Wisdom from Women of Colour.

Many moons ago I shared some of my favourite quotes on feminism from men and women, white people and people of colour (POC). Today, I thought I would pay special attention to the magic and wisdom of women of colour (WOC), and the richness they add to not just feminist thought, but society as a whole.

Now, it is important to remember, that while we celebrate these impressive and inspiring WOC, we do so in a respectful manner. We do not steal their wisdom without hearing their voices. We do not co-opt their intelligence as our own. We do not negate their lived experiences.

Without further ado, here are some words of wisdom, nuggets of knowledge, and morsels of magic from WOC:

  1. “The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are. Imagine how much happier we would be, how much freer to be our true individual selves, if we didn’t have the weight of gender expectations.”― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists
  2. “If any female feels she need anything beyond herself to legitimate and validate her existence, she is already giving away her power to be self-defining, her agency.”― bell hooks, Feminism Is for Everybody
  3. “Is solace anywhere more comforting than in the arms of a sister.” – Alice Walker
  4. “In societies where men are truly confident of their own worth, women are not merely tolerated but valued.” —Aung San Suu Kyi
  5. “When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my visions, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” – Audre Lorde
  6. “If we aren’t intersectional, some of us, the most vulnerable, will fall through the cracks.” – Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw
  7. “Struggle is a never-ending process. Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation.” – Coretta Scott King
  8. “Each time a woman stands up for herself without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.” —Maya Angelou
  9. “Dressing badly has been a refuge much of my life, a way of compelling others to engage with my mind, not my physical presence.” – Sonia Sotomayer, My Beloved World
  10. “The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.” ―Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  11. “A woman who writes has power, and a woman with power is feared.” – Gloria E. Anzaldúa
  12. “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” –Audre Lorde
  13. “Each of us carries around those growing up places, the institutions, a sort of backdrop, a stage set. So often we act out the present against the backdrop of the past, within a frame of perception that is so familiar, so safe that is is terrifying to risk changing it even when we know our perceptions are distorted, limited, constricted by that old view.”
    ― Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Feminism without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity
  14. “To understand how any society functions you must understand the relationship between the men and the women.” – Angela Davis
  15. “When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.” – Malala Yousafzai
  16. “As long as women are using class or race power to dominate other women, feminist sisterhood cannot be fully realized.” ―bell hooks, Feminism Is for Everybody
  17. “Of course I am not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in.”― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
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