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Reading Black Feminism

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October 22, 2014

emancipation-155792_640Historically, the feminist movement has been centralized around white women. From the perspective of a privileged white person, I have been fed a very mainstream version of feminism. I have a lot of anxiety about talking about and publishing words about people of color as a white person, but I feel like it is important for other white feminists to self-educate on this topic because it is so important to try to understand that the intersections of oppression can alter peoples experiences of it.

I tried to compile a reading list that includes an overview of black feminist texts from courses I’ve taken at Oberlin, as well as including recommendations from friends who identify as black feminists:

  • Ain’t I A Woman? Black Women & Feminism – bell hooks
  • Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence, and America’s Prison Nation – Beth E. Richie
  • Assata: An Autobiography – Assata Shakur
  • Blacks and Selected Poetry – Gwendolyn Brooks
  • Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment – Patricia Hill Collins
  • Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender, and the New Racism – Patricia Hill Collins
  • But Some Of Us Are Brave: All the Women Are White, All the Blacks Are Men: Black Women’s Studies – Gloria T. Hull, Patricia Bell Scott, and Barbara Smith
  • “Combahee River Collective Statement” – The Combahee River Collective
  • “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory, and Antiracist Politics” – Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw
  • Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center – bell hooks
  • Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty – Dorothy Roberts
  • Kindred – Octavia Butler
  • Sister Outsider – Audre Lorde
  • Soldier – June Jordan
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
  • Women, Race, and Class – Angela Y. Davis

I have only included things that I am familiar with or my friends have recommended. If you have any suggestions for readings to add to this list, please comment below!

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