An Open Essay to my Encounters with White Feminism

Richmond Peace Education Center

To the White student activists who accused me of attacking them when I called them out for reducing my Black experience to a thing of the past; You claimed you loved the power of Black female voices, but dismissed my Black female voice, by saying there’s not much racism at your school, by saying the Black Parkland students didn’t get the attention they deserved because they “didn’t protest in a way people weren’t open to”. When I challenged you, you branded me with every stereotype that Black girls are labeled with: angry, confrontational and violent.

To my White friends and neighbors who suddenly care about gun violence now that it has started to affect their community; You skipped the Black Lives Matter protests that have been happening over the past six years, but carved time out of your weekend to go to the March For Our Lives. Out of the thousands of people that were there, I got only six people to stand with the Black youth who have been marching for their lives for the longest. Even though Black youth are the reason you wear orange for gun control, you stared at us disapprovingly, and praised the White youth who stood in the forefront.

To the White feminist who showed up for the Women’s March but not for me when she saw me experiencing racism; When I called out that White woman for being racist, talking about my hair, and calling me lazy, she accused me of acting out and attacking other people. When I called you out for your silence on what you knew was happening, you said to me “I’m really sorry I feel that way.”

To my White childhood friends who unfollowed me because I talk about race, specifically the White girl in art class who made a political statement about feminism by celebrating the White female body; When I made a political statement about womanism, by celebrating my Blackness and my girlhood, it offended you so much, that you along with several of my White childhood friends disowned me. At first I was offended. Then I realized that you didn’t like me for me. Now that I’m comfortable with my Blackness, you don’t like me anymore. I have unlearned the hate you have given me.

Written by Stephanie Younger, a 16 year old Black student activist, organizer and writer who advocates for womanism, diversity in STEAM , the abolition of youth prisons and community non violence

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