Thursday, April 8, 2010

DOPE: A 5-year-old on Badu's "Window Seat" video

I was actually trying to go online to Erykah Badu's website to view the premiere of "Window Seat" when I discovered my laptop was comatose, so I've been viewing a lot of the discussions online with a silent tongue. I really wanted to post something about the video (Which is deserving of a DOPE post all on its own) but by now it's been said far more eloquently by many others.

Rather than add my two cents, I wanted to share a fresh perspective on the controversy, courtesy of

After viewing the web release of Erykah Badu’s video for the song “Window Seat”, I wanted to sit down and write something an write something amazingly poignant, but could not. It was something I had to sit with for a bit, as the video and song directly addresses some things I am working with/on right now…freedom, self-love, authenticity, appropriation, etc. and prompted a visceral reaction, including tears. Besides, after reading this piece, this piece, and this piece, I no longer felt the need t say much of anything, that is until I begin reading my Twitter timeline.

Folks were tweeting and re-tweeting everything from comments about Badu’s posterior, to her co-opting a Matt and Kim video (who, by the way, she says the piece is inspired by and white folks naked bodies on public display have a whole different meaning than a black woman who shows her with intent and a message.)

What inspired this post was a tweet I read that went something like “how would you feel if her cooch was in your child’s face for art sake” or something close to that. So I sat down with my assistant TH, clicked on the ankh, watched and asked questions as we went along.

SH: What do you think of this?

TH: I like the music. Is it jazz? I like jazz.

SH: There are parts of it that have jazz.

TH: She was driving a big car.

SH: I know. What do you think of her, the lady walking?

TH: I think she is pretty. She is beautiful, perfect.

SH: Why do you think that?

TH: She just is. It’s sunny in the movie. It’s raining outside.

SH: Yes, I know it’s raining. What is she doing now?

TH: She’s walking down the street. Is that her singing?

SH: Yes, that is her singing.

TH: I like her voice. It is like mine.

SH: OK, yeah. She does have a nice voice. What’s happening now.

TH: She’s taking off er clothes. It’s probably hot.

SH: Hmm, well what do you think about that?

TH: I like it when it’s hot.

SH: What do you think about her taking off her clothes?

TH: It’s OK. Sometimes you need to take off your clothes. I like to take my clothes off.

SH: You do? How does it make you feel?

TH: I feel free. I like being naked.

SH: How do you think she feels?

TH: She feels naked and cool and free.

SH: But she is naked outside.

TH: That’s OK. It’s just her body. I have a body. Daddy has a body. You have a body and boobies.

SH: Yes, we all have bodies and mommy has boobies.

TH: That’s why it is OK. We all have one. We are all peoples (not a typo, she said “peoples”).

SH: Yes, we are all people.

TH: Mommy, she has boobies too.

SH: Yes, Erykah Badu has boobies too. So it is OK to show your boobies outside?

TH: Yes, but only if you want to because they are yours. Oh mommy, she fell down!

SH: Yes she did. She was shot.

TH: Why?

SH: Why do you think?

TH: Because she was naked and cool and free?

SH: Maybe.

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