Written by: Imani Hightower
Edited by: Brittany Cooper
For a while I struggled with the word 'Feminism', especially after exposing myself to the bullshit realities of what occurred when the first wave of feminism rolled out.
So boom: 1848, in Seneca Falls, NY, there had been a convention which advertised itself as "a convention to discuss the social, civil, and religious conditions and rights of women." Now before I continue, let's talk about why reading is fundamental, people. According to Webster's Dictionary, the term ‘woman’ is defined as "an adult female person.” Now, the definition does not specify color, but apparently the Karen's of 1848, similar to many of them in today's society, did not get that memo. So, long story short, a few of our aunties showed up, but got told by the Karen's that, "This is not for you." That ‘you’ meant black women.
It's safe to say I no longer felt as though I could identify as a feminist because THE SHIT WAS NOT FOR ME ANYWAY. I soon started searching for a way to identify as a black girl who fought for the equality and justice of her fellow black queens. I started to identify as a womanist, but even during my journey of womanism, I felt like that was not where I belonged. I felt as though every adjective I wanted to use in order to describe who I was forgot a very important aspect of me, and that is, I AM A BLACK WOMAN.
Some of my journey of finding myself occurred during my time at the illustrious Spelman College, in Atlanta, Georgia. During my time there, I experienced the beauty that I was connected to. One special individual was my ADW (African Diaspora is a per-requisite that each student is mandated to take as a freshman) Professor Alicia Fontenette (for my fellow spelmanites, iyktyk), one of the most brilliant women I had ever met. She made me proud of being a black woman who yearned for an education. She opened my eyes to the cruelties of this world and it's vendetta against black women. Professor Fontenette became the reason I knew my calling was in liberation. Justice and liberation of the black women. That year, I changed my major to Philosophy and decided to pursue a career as an aspiring lawyer. Mrs. Fontenette, if you are reading this, thank you for changing my life. Thank you for never allowing me to be mediocre. Also, thank you for making every other professor I dealt with a walk in the park because lord knows that A I received in your class was worth blood, sweat & tears. I love you, my queen and hope you're proud of what you help stir up.
Spelman also gave me some of the most amazing people I have ever met. People I grew to love like my own sisters. I met Akeria Harold, Raven Love, Aurianna Acloque, Ashanti Graham, and I met Kayla Hunter (@_killla). Naturally, with us both being from New Jersey, we had a bond that not many could understand. From our mutual dislike of the Jersey Shore cast, to everyone assuming we were from New York, and even down to the assumption that we cared about what exit we were from on the Jersey Turnpike. Kayla and I became friends who laughed and understood the jokes with just one little glance.
It’s safe to say that Kayla & I's relationship did not take a turn after college, but instead grew and remained as important now as it did then. Kayla, 25, a recent graduate of THEE Michigan State University with her Master's, came up with this brilliant idea to begin her own podcast, Killa Konvos. Now, as women of color, our voices are constantly muzzled or the volume is brought to its lowest point. However, Kayla and I have always been the type to somehow find the mic and ask, "Is this shit on?"
As a grown ass woman, I finally came into myself. After my experiences, both good & bad, I came into what I am, and that is a Black Feminist. I am a woman who will fight and support the equality of black women everywhere. My black femininity shows whether it be through my words, my social media, or even my business working with predominately black women and others who love black women just as equally as I do. Even in my choice of books, I turn to black culture and black excellence.
One book I was particularly excited to share from my collection was Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall. I took to my Instagram with a post of the book, captioned "#solidarityisforwhitewomen." So many of my friends and instafamily reached out to ask where they could purchase the book and did just that. Later, I would learn that my good sis Kayla was one of those people inspired by my fancy content to read the book. After completing this amazing book, she invited me on her podcast to discuss this powerful piece of work.
Reading this book, I was in awe of Mikki Kendall. I was amazed by her ability to speak of the multiple facets that us black women are faced with and denied, simply because they are not acknowledged by our black men and the rest of society. In this book, Mikki dives deep into several important issues that hover over black women in America. The most fascinating part is to read Mikki's words and find a sense of peace. That grown woman peace where you can politely say, "Fuck you," with a smile. It made me hopeful of the black woman I am to become. One who fights, but peacefully. One who fights gracefully. One who tells these mf's "Don't get me fucked up," as I sip my herbal tea.
During episode 6 of Killa Konvos, Kayla and I discuss the eloquence of our Auntie Mikki. All while being our bubbly, energetic and smart selves, we discuss our favorite aspects and our feelings after reading Hood Feminism. You can check us out in the link below. Make sure you stream and rate our conversation. Make sure you also go out and buy Mikki Kendall's Hood Feminism, whether you be a woman or man. BUY IT and READ IT.
I want to thank Kayla for inviting me on her show to speak, but more importantly for being bold enough to begin a platform that is FOR US. Black girl success and joy is so important to our well being, and to the future well being of our younger black queens. She’s creating a space where we can just BE, and I am proud to be connected. Kayla I am proud and I love you.
Side bar, for all you hating ass hoes, Auntie Mikki re-posted us on her page. WE LOVE YOU AUNT MIKKI.