A New Way to Empower Black Women

Traditional feminism has failed African-American women. It's time for a new way to address our issues.

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"Who should I be sorry for? Who should I be sorry to? The fact is you can't please everybody." --"Sorry," TI, featuring Andre 3000 and Stacy Barthe

6. CBFT requires an unapologetic stance that is focused on truth-telling. We ain't asking for nothing. We are declaring our independence and disassociation from feminism because it has divided our communities for way too long. It has separated black women from one another and black men and women by creating top-down hierarchies and elevated egos that diminish our potential to heal ourselves. I don't say this to argue that black men and black women need to date, love and procreate with one another exclusively. I don't submit this point to say that black women need to be friends with other black women exclusively. But we must respect one another and have dialogue with one another, regardless, and that requires a space and a pedagogy that is both nurturing and critical.

As I mentioned, it has taken me several years to acknowledge these internal struggles, recalibrate my views and articulate them in such a way that I am sure will make many uncomfortable. But what is the alternative? To continue filtering my/our individual and collective narratives through limiting frameworks that only get us so far to that ideal of "freedom" and "emancipation"? To sit back and just watch the house burn down? This disruption in tradition should leave us no choice but "to Amistad" the f-ship and sail to another destination. What we do when we get there remains to be seen.

Joycelyn A. Wilson is an assistant professor of sociocultural foundations of education at Virginia Tech and a hip-hop archive fellow at the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. Her interests are hip-hop pedagogies, STEM education and women's studies. She is also the director of the HipHop2020 Curriculum Project and co-editor of thecbft.wordpress.com. Follow her on Twitter. 

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