I am Black. I am a Feminist. I have thoughts.

I sit in class and my heart speaks to me. I sit in class and my conscience speaks to me. I sit in class and my filter takes control of me. I sit in class and I am…silent. Pain is the feeling of not being heard. Its is the feeling of being pushed aside and dehumanized. As I sit in class I wonder if my words are tainted by melanin. Do you see me? No, not my twists, or my hips nor my “exotic” complexion but me. My mind. My feminism. My thoughts?

Black feminist thought.

I am black.

I am a feminist.

I have thoughts.

Angela Kupenda is a successful black woman. Angela Kupenda is single. From the first page of the chapter I could not help but feel worried for my own future. Is it because she is a successful that she does not have a family? There have been studies that show women can’t have it “all”. I don’t believe that but the more I read about women of color and their successes it often times is celebrated alone. This by no means says that women NEED to have families but my concern comes from what if I want a family and to be successful? Is it possible? Can it happen?

Black feminist thought.

I am black.

I am a feminist.

I have thoughts.

This chapter made me so mad. The way Kupenda was being treated is racist. This is the worst type of racism. The subtle jabs she experienced are not justified and unbelievable that they happened at such a high level of academia. She is mammy to her white colleagues. She was asked to stay for the summer to teach students because she is “nurturing” and “motherly”. He might as well have asked addressed her as “mammy”. Additionally, he had the power to prevent Kupenda from taking time to move up the ladder of teaching/academia. It is incredible how threatened whites are by educated, independent black women.

Black feminist thought.

I am black.

I am a feminist.

I have thoughts.

Black women’s bodies are always under surveillance. I will never forget being late to class not because I didn’t come in on time but because the dean of students would stand at the entrance of my high school and tell all of the black women with short shorts to go home and change. We would see as the white women who were wearing shorter shorts would walk in with no problem at all. The message I got from my high school was that my body, my hips were too much. My shape was too much. I need to hide my beauty. When reading the beginning of Facing Down the Spooks I was hurt to read about the lack of privacy black women had; how their bodies were inspected, violated and exposed. However, white women were treated as pure and angelic. Its sickening. White women’s privacy is a right. Black women’s privacy, to this day, is a privilege. God forbid Nicki Minaj embrace her body, her curves but white women such as Taylor Swift can do whatever they want with any criticism.

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One thought on “I am Black. I am a Feminist. I have thoughts.

  1. Amen, sister! I am here to tell you: YES, you can have a successful career AND a family to share it with! Not only that, but it is your inheritance from your African foremothers who very often “had it all.” I hope to introduce you to some of them through this course. But you are right, of course: there is a double standard when it comes to Black women and white women and even, sad to say, when it comes to Black feminists and (some) white ones.

    Like

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