The first wound for all of us who are classified as “black” is empire.
In Black and Female, Tsitsi Dangarembga examines the legacy of imperialism on her own life and on every aspect of black embodied African life.
This paradigm-shifting essay collection weaves the personal and political in an illuminating exploration of race and gender. Dangarembga recounts a painful separation from her parents as a toddler, connecting this experience to the ruptures caused in Africa by human trafficking and enslavement. She argues that, after independence, the ruling party in Zimbabwe only performed inclusion for women while silencing the work of self-actualized feminists. She describes her struggles to realize her ambitions in theater, film, and literature, laying out the long path to the publication of her novels.
At once philosophical, intimate, and urgent, Black and Female is a powerful testimony of the pervasive and long-lasting effects of racism and patriarchy that provides an ultimately hopeful vision for change. Black feminists are “the status quo’s worst nightmare.” Dangarembga writes, “our conviction is deep, bolstered by a vivid imagination that reminds us that other realities are possible beyond the one that obtains.”