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Black Feminist Thought

Black feminist thought is a collection of ideas, writings and art that articulates a standpoint of and for black women of the African diaspora. It describes black women as a unique group that exists in a place in US social relations where intersectional processes of race, ethnicity, gender, class and sexual orientation shape black women’s individual and collective consciousness and actions. Black feminist thought conceptualizes identifies as fluid and interdependent socially constructed locations within a historical context. Distinctive tenets of black feminist thought include the legitimization of partial, subjugated knowledges as a unique diverse standpoint. Black women’s multiple oppressions resulting in ideologies and challenges that are unique. Black feminist consciousness as a self-reflexive process toward black women’s liberation through activism and the replacement of images of black womanhood. Black feminist thought has been expressed historically through collective social and political activism. Black feminists assert that all black women have the common experience of negotiating oppression despite occupying different social locations and possessing variable privileges.

Black feminists broke from mainstream feminists in the 1970s. It began to reflect a provocative and sophisticated critique of the mainstream white women’s movement and theorizations. They call for the inclusion of all women’s experiences in scientific inquiry. Black writings are focused on issues related to gender,race,class and ethnicity and other related issues. The 1980s saw black feminists building a praxis bridge between the ivory tower and the community. The literature highlighted the historical contributions of black women in American civil rights and women’s movements. In 1990s and later decades black women writers also began to put spotlight on black women’s experiences of intimate violence and resistance.

Black feminist thought is conducive  to qualitative, quantitative or mixed method designs.They incorporate data and non traditional data to document the personal experiences of participants.

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