Sunday, July 1, 2007

Black Feminism/Womanism

Black Feminism/womanism is the belief that sexism and racism go hand in hand. The word womanism was established by the author Alice Walker who believed that a womanist is a black feminist or feminist of color, an outrageous and audacious woman who is interested in learning and questioning all things. The theory of womanism is committed to the survival of all people, both men and women. Rather than supporting separatism, womanism promotes universalism. Many women of color felt that they did not fit into the other forms of feminism so they decided to take Black Feminism/Womanism on. Other forms of feminism focus on sexism and classism but overlook the significance of racism which in the end contributes to the continuation of racism of all, especially women, whereas Black Feminism believes in freedom for all which means that their would be an end to racism, classism, and sexism. Another important part of Black Feminism is the understanding that women of color and white women do not experience the same things in life.

A core theme of Black Feminism is the legacy of struggle. This theme is basically bonds women of color together because they can all relate in some way, shape or form. Throughout history, women of color have not only had to deal with white supremacy but male dominance as well. According to Patricia Hill Collins, this has characterized the Black woman's (and women of color) reality as a situation of struggles, struggle to survive in two contradictory worlds simultaneously, one white, privileged, and oppressive, the other black, exploited, and oppressed. I personally would have to say that I agree with this type of Feminism. People of color have completely different experiences than people who are not and these different experiences or disadvantages may be hard for someone to understand if they have not experienced them their selves. Which in return can contribute to the lack of recognition for that group. So I think that it is a good thing that Black Feminism/Womanism exists because it gives women of color a voice to be heard. So yes, I would consider myself to be a Black Feminist.
Remika Marshall

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