Our Crowning Glory……(Feb. 11th)

Dr. Tanisha C. Ford

Excerpt from http://www.tanishacford.com/

Tanisha C. Ford, Ph.D. is an award-winning writer, intellectual, teacher, and activist. She blends her passion for fashion, performance, and women’s rights activism to create her own innovative approach to studying the social movements of the 20th and 21st centuries. The result is her brand of “Haute Couture Intellectualism.” Like the renown couturiers who spend months (even years) skillfully hand stitching elaborate gowns, Dr. Ford consciously crafts her research and teaching with a sense of social responsibility and intellectual panache!

She is invested in research and grassroots initiatives that bring the often marginalized voices of young women of color around the world to the forefront. She is currently writing a book titled Liberated Threads: Black Women and the Politics of Adornment, which uncovers how and why black women use beauty culture and fashion as a form of resistance and cultural-political expression. Her other publications have grappled with issues of race, gender and representation in popular culture, interracial marriage, and soul music in the U.S. and Britain. Her writing has been featured in diverse print and digital publications including the Journal of Southern HistoryOAH Magazine of HistoryBlack Camera, The Feminist WireVibe VixenFeministing, and New Black Man. She also worked with the London-based Remembering Olive Collective on a groundbreaking oral history project called “Do You Remember Olive Morris?”

She has been invited to give lectures and serve as a roundtable discussant at institutions including: The University of London (School for Advanced Study), University of Pennsylvania, New York University, Purdue University, Harvard Law School, and Parson’s The New School for Design (School of Fashion).

Professor Ford received a B.A. in English and African Diaspora Studies at Indiana University-Bloomington, where she was a Ronald E. McNair scholar. She holds an M.A. in Afro-American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 2009, she spent 6 months as a dissertation fellow at the University of London. In 2011, she earned a Ph.D (with highest distinction) in U.S. History at Indiana University-Bloomington. From 2011-2012, Dr. Ford was the Du Bois-Mandela-Rodney Postdoctoral Fellow in the University of Michigan’s Department of Afroamerican and African Studies. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Remembering Amiri Baraka, in his own words

Ka’Ba by Amiri Baraka

A closed window looks down
on a dirty courtyard, and Black people
call across or scream across or walk across
defying physics in the stream of their will.

Our world is full of sound
Our world is more lovely than anyone’s
tho we suffer, and kill each other
and sometimes fail to walk the air.

We are beautiful people
With African imaginations
full of masks and dances and swelling chants
with African eyes, and noses, and arms
tho we sprawl in gray chains in a place
full of winters, when what we want is sun.

We have been captured,
and we labor to make our getaway, into
the ancient image; into a new

Correspondence with ourselves
and our Black family. We need magic
now we need the spells, to raise up
return, destroy,and create. What will be

the sacred word?