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SWGS S 1251 Feminism and Social Justice

Published : 17-Sep,2021  |  Views : 10

Question:

Hello, this is Katrina I am taking Core Curriculum class this semester - Black Political Identity and we have a reading every class.

- What is the key argument being made?

- What are the key points being made?

- What are the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments raised?

- What are the implications of what you have read?

- What links can be made with other readings, themes and concepts from the course?

Answer:

The epoch-making book of Simone de Beauvoir, “The Second Sex” ventilated her concern pertaining to the existential and identity crisis of the European women- specifically the middle class ones. However, her book only depicted social plight of the white women. Ensemble of socialist approach and racial establishment of the African American people during the late 1920s, ignited rage within the most disgusted “Negro Ladies”.  Once ‘they’ were the slaves and now, ‘they’ could not afford to be the part of mainstream American society (Marable, 2015).

The essay hence seeks the answer to few questions that are yet to be solved. 1930s and the later decades were the booming years of Americanisation- the phenomenon that denuded English and European pride through the World Wars. On the contrary, the darkest sight in the American society was the social deprivation of the black people - more specifically the black women. They were expected to sojourn in a society that seemed to belong to the Whites. Scholar often cannot draw a distinctive line between feminism and black feminism because both of the approaches seem to be similar although they actually pole apart. Contemporary global feminists like Virginia Woolf and Simone de Beauvoir definitely ventured their voice against the social negligence against the women however, the black women were not only neglected, and they were rather oppressed (Cooper, 2016). Following diagram reflects how the social order was itself manipulated in terms of feministic approach:

Despite its vehement political movements in the 1930s, the actual root was soiled a decade earlier when Grace Campbell rationally attacked a certain class and race in the American society for having alienated the black women. Campbell was a Marxist in nature and with the leftist political philosophy; she started intervening into the unemployment, eviction and depravity in Harlem. She chose the street corners and raised her voice in vehement rational protest (Gibson, 2014). The Communist Party of America was one of her major shelter as she grew thinking and contemplating deep into the communist and socialist philosophical trait in the United States.  The Communist Party of America intended to foster the urge of social revolution in the country. Still disenfranchised, the African American women started becoming strong in their voice that held the social power to bring in revolution. However, that did not happen as proper execution was weakened by ultra powerful capitalist sections of the country.  From southern part of the United States, the black population started migrating to the North (Sudbury, 2014). Questions may be asked pertaining to the particularity and success of black feminist movement. What were their demands?  The black left feminists wanted social liberty, individual and political identity (Fiske & Hancock, 2016). During the 1920s the Socialist Party could not ensure convincement of the African American women, however, after the split in the party, the communists started influencing them with the sentiment of their alienation and in lure of revamped social revolution. The motto of abolition of the exploited workers in the factories and other merchant organisations was added by the urge to gain social establishment of the black women in American society. The black left feminists radically wanted to vindicate their right in the American society.

The ever going struggle between the socialist-communist and capitalist powers gave birth to the African American movement during the World War I. In collaboration with ANLC (American Negro Labour Congress), the female communist wing of the core Communist Party started spreading the value of socialist engagement of the labours in USA. With Campbell, came forward other female communist leaders Whiteman, Briggs and Moore. This was the ultimate beginning of the left feminist era that further accelerated different social equity movements in the country during the 1960s (Miss America and Bra Burning Movement) (Welch, 2015).

References:

Cooper, B. (2016). But some of us are brave: Black women's studies. P. Bell-Scott, & B. Smith (Eds.). The Feminist Press at CUNY.

Fiske, J., & Hancock, B. H. (2016). Media Matters: Race & Gender in US Politics. Routledge.

Gibson, D. M. (2014). Sojourning for Freedom: Black women, American communism, and the making of Black left feminism ERIK. S. McDUFFIE.

Marable, M. (2015). How capitalism underdeveloped Black America: Problems in race, political economy, and society. Haymarket Books.

Sudbury, J. (2014). Global lockdown: Race, gender, and the prison-industrial complex. Routledge.

Welch, G. P. (2015). " Up Against the Wall Miss America": Women's Liberation and Miss Black America in Atlantic City, 1968. Feminist Formations, 27(2), 70-97.  

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