Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Brilliant Woman of the Week

Welcome to a new feature here at LVS: The Brilliant Woman of the Week, where we celebrate outstanding women who have something important to say. With SO many brilliant women to choose from, where do I start? Well, I think I'll start here.....

This week's BWOTW is Melissa Harris-Lacewell: Associate Professor of Politics and African American Studies at Princeton University. She is a regular commentator on the hugely popular Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC. (My personal FAVE news show) And she has been on Bill Moyer's Journal. Melissa has a really cool blog called "THE KITCHEN TABLE" http://princetonprofs.blogspot.com/ where she converses with another brilliant woman, Dr. Yolanda Pierce, who is also a Princeton professor. Wow, I just mentioned three brilliant women in one paragraph, but let's focus on Melissa. ;D

Melissa is the author of an award winning book called "Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk, and Black Political Thought" I love the way she connects political ideology and popular culture. She taught a course called "Disaster, Race, and American Politics" which explored the politics of Hurricane Katrina. (Remember Katrina?) Her colleagues at Princeton have recognized her as " one of the most talented intellectuals of her generation." She's also a single mom to her 7 yr. old daughter.

She wrote this in the Nov 6, 2008 edition of The Nation:

"When Barack Obama was elected as the first black president of the United States, African-Americans became the solution instead of the problem. For many black folks, Obama's victory has momentarily healed the double consciousness that is an ordinary part of our lives. To be a citizen in a democracy is to be not only the ruled but also the ruler, to not only submit to law but to craft it, to not only die for your country but to live fully in it. In this moment, we are citizens."

Melissa is a brilliant communicator and scholar, and she seems to be a very down to earth person. I am looking forward to a new era of brilliant scholarly women taking the forefront in the mainstream media and beyond.
Here's a video: