Melissa Harris-Perry Talks #Nerdland, GOP War on Women, and Beyonce
1 year ago
New MSNBC show highlights a diverse array of topics and discussions
Recently, dubbed “The Future of Feminism,” along with Rachel Maddow by Ms. Magazine, Tulane professor Melissa Harris-Perry is off to a running start just a few weeks into her new weekend show on MSNBC. “Melissa Harris-Perry” has tackled the Republican war on women, the “daddy issues” of the presidential contenders, and most recently in a very unique segment for cable news, the cultural and political impact of the late rapper Notorious B.I.G.
The show’s hash tag, “#Nerdland” represents that space where political junkies come for the politics and stay for the diverse array of guests and perspectives unlike other shows on television. Loop 21 spoke with Melissa Harris-Perry about her new show and she dished about everything from intersectionality to Beyonce.
Loop 21: Do you feel unique intersectional pressure because you are a woman of color on television? ["Intersectionality" is pressure from the feminist community and the African-American community as well as a specific pressure as an African-American woman.]
Melissa Harris-Perry: Well, I don’t know what white guys feel. [Laughs] I don’t know if I feel more [pressure] or less pressure than they do. I feel pressure but not in the worst way. I want to do well and get the stories right. I want to make my [hardworking] staff proud. [With regard to pressure from the audience], there are times when I will tune into social media and there are a lot of nice things but there are [also] criticisms. Sometimes the criticisms are specifically about race and gender and that I don’t care about race and gender. I want to [push back] against that notion that I don’t care.
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Loop 21: Do you feel that you have to battle and navigate the traditional stereotypes you address in your book Sister Citizen? If so, what advice would you give to black women feeling like they have to push back against these misleading perceptions of how they are?