The theme of this essay will look at black feminist perspectives on gender, firstly from this perspective a black women’s experience provides stimulation of the feminist awareness. Black feminism writings highlights the importance of aspects of the past, which inform the current issues facing black women. The writings of American black feminists emphasise the influence of the powerful legacy of slavery, segregation and the civil rights movement on gender inequalities in the black community.
They point out that early black groups of women at the early part of the century supported the campaign for women’s rights, but realised that the question of race needed recognition. Black women have always suffered from discriminated based on their skin colour and gender. In recent years, black women have not been central to the women’s liberation movement, taking control of their identities much less, than of concepts of their race. The oppression of black women is visible in different locations compared to that of white women.
Black feminism argues, therefore, that any theory of gender equality, which does not consider racism, should not claim to explain black women’s oppression adequately. Class dimensions are another factor, which needed acknowledgement, particularly, in the case of the black women, also black women in the labour market, which will be touched upon further in the essay. Some black feminists have understood the strength of black feminist theory to be the focus on the relationship between race, class, and gender concerns, (Anthony Giddens 2001:118).
Thesis Statement For Feminism
A major division in western Black feminism thought, particularly for the British context, is that between the language and politics of the United States and Britain; for the principle of United States politics, ‘Black’ is a term referring to the African-American population. In Britain, ‘Black is a political category often describing Asians, Africans and Afro-Caribbean’s, with often a wider inclusion of ‘non-white’ people. The changing meanings of ‘Black’ as a racial, cultural, national, or political term, has implications for the development and meanings of Black feminisms.
The relationship between the terms ‘Black’ and feminism allows for sustained critique, both of the feminist movement and identities, and of Black politics, (Kadiatu Kanneh 1998: 86,87). Beverly Guy Shefell a feminist writer argues that black women’s experiences in both racial and gender oppression resulted in needs and problems separate from white women and black men and that black women must struggle for equality as both women and African Americans, (www. hsph. harvard. edu/organisation/healthnet/woc/feminism/collins2html).
The black women’s critique of history has not only involved them coming to terms with absences, black women have also been annoyed by the ways in which it has made black women visible. History has constructed their sexuality and femininity as deviating from those qualities with which white women, as prize objects of the western world, were bestowed. Black feminist have forever demanded that the persistence of racism receive acknowledgement as an arrangement feature of their relationships with white women.