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Alice Walker’s Definition of a “Womanist” from In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens: Womanist Prose.

WOMANIST
1. From womanish.  (Opp. of “girlish,” i.e. frivolous, irresponsible, not serious.) A black feminist or feminist of color.  From the black folk expression of mothers to female children, “you acting womanish,” i.e., like a woman.  Usually referring to outrageous, audacious, courageous or willful behavior. Wanting to know more and in greater depth than is considered “good” for one. Interested in grown up doings. Acting grown up.  Being grown up. Interchangeable with another black folk expression: “You trying to be grown.”  Responsible. In charge. Serious.
2. Also: A woman who loves other women, sexually and/or nonsexually. Appreciates and prefers women’s culture, women’s emotional flexibility (values tears as natural counterbalance of laughter), and women’s strength. Sometimes loves individual men, sexually and/or nonsexually. Committed to survival and wholeness of entire people, male and female…

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