communities, at conferences, through activist organizations, print publications, and who share a commitment to nurturing and sustaining one another through progressive feminist visions. Crunk Feminism is the animating principle of our collective work together and derives from our commitment to feminist principles and politics, and also from our unapologetic embrace of those new cultural resources and tools, that offer the potential for resistance.

As the kids say, “we ratchet” particularly in the service of creating a more equitable world.

In just over two years, the Crunk Feminists Collective has produced more than 250 blog posts, gotten over a million hits on our webpage, and been used in classrooms across the country.  We’ve talked about many of the problems facing our communities and what tools can be used to address them. We’ve called folks out and also offered means of accountability. Like our name, we embody the both/and, the slash of people of color intersectionality.  We do all this in two blogs a week, tweets, tumbles and status updates. We are building digital networks of community with shared words and conversations. Get Crunk!

The Crunk Feminist Collective is a Labor of Love

We labor because we love. We put in extra hours because we care about who is able to read our work. We care about shifting conversations in mainstream media from what did Trayvon Martin do to why Trayvon needs to be an innocent victim for a crime to have been committed. Why do dead black men mobilize communities in ways that dead black cis and trans women do not?  And what sort of accountability do we have as a society for perpetuating the racism that ended Trayvon’s life?

We take risks. We put our sex lives on the table, lay our politics bare. And in doing so we remind ourselves, that part of the work is the self. We often do pieces on self care and though not always well received by our audience, they reflect our intention to document and share how we take care of ourselves and each other. Behind the scenes we have emergency dissertation phone calls, we prescribe rest and cake, we send each other care packages, we show up for each other. This work is the least visible but some of the most important because it’s what sustains us in the hard times.

We don’t get paid to do this work. We write pieces that many of our departments, present and future, won’t count as publications. We write as we finish dissertations, book contracts, tenure files, work full time jobs and raise the next generation of crunk feminists. We are at once lauded for what we produce but reminded that it is not rigorous enough to be real scholarship. We get recognized and linked and shouted out by journalists who do get paid.

We’ve been told that people use our work in their classes, workshops, and events regularly. This is awesome. If you have used our work in your classes, think of inviting us to speak at your campus. If our tumblr or twitter feed has brought something to your attention that you didn’t know about, let people know where it came from. If you are connected to a journal, talk to us about developing pieces for publication. Let’s continue to grow what’s possible, through spreading the word and spreading the love!

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10 Responses to “Get Crunk! Two Years and Counting!”

  1. LC April 10, 2012 at 6:51 AM #

    Congrats CFC! I don’t get a chance to comment as often as I would like but I absolutely love this blog. As an undergraduate, I majored in Women’s Studies and found myself needing to “get crunk” on a fairy regular basis. Although I am no longer in the classroom and my work is not as connected to my schooling as I would sometimes like, visiting this blog makes me feel as if I am still living, learning, and part of an awe-inspiring community of kick ass feminist who “get me.” Keep it up. This blog gives me LIFE!

  2. KJde April 10, 2012 at 8:02 AM #

    Congrats CFC! Professor Sassy, you have been crunk for a long time before this (MacG 99)! I am so proud you and this collective!

  3. Mendi April 10, 2012 at 8:11 AM #

    Congratulations!

    • eeshap April 10, 2012 at 8:59 AM #

      I love being a part of this community. Moya, thanks for taking the moment to offer this, it is a perfect assessment of our progress and prospects. Sending you a big cyber-hug!

  4. natasiarose April 12, 2012 at 11:58 AM #

    Happy two year anniversary! :) Keep up the great work

  5. f. April 12, 2012 at 2:01 PM #

    You are amazing and inspiring! Happy 2 year anniversary, and I hope to be reading your great work for many years to come.

  6. itzadundeal April 12, 2012 at 5:12 PM #

    Happy Born Day! Here’s to many more CRUNK Feminist-ness from the CRUNKhood :=) #IAMTRAYVONMARTIN #NOJUSTICENOPEACE #KNOWJUSTICEKNOWPEACE

  7. King David April 12, 2012 at 8:56 PM #

    This is a wonderful post! Thanks for sharing

  8. Martha April 12, 2012 at 10:21 PM #

    I only recently discovered CFC, and I just want to thank you all so much for what you do! I’ve always considered myself a pretty aware person, but this blog has taught me to critically consider the meaning of race in today’s society in a way that I never had before. I grew up in the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona, where too many of us never really realized that race is an issue because almost everyone was white in our part of town. Until I discovered this blog, I had no understanding of the lived black experience and the educated feminist perspective. Thank you!

  9. Phil April 13, 2012 at 4:57 AM #

    Sis. Thank you for sharing, and for your respect, to the shoulders of the giants, common and otherwise, upon which we stand… (would that they could see such as graces our sight.. would they be pleased?)
    your narrative is not mine, neither do i always share your view… but always, thankful for you voice.
    walk safe.

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