bell hooks takes her reader on a remarkable journey of writing, love, and sexuality from her first contact with this awareness growing up in rural Georgia through her Professorship and beyond. While all along the way demonstrating for us how one might navigate, negotiate, translate and deconstruct engagements with love. Not only love of another but also love of self, community, and journey.
Sisters have consistently since slavery managed both their individual and gendered sexuality. I would argue that since slavery Black women have experienced the need to navigate a socially constructed defining spectrum that spans from hypersexualized, with a beast like insatiable appetite for sex through the “clean good girl”. Her legacy unfolds as a pathway for the lineage of the African slave to thrive. Black women are the masters of “taking one for the team” meaning, sacrificing her mind and body so that the collective might reach beyond survival to thrive. I will say that the Mission is accomplished, yes there still exists various vulnerable and both inequitable issues among the community; however, when compared to our Ancestral beginnings in America…we are thrivers.
The American Black woman has spent her existence in a metaphorical hard hat and work boots deconstructing this mythicized sexual identity, to create an identity that Grandmothers often framed, “stepping out of the gutter smelling like a rose” once again as a collective this time sacrificing her individual sexual identity and her womb power.
I see a new opportunity on the horizon with the young warrior princess as she demonstrates what it can look like to unleash sexual individuality, a love and uninhibited sense with body. However, I believe in order to engage in this sexual identity, there must be some sort of intergenerational conversation among Sisters. A discussion that intersects a reprieve from the historicity of sexuality defined for Black women with the sacred power of the womb and the freedom to embrace an individual sexual identity.