Last month the United States celebrated Women’s History month. We’ll be continuing the conversation on women’s history in this blog post by discussing intersectional feminism. Intersectionality refers to the study of intersecting social identities and the systems that work to oppress, discriminate, and control minority identities. Intersectionality can be thought of in terms of religion, disability, social class, nationality, race, gender, and more. In terms of feminism, intersectionality draws attention to the fact that many minorities have been marginalized and dismissed by the feminist movement, particularly black women in America. Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, who coined the term intersectionality in 1989, defines intersectional feminism as “The view that women experience oppression in varying degrees of intensity. Cultural patterns of oppression are not only interrelated, but are bound together and influenced by the intersectional systems of society.”
Feminism began as a white woman’s movement. Throughout history black women’s struggles have been disregarded by much of the feminist movement. Black women not only have to fight misogyny and stereotypes about their gender, but they also have a massive uphill battle fighting systemic racism daily. Only recently has intersectionality really begun to enter the public conversation surrounding feminism, despite existing for decades.
Learn more about how you can continue the conversation on intersectional feminism by checking out these books at your NCTC campus library.
Florynce “Flo” Kennedy: The Life of a Black Feminist Radical by Sherie M. Randolph (Gainesville) KF 373 .K45 R36 2015
Florynce “Flo” Kennedy was a leader of the Black Power and feminist movements. A bold and controversial figure, this biography documents her upbringing and strong political influence. Kennedy was not a reactionary, but a proactive educator of white feminists. She worked tirelessly to build bridges between the struggles of racism and sexism, bringing her knowledge and leadership skills from the Black Power movement to her work.
Skin Deep: Black Women and White Women Write about Race edited by Marita Golden (Flower Mound & Corinth) E 185.86 .S6 1996
This series of essays explores a wide range of racial issues between black and white women. Topics covered include concepts of self-identity, friendship, raising children, competition, strength, and the insidiousness of racism. Contributors include Joyce Carol Oates, bell hooks, Naomi Wolf, Alice Walker, and Toni Morrison among many others.
When and Where I Enter: The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America by Paula Giddings (Bowie) E 185.86 .G49 1985
When and Where I Enter documents the enormous influence black women have had on both race and women’s movements throughout American history. Author Paula Giddings uses original sources including letters, speeches, and diaries to reveal how numerous black women have overcome and transcended sexist and racist actions and attitudes from white feminists, black male leaders, and others.
Southern Black Women in the Modern Civil Rights Movement by Bruce A. Glasrud (Corinth) E 185.92 .S682 2013
This book documents the many black women that were crucial to the Civil Rights movement in the South. Protesting, mobilizing, energizing others, and serving as organizational and grassroots leaders, these women made a significant impact on their community and on the Civil Rights movement at large. The media and white politicians did not acknowledge the efforts and work of these black women, and only recently have historians begun to recognize their contributions. Southern Black Women in the Modern Civil Right Movement is a first of its kind, winning the 2013 Texas State Historical Association’s Liz Carpenter Award for Research in the History of Women.
Black Texas Women: 150 Years of Trial and Triumph by Ruthe Winegarten (Corinth) E 185.93 .T4 W55 1995
The first book of its kind, Black Texas Women presents a comprehensive history of the contributions black women have made in Texas over the past 150 years. The contributions detailed within include black Texas women’s work within the education system, the work force, religion, politics, community building, civil rights, and much more.
Black Women in White America: A Documentary History by Gerda Lerner (Gainesville & Corinth) E 185.86 .L4 1972
The recipient of the 2002 Bruce Catton Prize for Lifetime Achievement in Historical Writing, this collection of primary documents describes the lives, struggles, and ambitions of black women from the American colonial period up to the 1970’s. Their stories are told in their own words – stories of systemic racism, economic hardship, violence, stories of heroism, grassroots community organization, and community- and self-empowerment. Black Women in White America adds a powerful and enriching understanding of our history as Americans.
–Contributed by Michelle McLaughlin, Librarian, Corinth Campus