African American Museum in Philadelphia presentation proposal for the Black Women Herstory Day Community Led Teach-in

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African American Museum in Philadelphia presentation proposal for the Black Women Herstory Day Community Led Teach-in


African American Museum in Philadelphia presentation proposal for the Black Women Herstory Day Community Led Teach-in 2017


African American Museum in Philadelphia presentation proposal for the Black Women Herstory Day Community Led Teach-in 2017. The Presentation outlines womanism as a tool for Black liberation, how to mobilize resources, rejecting patriarchy, and other historical and important for futurity actions.


African American Museum in Philadelphia


14 February 2017

Text Item Type Metadata


AAMP Presentation:

10 minute only
Womanism as a vehicle for black liberation
Centralize vs. Essentialize
Resistance is Liberation
Mobilizing our resources as always
Black Cooperatives
Resource, skills & time-sharing
Queering sexuality
Rejecting Patriarchy & all of its children, misogynoir, traditional womanhood, behavior policing/acting like a lady,

The Womanist Working Collective
Women/Womyn/Womxn of a certain set of beliefs participating in revolutionary acts together.

Biography & headshot due Friday, February 3:
General WWC bio-
The Co-Organizers of the Womanist Working Collective are dynamic Black women from the organizing and academic world.

Womanism is a noun. Womanism is an on-going conversation with ourselves, our identities and the earth we on, the society we live in. And that conversation usually just involved us asserting ourselves and our humanity constantly. Womanism is an invitation, to liberate yourself...

Womanism is a praxis. Praxis is the practical application of a theory or concept. Womanism is a concept made mainstream by Alice Walker in her book “In our mother’s garden”, but this idea had taken shape long before Ms. Walker introduce it to White folks. The term Womanist comes from Southern Black culture to refer to Black girls as being too “womanish”; which was being too bold, too confident, too full of herself, too much, too assertive, too aggressive, too grown, too “fast”, too free… When we are
Ms. Walker also notes in her defining of this concept as also being Pro-Queer AF, when she says:

I love to think of being a Womanist as being “hella unladylike” -- Womanism is Resistance. Womanism is what we do every fuckin day. We wake up, we move through our days as Black women & femmes, we encounter various microaggressions directed at 1 or all of our intersecting identities as Black, as Woman/Femme or Perceived as women, as oftentimes poor,...

Womanism is the original Black Queer Feminist Lens by which we deconstruct the universe each day while putting it all back together by the end of the night.
You don’t need to be married to the gender binary or label of woman to be a Womanist. You must however, understand the role gender socialization and discrimination plays in our society and how it impacts everyone involved. Whether it be Black men learning that their entire identities and sense of self worth must be derived from the devaluing of women, trans women and femme folk of all genders.

Some of the things I love most about Womanism is the space is makes for one’s individual Spirituality to guide and influence their work in the world. For example, there are Womanist Theologians (which are Womanists who study oftentimes African-centered spirituality or even religion like the Black Church broken down into their individual denominations)

Another key component of Womanism is Black Liberation. We care and are concerned with the health and well-being of our people. Womanism understands that there are false hierarchies and barriers places on our communities to keep us divided and conquered. We understand Colonization did more than just fracture our immediate relationships with other Black people, but they gave us their tools so we as Black people to continue to reinforce these barriers, to remain separated; these tools prevent us from reconnecting; it prevents and silences that higher power which is in us from ever joining forces with the higher power of our sisters and brothers--keep us from uniting. I’m sure you’ve heard this rhetoric before, perhaps from Afro-centric trying to solicit the skills, services and number Black women bring; but have no intention of unpacking the Master’s tools they still wield at their discretion and often continue to marginalize and tokenize women, queer and trans folks, expecting our silence and access to our bodies, unfettered access to our labor, physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual.

One of the important thing WWC does is we recognize those tools as weapons and we have sought to protect ourselves from those weapons by keeping closed spaces. These closed spaces are Black womens and femme only spaces. We do have events open to the public and open to allies whether it be men/masculine folks or POC or White folks. But majority of our spaces are intentionally closed for our health, safety and well-being. The last things we need is more spaces where we’re having to navigate White supremacy or Patriarchy or Heterosexism or Transphobia or Classism.

Zora Neale Hurston — 'If you are silent about your pain, they'll kill you and say you enjoyed it.'
1. From womanish. (Opp. of “girlish,” i.e. frivolous, irresponsible, not serious.) A black feminist or feminist of color. From the black folk expression of mothers to female children, “you acting womanish,” i.e., like a woman. Usually referring to outrageous, audacious, courageous or willful behavior. Wanting to know more and in greater depth than is considered “good” for one. Interested in grown up doings. Acting grown up. Being grown up. Interchangeable with another black folk expression: “You trying to be grown.” Responsible. In charge. Serious.

2. Also: A woman who loves other women, sexually and/or nonsexually. Appreciates and prefers women’s culture, women’s emotional flexibility (values tears as natural counterbalance of laughter), and women’s strength. Sometimes loves individual men, sexually and/or nonsexually. Committed to survival and wholeness of entire people, male and female. Not a separatist, except periodically, for health. Traditionally a universalist, as in: “Mama, why are we brown, pink, and yellow, and our cousins are white, beige and black?” Ans. “Well, you know the colored race is just like a flower garden, with every color flower represented.” Traditionally capable, as in: “Mama, I’m walking to Canada and I’m taking you and a bunch of other slaves with me.” Reply: “It wouldn’t be the first time.”

3. Loves music. Loves dance. Loves the moon. Loves the Spirit. Loves love and food and roundness. Loves struggle. Loves the Folk. Loves herself. Regardless.

4. Womanist is to feminist as purple is to lavender.
Alice Walker In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens: Womanist Prose (1983)



African American Museum in Philadelphia, “African American Museum in Philadelphia presentation proposal for the Black Women Herstory Day Community Led Teach-in,” Womanist Working Collective Archive, accessed July 2, 2022,

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