April 15: Black and Female by Tsitsi Dangarembga
April 15, Saturday (online)
12pm New York | 5pm London | 6pm Harare
We will read Black and Female, a set of anti-colonial and feminist essays by Zimbabwean writer Tsitsi Dangarembga. This selection is part of our Transformative Futures series where we learn together and tackle new, important ideas.
About the book
In Black and Female, Tsitsi Dangarembga examines the legacy of imperialism on her own life and on every aspect of black embodied African life. This paradigm-shifting essay collection weaves the personal and political in an illuminating exploration of race and gender. Dangarembga recounts a painful separation from her parents as a toddler, connecting this experience to the ruptures caused in Africa by human trafficking and enslavement. She argues that, after independence, the ruling party in Zimbabwe only performed inclusion for women while silencing the work of self-actualized feminists. She describes her struggles to realize her ambitions in theater, film, and literature, laying out the long path to the publication of her novels.
At once philosophical, intimate, and urgent, Black and Female is a powerful testimony of the pervasive and long-lasting effects of racism and patriarchy that provides an ultimately hopeful vision for change. Black feminists are “the status quo’s worst nightmare.” Dangarembga writes, “our conviction is deep, bolstered by a vivid imagination that reminds us that other realities are possible beyond the one that obtains.”
Tsitsi Dangarembga is the author of a trilogy that comprises Nervous Conditions (1988), winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize; The Book of Not (2006) and This Mournable Body (2018), shortlisted for the Booker Prize and She won the PEN Pinter Prize and the German Book Trade Peace Prize in 2021. Dangarembga is also a filmmaker, playwright and the director of the Institute of Creative Arts for Progress in Africa Trust. She lives in Harare, Zimbabwe.
From our #archives, a lovely BookRising podcast with Dangarembga. Listen here!
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