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Revolutionary is Being a Black Woman: An Africana Womanist Analysis of Race and Gender during the Black Power Movement

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Abstract:

What is most commonly known about gender dynamics during the Black Power Movement is framed from a black feminist’s perspective, where women’s roles are primarily subjugated to the position of sexist black men. The black feminist critique of Black Power, as presented by Guy-Sheftall and Cole (2003), Matthews, (1998), and Brush (1999), demonstrated that some black women were relegated to subordinate roles of cooking, doing secretarial work, and supporting a primarily black male agenda, which inadvertently disregarded the influence of women. Ironically, the black feminist perspective primarily focused on the objectification and sexism that existed in the black liberation movement, and black feminists have promoted a one-sided understanding about black women’s participation. A few black feminist discussions even go as far to suggest that the Black Power Movement failed because some black men wielded patriarchal power, denying a number of females from participating in leadership or decision-making roles (Wallace, 1999).
Where a black feminist historical account of the Black Power Movement discusses the limitations and challenges of sexism, an Africana womanist framework analyzes the problem and benefit of black women’s activism in social movements. Africana womanism does not explicitly place a priority on dealing with patriarchy but deems racial issues as the crux of black women’s problems and considers the black liberation struggle and family-hood as the most important issues for black people to engage (Hudson-Weems, 2006, p. 37). By oversimplifying gender roles, the black feminist angle of Black Power politics denies black female activists and community workers’ agency and furthermore disengages the wide-range of empowering activities and roles of women who supported Black Power. An Africana womanist oral history and archival exploration on revolutionary black female nationalists involved in the Black Power Movement can shed significant light on the way black women negotiated their identities, roles, and activities.
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Association:
Name: 95th Annual Convention
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http://www.asalh.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p436246_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Gaines, Rondee. "Revolutionary is Being a Black Woman: An Africana Womanist Analysis of Race and Gender during the Black Power Movement" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina, <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p436246_index.html>

APA Citation:

Gaines, R. "Revolutionary is Being a Black Woman: An Africana Womanist Analysis of Race and Gender during the Black Power Movement" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p436246_index.html

Publication Type: Invited Paper
Abstract: What is most commonly known about gender dynamics during the Black Power Movement is framed from a black feminist’s perspective, where women’s roles are primarily subjugated to the position of sexist black men. The black feminist critique of Black Power, as presented by Guy-Sheftall and Cole (2003), Matthews, (1998), and Brush (1999), demonstrated that some black women were relegated to subordinate roles of cooking, doing secretarial work, and supporting a primarily black male agenda, which inadvertently disregarded the influence of women. Ironically, the black feminist perspective primarily focused on the objectification and sexism that existed in the black liberation movement, and black feminists have promoted a one-sided understanding about black women’s participation. A few black feminist discussions even go as far to suggest that the Black Power Movement failed because some black men wielded patriarchal power, denying a number of females from participating in leadership or decision-making roles (Wallace, 1999).
Where a black feminist historical account of the Black Power Movement discusses the limitations and challenges of sexism, an Africana womanist framework analyzes the problem and benefit of black women’s activism in social movements. Africana womanism does not explicitly place a priority on dealing with patriarchy but deems racial issues as the crux of black women’s problems and considers the black liberation struggle and family-hood as the most important issues for black people to engage (Hudson-Weems, 2006, p. 37). By oversimplifying gender roles, the black feminist angle of Black Power politics denies black female activists and community workers’ agency and furthermore disengages the wide-range of empowering activities and roles of women who supported Black Power. An Africana womanist oral history and archival exploration on revolutionary black female nationalists involved in the Black Power Movement can shed significant light on the way black women negotiated their identities, roles, and activities.


Similar Titles:
Through the Eyes of Iya: Using Womanist Criticism to Debunk the Black Macho Myth in the Black Power Movement

Ain’t I a Black Revolutionary Woman? An Africana Womanist Analysis of Race and Gender during the Black Power Movement

Through the Eyes of Iya: Using Womanist Criticism to Debunk the Black Macho Myth in the Black Power Movement


 
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