Copyright © 2016 by Leslye Joy Allen. All Rights Reserved.
I had to learn the hard way not to rely solely on
American-born brothers who
talk plenty smack and talk plenty righteousness about
how we Black folk have work to do, but at the same time demand
that I keep my mouth shut about the mess that affects me as a woman and all
that infects us/we as a people…
I had to learn the hard way that many of my brothers did not
arrive speaking with American accents, but
some had/have foreign accents so thick that I
need(ed) someone to decipher what they were saying, but
what they said mattered less than what they did…
I learned that plenty Josés and Juans and Ahmads and Maliks and
Etiennes and Lúcios and Willies and Sams
of my world
and my hemisphere
weighed in on matters that affected my life as a Black woman when
so many other so-called brothers assumed that my problems as a Black female
would be handled by someone else or
handled by me by myself…
I had to learn the hard way that my definition of “brother” needed to remain
outside of my typical geographic boundaries of what I/We call the USA
and we either grab hold of each other as kith and kin
or we drown in the waters waiting for
some definition that none of us could live with anyway.
– Leslye Joy Allen, Copyright © 2016. All Rights Reserved.
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well said my sister believe me as a man I hear it from both sides I just shake my head and keep it moving separating my self from the nonsense that they think is ense
There is much food for thought that needs to be carefully digested by many American born brothers. Thanks for pricking my consciousness with your perspective on this issue.
Thanks Brothers Harold and Harold Michael. Because we all were born and raised in the Western world with very heavy influences of that world in the USA, we tend to see ourselves as “US” and everybody else, forgetting that other peoples who are far less materially well-off have something to teach us in the great USA For example activist Kumi Naidoo–who is Indian but born and raised in South Africa and who identifies as Black–noted that the environmental and women’s movements were one and the same and interconnected because women raise most of the food in Africa. An environmental disaster has and will disproportionately affect those women who struggle to raise and feed their families. He also led the first Men’s March Against Domestic Violence of Women and Children in South Africa. Because I have been blessed with so many excellent professors who are not native Americans, I have been given the opportunity to weigh non-American approaches to certain problems. When there has been a problem with Black American women, I always get a swift response from Black men and Men of Color, but almost all of them are non-American. They don’t just see these problems as “women’s” problems, but view them as “one-half of the tribe is in trouble so pretty soon we all are going to be in trouble.” As much as I owe and love my own people, namely African Americans, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the influences of Dr. Waqas Khwaja of Pakistan, Dr. Juan Allende of Chile, and Dr. Emmanuel Konde of Cameroon, all of who challenged me, broadened my perspective, and fought ferociously against sexism in all of its forms, even when fighting against it made a lot of men uncomfortable. I owe them a lot.