Featuring: Freeden Blume Oeur, Tufts University
Black Feminism has been variously described as thriving, dying, and on the defensive. With some Black feminists themselves skeptical of its future, critics of all stripes and political affiliations have swarmed to attack it. In this talk, based on a paper coauthored with the sociologist Saida Grundy, I examine one recent line of attack, an approach called “New Black Masculinities” or NBM. NBM promotes the idea of “Black male aggrievement,” a conservative gender politics anchored in an explicitly anti-racist agenda, and that claims injury at the hands of Black women. I highlight the problems with this way of thinking and end with a call for an allyship of Black feminism and NBM that would embrace caring and reparations for all Black youth.
Freeden Blume Oeur is associate professor of sociology and education at Tufts University. He also serves as senior co-chair for the Boston Consortium for Graduate Studies in Gender, Culture, Women, and Sexuality. His research examines the interplay of gender and masculinity, feminist theory, and Black politics. Blume Oeur is the author of the award-winning book Black Boys Apart: Racial Uplift and Respectability in All-Male Public Schools (2018) and co-editor of Unmasking Masculinities: Men and Society (2017). His new book project, The Sociological Dream, compares the Cold War intellectual itineraries of W. E. B. Du Bois and C. Wright Mills in order to reimagine the politics, the promise, and the propaganda of the sociological imagination.