Double Jeopardy: To Be Black and Female

Double Jeopardy: To Be Black and Female is a pamphlet which was written by Frances M. Beal in 1969. The pamphlet was later revised and then published in The Black Woman, an anthology edited by Toni Cade Bambara in 1970. Beal's essay talks about the misconceptions and troubles which come about when one tries to analyze the role of a black female in society. The pamphlet covers many different aspects of life and how they pertained to black women or "non-white women" compared to how they pertain to white women, white men and non-white men. One particular area in the pamphlet is entitled ECONOMIC EXPLOITATION OF BLACK WOMEN; this section briefly talks about the economics of black women and how on average in 1969, a non-white woman made approximately three times less than a white man. Beal thus exposes the concrete economic raison d'ĂȘtre of both racism and sexism. In other words, it pays, for some, to uphold such reactionary and divisive ideologies since the more a group of people is marginalized and discriminated against the easier it is to exploit their labor (to have a pool of low-waged workers). Beal draws several conclusions from this: 1) that the divisions created between workers because of the different pay rates are hindering the advancement of the workers' struggle as a whole because white workers do not readily question their privileges; 2) that, in the end, one has to see different forms of exploitation as related to one another if we want to get rid of them all; 3) and that an awareness of, and an end to the super-exploitation of Black workers, and women in particular, should be a priority in the fight against capitalism. In another section entitled BEDROOM POLITICS, Ms. Beal claims that the recent cry for birth control in both black and non white neighborhoods was more of a surgical genocide trying to prevent those of the non-white background from reproducing and increasing in numbers. The article also contains two other sections entitled Relation to the White Movement and The New World. This pamphlet played and important role in the black rights movement for women.

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