Over the years, women of African descent have always been fighting against racism and sexism concurrently. They have actively highlighted their experiences, struggles, and needs and expressed the desires of Africana women in what they refer to as Africana Womanism. Africana Womanism movement is tailored to be completely African-centered, inclusive of men since it acknowledges that it desires positive male companionship and this differentiates it from feminism or Womanism. Some of the issues addressed by the movement include slut-shaming, sexual abuse, domestic violence, and other issues that black women face in a white-dominated community. Although the fight for revolution by Africana women continues, major changes have been witnessed in how society perceives Americana women.
History of Africana Women
Before the colonial period, Africa was not a place where women were viewed as property and sexually abused, neither was it a place where women were prevented from working or holding leadership posts. In fact, prominent women existed; there were spiritual mothers, merchant princesses, and spiritual mediums. Historically, black women were strong both psychologically and physically, the reason why they were easy targets for slavery. They were also religious and homemakers. However, colonialism and imperialism destroyed the place of a woman in the society and forcefully assimilated Africans into their oppressive systems and religion. The effects can still be felt today. Black women are domestically abused, sexually assaulted, slut-shamed, and denied leadership positions. The recent movement dubbed me too is proof of the kind of assault and racial discrimination that black women go through in society. Several black women have spoken out on how they are violently arrested and even strip-searched while the white women are accorded bodily privacy and handled with more dignity.
Despite facing such oppression, the Africana women remain unbowed. Other than determinately resisting oppression, they are at the forefront to restore and reconstruct the traditional African philosophies and values such as the role of African mothers as well as bringing back the ancient values of equality, justice harmony, and order. They fight gender and racial oppression while still being active in the workforce and political arena. Nowadays, there are huge numbers of working women who are committed to their families and a large number of women in leadership positions. Also, the modern Africana women still carry the psychological and physical strength acquired from the black women which are often challenged by the racial and gender oppressors as they try to force submission on the strong group that is the African women.
Role of Africana Women to the Society
In a quest to end social injustices in the society, Americana women have made indelible changes in the society that often lead to widespread cultural change across the world. One such woman is Michelle Obama who strongly fought for gay rights. Consequently, many countries in the world have legalized gay marriages. In the community, Americana women are strong-willed and go-getters. They are taking up jobs that were traditionally reserved for men and even stepping up to lead the community. To peers, Americana women are fiercely and confidently fighting for their rights and putting an end to gender and racial discrimination. To me, Americana women are a strong force who are determined to fight social inequality in order to create a conducive society for black women.
Africana women have made huge progress in fighting social inequalities affecting black women in society. Unfortunately, they continue to face numerous challenges and this calls upon everyone in the society, to fight the system that still oppresses Americana women.