The School for Black Feminist Politics (SBFP) is a Black feminist political education initiative and hub powered by Black Women Radicals. Established in 2020, the mission of SBFP is to empower Black Feminisms in Black Politics by expanding the field from transnational, intersectional, and multidisciplinary perspectives. The SBFP’s goal is to illuminate what has often been obscured and neglected in regards to our Black feminist histories, political memories, and productions, so that our past, present, and future understandings of Black feminist thought and behavior can be understood more fully and completely. The SBFP focuses on the transnational and historical and contemporary Black feminist political thought and behavior to further build a frame of reference for Black Politics––one that extends beyond academia. Moreover, the SBFP seeks to explore, amplify, and illuminate global Black feminist politics and movement building through our community-oriented events; teach-ins led by Black feminist artists, activists, creatives, and educators; and through research and scholarship on and about Black feminisms.
The Coordination of Black Women (Coordination femmes noires) held their first public meeting in Paris in October of 1977. Founded in May 1976 (two years after the formation of the Combahee River Collective in the United States), the Coordination did not escape the fate of the invisibilization of Black women and our movements in France.
Afrofeminists operating largely online, sharing texts and analyses, became visible around the year 2013 by problematizing issues in the anti-slavery and anti-colonial struggles. This emergence was largely seen as a trend. A grammar of novelty was mobilized to both describe and de-legitimize these forms of activism, especially in contrast to older, more historically legitimized struggles: class, of course, but also issues around race. Afrofeminist collectives faced many accusations from different actors ( i.e. State, the right, the white left, white feminist organizations, anti-racist movement in France, and also Black organization predominantly led by men). Amongst those different groups, many wanted to keep us around to add color to group photos of demonstrations and to diversify the movement on paper without being accountable to our political demands considered a minority. Afrofeminists face also another form of erasure from abroad where grassroots collective Afrofeminist organizing is erased in favor of Black women public figures with large audiences or scholars.
This teach-in will be focus on how radical Afrofeminist politics and organizing evolve and thrive in France and how we became determined to neither disappear nor allow ourselves to be walked on and choose political autonomy as a compass.