Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

You are here

Making Intersectionality Visual?

Anne Dalke's picture

Perhaps some of you are planning to join the demonstration, In Defense of Black Bodies #PhillyDIEIn, scheduled @ 4 p.m. today @ 30th Street Station, Market Street, Philadelphia. The organizers have been thoughtful in structuring the protest around different identities and solidarities--although from the Facebook page, it looks as though thoughtful is also problematic: blacks lie down, while non-black POC and white allies sit up? And biracial people? What about the huge gender divide here? Shouldn't women of all colors sit up, while the black men lie down?

This seems to me an excellent problematic for the Identity Matters collective to take on: how to figure intersectionality in a demonstration that aims for strong visuals?...

Some excerpts from the Facebook convo:
*We ask that non-Black POC and white allies sit in solidarity during this time but not lay down as the dead.* "

* Because nothing says solidarity like splitting people up along arbitrary race lines?  Pretty shocked to see that type of thinking at an event like this...

* We have issues in lgb & Trans communities around multiple oppressions & solidarity ....

* Yeah, intersectionality is tough to live and to undermine.

*  I see your point and I'd like to share something I saw on a post very similar to this one just to give some perspective. "It's great to have solidarity, but there are ways to be an ally without diminishing the experience of those that the allies are supposed to be helping. To be white and hold your hands up {or lay down} shows a disconnect between how your white privilege puts you at a different place than black protestors. White killers are apprehended by officers without getting shot. Innocent unarmed black people get killed even when they put their hands up. There is a difference." I don't the request for non-POC to sit and not "die in" isn't meant to divide us during this time but it is meant to show people what this is really about, injustice against black lives and black bodies. I hope you can understand this.