Deliberate and Unafraid: Examining the Plight of the Black Woman Cultural Critic

THU, MAY 12, 2022 (1:14:33)

As cultural criticism becomes more valuable than ever, marginalized writers are still routinely pushed to the sidelines and no one is more ostracized than the Black woman critic. But what happens when they manage to find the courage to write–and ultimately find success–anyway?

Join award-winning Boston Globe cultural columnist Jeneé Osterheldt as she moderates a discussion among journalist Clarissa Brooks, writer, cultural critic, and community organizer, Erica Campbell, News Editor at NME, and Candace McDuffie, journalist and cultural critic, as they explore this topic in depth.


Books that inspired Clarissa: Misogynoir - ‘Glitch Feminism’

Jia Tolentino on what happens when life is an endless performance

The Guardian: The journalist as influencer: how we sell ourselves on social media

Black Criticism Is Always Good — Especially When Black Art Isn’t

NY Times: The Vitality of Black Criticism

What Happens When the Line Between Hip-Hop Journalist & Online Personality Becomes Blurry?

+ BIO: Candace McDuffie

Candace McDuffie is the Senior Writer at The Root who focuses on the intersection of race, gender and entertainment. Her written work has been featured on digital platforms such as: Rolling Stone, MTV, Forbes,, Spotify, PAPER, SPIN, Newsweek, Entertainment Weekly, Glamour, Vibe, Tidal, Marie Claire, Paste, Essence and The Boston Globe.

McDuffie has appeared as a commentator on HBO, BBC World Service: World Business Report, KCRW and the Smithsonian Channel . As a public speaker, she has given talks and moderated panels at an array of conferences, schools and cultural events including: Spotify’s Co. Lab Sessions, Black Communities Conference, Boston Book Festival, Writer’s Digest Annual Conference and The Muse and The Marketplace. McDuffie was awarded Music Journalist of the Year at the 2020 Boston Music Awards as well as Hennessy’s Privilege Toast. She was also a Key West Literary Seminar Fellow in 2022.

+ BIO: Erica Campbell

Erica Campbell is an entertainment journalist and host, and the US News Editor for legacy music publication NME. Her stories have been featured in Spin, Glamour, Architectural Digest,, Alternative Press, W Magazine, and she’s the former music editor of Consequence of Sound.

She’s hosted on-camera interviews with Grammy and Academy award-winning artists, moderated industry panels for Spotify For Artist, and has shared her post-punk pundit skills with NPR, USA Today, SiriusXM, and through a monthly rock column with Paste Magazine.

+ BIO: Clarissa Brooks

Atlanta-based. Interested in exploring the nuance of music, people, politics and the dirty stuff nobody wants to look at.

+ BIO: Jeneé Osterheldt

Jeneé Osterheldt is a culture columnist who covers identity and social justice through the lens of culture and the arts. She centers Black lives and the lives of people of color. Sometimes this means writing about Beyoncé and Black womanhood or unpacking the importance of public art and representation. Sometimes this means taking systemic racism, sexism, and oppression to task. It always means Black lives matter. She joined the Globe in 2018. A native of Alexandria, Va. and a graduate of Norfolk State University, Osterheldt was a 2017 Nieman Fellow at Harvard, where her studies focused on the intersection of art and justice. She previously worked as a Kansas City Star culture columnist.

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