In Sista Talk Too, Rochelle Brock brings meaningful new material which evokes and updates her past examination of Black women in today’s culture. The first Sista Talk: The Personal and the Pedagogical is an inquiry into the questions of how Black women define their existence in a society which devalues, dehumanizes, and silences their beliefs. Placing herself inside of the research, Rochelle Brock invited the reader on a journey of self-exploration, as she and seven of her Black female students investigate their collective journey toward self-awareness in the attempt to liberate their minds and souls from ideological domination. Throughout, Sista Talk attempted to understand the ways in which this self-exploration informs her pedagogy. Combining Black feminist and Afrocentric theory with critical pedagogy, Sista Talk Too frames the parameters for an Afrowomanist pedagogy of wholeness for teaching Black students and strength in dealing with an unpredictable and often unstable view of the future. Rochelle Brock brings us something to be remembered by, chapters and writings from students and colleagues to help us survive and thrive in this world…all in the spirit of love, life, and Oshun.
Prologue: Crossing the Bridge with Lessons I’ve Learned
Crossing the Bridge with Lessons I’ve Learned
Friends, family, mentors, and enemies constantly accuse me of being an angry Black woman. How do I answer them without becoming even angrier? What words should I string together to make them understand that simply being aware of the historical devaluation of Black women brings anger? Without preaching or sermonizing, how can I tell them that once a Black feminist consciousness is developed a woman has no choice but to see the pain of her sisters and feel her own pain? How do I make them see that even by calling me (and other aware Black women) angry they are accepting the dominant stereotypes of us as aggressive, emasculating bitches? How can I answer any of these questions when all I want to say is, “You will never understand, so get the hell out of my paradigm!”
In her article “Anger in Isolation,” Michelle Wallace states, “Being a black woman means frequent bouts of impotent rage” (1995, p. 225). This has become one of my favorite quotes because for me (and others), the rage can often be all encompassing and difficult to work through, with no visible way out. The impotency derives from being just plain “dog tired” of trying to find and maintain a sense of self when people are attempting to take us out of ourselves. I see this in myself and in my young Black female students as they struggle to find a...
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