Join us for an ongoing series in partnership with host and African Book Club co-Founder Faith Adiele. July's book selection is Black and Female: Essays by Tsitsi Dangarembga. This program will be hosted virtually on Zoom.
How to participate: Get a copy of the book, read it in advance of the meeting, and then discuss the book with a group of people interested in reading African Literature in-person at MoAD on Sunday July 23rd from 12-1:30pm PT. Copies of Black and Female: Essays by Tsitsi Dangarembga are available from the MoAD Bookstore.
The first wound for all of us who are classified as “black” is empire.
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.”
About the Author
Tsitsi Dangarembga is a novelist, playwright, activist, and filmmaker. She is the author of the Tambudzai Trilogy, which traces the life of a rural girl from her childhood in colonial Zimbabwe to her adulthood in a country repressed by political elites. The first novel in the series, Nervous Conditions, was “hailed as one of the 20th century’s most significant works of African literature” (The New York Times). In her essay collection, Black and Female, Dangarembga examines the legacy of imperialism on her own life and on every aspect of Black-embodied African life. Dangarembga lives and works in Zimbabwe, where she is the founding director of the Institute of Creative Arts for Progress in Africa Trust.