A Conversation with bell hooks and Melissa Perry on black feminist issues as they relate to "race, black womanhood, politics, media, and love." Presented by "The New School," November 8, 2013.
Late To The Party: An Epic Conversation On The Black Feminist Perspective
bell hooks, Melissa Harris Perry, Who is Listening - A public dialogue between bell hooks & Melissa Harris-Perry Credit: Screenshot
January 16, 2014

Once upon a time last November 2013, bell hooks and Melissa Perry sat down in front of an audience of mostly black women and had a conversation on black feminist issues as they relate to "race, black womanhood, politics, media, and love."

I found this conversation online and I felt like I felt like I turned up a Fabergé Egg.

Just to watch hooks and Perry interact in the same room is an experience of epic proportion. I was humbled to merely be able to watch it online. I can only imagine what it was like to be there. If this sounds reverential to you it's because it is. In unabashed, fan girl, reverential proportions.

These two intellectual icons ran the gamut, discussing black women finding their voice, critiquing the recent hit film 12 Years a Slave, dissecting the dissection of First Lady Michelle Obama, distinguishing between masculinity and patriarchy, and so, so, so much more.

Mind you, no black woman speaks for all black women.

Feminists can not only disagree, but that disagreement is fruitful: Perry liked 12 Years A Slave, whereas hooks was none too pleased with the critically acclaimed slave narrative.

In the space of this hour and a half long discourse there is plenty of room for disagreement, varied points of view, class disparities, insightful questions and frank discussion of everything from politics to pop culture to the every day issues that face us all, regardless of skin color.

This conversation is filled with wisdom, thoughtfulness and a depth of discussion on the indomitable spirit of black women that is spiced with the warmth of humor and grace that is wonderful to witness.

You can watch it here.

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.