by Abaki Beck
Text: "Black Feminist Thought in the Matrix of Domination" from Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment, pp. 221–238
Author: Patricia Hill Collins
Quote to Highlight: "The existence of Afrocentric feminist thought suggests that there is always choice, and power to act, no matter how bleak the situation may appear to be. Viewing the world as one in the making raises the issue of individual responsibility for bringing about change.”
Quick Summary: In this expert from her seminal book Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment, Patricia Hill Collins discusses the vital importance and power of black feminist thought and black feminist critique and what she calls the “matrix of domination.” She argues that these critiques offer two main contributions/interventions to knowledge and social consciousness. First, they provide an alternative way of looking at oppression, at it is through an intersectional lens. Second, black feminist thought does not just acknowledge, but centers black female voices, in a field dominated by white scholars. She says that black feminists recognize a “matrix of domination”: essentially, that racism, sexism, and other forms of oppression contribute to another, and that some people may be both oppressed and oppressors (for example: white women, black men).
File it under: Black feminism, intersectionality, women of color feminisms
Type of text: Academic text, significant use of jargon and theory
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