Ain't I A Woman Collective

Centring the Voices of Women with African Ancestry

Category Non-Fiction

Learning to Love, Other-wise

Written by Ndeye Diobaye It is inevitable that the environment that breeds us will teach us a thing or two about love. We hear of it, read about it, and watch it unfold in scandalously addictive comedies and dramas. We see love through our friends’ budding relationships, and some of us are lucky to see it within our families. We learn of what love looks like and put our learning

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A Sweet, Four-Letter Word

Written by Jacq Applebee If you looked in the mainstream and queer media, you’d think that love for LGBT people means settling down with the partner of their choice and having a lovely civil union or marriage.  That’s all there seems to be.  But if you asked many trans and bisexual/pansexual people, they’d tell you a different story.  Love for me, as a black non-binary bisexual, means acceptance.  It means

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Academia and the Identity of Mixed-Race Women

By Nicola Codner I am a 35-year old mixed race woman (Black Jamaican, Nigerian and White British), born and living in Leeds, Yorkshire the UK and I recently completed a counselling diploma. As part of the work I had to do to achieve my diploma I had to do a great deal of work around examining my racial and cultural identity. It was also part of the course requirements that I

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Killing That “Tragic Mulatto” Bullshit

By Grace Barber-Plentie Other than the photos of Lucille Bluth and J-Lo looking pissed off that I’ve carefully saved to use as reaction photos to white people doing, saying, or writing thoughtless stuff, there are about a million unfinished essays, or think pieces – whatever you want to call them – saved on my computer. All of them are about my identity as a black, or to be more specific, mixed

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Rethinking Identity – A Discourse on Complexity

By Jonelle Twum Allow us to define identity within its nature to presume belonging, existence and survival. Rationally and reductively, identity predicates belonging. Our initial identity formation commences with the integrity of a name. The nameless remain unseen in societies whose functions are constrained by labels, standardisations and regulations. In the evolution of life, identity unravels (un)naturally in a flux of circumstances and discontinues somewhat with death. As an endless dyad

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Building Bridges: Living In-Between Spaces

By Eleanor T. Khonje “Our home is defined by the many footprints that we have left in the many spaces.” Ever since I can remember, I have always found a sense of myself, some sort of inexplicable and spiritual solace, in what I call in-between spaces. I have always felt that this is the space where I can fully be understood as myself; where on the days I feel like I

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Mundele is the New Black – On Expatriation and Whiteness

By Ndeye Diobaye I am a black person in my home country, and thus a minority; but my assigned identity is ambiguous here. I’m not totally African, nor do I feel entitled to the title of “Expatriate.” The term “expat” carries its exclusivity through borders and lands; it is internationally reserved for white people. As such, the hype that builds on ‘living the expat life’ is one of the various outcomes of

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I Am Mixed And I Am Whole

By Sekai Makoni When I heard the theme for this month was ‘identity’, the word crisis as an appendage kept coming to mind. As a mixed person it, it seems as though the word “crisis” is constantly attached to identity, as though there is confusion somewhere. This is problematic. Other phrases that have become synonymous with “mixed race” include: ‘unsure of themselves’, ‘in-between’, ‘not one, not the other’, etc. It becomes

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HAIR

By Vanessa Jubey Tufts of straight hair stand at attention on top of the small waves below. The straight ends are almost successful at hiding what’s underneath, that hair of resistance. They stick up like antennae. My hair is saturated with deep conditioner. I grab the scissors and take a snip, then another; and another. What was my hair now sits lifeless on the floor. I look at myself and

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What RENEWAL Means to Me

By Gabrielle G.   Renewal, to me, meant finding peace of mind and discovering who I was. Having been so caught up in the stresses of society and the outside world, I began to feel overwhelmed. It felt as though I wasn’t doing anything for the benefit or sole purpose of ME.  I did everything I was told to do, everything I was supposed to do: went to school full-time

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