Black Feminist Wondaland

Reckoning, Celebrating, and Reclaiming Joy in Higher Education


  • Elizabeth Gilliam Florida State University
  • S. R. Toliver University of Colorado, Boulder



Afrofuturism, Black Feminist Wondaland, Black feminist/womanist storytelling, “Dirty Computer,” Black women


Janelle Monae’s, Dirty Computer, tackles issues like feminism, racism, sexuality, Black womanhood, self-assurance, and growth. Each song on the album is presented from a first-person point of view, offering a unique insight into a story that shares an intimate portrait of what it means to embrace authentic Black womanhood. Monae’s lyrical storytelling brings to life stories of love, loss, fear, and celebration, offering an experience that cannot be ignored. Still, the numerous ways Black women experience joy and celebration are often overlooked in higher education. Thus, in this article, we center Monae’s album and offer the framework, Black Feminist Wondaland (BFW), to account for how Black women reckon with the misogynoir enacted against us, celebrate ourselves as an act of radical resistance, and reclaim our joy in a society bent on keeping us in a state of sorrow.