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Saturday, April 02, 2022


by Judy Juanita

“Burn this city,” a photograph by Anthony Citro.

Just because Woolworth's lunch counters were integrated
And black people could buy their lunch there
Didn't mean that Woolworth's as an institution wasn't fading
Its time was up.

Just because blacks integrated the Academy Awards
Showed up and showed out in 2022 
Doesn't mean that Hollywood as an institution isn't fading. 

I said it once and I'll say it again:
We should all be so disgusted by this perversity
That we boycott the Academy Awards and Golden Globes
As the pimps and hos conventions they are. 

Of course, who am I but a black woman
Old as coffee grounds, talking still 
About the mistreatment of women? 

Besides it being a display by the rich in front of the rich 
Because they're effing rich and can floorshow v. streetfight
The "slap" is good for biz. And there still is no biz like show biz.

Meanwhile the exploitation of "the nubile bodies they peed and shat upon" 
Continues practically unabated. If you think women aren't still peed and shat upon
Please tell me why female broadcasters and weathercasters show much 
Flesh/leg/cannot age while their male counterparts can look like Elmer Fudd
And stay employed until they're way past 65. 

Please tell me why Kevin Costner can walk out and preach to the minions 
With gravitas and brag about being 68 during the awards
While the "sell by" date for females in H'wood is 38 or so 
(unless they're a supertalented Brit).

Please, this slap wasn't shit. 

The real problem is that H'wood is as out-of-date 
An institution as slavery. 
But because it's so profitable for the slave-owners
It hasn't faded out completely. 

But its time is up.

Judy Juanita's poetry collection Manhattan my ass, you're in Oakland won the American Book Award 2021 from the Before Columbus Foundation. Her semi-autobiographical novel Virgin Soul is about a young woman who joins the Black Panther Party in the 60s (Viking, 2013). Her collection of essays DeFacto Feminism: Essays Straight Outta Oakland [EquiDistance, 2016] examines race, gender, politics and spirituality, as experienced by a black activist and self-described "feminist foot soldier." Winner of the Tartt Fiction Prize at the University of West Alabama [UWA], her short story collection The High Price of Freeways will be published by Livingston Press  [UWA] in July, 2022.