By Thuy Hang Tran
Social and countercultural movements are taking over social media by storm. On November 9, founder and Editor-in-Chief of ForHarriet.com Kimberly Foster delivered an insightful talk about her commitment and role in cultivating alternative-to-mainstream media representations surrounding black women through social media. This Monday evening at the Multicultural Center was brought to Sewanee by students Allegra Campbell (C’16) and Davante Jennings (C’16), who were inspired by their Social Movements course taught by Professor Schneider. The event ran in tangent with the Black Lives Matter and Say Her Name Movement. The students seek to prompt a dialogue about the implications of these movements on campus. ForHarriet.com is a blog and website that Kimberly Foster launched in 2010 to serve as an online community for women of African ancestry. Engaging the crowd intellectually and emotionally, Foster opened up about her undergraduate experience at Harvard as a woman of color who often felt marginalized and undervalued by her white male counterparts. She mentioned that for most of her life, like many black women, she was taught to turn emotional affairs inward and came to excel at modifying and refraining her voice and feelings.
A series of unfortunate events have caused Foster take a break in college which led to the creation of the blogsite. During the process, Foster discovered that “storytelling saves lives.” Foster illuminates how blogging has enable her to confront the issues that she was facing and to reflect on those issues with the intersectionality of race and gender. Hoping for other black women to access this sense of liberation, Foster commits her time to promoting Black Girls Blogging. Foster uses her website to engage the wider black women community in candid dialogues about black identity and pop culture. Because black womanhood is a complex, multifaceted, misrepresented, and misunderstood, Foster hopes that greater level of discourse will inspire, empower, and celebrate the fullness of black womanhood. Engaging and incisive, ForHarriet is making its mark as a multifaceted platform for black women’s storytelling and journalism in within our lifetime, as quoted by Kimber Foster a “renaissance of self-exploration” (Foster, November 9th, 2015).