I have chosen to no longer be apologetic for my femaleness and my femininity. And I want to be respected in all of my femaleness because I deserve to be.” ~ Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists
Feminism has become somewhat of a buzz word as of late. With our current political climate, the microscope on gender discrimination and inequality, and the countless women who are rising up to make their voices heard, it’s become a normal occurrence for feminism to become the rule for women—and men—instead of the exception.
Whether you’ve been following the feminist movement from the very beginning or are just now starting to settle into your newfound feminism, these are three black feminists that you should be following along with book recommendations from each.
1. bell hooks: If you’re new to feminism, start here. bell hooks is a legendary feminist, activist, and author. She’s written countless books on the intersection of gender and race, spoken on these topics across the nation, been featured in multiple documentaries, and continues to be a voice for black women in the feminist space. Her first major published work Ain’t I Woman?: Black Women and Feminism was written when she was just a college student and published in 1981. If you’re interested in learning more, Feminism is for Everybody is a deeper look into these topics and a must read for everyone.
2. Patricia Hill Collins: A prominent Sociology professor and feminist author, Patricia Hill Collins is the woman behind the nationally recognized book Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment. This introspective work tackles the specific trial of being both black and a woman and all the issues that come along with that identity. Collins is an author to over 40 published works across fields with a center on gender, race, and class.
3. Renina Jarmon: If you’ve ever come across the phrase “black girls are the from the future” you were looking at the creation of this author and feminist. Jarmon’s breakout book Black Girls Are From the Future, is a selection of essays that explore race, creativity, and pop culture. She’s also the author of a children’s book Niama’s Adventures, the story of a little black girl adventures through time and travel.