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Reclaiming Our Space: How Black Feminists Are Changing the World from the Tweets to the Streets

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  472 ratings  ·  103 reviews
A treatise of Black women's transformative influence in media and society, placing them front and center in a new chapter of mainstream resistance and political engagement

In Reclaiming Our Space, social worker, activist, and cultural commentator Feminista Jones explores how Black women are changing culture, society, and the landscape of feminism by building digital communi
Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 29th 2019 by Beacon Press
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Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell

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This is a difficult book to review because I really wanted to like it, but so many things about it rubbed me the wrong way that I wasn't able to appreciate it like I wanted to and ended up not really getting that much enjoyment or value out of it.

RECLAIMING OUR SPACE is a book written by Feminista Jones, a black activist on Twitter who has had a hand in a lot of popular social media activism movements. The subtitle "How Black Feminists
3.5 stars rounded up.

In reviewing Reclaiming Our Space by Feminista Jones, it feels necessary to recommend that the reader disregard the title of the book before diving in. I hung on to the title for a while before letting it go and wish I had let it go sooner. The book is not a book about other feminists' activism online and in person. It is largely a book about Jones' life, opinions, experiences, and writing career told through a collection of separate essays. This is not a bad thing. I would
Feb 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, arcs, girl-power, black
This collection speaks a lot about Black feminism in the age of social media, where Tumblr posts and Twitter hashtags are a new and valid method of resistance and political organization. This book also mainly focuses on the author's view of the new digital age of Black feminism. I didn't expect either of these things when diving into the book. The title "Reclaiming Our Space" made me feel as if I'd be reading a book about the diversity of Black feminism from a variety of different Black feminist ...more
Alana Benjamin
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book had so much potential but it is basically rudimentary Black Feminism mixed with the history of Black Twitter hashtags and moments from the perspective of the author.

The text made the point that origin stories matter but I don't think that it was strong enough.

I think that this book has its audience but it just wasn't me.
Dec 31, 2018 added it
Out Jan 29th, Reclaiming Our Space explores the contributions Black Women have made (& continue to make) to society and the power of the hashtag. Many movements started by Black Women have been erased and overshadowed by others. In this book, Feminista Jones educates readers on the importance of origin stories. I appreciate the fact that the author was inclusive in her research and interviewed women from various fields. In addition to research, Feminista was transparent about her high and lows, ...more
Galen Johnson
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellently explanatory, powerfully written book that discusses the very recent forces and women that have made Black Feminism more visible and more powerful while also putting it in a historical context. I recommend this book for anyone who identifies as a feminist, and I particularly recommend it for anyone doing work on social issues on social media. I've followed Jones on Twitter for years, and still learned a lot. If you are a white person reading the book, you might feel a bit u ...more
Kevin A. A.
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There’s so much social media discourse surrounding Black feminism. It’s been really hard to track down the origins of some of the really poignant moments and stories that have made so much impact. Feminista Jones does an incredible job making all of these interlocking movement accessible and relatable. This book is a must for anyone who engages in any level of social media activism.
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. I followed Feminista Jones and her tweets regularly while I was in grad school - but not much now since I am mostly social media free. I believe that Feminista Jones wanted to situate Black women activists (via social media) within a long history of Black feminism. I felt like this was more pronounced in the first chapters and then really centered on her own activism and that of her close friend and colleagues in the later chapters. I think a more accurate description of this book as ...more
Dr. Samantha
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is an exemplary written book that discusses in detail the current issues that have long plagued Black Feminism in the Social Media age. The author delivered insightful and valid information on a range of important topics that affect "Us" from a social scientist perspective, and I highly recommend it for anyone utilizing Social Media as a platform to address important social issues. The content is inciteful, but thought provoking, to anyone who might be instigators or complicit regarding the ...more
Karen Ashmore
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a great book! Author Feminista Jones (who I follow on Twitter) explores all aspects of black feminism, esp how Black Women are using social media to change the world. She delves into motherhood, reproductive justice, Black Women’s health care, sex positivity, #BlackGirlMagic, white supremacy, and dealing with racism of White Women and sexism of Black Men. She culminates in discussing the women who carry forth with the intersectionality of a Black Woman’s narrative as established by the Comb ...more
Lianna Bessette
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent! I learned so much about social media activism and Black feminism today. I also really liked Jones’ voice and would like to read more of her work.
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
(Note: I'm a White trans woman and bring that perspective to this review.)

I learned so much from this book. I learned about Black feminism, as I knew I would, and I learned a great deal about modern communication and social media, which I hadn't known I would. What a bonus! I'm going to come back to it for another read in a while (a few months, maybe) because I expect I'll get even more out of it the second time around.

It is a bit different in tone - slightly more academic - from FJ's Twitter ac
Jack Kitchen
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As a white cishet man I know that my voice is the one most listened to whenever anything comes up. A book like this? Sure, sure you should listen to Black women, but let's just see what this man think first, I'm here to say to you to stop, stop what you're thinking and just read. Pick this up, in doing so support the, so often unseen or ignored, work of so many Black Women, and stop thinking on the same worn-out tracks, open your mind up and get rid of the prejudices you're harbouring. That this ...more
Amy Layton
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: feminism, nonfiction
Before I read this book, I was convinced that online activism (slacktivism) was not useful.  After all, what exactly does sharing memes do?  What does ranting on twitter do besides blowing off some steam?  Turns out, it does quite a lot!  From the #MeToo movement to creating an online horror community, black feminist women bring to light a lesser-known (and lesser-viewed) type of activism.  

Feminista Jones discusses how often black women are disregarded from this conversation, and how little suc
Jan 05, 2020 rated it liked it
As someone who hasnt read any explicit feminist literature, I felt this book provided a decent introduction to modern-day Black Feminism. Throughout the book, Jones gave great talking-points on why Black Feminism exists and the many issues Black Feminists address. It was great to hear the origins of some of the most popular hashtag movements of our time, especially as someone who doesn't use Twitter.

Jones could have provided a more comprehensive picture of the other feminists and movements. For
Sadie Forsythe
Jun 19, 2020 rated it liked it
I'm not sure how I want to rate this book. It's always hard when a book doesn't turn out to be what you expect, not bad but not what you picked it up for. I expected to read about modern Black feminists and I did, but not as much as I'd hoped and expected. I'd say this book is 50% memoir and of the remaining 50%, half of that is about Black women leading the way in making Twitter a viable and vibrant digital space and half is about Black feminism in that space. All of which is in the title, but ...more
Rounding up from a 3.5. Feminista Jones' book discusses Black feminists and their contributions to the digital space. Her words were accessible, centered on Black women, and gave me some readings to add to my TBR list. However, I agree with others that the book has a memoir quality because it's full of primarily personal discussions about Jones' work, thoughts, and connection to the feminists discussed. It doesn't make it any less informative or enjoyable to read, but it's not what I expected fr ...more
Jul 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Per other reviews, this is entirely mis-marketed. It's more of a blog-ish memoir of essays instead of being about other black feminists as well, and very all over the place. It's more about social media and using it, and it's a confusing assortment to put into book form. I thought I would be reading a collection of different women's viewpoints, but it's very much the author's, so again, not what was expected. And despite her being queer, she barely discussed that at all, instead focusing on hete ...more
Isaac Holloway
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Reclaiming Our Space is a text that relates the lived experience of Black Feminists in social media and how the work of Feminism manifests on those platforms. To quote the author Feminista Jones, "Origin stories matter..". I am very grateful to Jones' work to give credit where credit is due in this time when social media and the world continues to struggle with properly attributing anyone for anything especially Black folk.

Jones through the lens of her own experience and work in part memior/par
May 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 rounded up - themes of the book were really interesting but there were times where I felt it wandered.

A good place to start if you're looking to learn more - I now have a whole list of other women whose work I would like to read.
Very insightful and I feel I have gained a better understanding of the contributions that Black women have made that have gone unrecognised or have been co-opted by white people.

This was a great read and I finished it all in one sitting.
Lake Villa District Library
[Re]AD in 2020: [Re]PRESENT Your Community and Country. Find this book in our catalog! ...more
Mashed Potato
Aug 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
great and digestible read
A really good book. How fascinating to read the history of social media through the lens of Black feminism. The chapters, Black Mamas Matter, and “Ive always been good to you people” (about White Feminism) were especially compelling to me. And the chapters, Black Feminism 101and 102 are great overviews too.
Stephanie Doyle
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Feminista Jones is smart as hell and an excellent writer. Not an avid nonfiction reader but I loved how she stacked everything in this book. I learned a lot and it made me think. You can’t ask for much more.
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
I’m glad I ignored the review below that gave it two stars. As she states in her review, it wasn’t written for her. I enjoyed the book, while I did feel it was a hard read the meatier chapters towards the end resonated with me the most as a black feminist woman and daily struggles.

I think it’s a great read for those in the same boat and just want to recognize that we are all struggling and the daily fight is tiresome. However, with that said the book highlighted the efforts so many black women
Aug 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: goodreads-review
Reclaiming Our Space: How Black Feminists Are Changing the World from the Tweets to the Streets is well-written and engaging; it makes the complexities and forgotten moments of Black feminism in the social media age both accessible and unforgettable. Someone who knows nothing about social media and Black feminism could pick it up, study it, then use the bibliography as a "syllabus" for years worth of additional reading and study material. Thus, I think it is especially great for students in both ...more
Apr 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Learned a lot. The chapter on white feminism titled “I’ve always been good to you people!” was my favorite.
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Feminista Jones offers us a book that is educational, personal, and humorous without trying to be. She gives us the history of Black feminists, while showing us exactly social media has changed how movements of all types are born.

Her voice isn't one dimensional; the book manages to also be part memoir. We get an in-depth glimpse into exactly how Feminista Jones was shaped into the force that she is.

One of my favorite parts of the book, that I didn't expect, was the interviews with the Black fe
mad mags
Jan 27, 2020 rated it liked it
(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review from the publisher.)

DNF at 42%.

"Imagine if Audre Lorde had access to Twitter in the 1970s and could share her now-famous and revered quotations in real time—what might that have done for the Black feminist movement of the time? If Angela Davis’s speeches of the 1970s could be broadcast via Periscope and seen by tens of thousands a mere forty-eight hours after she delivered them? Imagine if Marsha P. Johnson could have shared video
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