Black Feminism Quotes

Quotes tagged as "black-feminism" Showing 1-27 of 27
Audre Lorde
“Guilt is not a response to anger; it is a response to one’s own actions or lack of action. If it leads to change then it can be useful, since it is then no longer guilt but the beginning of knowledge. Yet all too often, guilt is just another name for impotence, for defensiveness destructive of communication; it becomes a device to protect ignorance and the continuation of things the way they are, the ultimate protection for changelessness.”
Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches

Mikki Kendall
“One of the biggest issues with mainstream feminist writing has been the way the idea of what constitutes a feminist issue is framed. We rarely talk about basic needs as a feminist issue. Food insecurity and access to quality education, safe neighborhoods, a living wage, and medical care are all feminist issues. Instead of a framework that focuses on helping women get basic needs met, all too often the focus is not on survival but on increasing privilege. For a movement that is meant to represent all women, it often centers on those who already have most of their needs met.”
Mikki Kendall, Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot

Mikki Kendall
“No one can live up to the standards set by racist stereotypes like this that position Black women as so strong they don’t need help, protection, care, or concern. Such stereotypes leave little to no room for real Black women with real problems. In fact, even the most “positive” tropes about women of color are harmful precisely because they dehumanize us and erase the damage that can be done to us by those who might mean well, but whose actions show that they don’t actually respect us or our right to self-determine what happens on our behalf.”
Mikki Kendall, Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot

bell hooks
“No level of individual self-actualization alone can sustain the marginalized and oppressed. We must be linked to collective struggle, to communities of resistance that move us outward, into the world.”
bell hooks, Sisters of the Yam: Black Women and Self-Recovery

Angela Y. Davis
“When Black women stand up— as they did during the Montgomery Bus Boycott—as they did during the Black liberation era, earth-shaking changes occur.”
Angela Y. Davis, Freedom Is a Constant Struggle

Audre Lorde
“But the Black male consciousness must be raised to the realization that sexism and woman-hating are critically dysfunctional to his liberation as a Black man because they arise out of the same constellation that engenders racism and homophobia.”
Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches

Malebo Sephodi
“To misbehave us to denounce the social norms that limit individuals based on who they are. That to make history is to upset patriarchy, a system that is intent on controlling and marginalising others.”
Malebo Sephodi, Miss Behave

Patricia Hill Collins
“as social conditions change, so must the knowledge and practices designed to resist them”
Patricia Hill Collins, Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment

“Maleness has functioned in our race much like whiteness has in the larger culture: its privileges have been rendered normal, its perspectives natural, its biases neutral, its ideas superior, its anger wholly justifiable, and its way of being the gift of God to the universe.”
Michael Eric Dyson, What Truth Sounds Like: Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation About Race in America

Angela Y. Davis
“Black feminism emerged as a theoretical and practical effort demonstrating that race, gender, and class are inseparable in the social worlds we inhabit. At the time of its emergence, Black women were frequently asked to choose whether the Black movement or the women’s movement was most important. The response was that this was the wrong question.”
Angela Y. Davis, Freedom Is a Constant Struggle

Malebo Sephodi
“We should, at all times, insist that we belong to ourselves and have the agency to make decisions about our own lives. Our voices, whether loud or soft, matter. Our behaviour, whether seen as 'good' or 'bad', remains our choice.”
Malebo Sephodi, Miss Behave

Angela Y. Davis
“As many times as I’ve spoken during Black History Month, I never tire of urging people to remember that it wasn’t a single individual or two who created that movement, that, as a matter of fact, it was largely women within collective contexts, Black women, poor Black women who were maids, washerwomen, and cooks. These were the people who collectively refused to ride the bus.”
Angela Y. Davis, Freedom Is a Constant Struggle

Audre Lorde
“And if Black men choose to assume that privilege for whatever reason- raping, brutalizing and killing Black women- then ignoring these acts of Black male oppression within our communities can only serve our destroyers. One oppression does not justify another.”
Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches

Malebo Sephodi
“What else must we do and say?

What else must the oppressed do for a taste of freedom?”
Malebo Sephodi

Malebo Sephodi
“Each chapter in MissBehave is about navigating life as a black woman and all encounters that led me to espouse feminist ideals”
Malebo Sephodi, Miss Behave

“As hip hop has made clear—and black religion, too, for that matterwhen we conceive of the horrors we confront, they have a masculine tint; we measure the terrors we face by calculating their harm to our men and boys. Thus the role of our artists has often been limited to validating the experiences, expressions, and desires of boys and men. When we name those plagued by police violence, we cite the names of the boys and men but not the names of the girls and women. We take special note of how black boys are unfairly kicked out of school while ignoring that our girls are right next to them in the line of expulsion. We empathize with black men who end up in jail because of a joint they smoked while overlooking the defense against domestic abuse that lands just as many women in jail. We offer authority and celebration to men at church to compensate for how the white world overlooks their talents unless they carry a ball or a tune. We thank black fathers for lovingly parenting their children, and many more of them do so than is recognized in the broader world, which is one reason for our gratitude. But we are relatively thankless for the near superhuman efforts of our mothers to nurture and protect us.”
Michael Eric Dyson, What Truth Sounds Like: Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and Our Unfinished Conversation About Race in America

Malebo Sephodi
“I knew there was something wrong when I couldn't say he or she in my own language.”
Malebo Sephodi, Miss Behave

Audre Lorde
“On the other hand, white women face the pitfall of being seduced into joining the oppressor under the pretense of sharing power. This possibility does not exist in the same way for women of Color. The tokenism that is sometimes extended to us is not an invitation to join power; our racial "otherness" is a visible reality that makes that quite clear. For white women there is a wider range of pretended choices and rewards for identifying with patriarchal power and its tools.

Today, with the defeat of ERA, the tightening economy, and increased conservatism, it is easier once again for white women to believe the dangerous fantasy that if you are good enough, pretty enough, sweet enough, quiet enough, teach the children to behave, hate the right people, and marry the right men, then you will be allowed to co-exist with patriarchy in relative peace, at least until a man needs your job or the neighborhood rapist happens along. And true, unless one lives and loves in the trenches it is difficult to remember that the war against dehumanization is ceaseless.

But Black women and our children know the fabric of our lives is stitched with violence and
with hatred, that there is no rest. We do not deal with it only on the picket lines, or in dark midnight alleys, or in the places where we dare to verbalize our resistance. For us, increasingly, violence weaves through the daily tissues of our living — in the supermarket, in the classroom, in the elevator, in the clinic and the schoolyard, from the plumber, the baker, the saleswoman, the bus driver, the bank teller, the waitress who does not serve us.”
Audre Lorde

Minna Salami
“Les feministes negres sempre han subratllat que la lluita no pot dirigir-se únicament contra el patriarcat, com diuen les feministes blanques. Tampoc poc centrar-se únicament en la lluita de classes, com diuen les socialistes. No pot abordar tan sols el racisme i l'imperialisme, com diuen les negres radicals. I tampoc pot combatre només l'ecocidi, com diuen les activistes ecologistes.”
Minna Salami, Sensuous Knowledge: A Black Feminist Approach for Everyone

Minna Salami
“El blau és el color de la plenitud i la unitat; representa la confluència del cel amb el mar, on la terra esdevé un sol ens. Reflecteix la pau del cel i la intuïció de la nit. El blau és música. El blau també és el color associat amb el poder. A l'Àfrica el blau representa la feminitat.”
Minna Salami, Sensuous Knowledge: A Black Feminist Approach for Everyone

Mikki Kendall
“Women of color declaring to white women, I'm not here to clean up your mess, carry your spear, hold your hand, or cheer you on while I suffer in silence. I'm not here to raise your children, assuage your guilt, build your platforms, or fight your battles. I'm here for my community because no one else will stand up for us but us”
Mikki Kendall, Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot

Malebo Sephodi
“i want to live in a society where we are all liberated. this is what my feminism looks like.”
Malebo Sephodi, Miss Behave

Malebo Sephodi
“I am flawed and not perfect and get the theory incorrect because I am still unlearning internalised oppression. I still struggle with deep-seated beliefs about gender norms and have to constantly check myself. I don’t get it right all the time but I am walking in the right direction. I used to be hard on myself because I desperately wanted my feminism to be accepted by other feminists. This is when I learned the importance of the different threads that run through different strands of feminism. Sometimes I don’t feminist up to the standards of others but I continue to identify as an African feminist. It is important that we offer critique among one another though – so we may
continually check our blind spots.”
Malebo Sephodi, Miss Behave

Malebo Sephodi
“I know that my fight on this continent is a fight against patriarchy, poverty, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, FGM, rape, HIV/Aids, human and food insecurity, displacement, conflicts and the many atrocities we continue to face. I fight with hope for total liberation. And I know that with this identity, labelling myself as an African feminist, it is not to say that there is a sisterhood that represents and speaks on behalf of all of us. We are not homogenous, but we are connected.”
Malebo Sephodi, Miss Behave

Reni Eddo-Lodge
“Not displaying anger wasn’t going to stop me being labelled as angry, so I thought: fuck it. I decided to speak my mind. The more politically assertive I became, the more men shouted at me.”
Reni Eddo-Lodge, Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race

Jesmyn Ward
“Cassie's story made me acutely aware of the fact that in that moment, she inhabited a black body, and so marked, would never be gifted with escape.”
Jesmyn Ward, Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves

Rebecca Walker
“This often has a lot to do with racism and sexism, and the stories we are "allowed" to tell as people of colour.”
Rebecca Walker, Well-Read Black Girl: Finding Our Stories, Discovering Ourselves