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Hill Collins, Patricia. Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment
2008, Routledge
Added by: Tomasz Zyglewicz, Shannon Brick, Michael Greer
In spite of the double burden of racial and gender discrimination, African-American women have developed a rich intellectual tradition that is not widely known. In Black Feminist Thought, originally published in 1990, Patricia Hill Collins set out to explore the words and ideas of Black feminist intellectuals and writers, both within the academy and without. Here Collins provides an interpretive framework for the work of such prominent Black feminist thinkers as Angela Davis, bell hooks, Alice Walker, and Audre Lorde. Drawing from fiction, poetry, music and oral history, the result is a superbly crafted and revolutionary book that provided the first synthetic overview of Black feminist thought and its canon.

Comment (from this Blueprint): An excerpt from her landmark 1991 text, Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment, this text sees Patricia Hill Collins outline four “controlling images” that contribute to black women’s oppression, appealing to cultural and literary devices, as well as social science literature. In the parts of this chapter not excerpted Hill Collins argues that stereotypical images and symbols of Black womanhood manipulate society’s perception and ideas about Black womanhood and, by extension, Black women which contributes to justifying their oppression.

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