so doing embody the practice of solidarity wherein dialogue is
the foundation of true love." -bell hooks
I can never identify as a womanist because it is a space that has been articulated by and for black women. For far too long black women have been left out of the societal discourse and essentially rendered invisible. Their lived experiences were not valued or recognized as legitimate because voices that did not belong to white men were marginalized. Womanism in many of its contexts is solely for women of color, so as a black male I can make no claim to that identity. What I can do is align myself with the ideals, stand in support, and engage in critical discussion about the lived experiences of people of color through a womanist and black feminist lens. I can be an advocate! As bell hooks says, "Black women cannot speak for black men," the opposite is true for black men. Black men cannot speak for black women, but we can join in solidarity to build that foundation of true love.