"In American literature, African American male writers justifiably write books about their oppression," she says. "Confronting the oppressor who is white male or white woman. It's race. And the person who defines you under those circumstances is a white mind - tells you whether you're worthy or what have you. And as long as that's your preoccupation, you're defending yourself against that. Reacting to it. Reacting to the definition - saying it's not true. African American women never do that. They never write about white men. I couldn't care less - I didn't want to spend my energy refuting that gaze."
Refuting the Gaze
So much of black intellectual life is wasted in disabuse, in explaining yourself to other people, as opposed to yourself.