You are not a “black woman”!
Since a plethora of individuals have produced questions on the legitimacy of my identification (whom the majority are ironically claiming to be post-constructionists), I intend for this to give you all a better insight into my identification as a “black woman”.
It is important to note that race is a subjectively fabricated concept, with no scientifically verifiable cultural or physical characteristics shared universally within any group. Regardless of what you may perceive, there is no definitive formula for the acceptance and identification within a racial group- for objectively, they don’t exist. In this case, the pre-englightenment philosopher Rene Descartes statement “Cogito ergo sum”, “I think, therefore I am”, is an important contributing factor to my identification, aided with internal feelings of belonging and similarity.
Many people claim that my identification is “racist”, evidently, those people have no apparent understanding of the word. To be “racist” would entail the construction of barriers to opportunistic tools for achieving wealth, power and prestige, based on “racial traits”. In no way is my identification a barricade to the opportunities of anyone, yet the denial of my self identification by individuals (possibly such as you) would inevitably be “racist” in nature.
Furthermore, people state that I haven’t faced the same scenarios that are stereotyped amongst “black women”, but they are just that, stereotypes. Oppression and experiences aren’t universal within any labeled group, for members face exceptional variance in their experiences. By stating I haven’t faced the same oppression as a “black woman” alludes to a universal shared experience, however; the experiences of someone identified as a “black woman” in urban Toronto, rural Virginia, and Zimbabwe all differ tremendously. As with all people, I face oppression which may be consistent with some members of my identified group (you are under no authority to determine this), as well as some that aren’t shared by a large quantity of members, coherent though, with any member of any group.
Individuals further like to acknowledge my appearance, in particular, my skin pigmentation, as a barrier to my identity. To this I reference that fact that skin pigmentation is completely determined in relation to UVA and UVB radiation. With this in mind, there is also a large variance in which skin shades can still be allocated into a “racial group”, in this case, where is the definitive cutoff? Furthermore, skin pigmentation isn’t unique to specific races or geographic locations, Sub-Saharan Africans have nearly identical skin pigmentation as those in Southern-India, but are they publicly acknowledged as “black”?
Then, in desperation, some individuals state that a shared African ancestry is needed to be defined as “black” to which I remind them that all anatomically modern Homo sapien sapiens derived from a single, African, ancestor some 195,000 years ago. To the widely accepted, modern, constructed understanding of “racial identification”, this ancestor which we all share, would have been labeled “black”. Then I too, should be genetically identifiable with “black”, because how can one lose their race?
Then for the question of gender, I truthfully identify as a male, with predominantly masculine traits, however in the mission of defying constructed boundaries in support of vast communities, I choose to publicly acknowledge and show shameless support to gender and sex diversities. One shouldn’t feel offended by identifying on the title of my blog an alternative gender for it is not done so in a xenophobic intent but rather to deconstruct societal boundaries.
I would like to make it clear that my self identification is of no business to you, nor does your input have any significance. Leave you opinions and judgment elsewhere.