And then in Zami, when Audre Lorde shares with us another memory, a memory of people spitting at her in the streets, I understood something. An experience of racism can involve the loss of the words to explain what is going on. It was a memory of her mother explaining to her that people were spitting into the wind because they were ill-mannered and rude, because the mother wants to protect her black child from the knowledge that those people are spitting at her, because she is a black child. I understood something. I understood that racism can be what happens right in front of us – in the direction of violence towards some of us – but also that we learn not to see it. We might learn not to see racism as a way of being protecting from racism: but of course we are not protected. We might not learn the word ‘racism’ or learn not to say that word ‘racism’ as if by not saying it, it might go away. Not naming racism as if racism is not going-on keeps racism on-going. This is why, in naming racism, we are always doing something. We need to find the words. Black feminism can be a way of finding the words.
From Black feminism as a Life-Line by Sara Ahmed. (via tamghrabit)