Ain't I A Woman Collective

Centring the Voices of Women with African Ancestry

October 2015

Editors’ Note

By Ain’t I A Woman Collective   This October, which also happens to be Black History Month in the UK, we all reflected on our various IDENTITIES to illustrate how versatile blackness really is.   Yossie Paul, Editor “A good name,” they said when we were growing up, “is better than silver and gold.” For a long time, during my childhood in Nigeria, my name was my identifier. It was the

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I Live to Know and Love to Live

Eleanor T. Khonje   There is a thirst at the core of my soul, A hunger seeking to feel each crevice; To know each perfection with its imperfections, To know of the space which shapes the definition of I.   My characterisation of self As I know and live it is determined by me, And meeting the kindred Is a matter of sacredness.   In this space, there lives a

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By Siana Bangura   Do you know what a black hole looks like? It’s a vast expanse The type I always prayed to be engulfed by The type of ocean I wished to jump into And to sink, not swim In. You work hard to assimilate That’s part of the plight of an immigrant Short of scrubbing your colour off with wire sheets and bleach You abandon your culture And language

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By Angel Dye   Sugar & spice & everything nice Curls & pearls & tutu skirt twirls   Black girls are not made of struggle & pain & tears & lipstick stains   They are not representatives of the race or aficionados on how to be born at the bottom of the totem pole   They are not specialists in beatings & bruising & brushes with death   & baby-making  

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I Am Mixed And I Am Whole

By Sekai Makoni   When I heard the theme for this month was ‘identity’, the word crisis as an appendage kept coming to mind. As a mixed person it, it seems as though the word “crisis” is constantly attached to identity, as though there is confusion somewhere. This is problematic. Other phrases that have become synonymous with “mixed race” include: ‘unsure of themselves’, ‘in-between’, ‘not one, not the other’, etc. It

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Now I Know What Love Is

By Nadine Robinson   They say that the fortune and fame make you into a “somebody,” however, I was always somebody. I was Me. – Nadine Robinson I have struggled with moments of vulnerability: “Am I too dark? Am I too tall? Am I too skinny?” Society had me in its vicious claws, forcing me into succumb to what it deemed the ‘norm’ – those unnecessary labels that merely made me

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By Remi Graves   Accreting selfhood as we speak. Eagerly growing into the person I already am. Scent of selfness wafting temptingly by. Struggle morphs gracefully into acceptance And future I beheld by present self feels like a form of time travel. Round trip, though destination and departure gate are the self same space.     About the writer Remi has always written, but found her poetic voice during her year

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By Vanessa Jubey   Tufts of straight hair stand at attention on top of the small waves below. The straight ends are almost successful at hiding what’s underneath, that hair of resistance. They stick up like antennae. My hair is saturated with deep conditioner. I grab the scissors and take a snip, then another; and another. What was my hair now sits lifeless on the floor. I look at myself

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1st Black Girl Sunday – I Am Your Sister: Black Women Organising Across Identities

We are delighted to announce the inaugural Black Girl Sunday social. Our theme for October is IDENTITY, which is particularly relevant as it is Black History Month in the UK. Join us at Common House on Sunday 11th October 2015 for I Am Your Sister: Black Women Organising Across Identities. Inspired by the renowned Black lesbian feminist poet, Audre Lorde, we would love to host a group of Black women in the UK to discuss our various identities and the roles they play

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