Black Feminist Standpoint Theories
Black feminist thought is a collection of ideas, writings, and art that articulates a standpoint of and for black women of the African Diaspora. Black feminist thought describes black women as a unique group that exists in a "place" in US social relations where intersectional processes of race, ethnicity, gender, class, and sexual orientation shape black women's individual and collective consciousness, self-definitions, and actions As a standpoint theory, black feminist thought conceptualizes identities as organic, fluid, interdependent, multiple, and dynamic socially constructed "locations" within historical context. Black feminist thought is grounded in black women's historical experience with enslavement, anti-lynching movements, segregation, Civil Rights and Black Power movements, sexual politics, capitalism, and patriarchy. Distinctive tenets of contemporary black feminist thought include: (1) the belief that self-authorship and the legitimatization of partial, subjugated knowledge represents a unique and diverse standpoint of and by black women; (2) black women's experiences with multiple oppressions result in needs, expectations, ideologies, and problems that are different than those of black men and white women; and (3) black feminist consciousness is an ever-evolving concept. Black feminist thought demonstrates Black women's emerging power as agents of knowledge. By portraying African-American women as self-defined, self-reliant individuals confronting race, gender, and class oppression, Afrocentric feminist thought speaks to the importance that knowledge plays in empowering oppressed people.One distinguishing feature of Black feminist thought is its insistence that both the changed consciousness of individuals and the social transformation of political and economic institutions constitute essential ingredients for social change. New knowledge is important for both dimensions to change.
Tina Campt uses standpoint theory to examine the narrative of the Afro-German Hans Hauck in her book Other Germans.
Famous quotes containing the words theories, standpoint, black and/or feminist:
“The two most far-reaching critical theories at the beginning of the latest phase of industrial society were those of Marx and Freud. Marx showed the moving powers and the conflicts in the social-historical process. Freud aimed at the critical uncovering of the inner conflicts. Both worked for the liberation of man, even though Marxs concept was more comprehensive and less time-bound than Freuds.”
—Erich Fromm (19001980)
“I took the standpoint that the profession of technologist, a man who masters matter, is a masculine profession, if not the only masculine profession there is.”
—Max Frisch (19111991)
“Better have a black face than be worried about black deeds.”
—Robert N. Lee, and Rowland V. Lee. Tom Clink (Ernest Cossart)
“Most young black females learn to be suspicious and critical of feminist thinking long before they have any clear understanding of its theory and politics.... Without rigorously engaging feminist thought, they insist that racial separatism works best. This attitude is dangerous. It not only erases the reality of common female experience as a basis for academic study; it also constructs a framework in which differences cannot be examined comparatively.”
—bell hooks (b. c. 1955)