DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.
|Legacy of "The Color Purple"|
"WOMANIST IS TO FEMINIST AS PURPLE IS TO LAVENDER." ~ALICE WALKER
I committed these words to memory when I was an undergraduate student. These words come from Alice Walker's 1983 first collection of non-fiction where she first coined the term womanist in In Search of Our Mother's Gardens: Womanist Prose. I read the book and was trans-fixed because it was really one of those first moments when I learned about black women's presence in ways that went deeper than the special Black History announcements and commercials in February.
I remembered and travelled back to this moment in my college years by looking at the black and white sketch that I did at the time. Over time, I had started layering many, many pieces of torn, tissue paper until I achieved the color purple. I returned to that original sketch and purple schema when I began teaching coursed about Black women in 2011 and again when I began teaching introduction to gender studies in 2016. The image re-ignited the moment when I could first see, feel, and know that black women must be central to any story/ intellectual tradition/ theory of the world. From the course website (blackwomenrhetproject.com) to each day of class, I have literally layered a life on top of this.