"…White supremacy remains the most powerful force in America’s history, the trump card of socialization. The narrative of abandonment has been hijacked to only include black men…But there’s a history of abandonment in America, a history of leaving black women and black children, and it did not start with black men…
The way we’ve come to fetishize white features on black bodies is not only dangerous because of the way it reinforces the idea of white as better. For someone like me, it’s complicated for an additional reason. The part of me that created those white features came from men who would deny me if given the chance. Indiscreet men who took advantage of women and left. Men who not only abandoned their children but, in some cases, sold them. Had their own children bent over in fields for no pay.
I’m a living remnant of that sexual assault. I’m a living remnant of that pain.
I can see it in my thinner hair, my lighter skin, my freckles.
I think of those children, also my blood, and what it means to grow up marred by that abandonment and shame. I think of those children the same way I think of children with no fathers today…”
#SAAM #BelieveSurvivors #NOtheRapeDocumentary
Adrienne Davis, J.D., Black Feminist Legal Scholar (photo credit: Scheherazade Tillet, NOtheRapeDocumentary.org)
"…I started describing American slavery as a sexual economy to really foreground and emphasize the way that Black women’s reproductive and sexual relationships were an integral part of the political economy. What American slavery did was it really did construe childbearing by enslaved women and their sexuality as market and economic relationships that actually created White wealth. And I think people are pretty familiar with reproductive expropriations. But I also think it’s helpful to understand that the White slaveholders themselves understood it, perceived this, and organized their lives around it…And in fact, some very prominent White slaveholders defended American slavery because it meant that White women were freed from the burden of unwanted sex…” Adrienne Davis, J.D., interviewed in NOtheRapeDocumentary.org
Actors Eddie Dean Dobbs, Leah Diane Brown, and Abby Wexler (photo credit: Wadia L. Gardiner, NOtheRapeDocumentary.org)
Today is Day 1 of The Feminist Wire’s 10-day Forum on Race, Racism, and Anti-Racism within Feminism.
"…This is an attempt to reexamine race and racism from multiple feminist perspectives. To be sure, this is not a Black-white dialogue. This is not a cisgender dialogue. It is not exclusively academic in nature nor entirely activist in spirit. It is multi-voiced, even as it is not representative. It is a conversation that pre-dates all of us, even as it is a dialogue that is no less important now than in previous iterations of feminism, from the suffragettes exclusion of African-American women to the whiteness of the sex wars, to white feminism’s response to and engagement with transnational feminism.
A theme emerges in this Forum–white folks will be called out. And not just because of white silence to recent events, but also because our time is one that is shaped through and through by white supremacy. White privilege may be diluted by class, geography, ability, sexuality, gender identity. And yet, the structural underpinnings of the institutions that inscribe our lives and everyday patterns of seeing and talking are bound together by a legacy of racism, the overvaluation of white bodies at other humans’ expense, and policies intended to promote thriving for white folks.
This Forum is certainly not meant to be the definitive statement on race, racism, and anti-racism within feminism. TFW is committed to cultivating an ongoing dialogue, and so even as we start this Forum, we know that this is only the start of a long-term and potentially difficult conversation, part of which we will continue to publish. We offer these essays and love notes as a beginning and invite you to continue to journey and engage with us.
Racism in feminism exists. This fact is not up for debate, not here not now. But we ask you to consider: what actions and inactions, words and silences make it possible for racism to breed? Morphing in response to logics like colorblindness and thriving through co-optation of words like “diversity” and “multiculturalism.” Enduring because of cowardice and privilege rather than courage seems to be the default mode of operating. For the next ten days this Forum seeks to interrupt this dynamic. We invite you to join us.”
"EUROPEANS TAUGHT FOR CENTURIES that Africa had no written history, literature or philosophy (claiming Egypt was other than African). When roughly 1 MILLION manuscripts were found in Timbuktu/Mali covering , according to Reuters "all the fields of human knowledge: law, the sciences, medicine," IT DID NOT MAKE MAINSTREAM NEWS as did the lies taught by Europeans concerning Africa." ~ Timothy Taylor (via Facebook)
—> on.fb.me/NePwYR <—
SPREAD THE WORD!!!! CHALLENGE THE EUROCENTRIC MYTHS & LIES ABOUT THE AFRICAN CONTINENT!!!
[…] As feminists, we don’t want to participate in the use of oppressive force or reproduce any system that legitimates this force. As white people born in the U.S. who work at a university, we’ve benefited enormously from this very system we oppose. These contradictions will not be resolved in silence and, unless we work on recognizing and addressing them, we don’t expect for it to be easy for anyone who hasn’t shared our experiences to work with us…” ~Theresa Warburton and Joshua Cerrett, “What We Aren’t Talking About When We Talk About ‘White Privilege’” for The Feminist Wire
Read in its entirety here > http://bit.ly/MJIBXn"
[…] These challenging conversations are necessary because, in the age of intensive plurality and diversity, any movement worth being part of is going to involve organizing across many forms of difference. Notice how we say ‘across’ and not ‘in spite of.’ We say that because it’s likely that most people in these movements will have at least one identity that provides systematic, unearned advantages – whiteness, maleness, heterosexuality, citizenship, able-bodiedness, etc. – and those same people will have other identities that provide systematic, unearned disadvantages. We need to recognize that the vast majority of people are both oppressed and oppressive in different ways, in different contexts, and in different moments…” ~ Theresa Warburton and Joshua Cerretti, What We Aren’t Talking About When We Talk About ‘White Privilege’ for The Feminist Wire
Read in its entirety here > http://bit.ly/MJIBXn"
Who Will Revere Us? (Black LGTBQ People, Straight Women, and Girls)
From April 23, 2012 through April 26, 2012, The Feminist Wire published Aishah Shahidah Simmons' four part series titled “Who Will Revere Us? (Black LGTBQ People, Straight Women, and Girls).” Through a comparison of selected cases, Simmons interrogates why Black/African-American/African descendant communities have tremendous difficulty addressing various forms of violence perpetuated against LGTBQ people, straight women, and girls. Following is the introduction to the series.
The title of this four part article is a metaphorical nod to the legendary jazz singer, songwriter, actor, and activist Abbey Lincoln (also known as Aminata Moseka) whose essay, “Who Will Revere The Black Woman?” is featured in the ground-breaking anthology The Black Woman. Edited by Black feminist author, screenwriter, and visionary activist Toni Cade Bambara, this all-Black woman anthology focused on the issues most pertinent to Black women and our communities. Originally published in 1970 and reissued in 2005 with a forward by Dr. Eleanor W. Traylor, The Black Woman was the literary wo/manifestation of the impact of the intersection of the Civil Rights/Black Power movements and the second wave of the Women’s Rights movement on Black women’s lives. In short, Ms. Lincoln’s ageless essay is a demand for justice and protection for Black women. In her concluding paragraph she writes,
[…]Who will revere the Black woman? Who will keep our neighborhoods safe for Black innocent womanhood? Black womanhood is outraged and humiliated. Black womanhood cries for dignity and restitution and salvation. Black womanhood wants and needs protections, and keeping and holding. Who will assuage her indignation? Who will keep her precious and pure? Who will glorify and proclaim her beautiful image? To whom will she cry rape?
I cannot afford the luxury of fighting one form of oppression only. I cannot believe that freedom from intolerance is the right of only one particular group. And I cannot afford to choose between the front upon which I must battle these forces of discrimination, wherever they appear to destroy me. And when they appear to destroy me, it will not be long before they appear to destroy you.
I am struggling to find the right time to discuss inter and intra-racial gender-based violence in the midst of the justified outrage about the rampant and virulent racialized violence perpetrated against straight Black boys and men. Even with this being Sexual Assault Awareness Month, now doesn’t feel like the best time to write about the gender-based and state-sanctioned violence perpetuated against Black straight women, girls, and LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) people both inside of and outside of our racial/cultural communities. I fear that sharing what’s on my heart and mind, might be construed as my taking away from the “real” issue at hand in most Black communities, which seems to be solely white supremacist and/or state-sanctioned racist violence against straight Black men and boys. Audre Lorde’s writings remind me, however, that discussions on oppression within Black communities should never be taken up within an either/or frame. The diverse herstories/histories and contemporary realities of Black straight women, girls, and LGBTQ people have consistently revealed that the issues that directly impact us often take a back seat, if they even make it into the metaphorical car on the freedom and liberation highway. There is a collective understanding among many in multi-racial, radical progressive movements, that the white supremacist, patriarchal, heterosexist, imperial, and capitalist power structure is the root of all oppressions in the United States. While I believe that to be true, even in the company of other oppressed people, Black straight women and LGBTQ people are still under attack. Too often we are caught at the intersections of race, gender, and if we identify as LGBTQ, sexuality. In spite of our shared his/herstories of oppression, struggle, and perseverance against the odds, not enough Black people view sexism, patriarchy, misogyny, heterosexism and transphobia with the same kind of activist passion that we view racism, white supremacy, and state-sanctioned violence perpetuated against straight Black men and boys. The reality is this: when Black straight men and boys are beaten, brutalized, and/or murdered as a result of state-sanctioned and/or white supremacist violence, it becomes (as well it should be) a national issue in the Black community and in a few, definitely not all, instances, the outrage moves beyond the Black community. Yet, when Black straight women, girls, and LGBTQ people are raped, sexually assaulted, beaten, brutalized, and/or murdered as a result of misogynist, patriarchal, state-sanctioned, and/or white supremacist violence, it is too often the victim’s individual issue.
There are so many egregious, known and unknown, cases of racial and gender-based violence perpetuated against all Black people, regardless of their gender, gender identity, and sexuality, that it is literally impossible to write about all of them. I want to highlight a selected few of the far too many, however, to ask Black/African-American/African descended people to consider our responses when any of us have been railroaded into the prison industrial complex, sexually or otherwise assaulted, or murdered. I want us, Black/African-American/African descended people, to consider our responses to issues that affect many as opposed to those issues affecting someof us based on our gender, gender identity, and/or sexuality.
Part 1, which was published on April 23, 2012, can be read in its entirety here. On April 24, 2012, Ebony.com aggregated part one. You can read it here.
Read Part One of Who Will Revere US? (Black LGTBQ People, Straight Women, and Girls)
Read Part Two of Who Will Revere US? (Black LGTBQ People, Straight Women, and Girls)
Read Part Three of Who Will Revere US? (Black LGTBQ People, Straight Women, and Girls)
“This country has a virulent history of racist violence perpetuated against Black Women, yet we have tried to protect Black men from racism. Like Black men, Black women have been horribly impacted by white supremacy. Yet, there is often not the same outcry in our communities when a Black woman is raped,” ~Aishah Shahidah Simmons in Brooke Axtell’s “Black Women, Sexual Assault and the Art of Resistance” for ForbesWoman
Read article in its entirety here —>http://onforb.es/JoYwVH"
- “Myth is the facts of the mind made manifest in a fiction of matter.”— Maya Deren (via di—es—-can-ic-ul-ar—es)
- “I searched for God, and found only myself. I searched for myself, and found only God.”— Sufi proverb (via awakenedvibrations)
- “My job is not to produce answers. My job is to produce good questions.”— Glenn Ligon (via parkavenuearmory)