Sometimes I wonder if we will ever overcome racism. And if so, how much longer must we wait and fight?
Every time that I get asked to speak for a conference or in a classroom, I am surrounded by mixed feelings. On the one hand, I am just like any other person and excited to be getting a gig.
On the other hand, I am saddneded at the thought that people steal need workshops on privilege and race and gender. What day in age is this? What world are we living in?
Despite my extreme fatigue, jetlag and stuffy nosed, I dragged my butt to see the screening and subsequent panel discussion of NO! The Rape Documentary with filmmaker and activist Aishah Shahidah Simmons, R. L’Heureux, PhD and Salamishah Tillet, PhD.
For those of you who have not had a chance to see this incredible documentary yet,
NO! The Rape Documentary is a critically acclaimed film written, directed and produced by Aishah Shahidah Simmons, a survivor of incest and rape. NO! boldly addresses various forms of sexual oppression against women and girls throughout theS world. Produced and Directed over a period of eleven years, seven of which were full time, by Aishah Shahidah Simmons, an incest and rape survivor, this groundbreaking feature length documentary features riveting testimonials from Black women rape survivor stories who defy victimization.
Some riveting and, yes, depressing, statements came out of this film, and I am grateful to have this space to share them with you now:
1. Women of color are very rarely looked at as people who should be protected.
2. Black girls are victimized because older women are too often afraid to break the silence.
3. Men of color are about loving women of color the way that america loves them.
4. How can you have liberation for half a race?
5. The way out is to tell. Someone will listen. Someone will believe our stories. Someone will join.
While the documentary was well received by all, there certainly were some comments made by the audience that had my jaw drop, i.e. most gay people must be survivors of sexual assault. And yet, I was most disappointed by the reality that there were no white feminist to be seen.
My fellow feminists (myself included) always talk about including the “voice of Women of color” into the discussion, but rarely do I see them coming to events that are hosted by and focused on Women of color.
Why do women of color always seem to be a side note in popular feminist discourse and have little attention when we are the focus?
In makes me wonder if the event I organized for April 11th, Ain’t I A Woman, would have recieved 300+ RSVP’s if the panel was made up of all women of color.
See… It’s sad that I even have to wonder that in this day in age… and in this movement.