Rad Reading: "Black Feminist Roundtable on bell hooks, Beyonce, and "moving beyond pain""

by Abaki Beck

Text: Black Feminist Roundtable on bell hooks, Beyonce, and "moving beyond pain"

Author: Various black feminist commentators of different genders

Quote to Highlight: "Feminism cannot save us from pain. Love cannot save us from pain...Still untold are the stories of how many of these girls and women are also inflicting pain–because we are human. We also make choices that hurt and harm our beloveds – even when we are feminists.  Patriarchy is evil and must be dismantled. Intimacy can painful, but must be embraced."  - Melissa Harris-Perry

Quick Summary: This roundtable asks several black feminists to respond to bell hooks' critique of Beyonce's recent visual album Lemonade (read hooks' here). Common themes in this roundtable include: the idea that hooks assumption that femininity is automatically "sexual" or "a commodity" is dangerous; their admiration for Beyonce's honest discussion of intimacy, pain, and love; and her affirmation of black female beauty and community. Many also discuss Beyonce's use of anger and anguish in some of the songs, which hooks argues promotes and glorifies violence by women against men.  

File it under: Black womanhood, woman of color feminisms, black feminist critique, media representations

Type of text: Roundtable interview/discussion with several different voices


POC Online Classroom strives to make readings and resources that celebrate the intellectual tradition and knowledge production of marginalized communities more accessible. Rad Reading is a new series that highlight texts to read and writers to support! We will post every Tuesday and Thursday.