According to Freire, (2000) “In order for the oppressed to be able to wage the struggle for their liberation, they must perceive the reality of oppression not as closed world from which there is no exit but, as a limiting situation which they can transform”. As I become more acquainted with the idea of liberation through my actions in organizing, I want to be able to push myself to do things and make decisions that may be an inconvenient, uncomfortable and challenging. Although I am not completely sure of my direction, I will continue to seek knowledge and accept the fact that I may never have all of the answers to why social injustices exist. At this moment, my liberation means transforming the narrative of those who perpetuate oppressed stereotypes because it is a powerful tool used by oppressor’s that enables the marginalized to stay blind. My liberation also means creating a parenting group designed to empower women of color who share intersecting subjugated identities. I look forward to participating in thought provoking conversations that aim to educate and encourage us to be complicit in self-activism and advocacy. I will continue to represent a message of “I am you and you are me”. We may come from different backgrounds; however most of our lives converge through the history of disenfranchisement. What kind of organizer do I intend to be? I am mindful of my positionality when acting as family worker and as someone who has access to resources to provide advocacy.
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Doetsch-Kidder’s (2016) monograph defines the important role of intersectionality as a defining sea-change in the way that women of color began to unify across racial and cultural barriers. Interviews with minority activists define the perception of the diversification of feminist ideology through the lens of intersectionality. One interview with a African-American activist named Donna illustrates the unity between women of color that evolved in the 1970s: “But overall, we are all fighting for civil rights, so there has to be some type of overlap with each one” (Doetsch-Kidder, 2016, p.103). This development defines the “overlapping’ ideology of different feminist groups, which soon began to devolve the racial and cultural barriers not only between women of color, but also with white feminist groups. In Doetsch-Kidder’s (2016) point of view, the civil rights movement laid the foundation for intersectional feminist principles to be practiced for women seeking greater representation in the workplace.
Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment. Ed. By Patricia Hill Collins. (New York: Routledge, 2000. ii, 336 pp. Cloth, $128.28, ISBN 0-415-92483-9. Paper, $26.21, 0-415-92484-7.)
Oppression starts in the home. Despite its omnipresence, we don’t even notice its influence. And how could we? It is normal. It is all we know. We were raised, quite literally, in the domestic lair of oppression. People of color, in particular, face a particularly insidious type of oppression, one that is rationalized, one that forces households to strive endlessly to reach an ideal that is unattainable. Queer of color theory and intersectionality serve as frameworks through which to discuss the relationship between domesticity and gender, race, and sexuality for people of color.
Adams, W. Blumenfeld, C. Castaneda, H. Hackman, M. Peters, & X. Zuniga book “Readings in diversity and social justice” chapters 6-10 (2010) they discussed in order to rid oppression it starts with recognizing our social identity and how it contributed to our socialization. In order to understand socialization you need to understand the socialization cycle. Supporting subordinate groups are privileged and target groups are disfranchised but the worse is these roles are determined without our permission. The authors argue that once individuals understand oppression and want to make a change they become frustrated with the process of liberation. Supporting that the process of liberation is a cycle that begins with empowerment of self, ends with maintain, and at the core is a serious of attributes (self-love, hope, self-esteem, balance, joy, support, security, spiritual base, and authentic love of others. In differ the authors’ further support the idea white people are compensating for the system of advantage but as high as the cost of black people. The authors back up this claim through the notion of whites benefit from racism but they don’t all benefit
I began by speaking about transforming social arrangements by using education and communication to change to an inclusive view. I took a close look at a program my father and I participated in, The Indian Guides. I feel my father did not understand the racist underpinning of the program and its symbols. I did come to realize how detrimental color-blindness can be as it ignores racism. Later I explored the painful story of 3 individuals that suffered heart attacks. The success or failure of their recovery was linked to their class position. The ability to obtain health care in this country should never depend on class or socioeconomic strata. Care and wellness education should be available to all. Toward the end of the term I faced the power of words and images. These symbols can have a tremendous impact on the division of race, gender and class in society. Today I can choose to be part of those striving for an equitable society or part of the color blind
As a result, the black feminist movement developed, where black women were the sole leaders of the movement that liberated all people. Many black women believed that it was counterproductive for the Civil Rights Movement to neglect the needs of black woman because black men continued to use the same systemic oppression that white people used against them on black women. In “I Am a Revolutionary Black Woman,” Angela Davis writes that “black women constitute the most oppressed sector of society” (Davis 461). It is evident that black women have been super exploited by American society economically, sexually, and politically, making them the lowest on the social hierarchy. Because of black women’s low social standing, if the black woman is liberated, then everyone else will follow, which will ensure the liberation of all people. Thus, Davis argues that “women’s liberation is especially critical with respect to the effort to build an effective black liberation movement” (461). Unlike Hamer, Davis believes that black women should liberate themselves from the black man if they are too oppressive like the white man; black men should be held accountable for their chauvinistic efforts, and should embrace the fight for liberation of women just as black women supported the liberation of black men.
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
Early feminism was typically focused only on white women, likely because racism was still extremely prominent at the time feminism began emerging. It was not until Kimberlé Crenshaw introduced the term “intersectionality” in 1989 that feminism started to look at oppressed group’s needs (Nash, 2008, 2). Intersectionality is a way of thinking that acknowledges that when a person has identities that belong to more than one oppressed group, it impacts their quality of life more negatively. In this paper, I will argue that intersectionality is important in the discussion of feminist theories and activism because it ensures that feminism is for all women, not just a select group of them. Intersectionality has changed the way the feminist movement handles the overlapping of different identities, which has helped feminist theorists understand the experiences of women of colour much more clearly. While intersectionality has a very important role in the conversation and practice of feminism, there are certainly critiques of the concept that should be brought up. These critiques, however, can offer a way to improve the study of intersectionality.
When white Americans choose to self-educate about systemic racism they can become allies in the fight to dismantle racist structures in our society. Systemic racism is a theory that “takes a look at how individual, structural, and institutional forms of racism intersect, overlap, and create a deep-rooted form of prejudice and discrimination that advantages a cultural group at the expense of others in all institutions of a society - economics, political representation, the criminal justice system, employment, and many others.” (Luther College 2015). This includes discrimination affecting credit, schooling, justice, residential location, etc. It can be eradicated in the next century, but not without white people acknowledging that it is a real issue that cost lives. It is not the duty of the oppressed to make a liberty sales pitch to their oppressors. However, it is the responsibility of those benefiting from the oppression of others to become educated, listen, and use their privilege to combat injustice. Asian, Latino, Black, and First Nations people respectively do not experience white supremacy in the same ways. Throughout this essay I will focus on the systemic racism targeted at Black people, using the term “People of Color”, coined by Black Feminists in the 1970s, abbreviated to PoC, to refer to them.
Over the last one hundred and thirty years African Americans have little by little-gained freedom for themselves as slaves and domestic servants. Now as a culture they are legally capable of obtaining jobs and positions in all areas of private and public organizations, (Hayes, A. F., & Preacher, K. J., 2010). This particular ethnic group are known to be instrumental in holding their cultures together through times of constant struggle. They have used rallies, protests, silent marches and received help from volunteer organizations to fight for rights as well as obtain justice in a racist and sexist society. This work explores the troubles African Americans face in Americas society today, through stereotypes and how gender roles as African Americans differ from each other as well as the American population.
Oppression and discrimination has plagued our society since early times. As a collective society one would think that over time oppression and discrimination would turn into acceptance and equality. Conversely, our society has taken sluggish steps towards diversity, acceptance and equality. Our society is focused on labeling people and putting them into limiting boxes. Oppression occurs across various groups of people based on gender, sex, race, religion, and disability. Members of these diverse groups are discriminated among work places, schools, and other places. Work places and schools promote diversity and non-discrimination, however little seems to be practiced. Oppression across generation leaves damaging consequences hindering society in the growth towards a more accepting environment.
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.
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?
Awakening or to awake means “to wake up; to be or make alert or watchful” (Webster 23). This is what Edna Pontellier experienced in The Awakening.
As African-American women address social issues that are important to their life experiences, such as class and race, instead to acknowledge “common oppression” of gender inequality, they are often criticized by “white bourgeois feminists” (hooks, 2000). Their ability to gain any form of equality within society is tarnished by such groups as they develop a “fear of encountering racism” from simply joining this movement (hooks, 2000). As white men, black men, and white women oppress them, their issues are often ignored due to reoccurring stereotypes and myths that claim black women are strong, independent, and “superhuman” (hooks, 2000). It becomes extremely difficult to seek liberation and equity within a “racist, sexist, and classist” society, as their gender and race causes them to be at the “bottom of the occupational ladder” and “social status” (hooks, 2000, pg. 16). As black women are perceived to demonstrate strength and dynamic qualities as white women perpetrate the image of being