SpeakHER50: Nnennaya Amuchie

November 13, 2019  |  

SpeakHER50 - Nnennaya Amuchie

Source: Creative Services / iOne Digital

Nnennaya Amuchie is a social justice attorney, diehard unapologetic Black Nigerian feminist, organizer with BYP100, and published author on police violence against Black women. She is also the author of “Ako na Uche.” Nnennaya believes in a world without police and prisons and a world where reproductive justice is actualized.

Learn more about Nnennaya below in her SpeakHER50 interview:
Name: Nnennaya Amuchie

Hometown: Cerritos, CA

Three adjectives to describe yourself: Visionary, Compassionate, Committed

MN: Who has been the most influential person in your life that inspired you to begin the path that you’re on today?

NA: My mom, Nnennaya Roseline Amuchie. As I get older, I find myself recognizing how much my mother has had an impact on my life, my success, my leadership style, and my commitment to social justice. From a young age, I witnessed my mom form support groups for women, demonstrate leadership in a patriarchal community, take risks and start new ventures that fueled her passion, set high expectations for her children, and speak up when something was unjust or wrong. These personality traits have made me to be independent yet collaborative, visionary and leader, compassionate and kind, and open and flexible in my work and my leadership.

MNAs a Black woman/Black femme, we are rarely allowed to take up space. What are the ways in which you find yourself purposefully doing just that? 

NA: As a Black organizer and Black genderqueer person, I am most interested in building the collective power of our people to not only take up space, but transform spaces and build spaces that center the wants and desires of all our community members. However, because I have occupied many spaces as the “only one”, I have made a commitment to infusing Black radical feminist ideology and processes in any space I occupy. Whether that is rejecting respectability or tokenism, bringing more people into a space, or challenging power dynamics in a space; I have seen the power shifts I have been able to make.

MN: How have you had to work to deconstruct or break down any anti-Blackness that we’ve been taught to harbor?  

NA: Because we live in an anti-black world where every structure is entrenched in the dehumanization of our people, it is really difficult to fight against both internalized anti-blackness and structural anti-blackness. One of the ways I have worked to deconstruct anti-Blackness is by writing; particularly writing in ways where all Black life is values and celebrated. I have published a book of poetry called “Ako Na Uche” where I explore myself, my family, my desire, and my community in an attempt to humanize who I am, what I feel, and what I envision for the future. Writing is important because it helps me process structures that often are not visible. It helps me put language and words on experiences and transform what is possible. So much of anti-blackness is to make is disposable after the state has used of labor, our bodies, and our wombs. I reject that.

MN: What advice would you give to your 13-year-old self?  

NA: Explore yourself more deeply outside of what your communities, churches, schools, and society at large has presented you. Write stories about yourself and who you want to be. Focus more on building relationships with yourself and loved ones rather than falling into a cycle of competition and being the best. Love yourself and never stop using your imagination.

MN: What is your biggest dream for Black women/Black femmes everywhere? 

NA: My biggest dream is one of freedom. Freedom of movement. Freedom to love. Freedom to form and build our families and communities. Free to create and imagine. Freedom over our bodies and our minds. These freedoms are only possible through a complete destruction of capitalism and racism and a fight for socialism and communism. I believe in a future of abundance where every single person’s needs and desires are met and where everyone has a strong sense of self and a community who support and takes care of them. I imagine freedom being full of love, joy, pleasure, and desire; free from violence and harm.

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