Djamila Ribeiro

Who’s Afraid of Black Feminism?

Who’s Afraid of Black Feminism? brings together a long unpublished autobiographical essay and a selection of articles published by Djamila Ribeiro on the blog of CartaCapital magazine, between 2014 and 2017. In the opening text, the philosopher and activist recalls memories of her childhood and adolescence to discuss what she calls “silencing”, the process of personality erasure she went through and which is one of the many pernicious results of discrimination. It was only in her late teens, while working at the Casa de Cultura da Mulher Negra, that Djamila came into contact with authors who made her proud of her roots and no longer wanted to remain invisible. Since then, her dialogues with authors such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, bell hooks, Sueli Carneiro, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison and Conceição Evaristo have been constant.


Many texts react to everyday situations – the increase in intolerance towards African-based religions; attacks on celebrities like Maju Coutinho or Serena Williams – from which Djamila unravels concepts such as female empowerment or intersectionality. It also addresses topics such as the limits of mobilization on social media, racial quota policies and the origins of Black feminism in the United States and Brazil, in addition to discussing the work of leading feminist authors, such as Simone de Beauvoir.