“Beyoncé Feminism, Rihanna Womanism:” From Classroom to Bookstore


People say that there’s a class for everything in college. Dr. Omise’eke Tinsley, Associate Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, teaches a class titled “Beyoncé Feminism, Rihanna Womanism.” Using the course as inspiration, Professor Tinsley will be releasing a book in November that combines her personal experience with a cultural analysis of Beyoncé’s Lemonade visual album that will include discussions of black women’s gender and sexuality. She describes the book as a “femme-onade mixtape.” Tinsley hopes that her course serves as a place of community and empowerment for black women and that the book will spread this message to a larger audience. Omise’eke Tinsley states, “imagining a future in which black women can love each other every way possible is necessary for freedom.”

For Further Reading:

An artist’s intention for a work can often be overlooked. Read more about what Beyoncé’s Lemonade album means for black feminism.


Discussion Question:

How can celebrities/public figures use their platform to influence others? Is it time to start integrating modern “history” into academic curriculums?

Action Item:

If you want to take a class like Professor Tinsley’s but can’t quite make it to the University of Texas, consider participating in a massive open online course (MOOC). You can find some gender studies classes on edX.


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