About Afroholism (A Disclaimer)

So if you went back and asked 16-year-old me if she would ever be interested in a blog written by a Black woman who goes to Princeton, she would have scoffed at stuck up Ivy League bitches AND told you that being black wasn’t important to her. Fast forward to the present day, and I’m about to graduate from one Ivy League school with hopes of going to another for my graduate work, I rock a kinky-curly fro, and the majority of the clubs on my resume have Black in their titles. I went from being a person who hated boxes so much she avoided developing an identity at all to a person who spends every day challenging norms and assumptions about the identities she chooses. My blog is about the journey from Point A to Point B and future points C-infinity, and deals a lot with issues of difference, identity, race, gender, sexuality, social justice, relationships, beauty, and style.

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As blogging becomes an increasingly significant part of my life and as I transition from collegiate to professional life, it has dawned on me that it may be time to include a disclaimer on this page. As such:

In my earliest classes at Princeton University, I was encouraged to view myself as leading a “life of the mind,” especially as it became clear that I was considering (and then actively pursuing) a career in social scholarship and academia. This blog, for as long as it remains active, serves as a place to record and develop that mental life, a place in which I can theorize about myself and the world that makes me. Reading bell hooks in three AAS classes on this campus, I was encouraged to consider the realms outside of academia and more traditional forms of activism in which theorizing and activistic (that’s not a word, but like my home disciplines of Sociology and African-American studies, I reserve the right to make up words when those that exist cannot accurately express my own strivings) actions can take place. This blog endeavors to be one of them. I find that the scholarship with which I find myself most actively engaged is that which stems directly or indirectly from my lived experiences, particularly those around such poignant and provocative identity categories as race, gender, sexuality, and class. The documentation of these and other aspects of my life in this diligently created social space, raw and unmediated by the conventions of academic work or the “politics of respectability” which plagues Black and other communities, makes it possible for me to do more traditional work regarding these subjects, and perhaps even more importantly, facilitates and fosters conversations amongst others who might have otherwise remained caught up in ideas of respectability (and Blackness, sexual desire, militancy, righteous anger, etc. as inherently not respectable).

Cornel West asked me early in my freshman year, “How does it feel to be a problem?” He was addressing our entire class, framed in the subject of Black people as a “problem people,” but this question resonated with me personally then and now. I am a problem person. Nothing in my biography suggests that I should be where I am right now, but *waves hand* here I stand. I am full of conflicting viewpoints. I defy expectations. I am multitudinous and multifaceted. I am made largely of flaws, but so is the world. I think that in our problem world, it is my right and my duty to publicly be a problem person, to raise awareness of worldly contradictions, disguised restrictions, problematic prescriptions, and to do it in a way that is accessible and with which people can identify regardless of whether they’re as versed in scholars from Durkheim to hooks to Goffman to Shange as am I. My life is my message to the world, and as such I must shout it from this little corner of the internet.

The content in these posts represents the personal views of myself, the persons I quote or reblog, and no other parties, at (and in many cases only at) the time of publication. They do not in any way reflect the views of my employer or any larger institutions with which I might be affiliated, and even such personal views are subject (and in some cases, even likely) to change with time. The views, opinions, and arguments expressed in these posts should be interpreted as snapshots in my overall personal development, and the best (and in fact, only) way to verify that I still feel how I once felt is to ask me directly, as a necessary consequence of open-mindedness is the possibility of radical change. Additionally, the content in these posts is not meant to offend or malign any persons of any race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, ability status, religious group, nationality, organization, company, or other identity–if you feel that I have done wrong by you individually or by a group to which you pledge allegiance, please let me know and I will do my best to reconcile the situation. It is not my intention to harm any persons or entities through the exploration of my “life of the mind”.

This blog is not an exercise in perfection. It has no editors other than myself and its posts are reviewed by none other than myself. It is the direct result of the unfiltered process of my fingers pressing away at key after key in rapid succession, and as such, my ideas are of vastly greater importance than the specific words I choose in my stolen moments. Please don’t consider this my best writing, though it is often my most deeply felt writing.

This blog features a large amount of outside content in the forms of images, videos, quotations, audio clips, etc. I endeavor to cite (through linking to external websites) the source through which I discovered the content and/or the original content creator when reblogging or quoting. Along the same lines, while I recognize that putting my words onto the internet makes them accessible to people worldwide, I demand that anyone who wishes to use my words cites me in the same manner. I maintain no responsibility for content that my be found at linked sites other than the specific posting(s) to which I provided links. Similarly, I am in no way responsible for content on other websites which link to me, lest I have published a guest post on another site, nor for statements published by readers in the comment section of this blog, though malicious comments which perpetuate -isms of any variety will not be tolerated.

Every day I check my blog stats and am fascinated and humbled by the number of countries around the world in which my blog is read. International readers, I welcome you wholeheartedly. However, if your home country has stricter content laws than does the United States, I am not responsible for defamatory statements bound to governmental, religious, or other laws in your country.

It has often been said that feminism is the radical notion that women are people. Similarly, when African-American studies was first presented to me, it appeared as the radical notion that my people were a subject worthy of study. As such, Afroholism is an on-going personal project of self-centering, in other words, a representation of the radical notion that my individual life is valid and can be the basis for theory.

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