Read Akwugo Emejulu’s blog for Discover Society: Beyond Feminism’s White Gaze

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I refuse to recount, in this short article, the importance of Black feminism and womanism as if these inter-related praxes are at all ‘new’ or as if Black feminists and womanists over the centuries have been unclear in our demands, interests and goals. To reckon with these intellectual and activist traditions requires a process of decolonisation in feminism. To centre and take seriously the knowledge, perspectives and experiences of women of colour necessitates an honest reflection as to why and how white supremacy is upheld and reproduced in mainline feminism and other ostensibly emancipatory movements. To recognise women of colour as intellectuals, political agents and authors of our lives requires purported ‘allies’ to critically consider why their chosen ideologies of gender, class, sexuality or disability will not permit complex understandings of race alongside—not in competition with—these other axes of difference. Thus, whilst Black feminists and womanists must bear the burden of misrecognition and invisibility—and continue to theorise and organise despite our erasure—this is not our problem to solve.