"White feminism" does not mean every white woman, everywhere, who happens to identify as feminist. It also doesn’t mean that every "white feminist"...”
Tell me about a time where a white child was killed and black people made a hashtag mocking their death, a Halloween costume...
Browse the biographies of the nominees
In September 2013 we were sent this article: 8 African-American Women Who Changed the World with the question “Which 8 women of colour do you think have changed the UK?” We posed the question to our social media followers and the #EightWomen awards were born.Thw awards are one of those rare chances to celebrate women of colour in the UK and to spread awareness of the work they do..
The #EightWomen with the most votes from the public will be revealed at the “Complicit No More” panel event, highlighting themes and challenges of black feminism and intersectionality on the 15th September at the Khalili Lecture Theatre (lower ground floor) School of Oriental and African Studies.
Click here for further information and to book your ticket, limited spaces available
To read about 2013’s nominees and winners click here
Your vote counts!
by Ella Achola
“No, I meant where are you really from?” is a micro-aggression I am all too familiar with when my simple answer of “Berlin” is perceived as insufficient to a query that blatantly illustrates how my brown self is read as out of reach of possible German citizenship. It is usually asked with a slight sense of exasperation, perhaps a hint of irritation, at the fact that I had oh-so-obviously not caught on to what I was really being asked. That I may not want to answer such a question within the first three minutes of a conversation with someone I have never met before does not come to mind.
In 1986, May Ayim and Katharina Oguntoye engaged in a conversation that was long overdue. They opened up the debate about being black and German, two characteristics, which were and still are often read as inherently oppositional. Be it a question about our fluency in the German language or someone yelling “N****rs out!” micro-aggressions and racism are still very much reality for the 500,000 black Germans today. One example involves a pub in the Berlin borough of Kreuzberg where the owner recently banned all black people from his premises in a supposed effort to curb the dealing of drugs.
by Zishad Lakhis year we saw SketchFactor, an app which rates the ‘sketchiness’ of a neighbourhood to help individuals avoid ‘undesirable’ areas, reach the finals of New York’s Big Apps competition. Unsurprisingly, when we start to unpack what ‘sketchy’ actually means, the race implications become evident.The 47-second preview of Obama’s interview with the New York Times took me to my first trip to a big American city, San Francisco, a few years back. The area where my hotel was situated was in ruins. My first observation was that this extremely poor neighbourhood seemed to be only populated by non-white residents, but eradicating racism is a long project, right? It is when I took a tour around the city the next day before my conference and saw the solid line (it is literally one linear road) that separates the neighbourhood I was staying at from the financial district, occupied by white America, that I realised this is not America fighting its racist past, this is the complete reign of white supremacy.
by Atane Ofiaja
Earlier this year, an African magazine reached out to me for some input on a forthcoming article about African creatives (writers, artists, photographers, clothing designers, poets). The editor asked me a few questions regarding what Africans should do to change the perception of Africa to outsiders and what Africans have to offer. Basically, how should Africans promote Africa as having rich cultures, and how do we as Africans show that Africa is not just a continent of poverty in order to change the perceptions of outsiders?
Mindsets like this are fairly common and I find it disappointing. I know they mean well, but this is the wrong mindset to have in my opinion. Here’s why:
1. Africans shouldn’t bother themselves with trying to change the perceptions of outsiders. It isn’t our job. Should erasing the ignorant opinions of non-Africans be an African’s burden? We’re expected to be lecturers to the world in order to be viewed decently. You’d never hear a Western creative bothering with changing the perceptions of Africans towards them. It’s not something they have to consider, yet some think it’s completely normal for Africans to be saddled with the baggage of reforming those who are ignorant towards Africa and Africans. An earnest and objective person will recognize the multifaceted nature of societies. People that refuse to recognize this about the continent of Africa and its people are not worth your time. Your time is valuable.
by David Wood
Politics is a tribal business. It is a strange world where you can virulently disagree with somebody in private, but because they are ‘one of us’, to coin one of Margaret Thatcher’s favourite expressions, you would not be able to get a fag-paper’s worth of difference in opinion when expressed publicly. This nether-world also means that there are those who will instantly dismiss the opinions of anyone who doesn’t share their own particular political hue.
‘He’s Labour – typical bleeding-heart, nanny-state wet-nurse, doesn’t understand business or the real world’.
‘I don’t know how she can date a Tory, isn’t she always claiming to be sooo left-wing? What a sell-out,’ they will pronounce.
‘You know he’s a Lib Dem? There are two things about him I can’t stand.’
‘What are they?’
That sort of thing.
So it has been interesting to see the fallout from Baroness Sayeeda Warsi’s resignation from government over Middle East policy. It is a rare thing for a modern-day politician to resign on a point of principle, especially after they have had the chance to grow accustomed to the perks, the ministerial car, the invitations, foreign trips, the media interest. So there is now unquestionably a large degree of previously-untapped admiration for Baroness Warsi, not only for her act, but for the uncompromising way in which she gave her reasons for doing so. To call government policy over Gaza ‘morally indefensible’, ‘detrimental’ to the national interest and risked radicalising young Muslims both here and abroad, meant that for many of us this was the first someone from the government benches reflected our feelings on the current outrage. Unfortunately she had to resign to do so.
By Yomi Adegoke
The comic book Gods have been doing some serious redecorating this year. After colouring an entirely alabaster comic book canvas with a mixed race Spiderman and Muslim Ms. Marvel, they took it to new heights, administering makeovers even Gok Wan would gawp at. With a strike of lightning, roar of thunder and heaps of derision from brooding fans, out from the bellowing froth of character creation stormed a new Thor; a new Thor with a very new vagina.
And they didn’t stop there. Out of the same comic primordial goop sprung the formerly known Falcon as a black Captain America.
by Huma Munshi
“Is goodness without God good enough?”
This was the question posed at a post-show debate I chaired at the Bush Theatre in London. It is the exploration of the relationship between morality and faith that is at the heart of the play, Perseverance Drive. This is a tale of modern times telling the story of a Bajan family as each member struggles to reconcile faith, morality, relationships and all things in between.
It is a play that begins in the heat of Barbados as the Gillard family lay to rest their mother. As family members come together, so begins the slow unravelling of the complexities of familial relationships. Children and siblings have been cast aside for not following a strict Christian moral code: Joshua, played with skill and compassion by Clint Dyer, is gay and has been estranged from his family; his younger brother Zek was thrown out of the church led by his oldest brother, Nathan, for wanting to marry, Joylene, a woman whose ex-husband is still alive. In the eyes of the church, she is seen as an adulteress. It is in the context of these painful and complex family dynamics that much bigger questions are posed.