I have been living in China for a little over 3 years now. The events that led me to leave South Africa, work in DR Congo and then pursue a degree here are perhaps the same reasons why I have started this blog. Self discovery, self expression and the desire to make a change in myself and also within society.
I came upon the term ‘Africana Womanism‘ some time ago and it resonated with me. Wikipedia states that it ‘is a term coined in the late 1980s by Clenora Hudson-Weems intended as an ideology applicable to all women of African descent. It is grounded in African culture and Afrocentrism and focuses on the experiences, struggles, needs, and desires of Africana women of the African diaspora’. My personal belief is that is it the solution to a lot of problems in Africa.
Feminism is not a term that I believe black people of African descent should subscribe to. The foundation on which it rests does not fall in line with our culture. It is, has always been and will always be largely to the benefit of white people. Unlike Africana womanism, white feminists see men as their enemy because historically their counterparts subjucated them to the position of property. African men have never had the power to oppress black women in the same way. Secondly, Africana Womanism adresses both racist and sexist ideology, something that feminism does not.
It is very important that as Africans, we remember who we are and where we come from. For those of us who have the opportunity to leave home, we must not allow ourselves to be deluded into fighting for others when our own problems still need to be addressed. There is a difference between acculturation and assimilation.
There are 18 key components of African Womanism, which are then grouped into three characteristics:
- Role flexibility
- Struggling with Black men against oppression
- Black female sisterhood
- Male compatibility
- Respect for elders
My aim is to cover these characteristics, discuss their relevance in our current climate and communicate with readers (and writers:)) who have similar interests. There are many other issues and components that will be touched on and hopefully my blog can start a conversation.
To conclude, I suggest that you take a look at a YouTube video posted by Bowdoin College, titled ‘Clenora Hudson-Weems: “Africana Womanism”‘. It is very informative and she does a very good job of putting everything into context.