We All We Got: Lily Allen, Nelly and Black Feminism

This morning, I came to the realization my black feminism can be summarized in a short four word phrase: we all we got. Y’all, I’m tired. Tired of trying to push my way into white feminism to forge some semblance of solidaritybecause to white feminism, black women only exist when they need to make a point.

I also sick of trying to justify my black feminism to black men and making accommodations for them while I’m not granted the same courtesy. Black men seemingly can’t fathom the idea that their maleness affects how they treat black women and when we call them on it, they swear we’re betraying the community.

As a black woman, I’m constantly asked to choose between my gender and my race. I’ve always refused to choose either one but my mind has changed. I choose both. I choose my black womaness. In this world,  such a declaration would be considered revolutionary to some because black women are constantly pressured to prioritize the community and issues affecting black men. My priorities begin with myself and my sisters. That doesn’t mean I am no longer pro-black or won’t stand in solidarity with non-black women but the interests of black women come first in my writings and community work.

By now,  I’m sure there are people reading this with their panties in a wad despite the sentence that preceeded this one. In the past, that might have stopped me from writing this article but at this point, hurt feelings aren’t my issue. The same people that might be offended by this article would probably justify Nelly’s grudge with Spelman College or argue for Lily Allen using a bevy of black ass and bodies to make a point. Why should I check for movements or people that ain’t checking for me?

Nelly and Lily Allen are only two examples out of several.  Sisters, as I said in the beginning,  we all we got. Let’s cherish and fight for each other. If we inspire others to help us, cool, but I’m not holding my breath.

Everyone else, if you made it to the bottom of this article congratulations.You don’t have to agree with me but I hope I gave you something to think about. Here’s a bit of reading material:

Ridin’ and Dyin’: An Open Letter to African-American Men

Dear Peggy Noland, About That Naked Oprah Dress… NO MA’AM!

Guest Post: “An Open Letter to Nelly”


Omarosa Was Right: White Women’s Rights and the Limits of Sisterhood

Russell, You Let Harriet Tubman Down


5 thoughts on “We All We Got: Lily Allen, Nelly and Black Feminism

  1. blackmediawatcher says:

    Be careful not to mistake “Black Men” with “Black Entertainers” especially when the entertainers are micromanaged by corporations that want to pandered to the lowest common denominator.
    I know when I see low class Black women twerking, fighting, sexing, and stealing I don’t point at it and go “See Brothers! See how Black Women have forgotten themselves!”. When I see Basketball Wives and all the other forms of media that depict black women in stereotypical roles, I don’t run on a blog and write about how I am a morally sanctified island amidst an ocean full of harpies. The reason I don’t do that is because it alienates a lot of good black women who by their very nature aren’t in the spotlight as much as the bad ones.
    Many black men agree with the work Black Feminism does but at times it feels like the movement itself seems to want to sensationalize certain things just to promote their message. I argue citing Nelly’s Tip Drill in 2013 as an example of why #blackpowerisforblackmen is sensationalism because frankly that is a dead horse that has been beaten over and over again.
    That video only panders to certain niche of men and all the females in the video was consenting adults. Wheres all the outrage at the women who took part in that degrading act? Where are all the articles on the women who will continue to do these acts and how black feminism plans to do something about it? Is it fair to have all the empathy in the world for females that did unscrupulous things while we hold the males accountable for everything?
    I don’t agree with Nelly’s video and I applaud Spelman for their protest of him however in the case of Black Feminism, “Why should I check for movements or people that ain’t checking for me?”.

    • Ashleigh L.A. says:

      If I had a dollar for every time I heard this argument, I could pay off my student loans. As I said in the blog, I’m not discounting all black men and if I nitpicked everything black men did, I would have written way more. I take care not to dump on black men because y’all get dumped on too much as it is. However, I’m not going to keep holding my tongue as a PR move for the black community. I have no problem criticizing anyone be it black women, queer people or anyone else. I’m equal opportunity. All of that said, you’ve definitely given me a lot to think about and potentially blog about and I thank you for that even if we disagree.

      • blackmediawatcher says:

        I’m glad I gave you another potental blog idea. I’m eager to read it when it comes out. I’m sure my grievance is a common one after all you clearly stated that your sick of trying to justify your black feminism to black men and making accommodation to us and maybe I missed where you did all that by judging you solely off of one article. I’m just one person using his “tongue” same as you but I’m not as invested in black feminism as you are (For one I am a man).
        I imagine you been identitifing as one for a while which is much different than me who only recently noticed the movement and reading material around a year ago. I know I can not magically make you stop “attacking black men” and I don’t believe you are but I do think your article paints all black men with the same brush regardless of your intentions. This article, not you, just this article…. and thats mainly because you made no comment or reference to the existence of any good black men which made it look like a condemnation of the whole gender which is basically the same as creating a monolith out of black men.
        You seem to understand that we got enough people dumping on us and I think you do appreciate me taking the time to say how I feel your article.

  2. K.Nicole Williams (@Kenesha_W) says:

    I am not going to dump on black men as a whole, I know that there are good ones. I will say however that it’s not just black male entertainers that aren’t checking for black women or are movements. This can be shown on twitter, comments sections of websites, bars, clubs, classrooms, offices, and the street. For example black male street harassment in which men think that women should be grateful that we’re being harassed. That’s just one instance of many.


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