Tag Archives: quotes

Just to reiterate. . .

19 Apr

I feel that for white America to understand the significance of the problem of the Negro will take a bigger and tougher America than any we have yet known. I feel that america’s past is too shallow, her national character too superficially optimistic, her very morality too suffused with color hate for her to accomplish so vast and complex a tsk, Culturally the Negro represents a paradox: Though he is an organic part of the nation, he is excluded by the entire tide and direction of American culture. Frankly, it is felt to be right to exclude him, and it is felt to be wrong to admit him freely, Therefore if, within the confines of its present culture, the nation ever seeks to purge itself of its color hate, it will find itself at war with itself, convulsed by a spasm of emotional and moral confusion. If the nation ever finds itself examining its real relation to the Negro, it will find itself doing infinitely more than that; for the anti-Negro attitude of whites represents but a tiny part–though a symbolically significant one–of the moral attitude of the nation.

Our too-young and too-new America, lusty because it is lonely, aggressive because it is afraid, insists upon seeing the world in terms of good and bad, the holy and the evil, the high and the low, the white and the black; our America is frightened of fact, of history, of processes, of necessity, It hugs the easy way of damning those whom it connot understand, of excluding those who look different, and it salves its conscience with a self-draped cloak of righteousness. Am I damning my native land? No; for I, too, share these faults of character! And I really do not think that America, adolescent and cocksure, a stranger to suffering and travail, and enemy of passion and sacrifice, is ready to prove into its most fundamental beliefs” ~ Richard Wright, BLACK BOY, 1944.

Yours Truly Makes Ms.

23 May

Spring09_MsFrontStoreImage

A few months ago my former professors at Texas Woman’s University put out a request to the list serv asking current and former WS graduates to respond to a Ms. Magazine query for their “2009 Guide To Women’s Studies.” (Side note: Kudos to Ms. for featuring women of color on the front page of their latest virtual issue on Women’s Studies programs and degrees.  Unfortunately, the canon of WS is still largely seen as a white feminist phenomenon).

In any event, I had to come up with a “where are you now?” type of passage (in 50 words or less).  The challenge, obviously, was coming up with a descriptive yet pity comment about how obtaining a M.A. degree made an impact on my personal and professional life.  I didn’t have to think too hard; earning a M.A. degree in WS actually did change my life.  After a night mulling over some sentiments, I came up with what I felt accurately described my thoughts about earning an arguably marginalized degree – the “journey metaphor” happened to work best.  After a few email correspondences and revisions with the Ms. editors, my passage finally made it to print.

Here it is:

“Most of my life I’ve journeyed to gain perspective. Only after completing a graduate degree in women’s studies did I realize my journey has a purpose. Currently, I work for Brave New Films as a political communications associate. I’m also an online content writer for YouthNoise.com. Both organizations’ missions emphasize social justice in the new media age.
—TARA L. CONLEY, M.A. IN WOMEN’S STUDIES
(TEXAS WOMAN’S UNIVERSITY, 2008)

And there you have it: My subtle, yet pretty damn cool, entrance into the mainstream is through a feminist medium.

And I wouldn’t want it any other way.

When I responded, I was still working full-time for Brave New Films at the time.  As you know, I’ve since left BNF to move on to new ventures.  As of June 1, 2009 I will be the new Associate Editor for Hiplolitics.com.  Hipolitics, or “Hips” for sort, is a new virtual magazine and social networking space that offers users much more than mindless gossip or inarticulate and unqualified analysis, Hips will be the quintessential source for all things political and progressive from a Hip-Hop head’s perspective.  Hips will cover U.S./global politics and the enigma that is Hip-Hop.  Think: CNN meets MTV, but with consciousness.  Hips launches this summer.

I’m looking forward to meeting and interviewing some amazing and provacative people.  So definitely stick around because 2009 is going to be an awesome year.