‘There is no ontological home for Black women in “womanhood”; we must refuse this category and be fugitives: “We who become together”’ – Saidiya Hartman, Lose Your Mother Nydia A. Swaby leads a roundtable with Ama Josephine Budge, Rita Gayle and Azeezat Johnson, discussing their respective engagements with contemporary Black feminist politics, Saidiya Hartman’s work and the concept of fugitivity in relation to Black feminism. Their conversation is followed by a live video conversation with Saidiya Hartman. Part of the Fugitive Feminisms series programmed with sociologist Akwugo Emejulu, this five-day convening of artists, activists and academics focuses on contemporary Black feminist politics, examining the impossibility of Black women’s claims to womanhood and the new spaces that are created by a politics of refusal.
A catalyst for this roundtable is the concept of fugitivity and the possibility of a feminism that refuses the category of gender altogether. Rather than seeking inclusion in gender relations that cannot account for Black women’s myriad experiences, Fugitive Feminism instead embraces a transgressive category of the fugitive – one who flees domination and joins with others to collectively construct a new liberation politics.