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This morning, I came across this article by Fast Company about 25 of the Smartest Women on Twitter. I scrolled through and when I’d gotten to the end, I thought “Wait a minute. Something is missing here.” There were no Black women. At all. Not one. Not even an honorable mention. I don’t believe that Fast Company had any intention of being overtly racist; I think this is merely a result of White Privilege. See, Whiteness is the standard by which we (society) measure everything from intelligence to beauty to success. That’s the American (and global) paradigm. Whiteness is normalcy and it is comfortable. Lack of diversity is a lack of trying, and what Affirmative Action has shown over time is that people almost have to be forced to step out of their comfort zones and employ/educate diverse people. What White people with privilege have to understand is that they, too, can get caught up in the laziness of their privileged normalcy and they have to take affirmative actions to be inclusive and commit to diversity.
As I’m known to do, I began to vent on Twitter and then posed this question because I felt that maybe Fast Company could use a little help. What became of that was an affirming, celebratory global trending topic, #SmartBlackWomenOfTwitter, that showed Fast Company, and the world, who some of the smartest women on Twitter are. It was a wonderful celebration and love fest, during which people got to showed admiration and appreciation for the Black women they follow who they believe to be bright, smart, and intelligent…and definitely worth following. I was able to follow a slew of new women that I was totally unaware were on Twitter until today.
So maybe that’s what happened with the author? She just missed out on Black women because she doesn’t follow many? I’m still scratching my head over how she skipped FLOTUS, Michelle Obama, or even Oprah Winfrey, but…whatever lol
And, as is commonplace with popular hashtags these days, there were several media outlets covering the progression of the story. Some got it right, some were way off, and some just wanted to have some stake in the discussion.
I gathered a few so you can check them out.
Fast Company also threw together an “Oh by the way, here’s our afterthought post about the Black women y’all think are smart”. Or at least that’s how it felt. I’d know more about their intentions, had someone contacted me. Maybe…
*Note* If you’re going to add me to your list of “Smart Women on Twitter”, and you don’t even know that I go by Feminista Jones (and you probably know nothing about my work), I’d rather you not. I don’t really need folks trying to appease me because I started the hashtag. It wasn’t about ME. It was about the general oversight of sisters and how invisible we remain, even in 2013. It might help if you actually looked into why we consider so many of these women to be “Smart”. And, well, using their preferred names.*
Did I miss any?
I’d love to share more