"Black women cannot speak for black men. We can speak with them. And by
so doing embody the practice of solidarity wherein dialogue is
the foundation of true love." -bell hooks
I would never identify as a womanist because it is a space that has been articulated by and for black women and other women of color. 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. Womanism, in many of its contexts, is solely for women of color, so as a black male I make no claim to that identity. What I can (and try to 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. 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.