Embracing Womanism: A Path to Love, Resistance, and Healing
(Black womanhood is inclusive of trans, femmes, and non-binary (those who identify with it) folks.)
As a Black woman navigating the contours of this world, I find solace and empowerment in the realm of womanism — a term coined by the visionary author Alice Walker. The essence of womanism, as articulated by Walker, expands beyond a mere label; it beckons us to embark on a journey that embraces the complexities of Black womanhood, nurturing a profound love for ourselves, our communities, and the broader human family.
Walker astutely observes that womanists embody qualities that defy societal expectations — outrageousness, audacity, courage, and a fierce willfulness. We shatter the constraints that seek to confine us, daring to traverse uncharted territories and inquire about that which society deems unfit for our curious minds. Our yearning for knowledge, for depth, knows no bounds. We claim the audacity to act, speak, and exist as fully grown, independent beings, challenging the notion that we must remain confined to the limited parameters society has prescribed for us.
Crucially, womanism illuminates the significance of love and connection in our lives. It recognizes that our love extends not only to other women but also to men, whether it be expressed sexually or nonsexually. Womanism embraces the multitudes of our relationships, urging us to forge deep bonds that transcend societal boundaries. We weave a tapestry of love that intertwines diverse genders, races, and backgrounds, fostering a sense of unity and shared destiny.
What distinguishes womanism from other feminist ideologies is its rejection of separatism and its unwavering commitment to the well-being of all people. It beckons us to embrace the interconnectedness of our struggles, refusing to succumb to divisive forces that seek to fragment us along gender or racial lines. We acknowledge the importance of periodic self-care and boundaries, recognizing that our own survival is inextricably linked to the survival of our communities. Womanism calls us to collective action, to fight for the survival and wholeness of all individuals, transcending the limitations imposed by societal structures.