Saturday, October 08, 2005

Belaboring Beyoncé for Naught

Gawker.com, the irreverent daily obsession of Manhattan media types, gets a little ridiculous in their sendup of Beyoncé's cover interview in the new Vanity Fair.

To her credit, unlike some blabbermouth celebrities who claim to want privacy, Beyoncé is still private about her personal life. But she does explain how she has "grown up" and doesn't have a problem going from songs like “Independent Women” to “Cater 2 U,” where she sings about bringing her man his slippers and, my favorite part, brushing his hair and putting his doo-rag on.

Gawker's response?

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and Alice Paul just collectively pooed in their graves.

Well, I say let them "poo." While Stanton, Mott and Paul deserve credit for the work they did for the benefit of white women in the sufferage movement, there is a black mark (no pun intended) on their record. Their group, the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) opposed sufferage for black women and excluded black women from their membership. NAWSA got support from Southern white women by claiming that the white woman's vote would maintain white supremacy in the South. When it became clear that NAWSA did not support all women, The National Association of Colored Women (NACW), was formed by black women leaders including the venerable Mary Church Terrell in 1896.

So in reality, Stanton, Mott and Paul would not have cared about Beyoncé "catering to her man". They would have been more concerned about how Beyoncé scrubbed their floors or how fast her man was toting that barge and lifting that bale -- let's not get it twisted.

Black women like Mary Church Terrell and Ida B. Wells-Barnett fought for the sufferage of black women so Beyoncé and the rest of us could be all that we were meant to be without limitation.

Beyoncé, go and brush your shoulders off!

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Carolyn said...

Excellent historical correction. I hope that you educate Gawker by sending your post or a link to it!

October 25, 2005 at 12:37 PM  

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