Redmond: "Black is... Black ain't"

Redmond: “Black is… Black ain’t”

Coming tuesday there will be an event on Blackness in the Netherlands hosted by Redmond Amsterdam, an anti-white supremacist feminist collective named after Sophie Redmond (1907-1955), the first black female doctor of Suriname. Despite struggling against discrimination for who she was, she not only became a doctor, she was also an educator, writer and actress who was socially and politically engaged.


  • 20:00h Black Is… Black Ain’t (US, 1994) 87 min.
  • 21:45h Conversation with Dutch black thinkers and activists + audience

The final film by filmmaker Marlon Riggs, Black Is… Black Ain’t, is about the definitions, complexities, contradictions and potentials within African-American blackness and Black identity. It has been described as a film every African American should watch (California Newsreel). For us as a Netherlands-based audience, the film provides a starting point for a conversation… about what Black Is and Black Ain’t in the Netherlands. Who is Black and who decides this? How does Blackness operate as a cultural, political identity for different people belonging to different African Diasporic communities?

What does it mean to be Black in a white-supremacist, anti-Black racist country and how do non-Blacks relate to Blackness? How do white supremacy and colonialism, along side categories such as gender and sexuality, shape the way Blackness is experienced and defined in the Netherlands? And finally, importantly, what potential for liberation is there in Blackness, for Blacks as well as non-Blacks? These are some of the questions we will discuss with our panelists and audience.

One of the panelists of the discussion wrote the following blog on the issue: “This is not America! Dutch Rethoric and its denial of racism”, to be read here:


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