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Feminist author: 'Black women are not a problem'

SPEAKING OUT: Black feminist Tamara Winfrey Harris

AN AMERICAN feminist, who is tired of seeing black women being portrayed as a "problem" has penned a book explaining why sisters are actually "alright".

Longtime writer on black feminism and first-time author Tamara Winfrey Harris details why she’s tired of the broken narrative surrounding black women in her new book The Sisters Are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women in America.

Harris recently spoke with Gawker on what she believes the problem is, and in her opinion, it's not black women.

Black women, in the US, and here in the UK are plagued with media that says they're doing things wrong in their love lives, career or parenting. But Harris said it’s time to change the conversation.

In her book, Harris counters the negative statistics black women hear with the realities of the positives.

Speaking directly to black women, Harris relays the fact that black women not as broken as society paints them to be, Madame Noire reported.

“I am just so tired of seeing black women portrayed as problems,” Winfrey told Gawker on what inspired her book. “My frustration hit its peak during the obsession with black marriage rates a few years back,.

“Were we too fat? Too aggressive? Too masculine? Too easy? My personal favourite - too educated and competent?

"I’ve been married for nearly 15 years and that conversation had me doubting myself… And here is the other thing—the conversation often involved people talking about black women but not to us,” noted the writer.

Harris said age has a lot to do with her current stance in life and coming into acceptance of herself was not an easy process. She noted the book couldn’t have been written at 25, but at 45 she cares less about what people have to say about black women.


NEW BOOK: The Sisters Are Alright: Changing the Broken
Narrative of Black Women in America
is Harris' first book

Harris also said that it's up to black women them self to tackle self-actualisation

“It means black women have to thoughtfully consume information about ourselves - questioning it, turning it over in our heads and assessing it for bias.

We have to view with suspicion those who want to tell us how to be or what is wrong with us. We have to support our sisters in being perfectly imperfect, complex human beings who are essentially okay. And we have to be able to look in the mirror and accept ourselves as the same,” said Harris.

As the discussion regarding black feminism evolved so did who “could or could not” be considered a feminist. Winfrey admitted that she’s received a lot of criticism for including Beyonce and Nicki Minaj in this conversation, Madame Noire said.

She noted that black women often have to walk a fine line, because being too sexual could now count you out.

“They would rather I focus on black women who show their a**es. They cannot see that this thinking is a reflection of a problem. American culture devalues women who are overtly sexual.

"Black women and girls are thought to be uniquely libidinous, putting them at risk of disrespect, at least, sexual exploitation and assault, at worst,” added Harris.

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