Black Woman Studies is an interdisciplinary field of study, that examines gender as a social and cultural construct, the social status and contributions of women, and the relationships between power and gender. Women are held to this standard of being the one to cook, clean, cater to her spouse and care for the children but it should be more than that. When women go above their expectations, they are accused as being wrong and are sometimes told to not pursue their dreams. Women should be held on the same scale as men in society, this method could prevent gender issues.
In an attempt to define Black Feminism, Collins clarifies that it must “avoid the idealist position that ideas can be evaluated in isolation from the groups that create them (Collins 385).” In reality, this forms her basis for why Black Feminism is necessary, and who it serves. Thinking about feminism historically, the concerns of black women were pushed aside in favor of fighting sexism, most notably during the Suffrage movement. And even when feminism began looking at other social injustices, such as racism and class issues, only prominent feminists were invited to the discussion. What resulted was, and often continues to be, a problem of white women speaking for oppressed people. It’s impossible, Collins argues, to have Black Feminist thought without examining the experiences and positions of African American women. Therefore, Black Feminism must be a movement that “encompasses theoretical interpretations of Black women’s reality by those who live in it (Collins 386).” However, such a definition brings about many questions: who’s experiences are valued, how do black women take their voice back, and how can they center feminist thinking on their own unique standpoint?
“I am a black feminist… I recognize that my power as well as my primary obsessions come as a result of my blackness as well as my womaness, and therefore my struggles on both of these fronts are inseparable” … As a woman of color, I find that some feminists don’t seem terribly concerned with the issues unique to women of color—the ongoing effects of racism and post-colonialism, the status of women in the Third World, working against the trenchant archetypes black women are forced into (angry black woman, mammy, hottentot, and the like). (Gay 173).
Similarly, Patricia Hill’s work “Black Feminist Thought” explains the need for black feminism. For Hill U.S. black feminism is needed in order for black women to survive, cope with, and resist their differential treatment in society. Black feminist thought creates a collective identity among this marginalized group of African-American women. Hill provides several features that make U.S. Black feminist thought different than any other set of feminism. The first feature Hill speaks about is ‘blackness’ it is this concept that makes U.S. black feminist a different group that suffers a “double oppression”. Thus, U.S. Black women collectively participate in a dialectical relationship which links African American women’s oppression and activism. Hill speaks on the U.S. black feminist thought and the dilemma they face in American society. During the women’s right movement there was a tremendous difference between black and white women’s experiences, “while women of color were urged, at every turn, to become permanently infertile, white women enjoying prosperous economic conditions were urged, by the same forces, to reproduce themselves”. It is this difference in attitudes that demonstrate why there is a need to focuses on the linkage of experiences and ideas experienced by the black women in America. Consequently, Davis analyzes the hypocritical differences of the government of the
How does intersectionality effect the movement? Intersectionality is the multilayered or combined oppressions in people. When a person or persons are part of multiple groups that face oppression, they have a unique perception of oppression due to experiencing many simultaneously. This multifaceted oppression has given rise to movements of feminism that alter the focus, away from white middle class women, to issues of class, race, sex, and culture that many others experience. How does this altered focus effect the feminist movement?
Black feminist is about sexism, class, gender and racism. It has various group by addressing role of black women like gay, lesbian etc. Black Feminist theory has reached a woider in 2010 as the result of social media. Black feminist argue that black women has different way to get power then white women. Against patriarchy. Black women has struggle radical redistribution of social wealth and political power. Women’s life-worlds and lived-experiences on women-centered are opposite from man. “Women’s Liberation Movement” it discussed about class, gender and feminist.
During present times, society has been created for the majority group. Society has been used in order to use forms of sexual norms and use of gender to shape our lives. Ultimately, ones identity becomes most important and directly correlates with the struggles and limitations they will encompass in life. Therefore, forcing people to choose between which identities will be less problematic. The dominant majority in society uses power and politics to run the lives of the less powerful. Even though all women are oppressed for their gender, some have more of a plight. White women have been known to use their power dynamics to oppress those of racial minorities, even when oppressed they. Women of color have been oppressed on all fronts in life. One can't fight fire with fire, but fight fire with water, fight racism with solidarity. According to Nadine Naber, “There are basics that many Western Feminist do not even address. So, I do get frustrated sometimes by some feminist who try to impose their agendas on others or try to dictate to other women what they should be concerned with (page 164).” In order to understand feminism for women of color, especially Arab and Arab American women, one must understand the class and race struggles. As the bottom of the ladder, the women of color feminist movement have suffered. Nevertheless, the women being silent from the movement. Therefore, we must reflect and understand the need for unity that will overcome the grip that is suffocating us.
If you ladies are adamant about feminism, realize that Black women have our own movements, such as Womanism(Alice Walker) Africana Womanism (Cleonora Hudson-Weems). Even when it comes to feminism, we were very active, as a matter fact we invented the feminist movement. Coretta Scott King not only helped with the Civil Rights Movement she was also active in the feminist movement. There is Black feminism that addresses sexism, racism, class. Some great black feminist are bell hooks, Angela Davis, Audre Lorde, Barbara Smith were among the few. There were organizations like the Combahee River Collective and NBFO. However, I understand as Black women, we always felt we must pick one over the other that is a struggle that the women faced during the Civil Rights Movement and the Women's Right Movement. Many people always tend to avoid this, but sexism was
In an attempt to define Black Feminism, Collins clarifies that it must “avoid the idealist position that ideas can be evaluated in isolation from the groups that create them (Collins 385).” This clarification forms her basis for why Black Feminism is necessary, and who it serves. Thinking about feminism historically, the concerns of black women were pushed aside in favor of fighting sexism; a notable example occurs within the Suffrage movement, where votes for white women were prioritized over women of color in order to push such legislation through. And even when feminism began looking at other social injustices, such as racism and class issues, often only prominent feminists were invited to the discussion. What resulted was, and often continues to be, a problem of white women speaking for oppressed people. It’s impossible, Collins argues, to have Black Feminist thought without examining the experiences and positions of African American women. Therefore, Black Feminism must be a movement that “encompasses theoretical interpretations of Black women’s reality by those who live in it (Collins 386).” However, such a definition brings about many questions:
Part II: Core Themes in Black Feminist Thought tackles five themes: 1) a legacy of struggle, 2) treatment of the interlocking nature of race, class, and gender, 3)
However, their role was supporting black men and remaining silent. The women who became involved with the black feminist movement needed a way to unite their voices on issues sexism and racism together. What did the term black feminist mean? In 1974 The Combahee River Collective created “A Black Feminist Statement”, defining “black feminism” as “the logical political movement to combat manifold and simultaneous oppression that all women of color face” (Smith, 1983). As the movement evolved so did the labels defining black feminism. Black feminist Patricia Hill Collins reminds us not to get to technical with definitions whether we call ourselves, “Black feminism, womanism, Afrocentric feminism, Africana womanism,” the importance is the need for the discussion and to have a common ground (Collins,
Women who are African-American, Asian, Hispanic, or Native American fight a two front battle they have to face sexism and racism. We as feminist need to realize even through the larger picture helps all women these women in what are considered to be minority groups have different issues that need to be addressed. When we achieve equality these women will still have to face racism. We need to focus our attention on not only equality but the ratification of racism which will not only help women but their husbands, sons, fathers, and brothers. A large issue with racism is that is some ways it is fueled by the media and pop culture who only depict one type of story when it comes to different races. These stories typically fuel prejudice stereotypes
Black feminism is womanism. Womanism is black feminism. The term “black feminism” was coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989. Black feminism not only deals with empowering women, but it fights against sexism, classism, and racism. Within the movement, the black feminists believed that all of these things are related which is called intersectionality. The black feminist movement is said to become popular in the 1960s during the Civil Rights Movement but I disagree because it started with Sojourner Truth in the nineteenth century. The black feminist movement is separated from the white feminist movement because of the oppression that black women suffer from is different from any other woman and there was racism in the white feminist movement. I will
Black feminist thought has gained popularity in recent years and remains a noteworthy matter in view of the fact that in the United States black women form an oppressed group. Inequality entails a complex situation, in which oppression cannot be identified as one type, for example, race, gender, class or sexual preference. In this particular situation, we will acknowledge the challenges from the standpoint of black feminists. Patricia Hill Collins educates us through the four tenets of black epistemology, in addition to the contradictions against the scientific methods of social science; positivistic knowledge. Beyond the characteristics of epistemology, there are several key implications for black feminist thought.
In history, women have always struggled to gain equality, respect, and the same rights as men. Women had had to endure years of sexism and struggle to get to where we are today. The struggle was even more difficult for women of color because not only were they dealing with issues of sexism, but also racism. Many movements have helped black women during the past centuries to overcome sexism, racism, and adversities that were set against them. History tells us that movements such as the Feminist Movement helped empower all women, but this fact is not totally true. In this paper, I will discuss feminism, the movements, and its "minimal" affects on black women.