The sun was gone…It was the time to hear things and talk. These sitters had been tongueless, earless, eyeless conveniences all day long. Mules and other brutes had occupied their skins. But now, the sun and the bossman were gone, so the skins felt powerful and human. They became lords of sounds and lesser things. They passed nations through their mouths. They sat in judgment.
Their Eyes Were Watching God, Chapter 1
I have so much gratitude for the fact that our stories, the narratives of black women- are finally being told. As a child, a few of my favorite books were “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston, and “A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry—but I never knew why. I didn’t have the brain power to recognize the intersection of self and black literature, such as these.
As I entered college, I found myself-seeking myself, within the text of our course syllabus. Who is telling my story? How will I identify? As an undergrad at the historically racially-charged University of Alabama, I decided to enroll in classes that spoke to me. In fact, I probably could have earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Black Feminist Thought, if I counted all of my credits up. I took a course–Black Feminist Thought from Professor Crunk, a leading voice in the diaspora of black womanism, and it shifted my paradigm. Finally, a course that speaks to me, for me, about me. I am forever grateful for her ability to translate the experience of being a black woman into the classroom. She is dope.
Today, I am grateful for my sister, my homegirl Candice Benbow, who took the time to create this guide to black womanhood. Beyoncé stopped the world, as always, with the release of LEMONADE and her controversial–yet extremely liberating Super Bowl Performance “FORMATION.”
I want all my sisters to read from THIS syllabus. This is OUR syllabus, filled with literature written for us, and by us.
Staying in formation,