Blog Post #4

The author opened chapter 9 with this quote, “Sara Brooks is not typically seen as a political activist. Her long hours as a domestic worker left her little time to participate in unions, community groups, demonstrations, or other forms of organized political activity. Her lifelong struggle was not for political causes but to garner sufficient resources to reunite her children and provide a home for them.” Sara Brooks is a U.S. Black woman that has struggled and survived her struggles with oppression and began to resist the oppression. She recognizes the intersecting oppressions that affect her and other black women in the Unites States and started speaking of the oppressors. Her resistance is, according to Collins, actually a form of activism. Despite the acknowledgement of these actions amongst feminist scholars, Brooks actions of resisting the controlling images used to label her and other black women is her way of fighting against them. It depicts the strength and resiliency of the Black woman’s character. These characteristics were and still are critical to guarantee the Black woman’s survival in the United States. Networking and forming groups in the communities for support also aid in their ability to keep going despite the condition they face. Collins and other Black feminist scholars she cites in the chapters stress the need to reexamine, rethink, and reconceptualize Black women’s activism.

In Chapter 10: U.S. Black Feminism In Transnational Context, Collins stated that race, class, gender, and sexuality are some of the intersectional paradigms that work together to construct systems of oppression. However, these intersectional paradigms have made two important contributions to understanding the connections between knowledge and empowerment. Number one, they stimulate new interpretations of African-American women’s experiences. The second contribution was that they shed new light on how domination is organized. Collins discussed this idea of a “matrix of domination.” This type of dominance has occurred in schools, housing, employment, government, and other institutions that regulate patterns of oppression that U.S. Black women encounter. Collins also stated that the shape or the form of dominance changes over time. Before, it was slavery, but now that black people are “free” in took on another form that is not as easily recognized. This is way it is important to rethink oppression. There is also a “global matrix of domination” in which women of African descent around the world deal with intersecting oppression. Nation is another form of oppression, we have realized and because women are capable of becoming mother, they are central to the three elements of nationalist thinking. However, black women are now being judged by their ability to raise law-abiding citizens. Collins goes on to talk about the fact that Black women are demeaned because some of them take handout from the government. The author goes on to stress the fact that the struggles of Black women in American are related and intertwined with those of other nations. It’s a transversal pattern.

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