Black is used as a colour of darkness, death, evil, bad luck and mourning. Generally, most
cultures around the world use black as a colour of mourning, and widows from the African
culture, in particular, are expected to wear all-black attire for a year to mourn their husbands.
Although this colour is associated with death and mourning, contemporary women’s
movements have reintroduced black as a colour of resistance and resilience. This article applies
African feminist critical hermeneutics of suspicion to the Thursdays in Black (TIB) campaign
and blackening of the widow’s body and attire. The aim is to explore how this campaign is
contrary to the blackening of the widow’s body and attire in their cause and how the campaign’s
wearing of black is emotionally divorced from the struggles of widows who experience
distress, sadness and shame by wearing the black attire.
CONTRIBUTION : The article applies an African feminist hermeneutics of suspicion to the colour
black used by the TIB campaign for solidarity with victims of sexual and gender-based violence
(SGBV). It questions the relevance of this campaign to a widow who puts on a black attire for
Special Collection: Women Theologies, sub-edited by Sinenhlanhla S. Chisale (Midlands State University) and Tanya van Wyk
(University of Pretoria).
Dr Chisale is participating in
the research project, ‘Gender
Studies and Practical
Theology Theory Formation’,
directed by Prof. Dr Yolanda
Dreyer, Department of
Practical Theology, Faculty of
Theology and Religion,
University of Pretoria.