The Combahee River Collective Statement ---> http://circuitous.org/scraps/combahee.html
& attached file is La Conciencia De La Mestiza: Towards A New Consciousness
1). Brief Summary
2). Main points
3). Tone, Rhetorical, Irony?
THE COMBAHEE RIVER COLLECTIVE STATEMENT:
1) Brief Summary:
The Combahee River Collective was a black feminist lesbian organization active in Boston in the 1970s. This piece is their statement of identity and purpose. In this statement they discuss the roots of and necessity for black feminism, how and why their group was created, what they believe, and the difficulties standing in the way of black feminism. Their statement focuses heavily on the intersectionality of the oppression they experience: that the oppression they experience as a woman is different from the oppression a white woman receives because she is a women; that the oppression they experience as a black person is different from the oppression a black man receives because he is black. The oppression they endure is unique and is greater than the sum of its parts. They fight against this oppression.
2) Main Points:
In order, here are the main points that are addressed throughout the statement:
- who the Comabahee River Collective is: group of women active in their own organization and others to fight racial, sexual, heterosexual and class oppression
- oppression is interlocking between all of these factors (intersectionality), and defines their lives (they are oppressed on many layers, because they are black, they are women, and they are lesbians)
- The Genesis of Contemporary Black Feminism:
* throughout history there have always been black females who stood against the white male rule
* a black feminist presence in the women's movement began in the 1960s, but was obscured by racism and elitism within the movement
* black feminists were also involved the black civil rights movement but that was overshadowed by sexism in that movement
* thus, 1973: formed the National Black Feminist Organization
* black feminism is born out of the personal experiences and the physical and sexual abuse of black women
* the post WWII period opened the door just slightly to allow some black women to gain the tools to understand what was happening to them and fight it
- What We Believe:
* first and foremost, the lives of black women are valuable
* rooted in identity politics: fighting for one's own rights, rather than lobbying for another person's, means that they will fight harder
* the oppression based on their different identities are simultaneous and cannot be disentangled
* anti-racism and anti-sexism: therefore will fight with ...
The statements towards a new consciousness and the Combahee river collective are determined.