When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: A Hip-Hop Feminist Breaks it Down

In this book by Joan Morgan, she examines the issues African American women face in a world and how independent women want men to pick up tabs. She also talks about how baby mama drama can remind black women who wish to be married that this tradition is a reality for such a small percentage of African Americans. Morgan talks about how racism and sexism can intersect with one another. Also, the way white feminist makes it hard for black women to accept.

Joan Morgan wants black feminists to accept the faults both black and white women make. She expresses how important it is to not build black feminism that doesn’t depend on the people who started the feminist movement, especially the feminist in the new age of hip hop. In the book, she talks about how even though rap music is often sexist/ degrading to black women, there is still black love which is important. She states, “there is a complex and often complicit relationship between both isms, it empowered me with language to express unique oppression that comes with being colored and a woman.

” She also discusses why it is alright to be a feminist and still love black men/ hip hop even though they are problematic. She is referring to hip hop being full of black men calling black women out of their names. She also goes on to tell us that part of the problem with black women’s needs is accepting the term feminist due to race loyalty.

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Overall this book concludes that one must stop creating a culture where we stay silent about men’s violence toward a woman. You need to allow feminism to accept the many gray areas and build off your personal experience. Also, do not make feminism about just oppression but celebrate what being a black woman or girl means to you.


I enjoyed reading this book not only because it talked about the idea of being a black feminist in the 90s but because it was written by a black woman. The way the author wrote sometimes throughout the book was also interesting. I wasn’t expecting to see many slang words, but I was happy it was because it made me more interested in the book. To see her choice of words was comforting, it made it seem like I was having a conversation and not necessarily being taught information.

Based on the title, I had no idea what to expect in the chapter. However, I began to read the chapters I saw it was about independent black women who grew up when hip hop defined feminism for them. There is a third-wave feminist who makes a shift in the feminist movement. This represents generations of feminist that incorporates hip-hop feminism, the agenda of hip-hop feminist who is majority black woman and has female ancestors who saw the struggles with gender oppression as it also connected to the struggle of race and class. Hip hop influences the activism of hip-hop feminists. Hip Hop is dependent on the struggles of the hood because it exposes the issues of these areas while also exposing the struggles between black women and black men.

The author describes feminism as the love of the black woman through the understanding that the progress of the black community together is codependent on the involvement and empowerment of its women. I believe this is true because if we solely depend on the involvement of just women then the movement will not be as impactful. We must get every gender and race involved in order to truly make a difference.

She also talks about the types of feminism she encountered such as collegiate feminism, the bra-less, or femme. She mentions how in the university classroom she was introduced to outspoken women of color and found out that other black women called themselves feminists. I can agree with this, it was not until I entered this class that I truly heard people of my race call themselves a feminist. I would only hear celebrities say and when people would say it, I just thought they were just saying it because their favorite celebrity called themselves a feminist such Beyoncé.

In the book, the author talks about Male Reproductive Rights. She states that if a man makes it known to a woman that he doesn’t want to be a father, even if the woman is already pregnant then he has the right to give up all responsibility for that child. I do not agree with this at all. If a woman decides to keep the baby because she does not want to have an abortion or go through adoption and the man does not want the baby at all, I don’t feel he has the right to just exit the child’s life forever. He knew what could happen when he has sex with a woman, so he should step up as a man and take care of his responsibility. I don’t think it is fair to leave someone’s future in the hands of one person when she was not the only one that participated in the activity.

This book was entertaining but also insightful on what feminism looked like over 20 years ago. I now understand that for black feminism to protect the rights of black women, the ideas of third-wave feminism need to be applied to create activism that fits the new generations of hip hop feminists to come.

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When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: A Hip-Hop Feminist Breaks it Down. (2022, Aug 15). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/when-chickenheads-come-home-to-roost-a-hip-hop-feminist-breaks-it-down/

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