In chapters 1 and 2 of Patricia Collins’ Black Feminist Thought, she articulates that Black women collectively have a distinct “standpoint” from which they view the larger society. “…while common experiences may predispose Black women to develop a distinctive group consciousness, they guarantee neither that such a consciousness will develop among all women nor that it will be articulated as such by the group (Collins 28).” What she is articulating is that every Black or African-American woman has an opinion about their roles in society and how they are treated in society. Many women might have similar standpoints. When Black women speak to one another about society, some of them tend to connect with one another based on the common past experiences that they share. However, not all women have the same distinct standpoint. There are things that some Black women experience that others don’t. Experiences also vary, depending on neighborhood, national location, family background, socioeconomic status, skin color, and other intersecting oppressions, etc. I’d like to think that all Black women indeed, share this same perspective. I definitely agree. Every woman has probably faced common experiences with the next woman. However, I can confidently argue that each individual woman has not had all of the same experiences. It is important for Black feminists to maintain an “intersectional” framework when analyzing the lived experiences of Black women so that their approach maybe accepted by all African-American women. There are a variety of factors that come in to play when discussing Black women’s experience such as age, sexual orientation, social class, region, religion, etc. I can also add education to that list. This goes to say that all Black women won’t have all of the same experiences, but they might, however, share common experiences. And at that same time, every black women doesn’t have to experience being judged by their hairstyle or followed around in a department store for them to be able to relate to the next woman. I think it is important that Black women as a whole understand the factors of oppression that Black women collectively face and not just be passionate about the factors that affect them. Change comes from awareness, awareness comes from education, education comes from us passing along knowledge.
In chapters 3 & 4, Patricia Hill Collins discusses the relationship between work, gender roles, and the negative representations experienced by Black women throughout the history of the United States. The stereotypical images of Black womanhood in this country have … Continue reading