Episode 38: Feminist AF: Feminism & Black Community with Chanel Craft Tanner
They say “the future is female” – but how do we ensure that statement becomes our reality? How do we take the necessary steps to abolish patriarchy and the racism that comes with it?
Answer: We must bring feminism and Black community into the daily lives of ourselves and our children.
Chanel Craft Tanner is a mother of two and the Director of the Center for Women at Emory University. As Director, she focuses on creating programs, events, and learning opportunities that recognize and redress historic and persistent gender inequity at Emory and beyond. She’s also a member of the Crunk Feminist Collective, a community of authors, activists, and educators who recently published Feminist AF: A Guide to Crushing Girlhood.
Chanel is passionate about class oppression, prison abolition, and Black feminism. In this episode, we come together to talk about the significance of feminism and Black community, as well as why we need to be teaching our children about feminism.
As Black mothers, we need to center Black girls’ safety and liberation. To do that effectively, we need to immerse ourselves in communities of only women and have conversations about feminism and what it means to be a powerful Black woman.
So I bet you’re wondering… How do I talk about feminism to my children?
Chanel’s Tips for Introducing Feminism Into Your Home:
- Make sure it’s age-appropriate. When your girls are little, it’s about empowerment and “girls rule!” When your boys are little, it can be more difficult, but it’s still about empowerment and allowing them to be the kind of boy they want to be. Observe and encourage them to express their emotions in healthy ways. When your kids grow older, you can start sharing the more nitty-gritty details of feminism.
- For boys: Fill up their toolbox with tools that will help them build an authentic manhood for themselves. Expand their definition of manhood and include all types of masculinity and sexuality.
- For girls: Integrate images/videos and initiate conversations about successful females in history. Focus on building up their confidence and highlighting black excellence.
Black women have been preaching about feminism since the beginning of time. We’re no strangers to black female empowerment, advocating for our rights, and speaking out about the issues we face, especially oppression and domestic violence. But this movement really becomes a force to be reckoned with when we come together in community.
“It’s our lives that are on the line. We are dying out here and so we do it to save our lives and to save the lives of our literal sisters, mothers, aunties, [and] best friends. When those acts of domestic violence happen, that’s happening to a black woman who is connected to other black women and we don’t just organize the funerals… We are here and some of us have the energy and the strength to also try to organize and create marches and walks and GoFundMe’s, even,” Chanel says.
Why read the book, Feminist AF? (& Where to buy it)
Using intersectional feminist frameworks, Feminist AF helps young feminists grapple with friendships, bodies, family dynamics, emotional health, pop culture, dating, sex, sexism, racism, homophobia, classism, and xenophobia. Taking the position of a “fly big sister” or “cool Auntie,” the authors candidly reflect on their experiences growing up as Black girls as well as conversations they’ve had with each other and the young people in their lives. The book is filled with quotes from feminists they love, playlists, movie lists, book lists, and exercises to help girls dig in and figure out where they stand.
Give it as a gift, keep it in the house for your kids to read (ages 12+), or read it for yourself to gain insights into raising dope, feminist kids!
Ready to become FEMINIST AF? Listen in to this powerful discussion to learn more.
About Chanel Craft Tanner:
Chanel Craft Tanner serves as the Director of the Center for Women at Emory University where she also earned her Ph.D. in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. As Director, her work focuses on creating programs, events, and learning opportunities that recognize and redress historic and persistent gender inequity at Emory and beyond. She is a member of the Crunk Feminist Collective and is passionate about class oppression, prison abolition, and Black feminism. A city girl with a country flair, she calls both Brooklyn, NY and Danville, VA home.
To connect further with Chanel & Crunk Feminist Collective:
Visit their website: www.crunkfeministcollective.com
Follow them on Instagram: www.instagram.com/crunkfeminist
Follow them on Twitter: www.twitter.com/crunkfeminist
Connect with them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/crunkfeminists
Follow the Remix Substack: https://theremix.substack.com
Learn more about Feminist AF: www.feministaf.co