Sensuous Knowledge: A Black Feminist Approach for Everyone (Paperback)
The creator of the internationally popular, multiple award-winning blog MsAfropolitan applies an Africa-centered feminist sensibility to issues of racism and sexism, challenging our illusions about oppression and liberation and daring women to embrace their power.
Sensuous Knowledge is a collection of thought provoking essays that explore questions central to how we see ourselves, our history, and our world.
What does it mean to be oppressed?
What does it mean to be liberated?
Why do women choose to follow authority even when they can be autonomous?
What is the cost of compromising one’s true self?
What narratives particularly subjugate women and people of African heritage?
What kind of narrative can heal and empower?
As she considers these questions, Salami offers fresh insights on key cultural issues that impact women’s lives, including power, beauty, and knowledge. She also examines larger subjects, such as Afrofuturism, radical Black feminism, and gender politics, all with a historical outlook that is also future oriented. Combining a storyteller’s narrative playfulness and a social critic’s intellectual rigor, Salami draws upon a range of traditions and ideologies, feminist theory, popular culture—including insights from Ms. Lauryn Hill, Beyoncé, Audre Lorde, Toni Morrison, and others—science, philosophy, African myths and origin stories, and her own bold personal narrative to establish a language for change and self-liberation.
Sensuous Knowledge inspires reflection and challenge us to formulate or own views. Using ancestral knowledge to steer us toward freedom, Salami reveals the ways that women have protested over the years in large and small ways—models that inspire and empower us to define our own sense of womanhood today.
In this riveting meditation, Salami ask women to break free of the prison made by ingrained male centric biases, and build a house themselves—a home that can nurture us all.
About the Author
Minna Salami is Nigerian, Finnish, and Swedish author, blogger, and social critic, and international keynote speaker. She is the founder of the multiple award-winning blog, MsAfropolitan, which connects feminism with critical reflections on contemporary culture from an Africa-centered perspective. Listed by Elle Magazine as “one of twelve women changing the world” alongside Angelina Jolie and Michelle Obama, Minna has presented talks on feminism, liberation, decolonization, sexuality, African Studies, and popular culture to audiences at the European Parliament, the Oxford Union, Yale University, TEDx, The Singularity University at NASA, and UN Women. She is a contributor to The Guardian, Al Jazeera, and the Royal Society of the Arts, and a columnist for the Guardian Nigeria. She lives in London.
"Minna Salami's brilliant new black feminist thought treasures art and science on the same scale. Approaches art as tool, not just emotional stimuli, but rather, valued learning for a better understanding of radical feminine political agenda, the role of imperialism, and an expansion of what we consider scientific. She eloquently attacks euro-patriarchal knowledge, while giving space and value to the spiritual work grounded in a bountiful African-Centered Womanist Theory. In the legacy of bell hooks and Alice Walker, Minna Salami is a fierce, complex, necessary, philosophical voice for the next generation of powerful feminine global citizens."
— jessica Care Moore, author of We Want Our Bodies Back
“This provocative and vital book, in elegant prose and lucid arguments, centers the black female experience. Accounting for the omissions by patriarchy and white feminism, she confronts the central privilege of modern thought. Inclusive, rigorous in process and thought, Minna Salami has created a strong and important testament for now and the future.”
— Chris Abani, author of The Face and The Secret History of Las Vegas.
"Sensuous Knowledge is an opulent symphony of progressive ideas vast and astonishing. Drawing from Audre Lorde to Socrates, Swami Satyananda Saraswati to Nipsey Hustle, and more, Minna Salami mixes her lived experience into a deeply considered and tempered tide that swells with wisdom and redefines various parts of our unbalanced and gendered world. It is emotive emanating with love and begs us to search ourselves for who we might yet become."
— Inua Ellams, author of The Half-God of Rainfall
"Sensuous Knowledge is a probing, challenging and imaginative book that dares position black feminism as the prism through which we can better experience and understand the world. I savored it as intellectual soul food, while relishing the richness of Minna Salami's ideas and the persuasiveness of her writing. This book is an important addition to the feminist canon in that it shifts our world view and introduces new and exciting possibilities for ways of being.”
— Bernardine Evaristo, Man Booker Award-Winning author of Girl, Woman, Other
"Sensuous Knowledge is an eloquent mélange of ideas and disciplines; part deep, intersectional analysis of structural power, part metaphysical journey into a genius the West hasn’t given language to. An essential read for a new decade."
— Johny Pitts, author of Afropean
"A timely, refreshing, nourishing and captivating read. In the era of ever widening division and cultural strife, Sensuous Knowledge urges us to rethink power, sisterhood, beauty, identity and more. A crucial read which through the sharing of African-centered approaches alleviate political and social frustrations. On these pages there really is something to learn for everyone."
— Ayishat Akanbi, writer, cultural commentator, fashion stylist