Too Bigoman: The Black Women's Movement in Britain Revisited
Part of Feminist Book Fortnight 16 - 30 June 2018
Black women the world over have had a long history of struggle and resistance. Her strength has been seen as counter feminine, aggressive and underpinned by anger. She was accused of being 'too bigoman,' meaning bold and brazen by her elders when she displayed her
sassiness and confidence. The dominant feminist movement overlooked her experiences and later wanted her to choose between her rights and that of her brothers and sisters from
different classes. Black women in the UK organised to give voices to their many experiences, particularly in the areas of housing, employment, health and education.
This presentation revisits the period of activism that lead to the development of the Black Women's Movement in the UK. It will revisit the activism of Pan-Africanists Claudia Jones, Amy Jacques Garvey and Amy Ashwood, Black Panther Olive Morris and the founding
members of the Brixton Black Women's Group. With reference to seminal writings like Heart of the Race: Black Women's Lives in Britain by Beverly Bryan, Stella Dadzie and Suzanne Scafe, from Alice Walker on Womanism and Bell Hooks on Black Feminism. It will explore the negative perceptions of the 'strong angry black woman' that prevails, highlighting that the women activists in the UK movements were the 'bigoman' who used their strength and anger in the struggle against all forms of injustice.
About the Speaker: Dr Michelle Asantewa
Michelle Yaa Asantewa formerly lectured in English Literature, Editing and Creative Writing at London Metropolitan University and currently facilitates a range of writing workshops as an Independent Scholar. She co-founded Way Wive Wordz Publishing, Editing and Tuition services with Ateinda Ausarntu through which she has published her first novel, Elijah and The Awakening and Other Poems, Guyanese Komfa: the ritual art of trance, Mama Lou Tales: a folkloric biography of a Guyanese elder and Something Buried in the Yard.
She is joint course Leader (with Tony Warner) of The Amazing James Baldwin Course and African Women Resistance Leaders: Spiritual and Political and facilitates the writing workshops It's Your Life Write, In Your Voice, Write It Tell It, Speak It and Eyes are Not Always Blue: The Art of Description.
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