Feminist Spaces writes this in direct response to and solidarity with the uprisings against the state-sanctioned killing of George Floyd and the continued violence around the world which endangers Black lives. We give our support to and stand alongside #BlackLivesMatter.
Feminist Spaces is a small network of women from around the world. We contribute to wide-reaching concerns, debates and activities on different intersections of identity and space, where positions of authority have become racialised and gendered within the UK’s hostile environment. The hostile environment comprises a myriad of state-driven inhumane policies that rest on principles of ‘othering’, and the segregation, detention, deportation and forced destitution of people of colour, through which lives are gravely endangered.
It is important to Feminist Spaces to acknowledge that #BlackLivesMatter was co-founded by three women: Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, and continues to be shaped by Black and queer organisers in the politics of Black feminism. As historian Marcia Chatelain states:
“Black Lives Matter is feminist in its interrogation of state power and its critique of structural inequality. It is also forcing a conversation about gender and racial politics that we need to have—women at the forefront of this movement are articulating that “black lives” does not only mean men’s lives or cisgender lives or respectable lives or the lives that are legitimated by state power or privilege.”Marcia Chatelain
This approach does not preclude acknowledging the particular historical and lived experiences of Black men and boys and people of all genders, but offers an inclusive approach that recognises how the intersections of white supremacy with other structural inequalities including patriarchy brings particular uneven risks to the lives of Black people.
We particularly would like to acknowledge partners in the Racial Justice Network and RAPAR for their ongoing work to promote racial justice, address colonial legacies, and work against the hostile environment. Please support their work, beyond this newscycle.
(Featured image (c) blacklivesmatter.com)