Black Feminist Thought: The Need for an African Feminist Standpoint

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 16:00
Oral Presentation
Abigail SESHIE, University of Saskatchewan, Canada
Kimberle Crenshaw’s proposition of intersectionality during the 1980s laid the foundation for understanding the concurrent analysis of multiple, intersecting sources of oppression and relative privilege within black feminist scholarship. Based on Crenshaw’s intersectionality framework, Patricia Hill Collins (1989) emphasized the interplay of race and gender to explain the standpoint (experiences) of black women. This paper seeks to build on Colin’s claim by introducing the element of culture as a significant factor for understanding the oppression and relative privilege of black women in addition to race and gender. Drawing on some cultural practices of West Africans, I will demonstrate the value of culture as a powerful concept that deepens the understanding of the experiences of black women in different spatial contexts. The rationale for what I call the African Feminist Standpoint is to highlight the need to consider the intragroup variations about the intersecting sources of oppression and relative privilege of black women based on a transnational perspective. The study contributes to advancing the debate of Black Feminist Thought by demonstrating the value of culture as an important factor that should be given attention when articulating the standpoint of black women, especially those in Africa or Africans in the diaspora.