for just as my journey into feminism began, i will start this off by not giving a clearly defined meaning of feminism and have what you think feminism is and compare conclusions.
as i began to read more about the ancient kingdoms and civilizations of afrikan nations pre-colonial times, the word matriarchy kept coming up as the formal social system upon which these glorious nations were founded and run. until reading Civilization or Barbarism: An Authentic Anthropology by the great Cheikh Anta Diop where he gave a direct comparison of the components that define and differentiate between matriarchy and patriarchy. matriarchy being a dual system of equal rights between women and men and through which lineage was rightfully passed through the mother amongst many things. throughout my reading i’ve realised that the mothers of the world, the mothers of civilization, the mothers of Afrikans are the very who afrikan women who are i see front of me everyday and who give birth to the life onto this continent and the world.
knowing all of this, it still had not in reality and in practice sunk into me the conditions of the very afrikan women i see in front of me and the everyday struggles they endure that men in general are very ignorant of.
one sunday evening during a “conversation” which eventually led to the topic of weaves on afrikan sisters, i went home having had one of the toughest intellectual beatings by sisters who knew exactly what they were talking about and to which no points i could argue or even rebut but which inevitably as an ignorant man to the topic, i did. most striking statement that i still remember vividly was “how you black men feel oppressed by white people is how us black women feel oppressed by you black men”. that shook me. it actually did more than that, it hurt me. how could i as a black man make a black woman feel this way and say these things. one of them went on to say “black men don’t want equality, they just want to be the one’s sitting in the white man’s seat while everything else remains the same” – patriarchs.
i went home that night and reflected. long introspection helped me come to the conclusion that i will no longer be part of the problem and continue perpetuate patriarchal behaviour which is a foreign import and contributor to the demise of our great culture which once existed. with the help of the same sisters, i got my hands on reading material about feminism which helped me understand and ultimately revert, not convert to being a feminist. feminism has taught me and helped me realise integral flaw in our movement as black people towards liberation. intersectionality comes part and parcel with the values of feminism. it has also helped me become a better man.
being a cishet man and a feminist is not a paradox like many would assume in fact, as an afrikan man, it is essential. i await leadership and direction from black women who are feminists and support and supplement them. that is my role as a man in the feminist movement. the greatest challenge of being a black male feminist is the recognition of all the injustice and privilege skewed towards men.
black women were feminists before the term was coined by western women. black women have always been feminists. i would like to thank black women for their presence and constant contribution to the world. the afrikan race will never be free until the afrikan woman is liberated.
“the liberation and women’s liberation go together. we do not talk of women’s emancipation as an act of charity or out of a surge of human compassion. it is a basic necessity for the revolution to triumph. women hold up the other half of the sky” – Thomas Sankara, who was one of the great afrikan leaders who recognised the centrality of women’s liberation to the struggle.
RESPECT AND PROTECT THE BLACK WOMAN!
Nfr Sa Ma’at