Week 10 Day 1 Discussion Question 4

In “Unblocking Our Paths: Creating Visibility for Black Transgender Women and Femmes,” Ogechukwu C. Ogbogu notes that as of April 2021, “34 percent of Black transgender women and femmes are living in extreme poverty; 41 percent have experienced homelessness; half who attend school have faced harassment; nearly half have attempted suicide; and 65 percent have experienced sexual assault.”  Furthermore, she notes, Black trans women and femmes have “a life expectancy of 35 years.”

Ogbogu asks, “How do we imagine Black women’s futures beyond these oppressive structures of transmisogynoir?” And she concludes:

[W]e cannot stop the discussion of Black trans womanhood and femmehood at death. Black trans women and femmes have materialized and imagined worlds and futures that rupture and create space for all people’s survival. Learning and centering Black trans women and femmes in the reimagining of Black womanhood is vital to liberating Black women and our femininity from oppressive structures, and allows us to define womanhood for ourselves.

Do you agree with Ogbogu that it’s important to “center Black trans women and femmes in the reimagining of Black womanhood”?  Concretely, what might that look like here at Middlebury?

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