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Backyard black fence with a container garden - green squash leave, marigolds in a purple pot, basil in a green pot, tomato plant in a large red pot, mature eggplant leaves in a large blue pot. A red, silver, and white scooter is in front of the pots.

Why the BW@H Project? 

As Black women, too infrequently do we get to hear about and share with one another gems of our lived experiences being at and making home. I believe that gender-oppressed racialized bodies need a place for sanctuary, authenticity, restoration, and care that home has the potential to provide. The goal of Black Women At Home is to visibilize the ways in which Black women embody, make meaning of, and celebrate home.

The examination of home in the United States is often interpreted and narrated through a white lens.  The “home” industry of decor, cleaning products, and homemaking are most visibilized through the material reality of cis white heteronormative women and their families. It’s an industry that is hyper focused on consumerism.  It would appear that in order to have a nice home, you must be white, affluent, married to a man, and living in a safe community. 

Yet, the reality is that the meaning of home does not belong to white womanhood. Nor is the meaning of home solely constructed by material objects and the labor we perform within the home. Rather, home can be actualized as a sacred and safe space.

Home isn’t always where many of us can be our best selves, unfortunately. The homes of Black women are often castigated as sites of harm, violence, insecurity, instability, and lack.  These stories are far too often true and are propagated and entrenched by systemic oppression related to economic, housing, racial, gender, and other forms of injustice.  Some  women  live for years or full lifetimes under the weight of oppression and abuse.  We need deeper and rounder structures of communal, political, and humane care.  

As someone who experienced harm at home as a child, I feel so very fortunate to have found my way to this space of reclamation of home.  For gender and racially oppressed people, home is often the only or one of few sites of safety and sanctuary where we can be our most authentic selves.   It is possible for the light to shine on a broader range of aspects of our lives.

While the conditions many Black women and girls live in revolve around struggling under the weight of oppression, suffering isn’t the only experience we live with. Our struggle lives alongside joy, abundance, love, and the sacred we can experience at home too.  We can hold complexity and paradox together.  We can love home too.

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