Why does REWRITE make a distinction between Black women and women of colour?
The need to have a distinct space for women of colour to express themselves and have their work published can hardly be questioned. In a world where publishing is dominated by white, mostly male, authors, writers of colour have found it effective to publish works for us by us. Being at the intersection of race and gender, therefore, women writers of colour feel this need even more greatly. REWRITE is one of the organisations that is working towards filing this gap.
But the question why Black women, as women of colour themselves, should be held apart from other women of colour, may prove necessary. Are the experiences of women of colour not experiences that should be held in solidarity? This introduces a new intersection. Intersectionality, as Kimberle Crenshaw educates us, deals with “the fact that many of our social injustice problems like racism and sexism are often overlapping, creating multiple levels of social injustice”. She uses the example of roads that meet at an intersection, with each of these roads representing the different ways in which a person may be held back through unjust social practices and rules.
Black women, being at the intersection of gender, as well as the specific racial bracket of Blackness, experience life differently than would other women of colour. Their experiences influence their work differently, with different nuances related to Blackness, than it would other women of colour writers. So, where women of colour writers find themselves locked out from the publishing world, Black women of colour experience it even more so. But the consequence of Blackness does not extend only to struggle and injustice. The joys and triumphs of Black women at having overcome society’s burdens are also distinct. Their experiences remain unique, and so their work requires unique amplification.
REWRITE is proud to be a Black woman-led organisation.