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“Genuine love is rarely an emotional space where needs are instantly gratified. To know love we have to invest time and commitment…’dreaming that love will save us, solve all our problems or provide a steady state of bliss or security only keeps us stuck in wishful fantasy, undermining the real power of the love — which is to transform us.’ Many people want love to function like a drug, giving them an immediate and sustained high. They want to do nothing, just passively receive the good feeling.” ”— -bell hooks
“To the white women present who recognize these attitudes as familiar, but most of all, to all my sisters of Color who live and survive thousands of such encounters - to my sisters of Color who like me still tremble their rage under harness, or who sometimes question the expression of our rage as useless and disruptive (the two most popular accusations) - I want to speak about anger, my anger and what I have learned from my travels through its dominions. Every woman has a well-stocked arsenal of anger potentially useful against those oppressions, personal and institutional, which brought that anger into being. Focused with precision it can be become a powerful source of energy serving progress and change. And when I speak of change, I do not mean a simple switch of positions or a temporary lessening of tensions, nor the ability to smile and feel good. I am speaking of a basic and radical alteration of those assumptions underlying our lives. ”—Audre Lorde. “The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism” Sister Outsider. Crossing Press Berkley. 1984. Originally published as the keynote presentation at the National Women’s Studies Association Conference, Storrs, Connecticut, June 1981
“Although we are feminists and Lesbians, we feel solidarity with progressive Black men and do not advocate the fractionalization that white women who are separatists demand. Our situation as Black people necessitates that we have solidarity around the fact of race, which white women of course do not need to have with white men, unless it is their negative solidarity as racial oppressors. We struggle together with Black men against racism, while we also struggle with Black men about sexism.”—The Combahee River Collective Statement
“As a black woman in a white supremacist world, I can't honestly claim that I've suffered any more prejudice and mistreatment from white men than I have from my own black men. Both groups seem to live by the white man's standard, so they both hate, degrade, exploit, and humiliate black women, fail to even acknowledge our presence. Yet when it comes to race loyalty, I always took the side of the black man--not because he was morally superior to the white man, but because he was the one I gave birth to, the one my womb produces." ”— Kola Boof
“There is a loneliness that can be rocked. Arms crossed, knees drawn up; holding, holding on, this motion, unlike a ship's, smooths and contains the rocker. It's an inside kind—wrapped tight like skin. Then there is a loneliness that roams. No rocking can hold it down. It is alive, on its own. A dry and spreading thing that makes the sound of one's own feet going seem to come from a far-off place.”—Beloved, Toni Morrison
“Black women's insistence on self-definition, self-valuation, and the necessity for a Black female-centered analysis is significant...[for] defining and valuing one's consciousness...is an important way of resisting the dehumanization essential to systems of domination...as Brittan and Maynard point out, "...all forms of oppression imply the devaluation of the subjectivity of the oppressed.”—
Patricia Hill Collins, “Learning from the Outsider Within: The Sociological Significance of Black Feminist Thought” (1986)
Frequently heard in arguments about race: “it’s not offensive to me (therefore it shouldn’t be to you)”— this statement is a reflection of the way in which The Other has been defined as less subjective, intelligent, or human.
*BLACK* UK BASED WOMEN.
In fact, all women of colour, based in the UK/London. Please drop me your emails or numbers for information about any events, talks or meetings that may be happening in your area. I will always blog about events but I know different people can be accessed in different ways. I’m also on Twitter so feel free to follow me on there for updates. @YeYosGun
Pce and much love to ya.
Sunday Sermon: "The Bridge Poem"
Originally published in the anthology ‘This Bridge Called My Back’ in 1983, this poem by Kate Rushin (above) has inspired thousands of women of color worldwide to establish their own feminist roots:
I’ve had enough
I’m sick of seeing and touching
Both sides of things
Sick of being the damn bridge for everybody
Can talk to anybody
I explain my mother to my father
my father to my little sister
My little sister to my brother
my brother to the white feminists
The white feminists to the Black church folks
the Black church folks to the ex-hippies
the ex-hippies to the Black separatists
the Black separatists to the artists
the artists to my friends’ parents…
I’ve got to explain myself