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Review of ‘The Black Woman’s Agenda'

Full of ‘useful pieces of advice’, LeTava Mabilijengo’s book is a refreshing change from the usual portrayal of black women as ‘perpetual victims’, writes Norah Owaraga.

‘How are you doing today sister?’ is a question that LeTava Mabilijengo in her book: ‘The Black Woman’s Agenda: Inner Peace & the Power of Black Love, Revolutionary-minded Black Women’ encourages black women to ask each other on a daily basis.

The reasons why 'sisters' should ask each other the question are clearly articulated in Mabilijengo’s book, which in my view, is a must-read for all back women at least and black men too. In fact, if I had the powers, I would decree that this text should be compulsory reading for all senior secondary school students in African.

While the book is set in the United States of America (USA) and focuses on the plight of black women in the USA, I find it relevant in the context of Africa as well. Mabilijengo explores pertinent issues relevant to the context of Africa, such as the misconception that problem solving of the specific issues of black women needs to somehow exclude black men.

She makes a good argument against such misconceptions and demonstrates the need to recognise that men are after all ‘genetically modified women’. She provides an enlightening account of the external battle and the internal battle that women are subjected to and which they need to fight. She gives the most valid and useful pieces of advice on how black women can focus their attention on their own self-development; how black women can go about regaining their lost identity and lost voice; and how to avoid ‘economic slavery’ by embracing ‘tribal economics’.

African women and black women as a whole need to be exposed more to the views of the likes of Mabilijengo and less to the current dominant views in which black women are portrayed as perpetual victims! Mabilijengo's book is worth reading for the value of the knowledge contained therein is priceless.


* Norah Owaraga is a sociologist and the CEO of Executive Support Services.
* Download a free copy of LeTava Mabilijengo’s ‘The Black Woman’s Agenda: Inner Peace & the Power of Black Love, Revolutionary-minded Black Women’. [pdf]
* Please send comments to [email protected] or comment online at Pambazuka News.