Yesterday, Queen Afua posted this on her Facebook page. Why does she keep on repeating this cis-sexist and heteronormative ‘advice’ on how to be ‘healthier’ Black woman? This is just inexcusable. And quite dangerous and irresponsible. Completely pathologizes the entire spectrum of gender identities, gender expressions, sexualities, etc that don’t adhere to cis-sexist heteronormative notions of being human. Too many people on her page support it too. This plants seeds of hate and gives permission to enact violence (whether discursive or physical) upon those who don’t fit into her rubric of a ‘healthy Black conscious’ nation. So dangerous. Blows my mind. This is her concept of veganism but it is not the Sistah Vegan Project’s. This is not ‘non-violence’ or ahimsa (the tradition of veganism that the Sistah Vegan Project draws from). I am quite disappointed but not surprised by this continued ‘advice’. Defining who is a real man or woman is unacceptable. I think Janet Mock’s interviews and writings speak volumes to this cis-sexist framing of a real woman or real man. Check out the blog Afro-Gender Queer, a Black vegan and one of our Anti-Racist Vegan Change-Maker awardees of 2015 who also gave a spectacular presentation for our Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter 2015 conference. The images above blow my mind with the narrative that Queen Afua has given to them. I am not an expert on this subject by no means and there are plenty of people who are non-conforming gender or transgender identified who know that Queen Afua’s framing simply adds to the violence they must navigate in a USA (and beyond) that is cis-sexist.
Her belief system says that the Black community in the USA is ‘broken’ on many levels and has advocated for years that Black people must follow a holistic vegan diet while practicing heteronormative cisgender roles to ‘fix’ the Black nation which was ruined by colonization and white supremacy (I write about this in my dissertation work analyzes her Afrocentric vegan politics).
Just really disappointing and very unsettling because these are seeds she is planting that are no going to grow love, only hate and intolerance amongst a large population of Black cis-sexist people who seem to be conscious around systemic racism (as it affects cisgender Black people) but are unconscious about the gender spectrum and their collusion with the systemic violence against non-conforming gender and transgender people. Please read more about this in SPLC’s Intelligence Report about this. And stop being silent about this. If you disagree with Queen Afua but are too scared to say it as a cisgender identified person, you are part of the problem.
Like what the Sistah Vegan Project Does? Find out about our 2016 upcoming conference “The Role of Foodie+Tech Culture in an Era of Systemic Racism and Neoliberal Capitalism”. If you missed our Spring 2015, “The Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter” you can download the recordings with slides, here
Also, learn about our other projects and how you can donate to keep the Sistah Vegan Project alive and vibrant.