Digital Sisterhood Month’s Guest Blogger Series – Jessie Daniels


Jessie Daniels

Meet Jessie Daniels

1) Write a six-word memoir to describe yourself.

white girl challenging racism, shifting paradigms

2) Tell us about your blog.

In 2007, I started a blog called Racism Review (http://www.racismreview.com) with Joe Feagin. Joe was my dissertation advisor years ago (at UT-Austin), and continues to be a trusted mentor. Ironically enough, we were both born in Houston, Texas.

Our vision for the blog was that it would be a place for academics to share resources for addressing issues of racism. What that means in practice is that we talk about current events that in someway involve racism, and then offer an analysis of those events that relies on research and data. When we started, there weren’t a lot of blogs out there that addressed racism from a scholar-activist perspective, and a few that were around have gone away, but the RR blog is still there. We’ve also been part of the trend that’s helped make academic blogging more acceptable, even well-regarded in some academic circles. I’m proud of that record.

Joe, and several of our collaborators there like Maria Chavez, have really been doing the heavy lifting at the blog this year while I’ve been busy offline, so I feel a little sheepish talking about a favorite post of mine from this year, but I was very moved by Troy Davis, and did a blog post comparing his execution to the history of lynching in the U.S. (http://www.racismreview.com/blog/2011/09/23/death-penalty-racism-american-practice-lynching/). That post generated some good comments, was informed by a lot of scholarship, and is close to the issues I care about concerning racial justice.

3) What is your definition of digital sisterhood?

Hmm… that’s a tough one. I guess I’d have to say that ‘digital sisterhood’ is when women connect across boundaries, online and off, for equality and justice.

4) What is your favorite 2011 digital sisterhood moment or experience?

Oh, that’s easy! In April of 2011, I got invited to participate in a wonderful event called “Ain’t I a Woman: Race in the Feminist Movement,” organized and hosted by Morgane Richardson, who mostly knew me through Twitter. The event was held at the Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn, and included a bunch of young feminists, mostly young women of color. It was a marvelous event and I was thrilled to be part of it.

Out of that experience, Morgane and I are now collaborating on an edited book that includes pieces from some of the women who participated, as well as other folks. I’d say that ‘digital sisterhood’ experience is easily one of the highlights of 2011 for me.

5) The 2011 theme of Digital Sisterhood Month is ‘Celebrate the 4 Fs of Women’s Health: Feelings, Food, Fitness & Fierce Living.” How have you lived fiercely in 2011?

I spent 2011 living pretty fiercely. I recently moved apartments and offices to East Harlem, and that’s been both a wonderful change and a big adjustment. I’ve also been very focused on food (cut out most simple carbs – rice, pasta, breads) and fitness.

6) How do you stay positive and maintain peace of mind?

Hitting the gym does it for me.

7) What are your favorite healthy foods (include a few web sites or blogs if you feel called to)?

I’m so fortunate to live in New York where there are some great Farmer’s Markets, so when I can I love to get fresh salad greens from one of those and make a giant salad. I’m also very keen on broccoli rabe, sautéed with just a little olive oil and a dash of Kosher salt, then sprinkled with a little parmigiano cheese. I work crazy long hours, though, and when I can’t get to the Farmer’s Market or even cook some broccoli rabe, I love a (vanilla) “Muscle Milk” which I’m now buying by the case, but you can also get in the bodegas here. It’s just so easy, and it’s got 25g of protein.

8) How do you stay fit?

I love spinning! Taking an hour-long class and working that hard really shifts my mood, makes me feel strong, like I can accomplish anything. I’ve also been lifting weights this year, which I love. I really want to get those arms….you know, the ones with the muscles!

9) How are you planning to live fiercely in 2012?

I’m thinking of getting a sleeve, as in a tattoo sleeve. (Apparently, I’m obsessed with my arms!)

That, and 2012 will be the year I finish my memoir. I have about 60,000 words of a projected 80,000-word manuscript. I’ve recently settled on a title for it: No Daughter of Mine: A Memoir. I’m counting that as big progress right now.

10) Where can we find you online?

I’m mostly on the Twitter machine these days, @JessieNYC.

Much less often, you can also find me all these places below.

-LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jessiedaniels
-Facebook: www.facebook.com/JessieNY
-Web Site: www.jessiedanielsphd.com

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