Willow Smith has a "complicated" relationship with feminism due to the "historical component" of the movement.
The 18-year-old daughter of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith shared her thoughts on the racist history of the feminist movement during a revealing chat for Harper's Bazaar magazine, where she was interviewed by activist Rachel Cargle.
During the discussion, Willow admitted her mother "doesn’t identify as a feminist", because of "the history of feminism and the exclusion from feminism that black women have felt.”
"For me, I’m taking the historical component to heart, and there’s really no way that you can look at it without the historical component (of racism)," Willow explained. "I don’t support the exclusion of African-American women from the movement, but I do support all movements that support women - all women. It’s complicated because I support the womanist movement, the feminist movement, any movement that’s supporting women. But it really hurts my heart that there was this chasm between white women and black women, and that it’s still happening even in the feminist movement today. That kind of breaks my heart."
And she goes on to explain that even now she experiences resistance from her white peers, when discussing issues that affect black women.
"The reaction that I usually get from my white female peers is 'It's not that big of a deal, you're making it a bigger deal than it needs to be.' I've constantly got that messaging from my white female peers." And when asked if they think she's "making race a bigger deal than it has to be?", Willow answers "Yep".
Willow's grandmother, Adrienne Banfield Norris, has a very different view of feminism to her daughter Jada. And when asked what her grandmother has taught her about the movement as a whole, the singer replied: "Just seeing her being a black woman in the world, thriving and enjoying her power and her life in a world that doesn’t want black women to succeed or thrive - I feel like that’s more of a teacher than anything. Watching a woman who’s been through so much thrive in a world which doesn’t cater to her... that’s very special."