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Why ‘Purple Hued Views?’

When I first floated the idea of this blog to friends and family, the first question I was asked was “Why Purple Hued Views?” I had to explain each and every time, and I figured it would stand to reason that everyone else reading this blog would ask the same question, so this is my (very short) blog post to explain.

Naturally, I wanted the name of my blog to reflect what it is fundamentally about.  Like everyone else, my core beliefs and my experiences frame the way I look at the world and inform the issues I am passionate about.  I am, to put it simply, a Black womanist, and this blog was set up to explore the complicated world we live in from this perspective.

Hold up. What is a ‘womanist’?

“Womanist is to feminist as purple is to lavender.” – Alice Walker

Womanism is feminism that recognises the unique experiences and struggles that Black women face, while acknowledging and celebrating their achievements and contributions to the feminist movement and society as a whole.  Womanism was born out of the realisation that second wave feminism was repeatedly failing Black women in this regard, as it overlooked the racialised oppression that compounds the gendered oppression that Black women experience.

Ok…so what’s the purple bit about?

The term ‘womanist’ was coined by African-American author and activist Alice Walker.  She is the author of the famous and brilliant novel The Color Purple, which is one of my favourite novels.  It was this book that introduced me to the concept of womanism – I studied it for A Level and was lucky enough to be able to go and hear Alice Walker speak when she visited London at the time.  Now, many years later, when brainstorming ideas for the name of this blog it came to me: I am a womanist and a literature lover. One of my favourite works of literature, The Color Purple, introduced me to womanism, and womanism ‘hued’ my views. Purple Hued Views. Simple! Thank you Alice Walker.

P.S. If you’re a literature lover like me, join my book club. We’ll be reading and discussing lots of exciting books! Check out the Purple Book Club page on the website and follow us on Instagram (@purplebookclub).  It’ll be great to have you with us!