As a sophomore at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, I am just like every other
college student trying to find themselves and their purpose in life. Still, I can assure you that there are multiple facets to my identity that set me apart from the rest.
My name is Andrene Wright, born and raised in Long Island, New York. The small town I have become accustomed to has sheltered me from many injustices that may have been prevalent to a lot of African American Womyn, or so I thought. It wasn't until my first year of college at Michigan State University where I found the multiple systematic frameworks that I have been raised in troubling.
I enrolled myself in a philosophy course called "The Philosophical Aspect of Feminism" which changed my life. This course introduced me to many oppresive tactics, methods, and beliefs, which I have even contributed to, that prohibit the growth of womyn as a whole. It has then became a passion of mine to mitigate these oppressive works and become more knowledgeable on the subject in the efforts to inform and empower other African American womyn who may be as oblivious to these practices as I was.
During my freshman year, I implemented my knowledge from my philosophical course and interpersonal experiences/feelings as an African American womyn in an interactive theatre display called Tunnel of Oppression. I was cast as the African American student who was considered overly offensive when a black doll was hung off the door of a Michigan State University classroom (based on a true event). What I found special about this Tunnel of Oppression concept was that it not only spoke out on African American oppression but also on cultures from the Middle Wast, to the Midwest, and to even our own urban backyard. This same concept is one of the many features I'd like to include in my eportfolio.
One re-occuring problem that stimulates the oppression African American womyn face is the idea that every African American womyn's oppression is the same. Take a look at Kimberle Crenshaw's Intersectionality argument to better understand intragroup differences and its detriment to our upbringing if we choose to ignore it, an article I will be refering back to in the future. With that being said, one of my visions for my eportfolio is to incorporate and invite stories from anyone willing to share their individual oppression and their own ways of mitigating it. I would love for each story to not only describe their personal experiences, but to end with a joy they feel, or hope to later feel, in their one step closer to change. For more information, see my "Tell the Tale" tab.
Womyn: a reclamation of the word "women" in a form that will separate ourselves from men and distinguish our own personal identity.