Disclaimer: This blog post is my opinion and not to discredit anyone’s struggle, but rather to express and emphasize the essence of the liberation of the Black woman, and this is no way a promotion of black women dominance.
I heard a Black woman say if racism ended today her life will still be lived in fear because she is still a woman. Her statement stuck with me until this day because she really points out how much the Black woman still remains at the bottom of the system despite all the achievements by Black women across the globe. It is not that we, Black women, are incapable of being great, but it’s the simple fact that we are Black and woman which places us at the bottom of our society. If the Black woman is not being ostracized for her skin color, she surely will be ostracized for her gender, and oh don’t let her be a Black woman who identifies within a sector of the LGBTQ community, but that’s a discussion for another day.
The fact of the matter is we need to push Black feminism and Black women to the forefront of our agenda for Black liberation because if there’s anything I learned over the last few years is that Black people will never be completely free without the Black woman. This includes internalized slavery as well as social slavery which simply indicates there needs to be a push for the healing of the Black woman and transformation of systems.
I’ve been inspired by Chimamanda Adichie, a Nigerian storyteller, who constantly challenges the minds of people, but more specifically the African mind. So, I give her much respect. I read her book and listened to the TedTalk “We Should All Be Feminist,” and was greatly inspired to write my thoughts, mixed with hers, in this blogpost. With that being said,WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST. In fact, we should all be BLACK FEMINISTS. [pullquote]WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST. In fact, we should all be BLACK FEMINISTS.[/pullquote] I’m sure someone is rolling their eyes to the thought of feminism, and laughing at the thought of Black feminism. I’m also sure someone wants to stop reading this because of their thoughts of feminism and the stereotypes of it. It is cool. I forgive you. In fact, we forgive you, but keep reading for me even if you disagree. Ose (thank you)!
Adichie states in her speech that feminism has been stereotyped as women who hate men, are unhappy, and also as un-African. Now, the only way I can agree with feminism being un-African is because the inception of feminism never included the African women which is why I took it upon myself to write about the essence of Black (African) feminism.
If you live in America or Nigeria, it is confam (confirmed) you live in a society that places men above women. That places whiteness over blackness. So, whether you live in America or Nigeria, Black feminism is a must during these days. African communities have been embedded in the concept and practice of sticking together as a tribe which essentially promotes inclusion and protection of all people. According to Adichie, true feminism is about inclusion and awareness, and a feminist is someone who says “Yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today, and we must fix it, we must do better.” [pullquote]According to Adichie, true feminism is about inclusion and awareness, and a feminist is someone who says “Yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today, and we must fix it, we must do better.”[/pullquote] Anger must be felt in order to invoke change because “anger has a long history of bringing positive change.” So, when they say Black feminists are angry; yes, we are angry! And we have every right to be angry. Because Black feminism is dominated by Black women, and society tries to place negative baggage onto the idea of being a Black feminist simply because Black women are NOT allowed to be angry. Nope. It is a threat to men privilege and social standards. And, God no, we don’t want to do that *rolls eyes*.
Adichie makes a point that the suppression of women does not only stifle women, but it also stifles men. It does a disservice to both genders. I am making it a point to say the suppression of Black women does not only stifle the Black woman, but it stifles the whole of humanity. She says “we stifle the humanity of boys.” I say we stifle humanity, period. Our gender roles, the fact we raise our children to conform to gender rules have created a narrow box for both men, women and those who identify outside those two options. Gender roles have created women who silence themselves, and think it is normal to do so, just to refrain from hurting the egos of fragile men who live in fear of emasculation especially in the Black community thus leading to the homophobia, transphobia, etc. Through our gender roles, we teach our girls is it “taboo” to speak against the wrong doings of men, and that it is a taboo to speak up after being raped because somehow it is the “victim’s fault for being in one of her so-called friend’s dorm after 10 p.m.”, or that it is not “manly” enough to come out as being a victim of domestic violence and/or rape. Our gender roles contribute to our traumatized society especially in the Black society leaving broken people to raise a new generation of broken people thus creating a society of robots ready to self-destruct at any day or time.
The time for the push for, and the understanding of, Black feminism for Black liberation is now. The Black woman is the foundation of life, science proves this so look it up, so it is imperative that we make sure our foundation is strong, and healthy, to continue to bring forth live fruits when it is time to harvest. There can never be any liberation without the liberation of the Black woman. The Black woman is LIBERATION.
[pullquote]The Black woman is LIBERATION.[/pullquote]
We need to have conversations on gender in our community. We need to look deeply at how our daughters and sons have been raised and take on the duty to raise them in a new way to create emotionally stable women and men who respect one another and see each other as partners and not as owners of the other.
Oh, and if this post offends you, then you have proven my point of what’s wrong with our society.