How do these pernicious forces interact? bell hooks (aka Gloria Watkins) describes black women as having been excluded both from mainstream historical feminism (which was led by white women who didn't want to alienate Southern whites) and black civil rights struggles (which were permeated with patriarchy), and this "silencing," this removal of them from narratives of liberation, puts them in a challenging position when it comes to achieving self-actualization and social justice.
Black Looks is one of many books in which hooks engages in the cultural critique that she thinks is part of the solution: Marginalized groups need to reclaim the narrative about themselves so that they aren't cast as "Other" in their own minds, and this in part involves criticizing media representations that reinforce stereotypes. These limiting images need to be replaced in people's psyches by a story rooted in the historical struggle for liberation.
Mark, Seth, and Dylan are joined by Myisha Cherry, host of the UnMute Podcast to reflect on how hooks's prescriptions address today's social problems and how they relate to philosophical views of human nature and freedom.
Related episodes: We first covered race back in ep. 52 and feminism in ep. 42. hooks praises Erich Fromm (ep. 133), and Mark makes some attempt to attach this to Hegel's master-slave dynamic (ep. 36). Ideology in media is discussed in ep. 136 on Adorno.
bell hooks picture by Solomon Grundy.