Combahee River Collective Summary

The Politics of Black Feminist Thought
For this week, we read Combahee River Collective, “A Black Feminist Statement,” “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color,” by Kimberle Crenshaw and the book Shadowboxing: Representations of Black Feminist Politics by Joy James. Our discussion focuses on feminist thought and intersectionality.

The Combahee River Collective’s aim was to combat the oppressions experienced by all women of color and to acknowledge the role of lesbians to the development of black feminism and African American history. There are four major topics of the collective’s “A Black Feminist Statement.” They are: 1) Genesis of Contemporary Black Feminism: Black women have a negative
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She talks about embracing identity politics and the problems within intra-group differences. Crenshaw’s objective is the dimensions of violence and rape against women of color. Their experience of racism and sexism highlights the importance of intersectionality of women of color that is often misrepresented, ignored and silenced (1244). Structural Intersectionality: Crenshaw argues women of color are burdened with class, race, gender oppression and language barriers restricting women of color services. Political Intersectionality: Crenshaw highlights conflicting political agendas, the black woman’s experience of racism from the black man and the sexist experience from a white women. She argues domestic violence shelters marginalized women of color by creating policies and strategies to disregard their intersectional needs. (1262). Crenshaw addresses the race code and cultural imagery of the black female body. Representational Intersectionality: Crenshaw explores the problem of how images of women of color ignore their intersectionality interests (1283). Furthermore, Crenshaw elaborates how media portrays women of color and how it creates further challenges in their struggle against violence and uses the case of 2 Live Crew as an …show more content…
Forging Community: From Segregation to Transcendence
James argues that people are familiar with the segregated community in affirmative action on education and jobs but not incarceration. Anti-affirmative race rhetoric hides who is a deserving individual (19). She maintains the political agenda and financial gains in supporting affirmative action off sport performances in colleges to profiteering from involuntary servitude or prison slavery gives illusion of diversity. In addition, James observes the community from two perspectives, the American ideal and an independent African-Americans. She contends a transcendent community is more of an idea than a reality.

Chapter 3. Protofeminists and Liberation Limbos: Limbos bring attention to the racial-struggles of black women often ignored by mainstream discourse for current political struggles. James writes, “In their progressive, forward movement, contemporary black feminisms often bend backward toward historical protofeminist ancestors like abolitionist Maria W. Stewart [black self-defense], Ida B. Wells [anti-lynching campaigns], and Ella Baker [sexual and racial exploitation experienced by black female domestic workers].

Chapter 4. Radicalizing Feminisms From “The Movement”

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