African Women Remind Outsiders To Stop Hijacking Their Image

At least some African women are concerned enough about their interests that they’re actively protecting their image. One thing that always annoys me is how the continent is lumped together instead of discussing each country individually. Like “Black Women”.

There are well-documented problems mentioned often, but there are also numerous interested parties actively engaged in finding solutions. In the meantime, I don’t see online conversations where Nigerian, Ugandan, Liberian, etc. women are screaming they’re mostly ‘fat and happy’, or how moving onto non-African social circles equals white male worship or how colonialism (white racism) is the main source of their societal ills. We’ve only discussed this in about 300 posts because some of you are extremely hard-headed about justifying non-beneficial dogmas instead of setting higher standards.

I do see push-back against Africans being painted as perpetual victims. How refreshing! That doesn’t deny or negate serious problems that need to be addressed. It does however focus on their intent to build a brighter future. Prosperity thinking and action requires you to envision and be open to more, not less. Thus “Africa” for all that implies is not a single story issue. Like “Black Women”.

Speaking of, many critics of the Kony 2012 film are concerned about outsiders manipulating situations that might cause more harm in the long run.


Above, a video by Rosebell Kagumire, a Ugandan multimedia journalist who works on ”media, women, peace and conflict issues.” She writes, “This is me talking about the danger of portraying people with one single story and using old footage to cause hysteria when it could have been possible to get to DRC and other affected countries get a fresh perspective and also include other actors.”





Thanks Androgynousblackgirl for the written text and graphics and BW Living Well for the link. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie gave a speech at the Ted Global Conference in 2009 warning against repeating one filtered viewpoint that doesn’t benefit long-term progress.

The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.

3 comments to African Women Remind Outsiders To Stop Hijacking Their Image

  • Jae

    I am certainly glad to hear of this. This makes me think about the future of BWE and BW in general and while I certainly see the power of internet activism, I think we will eventually have to expand. I personally have been a little discouraged as the memes that weigh BW down are so entrenched that they believe they are part of their identity and perhaps they are right to an extent. Unless they are actively confronted with the message everyday in real life, they will continue to believe that ANY image of them should be welcomed as positive and never questioned.