I like the reference to the trickster to describe Nicki Minaj. Whereas, yes, there are things about Minaj that I don’t like, I can’t tell her not to be her or not exist, and she is a complicated individual like everyone else. Not everyone is completely subversive all the time or subversive in the same way. Resistance comes in many forms. Think of the enslaved who did dances for the master and the master thought they could not do the dances right, but actually they were insulting him. Or the black performers who became minstrels, like Bert Williams, who tried to re-appropriate an performance style that was originally designed to degrade an entire race . It is part of that “Double Consciousness” of having to communicate to different racial worlds.

The AntiJemima Life

If a video drops in a forest of things that seem to matter a lot–like  fingers waving in presidential faces and self-deportation–does it make a sound?

Nicki Minaj dropped “Stupid Hoe” last week.

Maybe I’m too old to have my thumb on the relevant spaces in the interwebs, but it seems like the video barely caused a buzz.  Responses from Jezebel, Clutch, and Vibe were mainly negative, complaining about Minaj’s use of animalistic imagery, neon colors and her less than creative wordplay.  Black feminists offered mainly negative critique for obvious and perfectly legitimate reasons.  Minaj’s challenge to “stupid hoes” included a reference to “nappy-headed hoes” and images of a pale, plastic, Venus Hottentot Barbie.

Me?  Minaj hurts my head.  She perplexes me.  I think of her as Trickster, two-faced in her betrayal of global black feminist possibility and powerful in her contradictory elucidation of black woman’s power within…

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