by Scotty Reid
I do not know if this is accurate but I found this commentary on Bell Hooks.
[Noting a lack of diverse voices in popular feminist theory, Bell Hooks published this work in 1984. In Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center, she explains that those voices have been marginalized. “To be in the margin is to be part of the whole but outside the main body.” She used the work as a platform to offer a new, more inclusive feminist theory. Her theory encouraged the long-standing idea of sisterhood but advocated for women to acknowledge their differences while still accepting each other. Bell hooks challenged feminists to consider gender’s relation to race, class, and sex, a concept coined as intersectionality. Hooks covers the importance of male involvement in the equality movement, that in order to make change men must do their part. Hooks also calls for a restructuring of the cultural framework of power, one that does not find oppression of others necessary.]
I have never read Bell Hooks being consumed with studying the Black Liberation Movement beginning with such figures as Robert F. Williams, Malcolm X and Assata Shakur but I recently wrote about Black men being excluded from conversations where the focus is on Black women’s issues because I intuitively felt it was exclusionary, a tool of division.
I was vehemently attacked by a couple of Black women for commenting on a post a sister made about a Black woman on Youtube who plied on makeup to the point that she looked entirely different from her true self. I noted that women say they want men to change their attitudes and how they treat women but then they want to have “women’s only” discussions about something as simple as how much makeup is too much? The rebukes included, “why can’t women talk about something on facebook without some man chiming in”. Thankfully the host of the post said she had no problem with the brothers speaking but I left the conversation feeling bitter and finding a need to rebuke inner anti-black woman rumblings.
Like I said in my short piece that came about as a result of that experience, men are fathers of daughters, brothers of sisters, sons of mothers and to exclude us from any conversation involving a member of our community is to divide the community and plays right into the hands of the enemies of our community. It makes women easier to isolate and exploit whereby transforming them into tools of the oppressor if not the bed mates of the enemy. There is a Black woman who is not from America telling our sisters in America that it would be better for them to marry white males. I recognized this right away as an attack from the enemy, an act of proxy racism leading directly to the oppression of Black men and boys. The enemy exploits the pain and suffering of the Black woman under racism (white supremacy) and redirects her anger at the Black man when it should be directed at the one who is engineering all of our suffering.
Assata Shakur wrote about the need for a Black feminist movement apart from others outside our community.
[Women can never be free in a country that is not free. We can never be liberated in a country where the institutions that control our lives are oppressive. We can never be free while our men are oppressed. Or while the amerikan government and amerikan capitalism remain intact.” – Women in Prison: How It Is With Us Assata Shakur / Joanne Chesimard]
Presently Black women are surviving far better in America in terms of employment, education and they are not as enslaved as Black men on the prison plantations but their numbers are increasing.
I would say that the Black community is in a state of emergency and that if the Black family is to remain intact, Black women are going to have stop practicing oppressive exclusionary feminism. They may have to stop practicing feminism period. If feminism is a reaction to patriarchy and a promotion of matriarchy, then there is no true desire for equality but a true desire for female dominance. The equality Black women should be seeking is to be equally engaged in destroying those who are destroying our Black families. This means Black women are going to have to reject any teaching or “teacher” that pushes them to better their lives by marrying white men. That is not love, that is selfishness. Love does not say let me marry a man part of the dominant population so that I can be more comfortable in a system of global white dominance. It is not love of self and it is not love of the Black community.
Without a Black man and a Black woman, there can be no Black family and if there are no Black families, there is no Black community and if there is no Black community, only white supremacy remains. Building a Black family is truly a revolutionary act.