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Feminista Jones in conversation w/ Tanji Gilliam


6:30 pm

Penn Book Center
130 S. 34th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Please join us for a reading and discussion with FEMINISTA JONES—author of Reclaiming Our Space: How Black Feminists are Changing the World from the Tweets to the Streets—in conversation with TANJI GILLIAM!


A treatise of Black women’s transformative influence in media and society, placing them front and center in a new chapter of mainstream resistance and political engagement.

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.

Hard-hitting, intelligent, incisive, yet bursting with humor and pop-culture savvy, Reclaiming Our Space is a survey of Black feminism’s past, present, and future, and it explains why intersectional movement building will save us all.

FEMINISTA JONES is a Philadelphia-based social worker, feminist writer, public speaker, and community activist. She is an award-winning blogger and the author of the novel Push the Button and the poetry collection The Secret of Sugar Water. She was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Philadelphia and one of the Top 100 Black Social Influencers by The Root. Her writing has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Time, Essence, and Ebony magazines.

TANJI GILLIAM, Ph.D./M.F.A. is the Founder and Principal of Oil House, a neighborhood planning firm. She was the Hip-Hop and Media researcher on the Black Youth Project In 2010, she received the Art and Change Grant from the Leeway Foundation for her work on domestic violence. In 2013 her web series, Scheherazade, was featured in Huffington Post and on Mark Anthony Neal's blog, New Black Man in Exile. 

Dr. Gilliam served as a development consultant for the Old Bronx County Courthouse and has written the strategic plan and directed curricula for the Universal Hip Hop Museum (UHHM). Along with her UHHM colleague, Paradise Gray, Gilliam co-authored a petition that ignited an international conversation about Hip Hop and sexual assault in the wake of molestation allegations against pioneer artist, Afrika Bambaataa.

Click here to purchase RECLAIMING OUR SPACE.

This event is hosted by the Penn Book Center and co-sponsored by the Center for Africana Studies.