Happy Birthday Intersectionality! / by Edna Bonhomme

Last night, I saw Kimberlé Crenshaw, Black American scholar and founder of Intersectionality as a praxis. The event was initiated by the Center for Intersectional Justice and. sponsored by the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung in Berlin. A pioneer of Critical Race Theory and Legal Studies, Crenshaw eloquently laid out her politics and history in her own words—mostly in response to the haters who misinterpret or twist her sayings. She described the Ritualistic marginalization of Black womxn & Black trans/gender nonconforming people by Black men and white womxn (and so many other groups including white men...). The ways that Black womxn and Black trans/gender non conforming people who suffer are sidelined. This inequality is most apparent through the dual and disproportionately high intersection of sexual violence AND racialized violence that we Black womxn & Black trans/gender non conforming face under white supremacy and patriarchy. I was also struck by her words concerning “Asymmetric solidarity without fidelity.” Why should we Black womxn just wait around while our needs are pushed, when our ideas are dismissed, when we are excluded, when we are not that we are “too angry” or when we are told we are too much? As Crenshaw said, “I won’t ride or die for a politics that will not ride or die for me.” Moreover, Crenshaw appears to be a stellar mentor to her students and former students who were glowing from her charismatic and demi-god maneuvers. She takes care of her Intersectionality tribe and even goes so far as to have a writing month with her community so that they can all collectively #dobetter. Finding the crew of people who value your intellect and commit to building a better world with you can be the air beneath one’s Wings. Finally, Prof. Crenshaw knows how to have fun. As demonstrated last night, Our social movements and communities need more Black orchestras, more dancing, more laughter, and more melanin. While dancing at the Intersectionality after party with Malaika and Kate [two Black womxn friends], I cited Emma Goldman, “if i can’t dance, it is not my revolution 

Some books by K. Crenshaw to consider reading

  • The Race Track: Understanding and Challenging Structural Racism.

  • On Intersectionality: Essential Writings.

  • Words That Wound: Critical Race Theory, Assaultive Speech, and the First Amendment (New Perspectives on Law, Culture, and Society)