Slam Poem "Black Feminist" By Jillian Christmas Takes On The Issues With Feminism's Lack Of Inclusion And White Feminists Everywhere Should Take Note
If you've never heard of the Women of the World Poetry Slam competition held each year, you are missing out. For proof, look no further than the slam poem "Black Feminist" by Jillian Christmas, which was performed at last year's competition but is rightly getting a lot of attention online now. The poem, delivered in hushed, precise tones, calls out White Feminism and the ways in which white feminists are not inclusive of black women. And it's something all white women who identify as feminists should hear.
Mainstream feminism in the United States has a sad history of being focused primarily (and at times exclusively) on the interests of straight, white, middle class women. And even today, there's a distinct lack of intersectional feminism, a concept pioneered by black academic Kimberlé Crenshaw. In a nutshell, intersectional feminism maintains that various forms of oppression, such as sexism, racism, classism, etc., are interconnected and that you can't separate out a person's various identities and try to address the injustices they face as a result as though they are were wholly separate issues.
Which sounds self-evident, but in practice often goes unacknowledged in feminist circles.
For a long time, feminism has used straight, white, cisgender, middle-class, and otherwise privileged women as its default, but that has started to change more and more in recent years, thanks in large part to women of color (as well as women from other marginalized groups) speaking out about the problem. "Black Feminist" by Jillian Christmas highlights the issues with the way black women are often treated in feminist spaces, and it's a must-listen for feminists everywhere.