Although my degrees may say "English," my course of study has proved.a gateway to explicate and understand the human experience. As an English undergraduate, I traveled the world as a student of Harriet Ann Jacobs, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Richard Wright, Octavia Butler and Audre Lorde. Their teachings illustrated the immortality of literature and the ability of the written word to transcend the various circumstances that separate us as members of the diaspora and students of a shared experience.
Studying English ignited a fire within me, an analytical fire inflamed by my graduate research and writing that blossomed into a complete blue flame fomenting my doctoral studies.
Black female sexuality anchors my doctoral research. My primary focus is how black female sexuality in popular culture acts as a form of mentacide to the black race. My interests began as a graduate student when watching my then favorite show Scandal, a series that garnered attention for resurrecting a dearth western presence-- a leading black female protagonist.
Olivia Pope, the suit clad DC fixer quickly became a prototype for the contemporary tragic black protagonist illustrated in "sister series" Being Mark Jane andHow to Get Away With Murder, amongst others. Pope quickly rose to heroine status for freeing the black female body from supporting roles. Namely, Pope reasserts the black female body as a central presence, simultaneously mirroring problematic past projections. My research unpacks this visibility as occurring at the expense of black integrity. Furthermore, my work serves to challenge the resurrected black heroine as a positive image and unveil this "heroine" as performing the same function as the exploited, poked and prodded black female bodies to which she succeeds.
Despite my anchorage in black female sexuality, my work examines blackness in its entirety, hoping to produce an elevated consciousness and united collective that learns from the patterns of the past.