analysis essay, black woman in Africa 3 pages signal space

The similarities between Black women writers’ political, racial, economic, religious, and sexual observations speak to a shared social consciousness that connects women of African descent despite their scattered locations across the African diaspora. For this paper, provide a literary analysis of Edwidge Danticat’s novel Krik? Krak! that uses two other texts (attached)discussed in order to show how Danticat’s observations about Black womanhood relate to other Black women writers’ observations. One of the texts you choose must be a non-literary piece, and the other must be a literary text besides Danticat’s novel. Use direct quotations and examples from the texts you discuss in making your points. No sources besides class texts will be necessary for this paper.the link below is to accesses the book krik?krak!Use the book Krik?krak! And connect it to the them to the other text that you are using. The themes could be( Race, gender, and class)Nonliterary text( Black feminist thoughts)Literally text ( Cook essay)Use these three text in order to write this paper,Organize the paper around the themes that you are connecting between the stories.Your introduction should have a general idea of the topic, including the thesis statement.Then the body paragraphs, for example, when you talk about the first them which lets say is ( Race).Start with a claim that there is a connection to what you choose, then provide evidenceThen analyze that by bringing the non-literally and making connectionsAnd do that for the other body paragraphsMake sure you bring direct sources form thetexts i have attached.Strong conclusion.It’s ok to use outside sources but not as a primary source.http://www.worldcat.org/title/krik-krak/oclc/698459940/viewport3 pages signal space
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Praise for the first edition of
Black Feminist Thought
“The book argues convincingly that black feminists be given, in the words immortalized by Aretha Franklin, a little more R-E-S-P-E-C-T. . . . Those with an appetite for
scholarese will find the book delicious.”
—Black Enterprise
“With the publication of Black Feminist Thought, black feminism has moved to a
new level. Collins’ work sets a standard for the discussion of black women’s lives,
experiences, and thought that demands rigorous attention to the complexity of
these experiences and an exploration of a multiplicity of responses.”
—Women’s Review of Books
“Patricia Hill Collins’ new work [is] a marvelous and engaging account of the social
construction of black feminist thought. Historically grounded, making excellent use
of oral history, interviews, music, poetry, fiction, and scholarly literature, Hill proposes to illuminate black women’s standpoint. . . . Those already familiar with black
women’s history and literature will find this book a rich and satisfying analysis.
Those who are not well acquainted with this body of work will find Collins’ book
an accessible and absorbing first encounter with excerpts from many works, inviting
fuller engagement. As an overview, this book would make an excellent text in
women’s studies, ethnic studies, and African-American studies courses, especially at
the upper-division and graduate levels. As a meditation on the deeper implications
of feminist epistemology and sociological practice, Patricia Hill Collins has given us
a particular gift.”
—Signs
“Patricia Hill Collins has done the impossible. She has written a book on black
feminist thought that combines the theory with the most immediate in feminist
practice. Collins’ book is a must for any feminist’s library.”
—Rosemarie Tong
“Finding her own voice and sharing with us the voices of other African-American
women, Collins brilliantly explicates our unique standpoint. As a black feminist,
Collins traverses both old and new territories. She explores the familiar themes of
oppression, family, work, and activism and also examines new areas of cultural
images and sexual politics. Collins gently challenges white feminist dominance of
feminist theory and nurtures an appreciation for diversity in positions reflecting different race, class, and gender junctures. Her work is an example of how academics
can make their work accessible to the wider public.”
—Elizabeth Higginbotham, Professor of Sociology, University of Delaware, and
co-editor of Women and Work: Exploring Race, Ethnicity, and Class (Volume 6)
REVISED TENTH ANNIVERSARY EDITION
BLACK
FEMINIST
THOUGHT
Knowledge,
Consciousness,
and the
Politics of
Empowerment
Second Edition
Patricia Hill Collins
Routledge
New York and London
Published in 2000 by
Routledge
29 West 35th Street
New York, NY 10001
Published in Great Britain by
Routledge
11 New Fetter Lane
London EC4P 4EE
This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2002.
Copyright © 2000 by Routledge
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced
or utilized in any form or by any electronic, mechanical or other means,
now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and
recording or in any information storage or retrieval system, without
permission in writing from the publishers.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Collins, Patricia Hill, 1948–
Black feminist thought : knowledge, consciousness, and the
politics of empowerment / Patricia Hill Collins. — 2nd ed.
p.
cm. — (Perspectives on gender)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0-415-92483-9 (hb). — ISBN 0-415-92484-7 (pb)
1. Feminism—United States. 2. Afro-American women. 3. United
States—Race relations. I.Title II. Series: Perspectives on
gender (New York, N.Y.)
HQ1426.C633 1999
305.42’01—dc21
99–29144
CIP
ISBN 0-203-90005-7 Master e-book ISBN
ISBN 0-203-90009-X (Glassbook Format)
CONTENTS
Preface to First Edition vi
Preface to Second Edition x
Acknowledgments xiv
Part 1:
The Social Construction of
Black Feminist Thought
1.The Politics of Black Feminist Thought 1
2. Distinguishing Features of Black Feminist Thought 21
Part 2:
Core Themes in
Black Feminist Thought
3.Work, Family, and Black Women’s Oppression 45
4. Mammies, Matriarchs, and Other Controlling Images 69
5.The Power of Self-Definition 97
6.The Sexual Politics of Black Womanhood 123
7. Black Women’s Love Relationships 149
8. Black Women and Motherhood 173
9. Rethinking Black Women’s Activism 201
Part 3:
Black Feminism, Knowledge,
and Power
10. U.S. Black Feminism in Transnational Context 227
11. Black Feminist Epistemology 251
12.Toward a Politics of Empowerment 273
Notes 291
Glossary 298
References 302
Index 326
Preface
to
First
Edition
W
hen I was five years old, I was chosen to play Spring in my preschool pageant. Sitting on my throne, I proudly
presided over a court of children portraying birds, flowers, and the other, “lesser”
seasons. Being surrounded by children like myself—the daughters and sons of
laborers, domestic workers, secretaries, and factory workers—affirmed who I
was. When my turn came to speak, I delivered my few lines masterfully, with
great enthusiasm and energy. I loved my part because I was Spring, the season of
new life and hope. All of the grown-ups told me how vital my part was and congratulated me on how well I had done. Their words and hugs made me feel that
I was important and that what I thought, and felt, and accomplished mattered.
As my world expanded, I learned that not everyone agreed with them.
Beginning in adolescence, I was increasingly the “first,” or “one of the few,” or
the “only” African-American and/or woman and/or working-class person in my
schools, communities, and work settings. I saw nothing wrong with being who
I was, but apparently many others did. My world grew larger, but I felt I was
growing smaller. I tried to disappear into myself in order to deflect the painful,
daily assaults designed to teach me that being an African-American, workingclass woman made me lesser than those who were not. And as I felt smaller, I
became quieter and eventually was virtually silenced.
This book reflects one stage in my ongoing struggle to regain my voice. Over
the years I have tried to replace the external definitions of my life forwarded by
dominant groups with my own self-defined viewpoint. But while my personal
odyssey forms the catalyst for this volume, I now know that my experiences are
far from unique. Like African-American women, many others who occupy societally denigrated categories have been similarly silenced. So the voice that I now
seek is both individual and collective, personal and political, one reflecting the
intersection of my unique biography with the larger meaning of my historical
times.
I share this part of the context that stimulated this book because that context
influenced my choices concerning the volume itself. First, I was committed to
making this book intellectually rigorous, well researched, and accessible to more
PREFACE TO
FIRST
EDITION
vii
than the select few fortunate enough to receive elite educations. I could not write
a book about Black women’s ideas that the vast majority of African-American
women could not read and understand. Theory of all types is often presented as
being so abstract that it can be appreciated only by a select few. Though often
highly satisfying to academics, this definition excludes those who do not speak
the language of elites and thus reinforces social relations of domination. Educated
elites typically claim that only they are qualified to produce theory and believe
that only they can interpret not only their own but everyone else’s experiences.
Moreover, educated elites often use this belief to uphold their own privilege.
I felt that it was important to examine the complexity of ideas that exist in
both scholarly and everyday life and present those ideas in a way that made them
not less powerful or rigorous but accessible. Approaching theory in this way
challenges both the ideas of educated elites and the role of theory in sustaining
hierarchies of privilege. The resulting volume is theoretical in that it reflects
diverse theoretical traditions such as Afrocentric philosophy, feminist theory,
Marxist social thought, the sociology of knowledge, critical theory, and postmodernism; and yet the standard vocabulary of these traditions, citations of their
major works and key proponents, and these terms themselves rarely appear in the
text. To me the ideas themselves are important, not the labels we attach to them.
Second, I place Black women’s experiences and ideas at the center of analysis. For those accustomed to having subordinate groups such as African-American
women frame our ideas in ways that are convenient for the more powerful, this
centrality can be unsettling. For example, White, middle-class, feminist readers
will find few references to so-called White feminist thought. I have deliberately
chosen not to begin with feminist tenets developed from the experiences of
White, middle-class, Western women and then insert the ideas and experiences
of African-American women. While I am quite familiar with a range of historical and contemporary White feminist theorists and certainly value their contributions to our understanding of gender, this is not a book about what Black
women think of White feminist ideas or how Black women’s ideas compare with
those of prominent White feminist theorists. I take a similar stance regarding
Marxist social theory and Afrocentric thought. In order to capture the interconnections of race, gender, and social class in Black women’s lives and their effect
on Black feminist thought, I explicitly rejected grounding my analysis in any single theoretical tradition.
Oppressed groups are frequently placed in the situation of being listened to
only if we frame our ideas in the language that is familiar to and comfortable for
a dominant group.This requirement often changes the meaning of our ideas and
works to elevate the ideas of dominant groups. In this volume, by placing
African-American women’s ideas in the center of analysis, I not only privilege
those ideas but encourage White feminists, African-American men, and all others to investigate the similarities and differences among their own standpoints
and those of African-American women.
viii
BLACK
FEMINIST THOUGHT
Third, I deliberately include numerous quotations from a range of AfricanAmerican women thinkers, some well known and others rarely heard from.
Explicitly grounding my analysis in multiple voices highlights the diversity, richness, and power of Black women’s ideas as part of a long-standing AfricanAmerican women’s intellectual community. Moreover, this approach counteracts
the tendency of mainstream scholarship to canonize a few Black women as
spokespersons for the group and then refuse to listen to any but these select few.
While it is certainly appealing to receive recognition for one’s accomplishments,
my experiences as the “first,” “one of the few,” and the “only” have shown me
how effective selecting a few and using them to control the many can be in stifling subordinate groups. Assuming that only a few exceptional Black women
have been able to do theory homogenizes African-American women and silences
the majority. In contrast, I maintain that theory and intellectual creativity are not
the province of a select few but instead emanate from a range of people.
Fourth, I used a distinctive methodology in preparing this manuscript which
illustrates how thought and action can work together in generating theory. Much
of my formal academic training has been designed to show me that I must alienate myself from my communities, my family, and even my own self in order to
produce credible intellectual work. Instead of viewing the everyday as a negative
influence on my theorizing, I tried to see how the everyday actions and ideas of
the Black women in my life reflected the theoretical issues I claimed were so
important to them. Lacking grants, fellowships, release time, or other benefits
that allow scholars to remove themselves from everyday life and contemplate its
contours and meaning, I wrote this book while fully immersed in ordinary activities that brought me into contact with a variety of African-American women.
Through caring for my daughter, mentoring Black women undergraduates,
assisting a Brownie troop, and engaging in other “unscholarly” activities, I
reassessed my relationships with a range of African-American women and their
relationships with one another.Theory allowed me to see all of these associations
with fresh eyes, while concrete experiences challenged the worldviews offered
by theory. During this period of self-reflection, work on this manuscript inched
along, and I produced little “theory.” But without this involvement in the everyday, the theory in this volume would have been greatly impoverished.
Fifth, in order to demonstrate the existence and authenticity of Black feminist thought, I present it as being coherent and basically complete. This portrayal is in contrast to my actual view that theory is rarely this smoothly constructed. Most theories are characterized by internal instability, are contested, and are
divided by competing emphases and interests.When I considered that Black feminist thought is currently embedded in a larger political and intellectual context
that challenges its very right to exist, I decided not to stress the contradictions,
frictions, and inconsistencies of Black feminist thought. Instead I present Black
feminist thought as overly coherent, but I do so because I suspect that this
approach is more appropriate for this historical moment. I hope to see other vol-
PREFACE TO
FIRST
EDITION
ix
umes emerge which will be more willing to present Black feminist thought as a
shifting mosaic of competing ideas and interests. I have focused on the pieces of
the mosaic—perhaps others will emphasize the disjunctures distinguishing the
pieces of the mosaic from one another.
Finally, writing this book has convinced me of the need to reconcile subjectivity and objectivity in producing scholarship. Initially I found the movement
between my training as an “objective” social scientist and my daily experiences
as an African-American woman jarring. But reconciling what we have been
trained to see as opposites, a reconciliation signaled by my inserting myself in
the text by using “I,” “we,” and “our” instead of the more distancing terms
“they” and “one,” was freeing for me. I discovered that the both/and conceptual stance of Black feminist thought allowed me to be both objective and subjective, to possess both an Afrocentric and a feminist conciousness, and to be
both a respectable scholar and an acceptable mother.
When I began this book, I had to overcome my reluctance concerning committing my ideas to paper. “How can I as one person speak for such a large and
complex group as African-American women?” I asked myself. The answer is that
I cannot and should not because each of us must learn to speak for herself. In the
course of writing the book I came to see my work as being part of a larger
process, as one voice in a dialogue among people who have been silenced. I
know that I will never again possess the curious coexistence of naiveté and
unshakable confidence that I had when I portrayed Spring. But I hope to recapture those elements of the voice of Spring that were honest, genuine, and
empowering. More important, my hope is that others who were formerly and are
currently silenced will find their voices. I, for one, certainly want to hear what
they have to say.
Preface
to
Second
Edition
I
initially wrote Black Feminist
Thought in order to help empower African-American women. I knew that when
an individual Black woman’s consciousness concerning how she understands
her everyday life undergoes change, she can become empowered. Such consciousness may stimulate her to embark on a path of personal freedom, even if
it exists initially primarily in her own mind. If she is lucky enough to meet others who are undergoing similar journeys, she and they can change the world
around them. If ideas, knowledge, and consciousness can have such an impact
on individual Black women, what effect might they have on Black women as a
group? I suspected that African-American women had created a collective
knowledge that served a similar purpose in fostering Black women’s empowerment. Black Feminist Thought aimed to document the existence of such knowledge and sketch out its contours.
My goal of examining how knowledge can foster African-American
women’s empowerment remains intact. What has changed, however, is my
understanding of the meaning of empowerment and of the process needed for it
to happen. I now recognize that empowerment for African-American women
will never occur in a context characterized by oppression and social injustice. A
group can gain power in such situations by dominating others, but this is not the
type of empowerment that I found within Black women’s thinking. Reading
Black women’s intellectual work, I have come to see how it is possible to be both
centered in one’s own experiences and engaged in coalitions with others. In this
sense, Black feminist thought works on behalf of Black women, but does so in
conjunction with other similar social justice projects.
My deepening understanding of empowerment stimulated more complex
arguments of several ideas introduced in the first edition. For one, throughout
this revision, I emphasize Black feminist thought’s purpose, namely, fostering
both Black women’s empowerment and conditions of social justice. Both of these
themes were in the first edition, but neither was as fully developed as they are
here. This enhanced emphasis on empowerment and social justice permeates the
revised volume and is especially evident in Chapter 2. There I replace my efforts
PREFACE TO
SECOND
EDITION
xi
to “define” Black feminist thought with a discussion that identifies its distinguishing features. This shift allowed me to emphasize particular dimensions that
characterize Black feminist thought but are not unique to it. It also created space
for other groups engaged in similar social justice projects to recognize dimensions of their own thought and practice. I tried to reject the binary thinking that
frames so many Western definitions, including my earlier ones of Black feminist
thought and of Black feminist epistemology. Rather than drawing a firm line
around Black feminist thought that aims to classify entities as either being Black
feminist or not, I aimed for more fluidity without sacrificing logical rigor.
My analysis of oppression is also more complex in this edition, in part
because neither empowerment nor social justice can be achieved without some
sense of what one is trying to change. Whereas both editions rely on a paradigm
of intersecting oppressions to analyze Black women’s experiences, this edition
provides a more comprehensive treatment. Race, class, and gender studies were
being established when I wrote the first edition. Just as this area of inquiry has
greatly expanded since that writing, so has my treatment of this framework. For
example, in this edition, I broaden my analysis beyond race, class, and gender
and include sexuality as a form of oppression. Issues of social class and culture
also receive a more complex analysis in this edition. The first edition was especially concerned with issues of Black culture yet said less about social class.
Culture and class were both there, but not in the balance that characterizes this
edition. My arguments have not substantially changed, but I think they are more
effectively developed.
In this …
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