Ain't I A Woman Collective

Centring the Voices of Women with African Ancestry

September 2015

Editors’ Note

By Ella Achola and Yossie Paul This month’s issue is RENEWAL. Our editors Ella Achola and Yossie Paul reflect on what RENEWAL means to them and the submissions we received this month. Ella Achola, Editor Just about a year ago I was becoming increasingly weary of relying on diaspora feminisms that I did not feel spoke my story. I had begun my feminist journey reading the truths of Angela Davis

Continue reading…


By Marcelle Mateki Akita   Pastel yellows, pinks, and mauves flash in kaleidoscopic patterns across the blank canvas of her lids, she smiles that beautiful smile and sinks. Vibrantly her vessels bump a deep gravelly bass of colours, rich and flagrant, into her wiring. Her lids dance trying hazily to keep up with the flashing pastels. Glitters sprinkle and she squints. The sun rises, a throbbing citric orange explodes against the

Continue reading…

Stumbling Into Self

By Lunga Yeni   Slowly, silently, shifting — shapelessly, She stumbled, into her shining. Shy, self-conscious, shadowed by shortcomings, She stumbled, into her shining. Starving, startled, stunted, She stumbled, into her shining. Selfless, steadfast, self-assured, She stumbled, into her shining. Silently, she rose, Slowly, she triumphed; Shifting into her shining, Shapelessly becoming self.   Image: Rod Waddington   About the writer: Lunga Yeni trained as Director at Rose Bruford and has since directed

Continue reading…

Our Parents’ Children

By Selina Nwulu All immigrants are artists – re-creating your entire life is a form of reinvention on par with the greatest works of literature. Edwidge Danticat Theirs was the first gamble. Hopes stitched into suitcase linings before being searched at customs. An airport poster: We cannot assume responsibility for lost belongings. Many will not speak of what was lost and found. How tectonic plates shift the roots of home,

Continue reading…

steps to questioning one’s existence

TW: death   By Angel Dye   i. i turn out the light and before i can reach my bed i’m stepping on dead bodies, feet soaked in blood pooling around my ankles wanna scream, wanna close my eyes and not see death staring me down i jump into the covers, sheets afraid ii. there is cold cement floor and her being photographed lying down on it (is she alive?)

Continue reading…

What RENEWAL Means to Me

By Gabrielle G.   Renewal, to me, meant finding peace of mind and discovering who I was. Having been so caught up in the stresses of society and the outside world, I began to feel overwhelmed. It felt as though I wasn’t doing anything for the benefit or sole purpose of ME.  I did everything I was told to do, everything I was supposed to do: went to school full-time

Continue reading…

Black Feminist Spotlight: SELINA NWULU

An Ain’t I A Woman Collective series to highlight the herstories of different black feminists from around the world.   Who is Selina Nwulu? I am a writer, essayist and poet. I write about many things, but often look at global protest, social and environmental justice and how this links with notions of identity, nostalgia, and belonging. I have recently published my first collection of poetry called The Secrets I

Continue reading…

Growth – Brand New Or A Brand New Me

By Nadine Robinson   “When you develop yourself to the point where you believe in yourself so strongly that you know you can accomplish anything you put your mind to, your future will be unlimited.”   It is time to wear my new skin openly. Brand new. They will see me reinvent myself, into a soul that is made of pure love and honesty. That’s right – a brand new me; a light that

Continue reading…

Nicki Minaj & Miley Cyrus: People, What’s Good?

By Yovanka Perdigao   So the VMAS happened, and as usual, were laced with tense energies and straight-out strange appearances, comments, and even an announcement of a new presidential candidate. The moment, however, that we all need to remember, folks, is not Yeezy, and not even Miley’s antics. What we need to remember is Nicki Minaj who came into the spotlight as a feminist icon. I am going to break

Continue reading…