MHP’s Black Feminism Syllabus For Writer Who Called Mrs. Obama A “Feminist Nightmare.”

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A couple of weeks ago, we told you about Politico writer, Michelle Cottle, who called First Lady, Michelle Obama “a feminist nightmare.” Essentially, she said that despite Mrs. Obama’s Ivy League education, she has chosen not to speak about hard-hitting issues but instead has taken on causes like healthy eating, staying active, education and being a mom-in-chief to her daughters. And Cottle was disappointed in her for that. Of course she’s entitled to her feelings but she was wrong as rain and several people let Politico know that this wasn’t cool.

Most notably, Melissa Harris Perry addressed the article on her show on MSNBC. In one of her now famous open letters, she told Ms. Cottle that taking on the issue of childhood obesity is not “fluff.” She continued that Michelle Obama exercising her choice as a woman to be a mom-in-chief to her own daughters is also rejecting the stereotype of Mammy so often thrust upon black women. And Harris-Perry ended the letter by offering Cottle a syllabus on black women and our feminism.

Reading the letter initially, I thought Harris-Perry was being sarcastic about providing an actual syllabus. But whether it was the demand for an actual list from others or if she really wanted to school Cottle, she did provide what’s now being called “The Black Feminism Syllabus.”

The list includes works like:

  • bell hooks’ Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism
  • Patricia Hill Collins’ Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment
  • Harris Perry’s own Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes and Black Women In America
  • Audre Lorde’s Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches 

You can read the full list of works on the Black Feminism Syllabus here.

Definitely some pieces you should add to the reading list when you get a chance. After reading Harris-Perry’s list, are there other books you feel belong on this syllabus? Feel free to share them in the comments section.

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