reclaiming our space

Review of Reclaiming Our Space, by Feminista Jones

I won a copy of Reclaiming Our Space: How Black Feminists Are Changing the World from the Tweets to the Streets, by Feminista Jones through Goodreads. It has admittedly been sitting on my shelf waiting to be read for a while. I’ve just been super lazy about reading non-fiction for the past year or so. But I’ve recently committed myself to read the books I own that could further educate myself about the current social situation in America, it finally got some attention.

Description from Goodreads:

In Reclaiming Our Space, social worker, activist, and cultural commentator Feminista Jones explores how Black women are changing culture, society, and the landscape of feminism by building digital communities and using social media as powerful platforms. As Jones reveals, some of the best-loved devices of our shared social media language are a result of Black women’s innovations, from well-known movement-building hashtags (#BlackLivesMatter, #SayHerName, and #BlackGirlMagic) to the now ubiquitous use of threaded tweets as a marketing and storytelling tool. For some, these online dialogues provide an introduction to the work of Black feminist icons like Angela Davis, Barbara Smith, bell hooks, and the women of the Combahee River Collective. For others, this discourse provides a platform for continuing their feminist activism and scholarship in a new, interactive way.

Complex conversations around race, class, and gender that have been happening behind the closed doors of academia for decades are now becoming part of the wider cultural vernacular–one pithy tweet at a time. With these important online conversations, not only are Black women influencing popular culture and creating sociopolitical movements; they are also galvanizing a new generation to learn and engage in Black feminist thought and theory, and inspiring change in communities around them.

Review:

I’m not sure how I want explain this book. It’s always hard when a book doesn’t turn out to be what you expect, not bad but not what you picked it up for. I expected to read about modern Black feminists and I did, but not as much as I’d hoped and expected. I’d say this book is 50% memoir and of the remaining 50%, half of that is about Black women leading the way in making Twitter a viable and vibrant digital space and half is about Black feminism in that space. All of which is in the title, but I didn’t pick the book up expecting only a quarter of it to be directly about Black feminists.

Having said all of that, I thought the book was interesting. I am a white woman and a feminist. I try very hard to be aware of my privilege and avoid being a White Feminist. But privilege has an insidious way of being invisible until something is pointed out to you. So, in this way, I thought the book useful, chapter 10 (Mammy 2.0) especially.

All in all, not a bad read just not the one I was looking for.

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