“My mission in life is to not merely survive but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” – Maya Angelou
Finally! She has arrived!
Welcome to the Black Arts Admin B*tch (BAAB) Culture: a living history of artists and administrators from the global majority throughout the United States.
BAAB Culture is a place where artists, administrators, audiences, and leaders from the global majority thrive. BAAB Culture centers the stories of the global majority in the arts in order to take control the narrative… if we can’t tell our own stories, then who will?
BAAB Culture consists of the BAAB Podcast and the BAAB Culture Podcast Network to foster the principle of ujamaa, cooperative economics.
You’re probably wondering…. How (and why) did we choose this name?
The name is something that means a lot to me personally. As I’ve navigated this world as: a Black fetus, then a Black baby, then a Black girl, then a Black adolescent, then a Black young adult, and now a Black woman, stereotypes and assumptions have often been placed upon me.
As a Black woman, adult, professional etc., I have been told about the numerous behind the door conversations that have been had about who I am and how people define me. A word that has come up a few times is a non-Black person often calling me a “B*tch“.
The word b*tch has been thrown all over our vocabulary and is often used to denigrate women. There have been many instances in United States history where someone calls a woman a “b*tch*”.
- According to “The Great American B*tch” by Delores Barracano Schmidt, the term b*tch was popularized in American literature by male writers to describe “difficult women” immediately after the Women’s Suffrage Movement
- In the 1970s, the word b*tch was reclaimed by feminists because it was believed that the word was a metaphor that signaled the backlash against women gaining more political power in the country. B*tch was now both to demean strong women (when used by men) while strong women were using it to mean “strong women”
- In the early 2000s, Trina, a woman rapper from Miami named her debut album “The Baddest B*tch” popularizing it within hip hop culture to be used to signify the physical, intellectual, and sexual beauty of a Black woman.
- Leading up to the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, the word b*tch was used to describe Hilary Clinton by many of her opponents supporters.
- Recently (Summer 2020), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was called a “fucking b*tch” by Rep Ted Yoho when walking past him after they had a disagreement on the house floor
All this to say the word b*tch is used both positively and negatively and the nuance and context of how the word is being used is important.
Why I Use the Word B*tch. I use b*tch because behind closed doors, the stereotype and trope of the “angry Black woman” often is the precursor of someone non-Black using it against a Black woman.
First there’s judgment from non-Black people about how a Black woman “looks” (ex: she looks mean, intimidating, scary, mad). This is based on non-verbal communication biases that people already have against Black women.
When the said Black woman gives her expertise and opinion during a discussion, she’s becomes the “angry Black woman” or gets called “passionate”. This is especially common when non-Black women implement tone-policing and become “intimidated” by the said actions/words of the Black woman.
This narrative continues when white people realize how brilliant we truly are. In the instance of AOC, a woman of color, Rep Yoho realized that she wasn’t no one to play with and called her a “fucking b*tch“.
So it’s time to reclaim the word! B*tch means:
Beautiful, Intelligent, Tenacious, Charming Human. But because it’s considered a cuss word, I’ve given it the FCC censor.
So on behalf of all the Black Arts Admin B*tches out here, welcome to BAAB Culture. Let’s start building together.