"Womanism is to feminism as purple is to lavender." -- Alice Walker 

During early 1930s to 1950s, after the ratification of the 19th Amendment, most minority American women were still were not given equal rights and were often ignored. With more White women in power, and more of them participating in feminist movements, the struggles and needs of the minoirty women were often overshadowed. Even though most feminist movements claimed to have gained victory, only most White women were benefited from it. Aware of the prolonging discrimination in the practice of "feminism" in America, African-American writer and activist Alice Walker coined the term "womanism" in 1983. Through the definition of a "womanist", Walker encouraged Black women, and other women of color, in America to individually fight for their rights. 

In her book In Searchof Our Mother's Gardens, Walker defines a "womanist", as opposed to the conventional white "feminist", as a Black or woman of color feminist. Although synonomous to being a feminist, Walker draws some important comparisons between womanism and feminism, especially through her analogy of womanism being as different to feminism, as the color purple is to lavender. Womanism roots from the idea of being "womanish", or a woman that is serious, responsible and determined to bring change and help her community. Other African American scholars, like Clenora Hudson-Weems, have also defined and explained that while feminism deals primarily with the struggles of "females" (especially White females), womanism is concerned about the women in society and their daily struggles in various areas, so it includes concerns about family, gender, class and race. As the term became more familiar, various men of color and individuals that identified themselves with the LGBTQ community also supported the movement and advocated rights for all colored people in addition to the rights of women.

According to Walker, womanism is, in part, superior to feminism. While womanism emphasizes the importance of being a woman, feminism is merely girlish. While womanism is inclusive of all races, gender, class and educational background, feminism is only restricted to one specific, previliged group. Although initially used to identify Black 'feminists', the term grew to popularity to acknowledge many minority feminists. 

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