Tag Archives: People of color and social media

Modern Griots Interviews: Renina Jarmon and Black Girls Are From the Future Part 2


Here is part two of the Renina Jarmon interview from yesterday. Below Jarmon talks about the significance of Erykah Badu, Octavia Butler and Janelle Monae, her future plans for Black Girls Are From the Future and the future she dreams of for Black girls:

6) The book includes discussions on Octavia Butler and Janelle Monae. What is the significance of science fiction/afrofuturism to the lives of black girls?

I don’t think that I am equipped to speak as to why Afrofuturism speaks to Black girls; I think that that is a dissertation topic. #AboveMyPayGrade. However, I will say that Ms. Octavia Butler and Ms. Janelle Monae speak to the importance of the knowledge production of Black women and girls. There work also speaks to the importance of being fearless in terms of creating the work that we feel needs to be made. When I say the knowledge production of Black women and girls, I am talking about the books, the blogs, the podcasts, the web series, the novels and the songs that we create. To that end, the book has an appendix where I list nearly 100 sites created by, for and about Black women and girls.

Back to your original question, in the essay “Erykah Badu, Octavia Butler and Janelle Monáe: Musing on Time Travel and Black Women,” I contend that Black women artist find time travel attractive because time travel allows us to create spaces of freedom. What I mean by spaces of freedom is current spaces or even future spaces where being Black, being a Black woman, being a Black man, being a Queer Brown person doesn’t always mean being dominated and being discriminated against. Racism is exhausting. Sexism is exhausting and racialized sexism will have you tired as shit. So this notion of being able to still be you and not be racially profiled, to not be confined to an under-funded school, to not go to the funerals of brown teenagers, to not be forced to live in a segregated neighborhood, to not have to deal with street harassment is just fantastic to me. This is what this freedom symbolizes. Also, I just saw the film “12 Years a Slave” this weekend, so the importance of the autonomy of Black bodies, of bodies of color, that freedom to move without being police, monitored and punished is what I think what some Black girls find attractive in the work of Ms. Butler and Ms. Monae.

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Modern Griots Interviews: Renina Jarmon and Black Girls Are From the Future


 Renina and Jessica share notes before the meet and greet. Erica Jane takes photos.
Renina and Jessica share notes before the meet and greet. Erica Jane takes photos.

Renina Jarmon is a writer, cultural critic, blogger and educator whose work centers on Black women’s sexuality and pop culture, as well as race, technology and the concept of self. She recently released her book, Black Girls Are From the Future, a collection of essays based on her popular posts from her blog New Model Minority. Here is part one of my interview with Jarmon in which she talks about her inspiration for her book, what to look forward to in it, its appeal to a variety of people, her documentary, and social media and women of color. Part two will be up tomorrow.

1) What or who was your main inspiration for the putting together the book?

First let me say thank you for creating the space for the #Blackgirlsarefromthefuture online book tour (#thetour), I really appreciate it. I remember that you reached out to me way back in February so I just wanted to state my gratitude. Having folks check for me earlier this year means a lot.

So to answer your question. Well, I’ve written over 963 blog posts. About 100 of those are essays, full out essays with citations. My friend Garland McLaurin was the first person to say that my blog was like a book back in 2007. I have had two explicit conversations on my blog with blog readers about what they would pay for and the readers were very clear in that they would pay for a book, a magazine or any other kind of printed item. But they wouldn’t pay for blog posts. It was really important to have this information. In fact I wrote about how significant having this information was in the essay “A Mini Social Media/MBA Boot Camp For Your Brand: 7 Key Steps.” I recognize that it is rare to be able to connect directly with your community and ask them exactly what they would pay for, especially as an independent media producer.

Also, I know that there were plenty of bloggers, Black women bloggers who were using their platforms to move on to do other kinds of work, Britni Danielle (Clutch Mag Online), Jamilah Lemieux (Ebony Magazine), Luvvie Ajayi (The Red Pump Project and Social Media Trainings), Latoya Peterson (Al Jazeera) are just a few. It was helpful for me to help me to see these Black women making digital moves, 2013 – 2014 is #blackgirltime. What I mean by #Blackgirltime is that the barriers to entry are only going to get higher so it is important to make your move now, if you so desire.

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