a student-run publication that seeks to provide space for voices that are not being heard on our campus. we are grounded by politics that are radical, anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-classist, anti-homophobic, anti-ableist, and anti-transphobic (against all forms of oppression) and that reject the structural neo-liberal paradigm that characterizes middlebury college and its official publications
I was fifteen-years-old when I started to identify with the term “person of color.” In fact, it was the first time I really encountered the term at all. I knew I was Asian and I also knew that I was not white, but I did not realize (at the time) just how much being “of color” would affect my life and the decisions I make, every single day.
It was not until I was sixteen that I started calling myself as a “woman of color.” While my understanding of the term changed over time, it never stopped to serve as a reminder of where my priorities lie in my activism and day-to-day encounters: solidarity amongst/for/with women of color.
One of the (many) things I struggled about being a woman of color is being Asian. Whenever there are conversations around race, it is almost always looked as a white and black/brown situation. I understand why and how that is, and I also acknowledge anti-blackness that is prevalent within the non-Black people of color (specifically Asian) communities. However, I am tired of having people tell me, “you are not really ‘of color’” because I am “not oppressed enough.”
So, I just wanted to take the opportunity to say…
f*ck your model minority myth. I, too, am a woman of color.
Women of color is not just a term used as racial identifier. Not for me, anyway. In fact, the term was actually created as a political solidarity. In 1977, a group of black women from Washington DC went to the National Women’s Conference. They decided to come up with “The Black Women’s Agenda” because the organizers of the conference, who were white women, put together a three-page “Minority Women’s Plank” in a 200-page document thinking it adequately represented the demands of black women. In a later conference held in Houston, they took the “Black Women’s Agenda” and also found that non-black women of color wanted to be included in the “Black Women’s Agenda.” The organizers agreed that it could no longer be called the “Black Women’s Agenda.” And it was in those conversations that the term “women of color” was created. As SisterSong’s Loretta Song puts it, “[women of color] is a solidarity definition, a commitment to work in collaboration with other oppressed women of color who have been ‘minoritized.’”
As a woman of color and as I take on that term for agency and means of power, I am committed to dismantling oppression on all levels.
Follow ‘yellow grrrl dangerous’ as I continue to be angry (in written form), as I try to promote more visibility in Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) activism, and as I try to continue to prioritize and work in solidarity with women of color to liberate us from all oppression and marginalization that keeps us down, in and out of higher education.
if you are not angry, you are not paying attention,
yellow grrrl dangerous