The Black Feminist Movement In Janelle Monae And Black Panther

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According to the chapter “Is the Personal Still Political” in Patricia Hill Collins’s book From Black Power to Hip Hop, African American women could not fully identify with the American feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s because of “race, class, and nation matter” (Collins 178). In other words, African American women did not wholly face the same struggles as White women and formed their own feminist organizations as a result. Even today, there is still a divide between White feminism and Black feminism and many Black artists have taken on the role of mobilizing the Black feminist movement.
Of all the works we have studied in RLGN 278, I was most fascinated by the works of Janelle Monae and the film Black Panther. Through Django Jane, Janelle Monae is able to provide commentary on today’s current climate of gender and sexuality while Black Panther provides a utopian view of these topics. Through Cindi Mayweather, her imagined android alter ego, Janelle Monae is able to explore such topics in artistic freedom (Anderson and Jones 91). In studying the lyrical and visual elements of these works, one is able to gain a better understanding of controlling images, images that perpetuate stereotypes based on the matrix of domination (i.e. white and black, rich and poor, etc.) and what it means to confront and transcend them.
Django Jane lyrically and visually highlights the dynamic between men and women in the Black community, and her messages can even be applied to all men and
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