…and not to me as that woman who is the inanimate creation of someone’s overactive imagination. Look at me with no preconceived notions of how I must act or feel and I will try to do the same with you. No presumption, no assumptions, no banal rhetoric substituted for real person-to-person giving and receiving. Look at my face when you speak to me; look into my eyes and see what they have to say. Think about the answers that you give to my questions. Don’t speak to me in ad-agency prose or in the hip jargon of the day. I am a woman and you are a man and I have always known it. If you love me, tell me so. Don’t approach me as you would an enemy. I am on your side and have always been. We have survived, and we may just be able to teach the world a lesson.
— Fran Sanders, “Dear Black Man,” in Toni Cade Bambara’s The Black Woman: An Anthology (1970)


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