One of the major controversies about Kola Boof's early career was her insistence that she be shown topless on the back of her books. Since then Boof's name has become synonymous with controversy and the author addresses that on this page...as well as why it was so important to be topless on her books:
Ohio bookseller refuses to carry African writer Kola Boof's novels because of nudity.
I don't agree that I am controversial. What I feel is that most people are not critical thinkers. The society tells them what to believe, what to think...and their knee jerk reactions are guided completely by that conditioning. They usually realize later on that what I'm saying is not controversial...when they take time and think in depth. Even if they don't agree with me...they understand what I'm saying without all the claims of being shocked by controversy. I'm not a controversial person if you're a critical thinker.
For me...as a politicized Sunni Egypto Gisi Waaq Oromo woman born on the Nile River in Sudan...being topless was a rebuke against the invader religions, Islam and Christianity...as well as an affirmation of the socio-historical potency of my mothers, grandmothers
--not only the ancestral women of the African continent, but also the more than 100 million sisters who still go to market topless right now today in modern Africa.
We are not backwards or savage or over-sexed. We are honest. That is what our topless breasts represent. And before the invaders came, our bare breasts were considered sacred ornaments representing the circle of life and women's intrinsic spiritual value. Only in the West did nudity mean 'sex' or something dirty. It never meant that in Africa...and my posing topless was and is a tribute to my female ancestors and their nobility, their honesty, their oneness with nature.
If you are human and you believe in anything at all...you must believe in the environment, the magic of nature and the natural honesty of motherhood and the mother's breasts. That is our umbilical lifeline to the universe. There was nothing wrong with African women being topless...and I am not ashamed of those women and I rebuke any African who is ashamed of it, I rebuke any African who fails to honor and respect the naked image of our ancestors. For those Black American women who don't like it--they had better remember where they came from and that what they believe in the Judeo-Christian White world or the Arab created Islamic world...is not truly African.
What I have found...as a female artist trying to express myself in the world--especially as a Black woman--is that the terms "angry and bitter" are unfairly applied just because I have an opinion or dare voice it.
I spend 90% of my day laughing and smiling. I am a very happy, confident, successful person. So I find it trifling, lazy and weak when other people assume by the color of my skin and gender that I'm just...angry and bitter. I'm a very intelligent woman. I have a wonderful sense of humor and I'm also very compassionate, loving and sensitive. I love all human beings of every type and I love sex. I like to laugh with my girlfriends and debate with people. I love life. So I just do not understand the intellectual laziness in people saying that my work is so disturbing and confrontational that it must be because I'm an angry bitter Black bitch.
NO--I am telling my truth and the truth about the lives of Black women who look Black. And people just don't like that. We're supposed to be MAIDS that have no say and no expression. Otherwise we're angry and bitter. It's just one of the many lies that is constantly told on Black women to silence us.
Copyright © 2014 Kola Boof
This website was created by Eric Knoffler in tribute to Egyptian-Sudanese-American author Kola Boof.
Contributions were made by Taj Moroni, Seth Charles and Jose Germosen.
Many Black American women have been saying that our image is "over-sexed" and that we need more respectable social imagery for Black women...but I strongly disagree. I think Western Black women live with a certain amount of shame that came from slavery and self-hating Black men's demonizing of them. They want to mimic the white women and present themselves as virtuous, buttoned-up respectable paragons of education and lady-like manners.
That won't change shit, however, because that's not our real problem--respectability. Even if we became a nation of Michelle Obama's--we would not be valued any differently in this society.
From what I see living in the West--Black women are not even considered as women. We have not escaped the Eurocentric racial eye that cast us as "Mules, Maids and Rape Recipients." In my opinion, we need the opposite of what Black feminists have been saying....we need more sexual power within the society. And because I am also a Womanist (feminist), of course, I say this with the intention that we as Grown Women will be the ones to control and cultivate that sexual power. But the fact remains, we need to be considered women: desirable, fuckable, loveable and valued. Foreign bigotry against The Helix (African hair) and especially Colorism and Black self-hatred have rendered us nearly invisible and untouchable in this society. And many of the Black Feminists speaking for us are in denial about that. Self-hating mothers produce self-hating children...and Christianity & Islam...keep us from tapping into our "animal" powers. Which is the natural power males revel in. We have Jesus--while the men have a life.
And don't get me wrong. I'm not in any way advocating promiscuity or running the streets naked...but I am saying that Western Black women (and many educated city-raised African women) need to let go of their shame from being raped during slavery and their position as "mules". They need to let go of their perceived reasons for Black women being devalued...and get back in touch with their inate sexual power. We desperately need to stop giving a fuck what other people think of us. That's a huge problem with even the smartest, most intelligent, most critically thinking Black woman. They're always obsessed with what White people think...or what Black men think. Fuck White people and Black men.We've lost our sexual power because of slavery and colonization and we need to get that back--then raise a new kind of child who loves himself and expects to SEE himself looking back at himself. As of today, the Black man is basically the world's "mascot"--a self-hating loser who comes from a Self-hating mother. Their dream is to have light skin, European hair and children who look like Filipinos--not Africans. This is the mental illness of today's average Black westerner and it stems from Black women (who look Black) not having sexual power within the society.
It's not complicated...but it requires a certain codex of thinking processes. And that is why I'm writing a new book entitled "FEMINISTS NEED DICK TOO!" that will be released in November 2014.
In that book, I demonstrate step by step...the mental changes...that we need to make as Black women to empower and re-invent ourselves in America and the U.K. It truly is time for a Black Girl Revolution and our Sexuality, our mental sexuality, not our physical, but our mental...is just one of the crucial areas in which we need a complete change in thinking. And that comes out in November 2014.