The “Loving Me” Diaries Series Introduction
I know it has been a while. The transformational impact and momentum of A Time to Speak: The Voice Reclamation Campaign Documentary provoked me to take a break. I had to admit one hard fact: I was tired. The weight and burden of women’s stories in the Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) field is exhausting. The same goes for male victim-survivors stories as well. “ACB” (African, Caribbean, Black) women are known for our selfless activism, love, and care for others that ultimately works to neglect our own wellbeing. It is a wonder how we help the whole world, but feel selfish in taking time to love and nurture our own souls and wellbeing.
In 1983, Alice Walker composed a 4-part definition of who a “Womanist” is. An excerpt reads:
1. From womanish… From the black folk expression of mothers to female children, “You acting womanish,” i.e., like a woman. Usually referring to outrageous, audacious, courageous or willful behaviour…Responsible. In charge. Serious.
3. Loves music. Loves dance. Loves the moon. Loves the Spirit. Loves love and food and roundness. Loves struggle. Loves the Folk. Loves herself. Regardless. (Phillips 9).
I want to highlight that last line since it forms the foundation for this entire series: “Loves herself. Regardless.” I am intent on loving myself, regardless, as an African-Canadian woman in VAWG. In this journey, I will explore various topics and themes related to the mental health and wellbeing of Afro-Caribbean women in VAW as a way to inspire us all to love ourselves, and prioritize our wellbeing in our current social landscape in what Cherrie Moraga names as “a world on fire.” Join me for a journey of self-reflection, joy, peace, selfcare, and mental wellness.
In Love & Truth,
Moraga, Cherríe. 1984. “Foreword: Refugees of a World On Fire.” In This Bridge Called My Back: Writings By Radical Women of Color, Second Edition, edited by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa. New York: Kitchen Table.
Phillips, Layli. The Womanist Reader. Routledge, 2006, https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203943670.