Black feminists are not attacking black men we’re attacking sexual violence, violent behaviour, harassment, patriarchy, colourism and racism.
Before I get into the subject matter, first and foremost Black women you are absolutely amazing, beautiful and valuable.
Black feminism advocates for equality, black women’s rights and interests in social, economic and political spaces.
Being a black feminist is about dismantling and unpacking the patriarchal structures and racism and colourism worldwide. Patriarchy is a system that whereby men hold the greatest power and women are largely excluded from it.
Black women are systematically the most marginalised group in society. Not only are we black and face racism and colourism, we are also women who are subjected to patriarchal capitalism.
When Black women are expressing their issues perpetuated by some black men it can be disheartening when people defensively say “not all men” because:
- They already know that, “all men” wasn’t the claim and they are not talking about black men as a whole.
- It’s derailing and dismissive of their experience. It doesn’t add any substance to the conversation.
- You may not be the sole perpetrator but your silence and derailment is complicit to the issue.
- Marginalised groups should be able to express their experiences without having to worry about damaging the ego of privileged groups. When systemic racism is being discussed, I don’t tend to hear Black men and women get defensive and say “not all white people!”. However, I do tend to hear ‘I’m not racist, I got black friends’. That doesn’t really add to anything and makes the conversation about them more so than the black friend.
However, I do understand how referencing Black men can come across as a generalisation when social issues are being discussed. It can seem like an attack against a socially identifiable group because instead of being specific about sex offenders, violent offenders, colourists and misogynists, black men and their entire entity are being seen as the issue. So when statements like “Black men don’t support black women” are made it can be viewed as prejudice and harmful. This is why it’s important to clarify and provide context of the issue instead of making blanket statements which make it seem like it’s a defining characteristic amongst black men.