Shanita Hubbard's "Ride or Die" Exposes the Hip-Hop Trope's Flaws in This Exclusive Excerpt

“Protect Black girls” is greater than only a catchy chorus or hashtag to repeat on social media. It’s a real-life accountability that calls for our utmost consideration — an argument writer Shanita Hubbard so unapologetically makes in her debut ebook, “Ride or Die: A Feminist Manifesto For the Well-Being of Black Women” ($24).

Published by Legacy Lit, an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc., Hubbard’s highly effective learn unpacks and dismantles the hip-hop ride-or-die trope that, for many years, has left Black girls exhausted, depleted, and stretched far too skinny relating to proving our price by how a lot labor we offer others. To emphasize why this mind-set is harmful to our well being and happiness, the ebook — which has already obtained excessive reward from Gabrielle Union and Tamron Hall — urges readers to utterly remove the ride-or-die complicated, utilizing hip-hop because the backdrop to discover all of the social norms which have confirmed dangerous to Black girls.

Combining her years of experience on hip-hop and feminism, Hubbard bares probably the most private particulars about her life to information Black girls towards a path of therapeutic. In flip, her susceptible evaluation builds a case for why the tradition many people have grown to like would not at all times appear to like us the way in which we deserve.

“Ride or Die: A Feminist Manifesto For the Well-Being of Black Women” was launched on Nov. 8 and is now accessible for buy. Read forward to take a look at an unique excerpt of Hubbard breaking down the divide inside Black womanhood as highlighted by the 1998 traditional album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.”

I used to be too younger to understand the Black lady magic of feminine pioneers like Queen Latifah and Monie Love, which made me love Lauryn much more. Rappers like Queen Latifah and Monie Love had been intersectional feminists, though the phrase was not a part of the mainstream lexicon within the late ’80s. Both Monie and Latifah understood and rapped concerning the overlapping types of oppression that made Black girls’s struggles distinct from our brothers. But although I knew their music, I did not join with them, a minimum of not in the identical manner I did with Lauryn. Lauryn’s lyrics mirrored my very own ideas and echoed many who Kia shared with me. Especially when it got here to these “different” Black girls who slept with males “too shortly.” This sentiment was my gold commonplace—much more so because it was echoed by a acutely aware rap “god” like Nas in his track “Black Girl Lost.” “N*ggas thirst you, you simply let em damage you and depart / What up ma, fronting such as you naive.”

There was at all times some model of this line handed on to me as a cautionary story. Lauryn sounded precisely like Nas, which made the primary verse in “Doo Wop” my favourite.

It’s been three weeks because you had been searching for your pal
The one you let hit it and by no means referred to as you once more

. . .

Plus, while you give it up really easy you ain’t even foolin’ him
If you probably did it then, then you definately’d most likely f*ck once more

Was Tamera listening to this? There had been so many lyrics that confirmed who the “birds” had been! “Showing off your ass ‘trigger you are considering it is a pattern.”

“Girl, sure,” I mentioned wanting over at Tamera, waving my hand to the beat in reward. Couldn’t Tamera see that “queens” like us weren’t birds? We had been a unique sort of Black lady, the type who was worthy of respect. Lauryn was making that clear. We stayed in our room listening to the total CD and I continued to fall in love with the small print of Lauryn’s music. I had at all times liked the query that she posed on the finish of “Doo Wop”: “How you gonna win while you ain’t proper inside?”

My associates and I had been a part of Lauryn’s tribe and win-ning. We had been acutely aware Black girls—we might quote Carter G. Woodson in our sleep, had been dedicated to “fix- ing” the racist felony justice system, most well-liked open mics over golf equipment, did not sleep with males “too shortly,” and had pure hair.

Plus the brothers referred to as me queen. They continually mentioned I used to be nothing like these “different women,” and I thought-about it a supreme praise. Being referred to as a queen was their recognition of my Black lady magic. In 1998 we weren’t utilizing the phrase “Black lady magic” but, however the essence of it was at all times clear and queen meant that Black males noticed that in me, and it was invaluable. My self-worth was related to being seen by males as separate from these different women, which was solely a softer manner of claiming I’m higher than these women. Or a minimum of that is the way it registered to me.

I swam in Lauryn’s phrases as a result of she validated the piece of me that wanted to be thought-about separate and unequal to different girls. Being thought-about completely different from the opposite women who had intercourse too shortly, wore straight hair and weaves, had been loud, rocked tight garments, and frolicked within the golf equipment felt like I had the “proper” model of Black womanhood that will equal success, love, male adoration, and respect. It felt like I used to be successful like Lauryn acknowledged. It took me a very long time to know that if successful meant “acutely aware queens” had been granted permission to make use of a skewed commonplace of Black womanhood outlined by males to marginalize different sisters, then maybe we wanted to lose.

Excerpted from “Ride or Die: A Feminist Manifesto For the Well-Being of Black Women” by Shanita Hubbard. Copyright © 2022 by Shanita Hubbard. Available from Legacy Lit, an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

Image Source: Courtesy of Legacy Lit Hachette Book Group

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