Note from BW of Brazil: There has been a rising ideology among the black Brazilian women within activist circles in recent years….African Womanism. As more and more black women are coming to terms with origins, path and results of the feminist movement, and as more black people in general are beginning to the question the state of black men/black women relationships, African Womenism arrives with the understanding of the necessity of unity among black people, above all between black men and black women. Once one comes to terms with the history of feminism, one does have to come to the point when it is necessary ask whether this ideology helps to heal the wounds imposed on the black community or it simply adds to more conflict. The feminist ideology has given rise to a number of black women who have achieved prominence in the mainstream media in the past few years, but considering what the mainstream supports and finances, we must ask some very serious questions about on whose sides some of these risings stars stand and ultimately where their allegiances lie. The bottom line is the following: Do black feminists work toward the unity of black men and black women which Brazilian society has actively sought to destroy for nearly 500 years? Stay tuned for further developments.
The Black Man is NOT my enemy
By Marinéa Coutinho
“Blessed love among us”
The first time I heard this phrase as a greeting from the irmãs mulheristas africanas (African womanist sisters), I felt embraced. And every time I hear it, it’s like it’s the first time. I strongly believe that only with the blessed love between us will the emancipation of the povo preto (black people) be possible, for AMOR PRETO CURA (BLACK LOVE CURES)!
This phrase perfectly sums up why feminism does not contemplate and not even meet the demands of mulheres negras (black women). Claiming a movement that is not and has not been thought of for us and by us as black women is our biggest mistake, for it tears us apart, divides us and lets the greatest enemy of black people pass by, racism.
If this movement leaves the real motive behind the death of my sisters, behind the deaths of my people, every day – a black person killed every 23 minutes – it is not for me. If this same movement celebrates that the rates of femicide against white women have decreased and does not question why, against black women, they have increased absurdly, it is to rub in our face that if we were not together before when they wanted to work without even washing their own panties, so will it not be that we’ll be now, right?
And you may ask me: what about black feminism? It is still insufficient, to paint such a movement of blacks is not effective, as it is a theory based on branca (white), departing from the perspective of these women and does not break with the genre line. And this breakup is paramount. We are a people, o homem negro não é meu inimigo (the black man is not my enemy), he dies as much as I do – and even more in the hand of the state. I’m nothing without him. He is nothing without me. Whoever steps on the other, is treading on you. I am because he is, he is because I am. This is UBUNTU, which the West will never understand.
Black man statistics
African Womenism breaks with the gender line, we men and women are being killed by the same enemy. This does not mean that these black men don’t falter or reproduce machismo, they screw up and we are here to demand, grab hold of him, only at home, without this hypocrisy and Western hysteria. The black man is not my enemy. A mulher branca que não é minha irmã (The white woman who is not my sister), she is not with me at the time of “vamo ver” (let’s see), does not feel my pain, besides, she is as nociously racist as the homem branco (white man).
The black man and the black woman in Africa are complementary. Patriarchy is not ours, we come from matriarchal societies. And matriarchy is not synonymous with patriarchy with the woman in the center, quite the opposite. In patriarchy, man subdues and oppresses woman. In matriarchy, we recognize that we women are carriers of life, the world’s womb and the black man complements me. He understands that without me, lives are not generated. And I understand that without him, I do not create these lives. So this gender war makes no sense to us, as we struggle to ensure the resistance of vidas pretas (black lives).
White women have to fight against this patriarchy, for the right to work without first washing their own panties, but we black people do not have that luxury. We have a people, a nation to rebuild and this will only be possible with the union of men and women, practicing mutual care, adding strength to overcome racism.
TODO PODER PARA O POVO PRETO! – ALL POWER TO THE BLACK PEOPLE!
Source: Medium Revista Òkòtó