"I concede only that I know nothing. I can only insist persistently that these fugitive musings on the Blackness of it all, the Black feminism of it all, the queerness of it all, are in the interest of saying things that have long been said but saying them differently, in hopes that some of y’all might get on board with this stuff that’s been circulating for a while".
Marquis Bey in Them Goon Rules Fugitive Essays on Radical Black Feminism.
Refusal Exhaustive celebration of and in and through our suffering, which is neither distant nor sutured, is black study. That continually rewound and remade claim upon our monstrosity—our miracle, our showing, which is neither near nor far, as [Hortense] Spillers shows—is black feminism, the animaterial ecology of black and thoughtful stolen life as it steals away.
Fred Moten, Black and Blur
black feminism reimagined: after intersectionality by jennifer c. nash (page 5).
Jennifer Nash offers a description of a vast territory of black feminisms, one that can inform the therapeutic project.
"I treat black feminism as a varied project with theoretical, political, activist, intellectual, erotic, ethical, and creative dimensions; black feminism is multiple, myriad, shifting, and unfolding. To speak of it in the singular is always to reduce its complexity, to neglect its internal debates and its rich and varied approaches to questions of black women’s personhood. I treat the word “black” in front of “feminism” not as a marker of identity but as a political category, and I understand a “black feminist” approach to be one that centers analyses of racialized sexisms and homophobia, and that foregrounds black women as intellectual producers, as creative agents, as political subjects, and as “freedom dreamers” even as the content and contours of those dreams vary.13 I advance a conception of black feminism that is expansive, welcoming anyone with an investment in black women’s humanity, intellectual labor, and political visionary work, anyone with an investment in theorizing black genders and sexualities in complex and nuanced ways. My archive of black feminist theorists includes black, white, and nonblack scholars of color who labor in and adjacent to black feminist theory. My contention is that these varied black feminist scholars can all speak on and for black feminist theory, and as black feminist theorists, even as they make their claims from different identity locations. To be clear, my capacious conception of black feminism is a political decision, one that is staged mindful of black feminists’ longstanding critique of how the university “disappears” black women.14 Shifting the content of black feminism from a description of bodies to modes of intellectual production might generate precisely the anxious defensiveness this book describes and aspires to unsettle! Nonetheless, I invest in a broad conception of black feminism—and black feminists—precisely because of my commitment to tracing black feminist theory’s expansive intellectual, political, ethical, and creative reach, one that I see as always transcending attempts to limit the tradition by rooting it in embodied performances. Moreover, it is the ongoing conception. that black feminism is the exclusive territory of black women that traps and limits black feminists and black women academics who continue to be conscripted into performing and embodying their intellectual investments".
From the website: "Some scholars are criticized for staying within the ‘ivory tower,’ and creating work that’s only accessible to a highly-academic audience. Alexis Pauline Gumbs does not receive that criticism.She identifies as a community-accountable scholar and puts that identity into practice by intentionally bringing scholarly ideas into non-academic settings. This manifests in online educational projects like ‘Eternal Summer of The Black Feminist Mind,’ which creates accessible curricula from black feminist work".
What does/could you therapeutic thought and practice look like when infused with Black feminist thought and practice?
Revolutionary Feminisms: Gail Lewis offers a model of integration, of the use of multiple lenses through which to examine and understand both personal and collective experience as a black woman and how to think as a psychotherapist who addresses the implicit sociocultural imprints and practices that impact on our lives, our thinking and practices as therapists and beyond.
"I did want to capture something about a life as constituted socioculturally".
"As I was explaining to my analyst, throughout my adult life, I’ve felt impelled to understand the world through lots of political and analytical frameworks – I’ve felt I really need to understand Marxism, imperialism and anti-imperialism, feminism, post-structuralism and all of these things, right across the board".
An interview with Gail Lewis by Brenna Bhandar & Rafeef Ziadah, editors of Revolutionary Feminisms: Conversations on Collectiver Action and Radical Thought, available from Verso. Click here for the interview.
Black radical feminism is the only kind of god to which I feel the need to pray, as the incantatory tremors of its abolishing the shitty regimes of white, male, cis, straight, etc. etc. etc. violence strike me as the only means by which the world’s ills can be purged. Black feminism posits a radical future in which we might, hopefully, someday, live. The Black feminism to which I bow with my pen, feet, mind, and body operates on what grammarians would call “future real conditional” tense, or that which will have had to happen for the future to be realized, a future that hasn’t yet happened but must—a Black feminist grammar. This is the alternative grammar for our bodies and lives to which we must turn. It is the idea of living the radical future now.