Chapter 14 in Out of the Revolution: The Development of Africana Studies



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Chapter 14 in Out of the Revolution: The Development of Africana Studies.  Delores P. Aldridge and Carlene Young, Editors.  Lexington Books, 2000, pp. 205-217.

Africana Womanism: An Overview

Clenora Hudson-Weems

In the American experience the feminist movement had effectively displaced Black unity, whether in the context of the Abolitionist movement, the nght-to-vote movement or the civil rights movement. And so we sit idly by and let whites turn Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks into supporters for White feminism as opposed to race defenders.


-Iva E. Carruthers

    The emergence of black feminism in the 1970s, an offshoot of white feminism, has witnessed the response of many black women who have not readily embraced the concept of feminism for a variety of reasons, in spite of its legitimacy in the academy and the desire of many to be a legitimate part of the academic community. To be sure, embracing an established, acceptable theoretical methodology-feminism-is one of the most reliable, strategic means of ensuring membership into that powerful, visible community of academic women, which extends far beyond itself and secures for its supporters not only job possibilities and publications, but also prestige and high visibility. While many other black women naively adopted feminism early on, because of the absence of an alternative and suitable framework for their individual needs as Africana women, more are reassessing the historical realities and the agenda for the modern feminist movement, and have bravely stood firm in their outright rejection of it. For many in the academy who reject it and who go beyond by creating alternative paradigms, they experience blatant unsuccessful attempts to silence them via ostracism and exclusion from the academic circle of either publications (including not being referenced by other scholars), and/or dialogue (including not being invited to participate in some of their conferences in order to articulate yet another interpretation of our struggle as nonfeminists). Better still, too often, parts of their paradigm have been lifted from their theoretical construct, appropriated and reshaped into a revised form of black feminism by those established in the field. Be that as it may, the above quote by Iva E. Canruthers is only one such rejection of feminism, and by extension Black feminism, which yet reigns high as a most controversial issue today, both inside and outside the academy, particularly as it relates to the role of the Africana woman within the context of the modern feminist movement. Julia Hare, noted black psychologist, voiced her rejection of feminism about thirteen years later in Black Issues in Higher Education (1993):

Women who are calling themselves Black feminists need another word that describes what their concerns are. Black Feminism is not a word that describes the plight of Black women. The white race has a woman problem because the women were oppressed. Black people have a man and woman problem because Black men are as oppressed as their women.

    Obviously Hare was not cognizant of the fact that another word had already been put forth in the public arena in several papers on the black womanism/Africana womanism paradigm I presented at national conferences, such as the National Council for Black Studies in March 1986 and 1988, the African Heritage Studies Association in 1988, as well as the 1987 and 1988 Women Studies Association. These public presentations culminated in my 1989 article, "Cultural and Agenda Conflicts in Academia: Critical Issues in Africana Women's Studies," which was later reprinted as the second chapter of Africana Womanism: Reclaiming Ourselves (1993).

    Because female empowerment, the very foundation upon which the agenda of feminist/black feminist thought rests, is the number one priority, rather than race empowerment, our major concern since our involuntary migration from Africa to the United States in the early seventeenth century, most Africana women do not consider themselves feminists. Rather than an Africana womanist family centeredness, this female centeredness of feminism, which informs the ordering of issues revolving around the centrality and exclusivity of womanhood, poses some serious problems for the Africana woman. Betinna Aptheker, a white feminist herself; even sees the feminist priority as unworkable for the black woman:

When we place women at the center of our thinking, we are going about the business of creating an historical and cultural matrix from which women may claim autonomy and independence over their own lives. For women of color, such autonomy cannot be achieved in conditions of racial oppression and cultural genocide. In short, "feminist," in the modern sense, means the empowerment of women. For women of color, such an equality, such an empowerment, cannot take place unless the communities in which they live can successfully establish their own racial and cultural integrity.2

    She, much in the same way as the Africana womanist, sees the importance of prioritizing the race factor for the black woman as a prerequisite for dealing with the question of gender. This is not to say that gender issues are not important, for gender issues are real concerns for all women, Africana women included, as we are yet operating within a patriarchal system, and therefore, must confront this issue head on. However, attacking gender biases does not translate into mandating one's identification with or dependency upon feminism as the only viable means of addressing them. To be sure, the feminist has no exclusivity on gender issues. Thus, according to sociologist Vivian Gordon in Black Women, Feminism, and Black Liberation: Which Way:

To address women's issues, therefore, is not only to address the crucial needs of Black women, it is also to address the historic primacy of the African and African American community; that is, the primacy of its children and their preparation for the responsibilities and privileges of mature personhood.3

    Gordon's approach in dealing with women's issues is to bring out the historical reality of Africana people and the centrality of family for the security of future generations. Delores Aldridge, another black sociologist, takes it a step further in her Focusing: Black Male-Female Relationships, contending that derailing our race-based struggle for a gender-based struggle poses serious consequences.

One might argue…that the women's liberation-as it is presently defined and implemented-has a negative impact on the Black liberation movement... [for] Women's liberation operates within the capitalist tradition and accepts the end goals of sexist white males.4

To be sure, Aldridge understands well the perspective from which the feminist comes. In "Cultural and Agenda Conflicts in Academia," Hudson-Weems succinctly puts it as "mainstream feminism is women's co-opting themselves into mainstream patriarchal values."5 The key issue with all four of these theorists, three blacks and one white, is not the exclusion of gender issues, but rather an Africana womanist manner of addressing them. Other key features of the Africana womanist along with family centeredness as defined in chapter 4 of Africana Womanism are self-namer and self-definer, genuine sisterhood, strong, in concert with male in struggle, whole, authentic, flexible role player, respected, recognized, spiritual, male compatible, respectful of elders, adaptable, ambitious, mothering, and nurturing.

    Another form of feminism, African feminism, is also questionable, solely because of its improper naming. A close look at the concept will reveal that its agenda is more closely akin to Africana womanism than to feminism. Thus, Filomina Chioma Steady's accuracy in her astute assessment of the struggle and reality of Africana women in The Black Woman Cross-Culturally is problematic, for one assumes even before she explicates the concept of African feminism that it is an extension of feminism. Unquestionably, when one "buys the White terminology, she also buys its agenda."6 Although Steady fails to properly name herself; she does demonstrate a sense of priorities in the above cited text, which is clearly in alignment with the sense of prioritizing race issues inherent in Africana womanism:

Regardless of one's position, the implications of the feminist movement for the black woman are complex….Several factors set the black woman apart as having a different order of priorities. She is oppressed not simply because of her sex but ostensibly because of her race and, for the majority, essentially because of their class. Women belong to different socio-economic groups and do not represent a universal category. Because the majority of black women are poor, there is likely to be some alienation from the middle-class aspect of the women's movement which perceives feminism as an attack on men rather than on a system which thrives on inequality.7

    In "African Feminism: A Worldwide Perspective," from Women in Africa and the African Diaspora, she further asserts that

for the majority of black women poverty is a way of life. For the majority of black women also racism has been the most important obstacle in the acquisition of the basic needs for survival. Through the manipulation of racism the world economic institutions have produced a situation which negatively affects black people, particularly black women. What we have, then, is not a simple issue of sex or class differences but a situation which, because of the racial factor, is castlike in character on both a national and global scale.8

    Apparently, neither the terms black feminism nor African feminism are sufficient in labeling such women of complex realities, particularly as both terms, through their very names, align themselves with feminism. Moreover, in African cosmology, proper naming, nommo, says it all, as it is essential to existence, which makes it all the more difficult to accept an improper name for oneself. The true history of feminism, its origins and its participants, reveals a rather blatant racist background. Feminism and the woman's suffrage movement had its beginnings with a group of liberal white women, who were concerned with abolishing slavery and granting equal rights for all people regardless of race, class, and sex. However, the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was ratified in 1870, granting Africana men voting rights, while that privilege for women, White women in particular, went unaddressed. The middle-class white women were disappointed, having assumed that their benevolence toward securing tull citizenship for Africana people would ultimately benefit them, too. Their response was a racist reaction to both the amendment and to Africans. Hence, an organized movement among white women from the 1880s on shifted the pendulum from a liberal posture to a radically conservative one on their part.

    The National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) was founded in 1890 by northern white women, but "southern women were also vigorously courted by that group," epitomizing the growing race chauvinism of the late nineteenth century. The organization, which brought together the National Woman Suffrage Association and the American Woman Suffrage Association, departed from Susan B. Anthony's original women's suffrage posture. They contended that the vote for women should be utilized chiefly by middle-class white women, who could assist their husbands in preserving the virtues of the republic from the threat of unqualified and biological inferiors (Africana men), who, with the power of the vote, could gain a political foothold in the American system. For example, staunch conservative suffragist leader Carrie Chapman Catt and other women in her camp insisted upon strong Anglo Saxon values and white supremacy. They wanted to and with white men to secure the vote for pure whites, excluding not only Africans but also white immigrants. Historians Peter Carrol and David Noble quoted Catt in The Free and the Unfree as saying that "there is but one way to avert the danger. Cut off the vote of the slums and give it to [white] women." She continued that the middle class white men must recognize "the usefulness of woman suffrage as a counterbalance to the foreign vote, and as a means of legally preserving white supremacy in the South."10 These suffragists felt that because Africana people, Africana men in particular with their new status, were of an inferior race, they should not be allowed the right to vote before them, which did not come until the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. Thus, while it is understandable how white women felt regarding their being excluded from the voting rights agenda, their hostility and racist feelings toward Africans cannot be overlooked.

    While feminism, an agenda designed to meet the needs and demands of white women, is quite plausible for that group, placing all women's history under white women's history, thereby giving the latter the definitive position, is problematic. In fact, it demonstrates the ultimate of racist arrogance and domination, suggesting that authentic activity of women resides with white women. It is, therefore, ludicrous to claim as feminists such Africana women activists as Maria W. Stewart and Frances Watkins Harper, abolitionists; Sojourner Truth, militant abolition spokesperson and universal suffragist; Harriet Tubman, Underground Railroad conductor; Ida B. Wells, early twentieth century antilynching crusader; and Anna Julia Cooper, who proclaims in A Voice from the South that "woman's cause is man's cause: [we] rise or sink together, dwarfed or godlike, bond or free."11 Cooper is one of the most misclaimed black women by black feminist critics today, as well as by black male critics, such as Henry Louis Gates, who calls her "a prototypical Black feminist whose 1892 book of essays, A Voice from the South, is considered to be one of the founding texts of the black feminist movement."12 and Maulana Karenga, who places A Voice from the South in the "feminist/womanist arena." The criteria used for such a practice remains invalid:

Procrusteans have mis-labeled Africana women activists . . . [as feminists] simply because they were women. Indeed, their primary concerns were not of a feminist nature, but rather a commitment to the centrality of the African-American freedom struggle. Their primary concern was the life-threatening plight of all Africana people, both men and women, at the hands of a racist system. To cast them in a feminist mode, which de-emphasizes their major interest is in this writer's opinion an abomination and an outright insult to their level of struggle. 13

    In considering the race-based activities of these early Africana women and countless other unsung Africana heroines, what white feminists have done in reality was to take the lifestyle and techniques of Africana women activists and use them as blueprints for framing their theory. They then proceed to name, define, and legitimize it as the only substantive women's movement. Thus, in defining the feminist and her activity, they are identifying with independent Africana women, women whom they both emulated and envied. Such women they have come in contact with from the beginning of American slavery, all the way up to the modern Civil Rights movement with such Africana women Civil Rights activists as Fannie Lou Hammer, Mamie Till Mobley, the mother of Emmett Louis Till, and Rosa Parks, the mother of the movement-and the aftermath. Therefore, when Africana women come along and embrace feminism, appending it to their identity as black feminists or African feminists, they are in reality duplicating the duplicate.

    Africana womanism, a term I coined and defined in 1987 after nearly two years of publicly debating the importance of self-naming for Africana women, under the terminology "Black Womanism," a natural evolution, is a theoretical concept designed for all women of African descent. Its primary goal... is to create their [Africana women's] own criteria for assessing their realities, both in thought and in action.14 The first part of the coinage, Africana, identifies the ethnic background of the woman being considered, and this reference to her ethnicity, establishing her cultural identity, relates directly to her ancestry and land base-Africa. The second part of the term, womanism, in addition to taking us back to the rich legacy of African womanhood, recalls Sojourner Truth's powerful impromptu speech "And Ain't I a Woman," one in which she battles with the dominant alienating forces in her life as a struggling Africana woman, questioning the accepted idea of womanhood. Even though she went to an all-white women's convention in Akron, Ohio, in 1852 to voice her opinion about the absurdity of female subjugation, she was forced to address the race issue first, as she was hissed and jeered at because she was black, not because she was a woman, since she was among the community of women. Unquestionably, she was the other side of the coin, the copartner of her male counterpart in the struggle for her people, one who, unlike the white woman, received no special privileges in American society. But there is another crucial issue that accounts for the use of the term woman(ism). The term "woman," and by extension "womanism," is far more appropriate than the term "female" (feminism), as only a female of the human race can be a woman. "Female," on the other hand, can refer to a member of the animal or plant kingdom, as well as to a member of the human race. Finally, in electronic and mechanical terminology, there is a female counterbalance to the male correlative. Hence, terminology derived from the word "woman" is more suitable and more specific when naming a group of the human race.

    Africana womanism is not to be confused with Alice Walker's womanism as presented in her collection of essays, In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens. According to her, a womanist is:

A black feminist or feminist of color . . . who loves other women, sexually and/or nonsexually. Appreciates and prefers women's culture . . . [and who] sometimes loves individual men, sexually and/or nonsexually. Committed to survival and wholeness of entire people, male and female. . . . Womanist is to feminist as purple to lavender.15

    The opening and closing statements here firmly establish the author's concept of the affinity between the womanist, the feminist, and the black feminist.

    There are some white women who acknowledge that the feminist movement was not designed with the Africana woman in mind. White feminist Catherine Clinton, for example, asserts that "feminism primarily appealed to educated and middle-class White women, rather than Black and White working-class women."16 Moreover, Steady, in her article entitled "African Feminism: A Worldwide Perspective," which appears in Women in Africa and the African Diaspora, admits that:

Various schools of thought, perspectives, and ideological proclivities have influenced the study of feminism. Few studies have dealt with the issue of racism, since the dominant voice of the feminist movement has been that of the white female. The issue of racism can become threatening, for it identifies white feminists as possible participants in the oppression of blacks.17

With these issues hovering over the domain of feminism, the Africana community, by and large, has agreed that the feminist movement is the white woman's movement for two reasons. First, the African woman does not see her male counterpart as her primary enemy as does the white feminist, who is carrying out an age-old battle with her counterpart for subjugating her as his property. According to Nigeria's first woman playwright, Dr. Zulu Sofo Ia:

It [the dual-gender system between African men and women] is not a battle where the woman fights to clinch some of men's power, [which] consequently has set in motion perpetual gender conflict that has now poisoned the erstwhile healthy social order of traditional Africa. 18

    This equality exists because in African cosmology, further asserts Sofola, the woman at creation is equal to her male counterparts, which is not the case in European cosmology, which holds that the woman is an appendage (rib) of man. Moreover, contrary to the white feminists' need to be equal to men as human beings, black women have always been equal to their male counterparts, in spite of some Africana men's attempts to subjugate them on some levels. According to Angela Davis in Women, Race, and Class:

The salient theme emerging from domestic life in the [American] slave quarters is one of sexual equality. The labor that slaves performed for their own sake and not for the aggrandizement of their masters was carried out on terms of equality. Within the confines of their family and community life, therefore, Black people transformed that negative equality which emanated from the equal oppression they suffered as slaves into a positive quality: the egalitarianism characterizing their social relations. 19

    In addition, during American slavery, Africana women were as harshly treated, physically and mentally, as were their male counterparts, thereby invalidating the alignment of Africana women and white women as equals in the struggle. Indeed, the endless chores of the Africana woman awaited her both in and outside the home. Africana men and women have been equal partners in the struggle against oppression from early on. Thus, they could not afford division based on sex. Granted, in some traditional societies, male domination was a characteristic; but in the African-American slave experience, Africana men and women were viewed the same by the slave owners, thereby negating traditional (African and European) notions of male or female roles.

    Today, Africana women must insist that they are equal partners in a relationship in which passive female subjugation neither was nor is the norm in their community. According to Morrison in "What the Black Woman Thinks about Women's Lib":

for years black women accepted that rage, even regarded that acceptance as their unpleasant duty. But in so doing they frequently kicked back, and they seem never to have become the true slaves that White women see in their own history.20

    Indeed, Africana women have not had that sense of powerlessness that white women speak of; nor have they been silenced or rendered voiceless by their male counterparts, as is the expressed experience of white women. The labels "black matriarch," "sapphire," and "bitch" appended to the Africana woman to describe her personality and character clearly contradict the notion of the Africana woman as voiceless. Moreover, unlike the white woman, the Africana woman has been neither privileged nor placed on a pedestal for protection and support.

    There is also the question of class in the Africana woman's experience, which goes hand in hand with the question of race. From a historical perspective, slavery was synonymous with poverty. When one examines the origin of American racism, one realizes it was an attitude constructed to authorize exploitation by the dominant culture to acquire free or cheap labor-economic exploitation arguing race inferiority as a justification for slavery. Hence, racism and classism are inextricable. It should he noted, however, that racism has become a bigger monster than classism for blacks, even though the latter is the parent of the former. According to Steady:

the issue of black women's oppression and racism are part of the "class issue," but there is a danger of subsuming the black woman's continued oppression to class and class alone. For even within the same class there are groups that are more oppressed than others. Blacks are likely to experience hardship and discrimination more severely and consistently than whites, because of racism.21

    It has been apparent from the beginning that Africana women in particular have been and must continue to be concerned with prioritizing the obstacles in this society: the lack of equal access to career opportunities, fair treatment of their children, and equal employment for their male counterparts. Long before the question of gender and class came to the forefront in contemporary literary criticism and theoretical constructs, positions were taken and decisions were made about options available to the Africana woman on the basis of her race. Thus, it was and remains evident that the Africana woman must first fight the battle of racism.

    Africana men have never had the same institutionalized power to oppress Africana women as white men have had to oppress white women. According to Africana sociologist Clyde Franklin II, "Black men are relatively powerless in this country, and their attempts at domination, aggression, and the like, while sacrificing humanity, are ludicrous."22

    Joyce Ladner, another Africana sociologist, succinctly articulates the dynamics of the relationship between Africana men and women and does not view the former as the enemy of the latter in Tomorrow's Tomorrow, "Black women do not perceive their enemy to be black men, but rather the enemy is considered to be oppressive forces in the larger society which subjugate black men, women and children."23

    Since Africana women never have been considered the property of their male counterpart, Africana women and men dismiss the primacy of gender issues in their reality, and thus dismiss the feminist movement as a viable framework for their chief concerns.

    Second, Africana women reject the feminist movement because of their apprehension and distrust of white organizations. In fact, white organized groups in general, such as the Communist Party and the National Organization for Women (N.O.W.), have never been able to galvanize the majority of Africana people. On the whole, Africans are grassroots people who depend upon the support and confidence of their communities and who, based on historical instances of betrayal, are necessarily suspicious of organizations founded, operated, and controlled by whites. In general, unlike members of the dominant culture, Africans are not issue-oriented. Instead they focus on tangible things that can offer an amelioration of or exit from oppression, which are of utmost importance for survival in the Africana community.

    While Africana women do, in fact, have some legitimate concerns regarding Africana men, these concerns must be addressed within the context of African culture. Problems must not be resolved using an alien framework, that is, feminism, but must be resolved from within an endemic theoretical construct of Africana womanism. Indeed, we cannot afford the luxury, if you will, of being consumed by gender issues; for one of the main tensions between Africana men and women in the United States involves employment and economic opportunity. It is not a question of more jobs for Africana women versus more jobs for Africana men, a situation that too frequently promotes gender competition. Rather, it is a question of more jobs for Africans in general. These jobs are generated primarily by white people and most Africans depend on sources other than those supplied by Africana people. The real challenge for Africana men and women is how to create more economic opportunities within Africana communities. Many people talk about the need for enhanced Africana economic empowerment. If our real goal in life is to be achieved-that is, the survival of our entire race as a primary concern for Africana women-it will have to come from Africana men and women working together. If Africana men and women are fighting within the community, they are ultimately defeating themselves on all fronts.

    A supreme paradigm of the need for Africana women to prioritize the struggle for human dignity and parity is presented by South African woman activist Ruth Mompati. In her heart rending stories of unimaginable racial atrocities heaped upon innocent children, as well as upon men and women, Mompati asserts the following:

The South African woman, faced with the above situation, finds the order of her priorities in her struggle for human dignity and her rights as a woman dictated by the general political struggle of her people as a whole. The national liberation of the black South African is a prerequisite to her own liberation and emancipation as a woman and a worker. The process of struggle for national liberation has been accompanied by the politicizing of both men and women. This has kept the women's struggle from degenerating into a sexist struggle that would divorce women's position in society from the political, social, and economic development of the society as a whole.24

    From the South African women who together with their men seek to liberate their country, comes an appeal to friends and supporters to raise their voices on their behalf.25

    Overall, "human discrimination transcends sex discrimination…the costs of human suffering are high when compared to a component, sex obstacle."26 Furthermore, according to Steady in The Black Woman Cross-Culturally,

for the black woman in a racist society, racial factors, rather than sexual ones, operate more consistently in making her a target for discrimination and marginalization. This becomes apparent when the "family" is viewed as a unit of analysis. Regardless of differential access to resources by both men and women, white males and females, as members of family groups, share a proportionately higher quantity of the earth's resources than do black males and females. There is a great difference between discrimination by privilege and protection, and discrimination by deprivation and exclusion.27

    Steady's assessment here speaks directly to the source of discrimination that Africana women suffer at the hands of a racist system. There is the oppression of the South African woman who must serve as maid and nurse to the white household with minimum wage earnings, the Caribbean woman in London who is the ignored secretary, and the Senegalese or African worker in France who is despised and unwanted. There is the Nigerian subsistence farmer, such as the Ibo woman in Enugu and Nsukka, who farms every day for minimum wages, and the female Brazilian factory worker who is the lowest on the totem pole. Clearly, the problems of these women are not inflicted upon them solely because they are women. They are victimized first and foremost because they are black; they are further victimized because they are women living in a male-dominated society.

    The problems of Africana women, including physical brutality, sexual harassment, and female subjugation in general perpetrated both within and outside the race, ultimately have to be solved on a collective basis within Africana communities. Africana people must eliminate racist influences in their lives first, with the realization that they can neither afford nor tolerate any form of female subjugation. Along those same lines, Ntiri summarizes Mompati's position that sexism "is basically a secondary problem which arises out of race, class and economic prejudices."28

    Perhaps because of all the indisputable problems and turmoil heaped upon the Africana community, much of which is racially grounded, Africans frequently fail to look closely at available options to determine if those options are, in fact, sufficiently workable. Rather than create other options for themselves, Africans become confluent with the white privileged-class phenomenon. It would be useful if one was created for oneself; independent of alien paradigms. Perhaps reflecting on the particularity of Africana womanism just may be the beginning of a new chance for a new millennium for black survival:

Neither an outgrowth nor an addendum to feminism, Africana Womanism is not Black feminism, African feminism, or Walker's womanism that some Africana women have come to embrace. African" Womanism is an ideology created and designed for all women of African descent. It is grounded in African culture, and therefore, it necessarily focuses on the unique experiences, struggles, needs, and desires of Africana women. It critically addresses the dynamics of the conflict between the mainstream feminist, the Black feminist, the African feminist, and the Africana womanist. The conclusion is that Africana Womanism and its agenda are unique and separate from both White feminism and Black feminism, and moreover, to the extent of naming in particular, Africana Womanism differs from African feminism.29

Notes
 

1. Julia Hare, quoted in "Feminism in Academe: The Race Factor," Ellen Crawford in Black Issues in Higher Education vol. 10, no.1 (11 March 1993).

2. Betinna Aptheker, "Strong I What We Make Each Other: Unlearning Racism Within Women's Studies," Women's Studies Quarterly, 1:4 (Winter 1981), 13.

3. Vivian V. Gordon, Black Women, Feminism, and Black Liberation: Which Way? (Chicago: Third World Press, 1987), viii.

4. Delores P. Aldridge, Focusing: Black Male-Female Relationships. (Chicago: Third World Press, 1991), 35.

5. Clenora Hudson-Weems, "Cultural and Agenda Conflicts in Academia: Critical Issues for Africana Women's Studies." The Western Journal of Black Studies (Winter 1989), 187.

6. Hudson-Weems, "Cultural and Agenda Conflicts in Academia," 188.



7. Filomina Chioma Steady, ed. The Black Woman Cross-Culturally (Cambridge, Mass.: Schenkman, 1981), 23-24.

8. Filomina Chioma Steady, "African Feminism: A Worldwide Perspective," in Women in Africa and the African Diaspora, Rosalyn Terborg-Penn, Sharon Harley, and Andrea Benton Rushing, eds. (Washington, D.C.: Howard University Press, 1987), 18-19.

9. Paula Giddings, When and Where! Enter: The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America ~ew York: Bantam, 1984), 81.

10. Peter N. Carrol and David W. Noble, The Free and the Unfree: A New Histori' ofthe United States ~ew York: Penguin Books, 1977), 296.

11. Anna Julia Cooper, A Voice from the South (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), 61.

12. Cooper, A Voice from the South, 1 -

13. Hudson-Weems, "Cultural and Agenda Conflicts in Academia," 186.

14. Clenora Hudson-Weems, Africana Womanism: Reclaiming Ourselves (Troy, Mich.: Bedford Publishers, 1993), 50.

15. Alice Walker, In Search ofour Mothers' Gardens (San Diego: Harcourt, 1983), xii.

16. Catherine Clinton, "Women Break New Ground," in The Underside of American Histoty, vol.2, Thomas R. Fraizer, ed. ~ew York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1987), 63.

17. Steady, "African Feminism: A Worldwide Perspective," 3.

18. This quotation comes from a paper delivered by Zula Sofola at the International Conference on Women of Africa and the African Diaspora: Bridges Across Activism and the Academy which was held in July 1992 at the University of Nigeria-Nsukka.

19. Angela Davis, Women, Race and Class ~ew York: Vintage, 1983), 19.

20. Toni Morrison, "What the Black Woman Thinks about Women's Lib," The New York Times Magazine, August 1971, 63.

21. Steady, The Black Woman Cross-Culturally, 26.

22. Clyde W. Franklin Jr., "Black Male-Black Female Conflict; Individually Caused and Culturally Nurtured," in The Black Family: Essays and Studies, Robert Staples, ed. (Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth, 1986), 112.

23. Joyce Ladner, Tomorrow's Tomorrow: The Black Woman (Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor, 1972), 277-278.

24. Ruth Mompati, "Women and Life Under Apartheid," in One is Not a Woman, One Becomes: The African Woman in a Transitional Society, Daphne W. Ntiri, ed. (Troy, Mich.: Bedford, 1982).

25. Daphne W. Ntiri, ed., One Is Not a Woman, One Becomes: The African Woman in a Transitional Society (Troy, Mich.: Bedford, 1982), 112-113.

26. Ntiri, One Is Not a Woman, 6.

27. Steady, The Black Woman Cross-Culturally, 27-28.

28. Ntiri, One Is Not a Woman, 5.



29. Hudson-Weems, Africana Womanism, 24.
 


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