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Black Feminist Thought

4.28 of 5 stars 4.28  ·  rating details  ·  2,777 ratings  ·  64 reviews
In "Black Feminist Thought," Patricia Hill Collins explores the words and ideas of Black feminist intellectuals as well as those African-American women outside academe. She not only provides an interpretive framework for the work of such prominent Black feminist thinkers as Angela Davis, Alice Walker, and Audre Lorde, but she shows the importance of self-defined knowledge ...more
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Published December 7th 1999 by Routledge (first published 1990)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Rowena
"Race and gender may be analytically distinct, but in Black women’s everyday lives, they work together.” - Patricia Hill Collins, Black Feminist Thought

I find it difficult to summarize books like this, ones which contain such comprehensive content. Although focusing on African-American feminist theory, Collins says the theory can be applied to any black diasporic woman because, “Women of African descent are dispersed globally, yet the issues we face may be similar.”

And reading the content I beli
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Zanna
Not really a review, more a butterfly-view.

I had a rare flash of brilliance and decided to read the glossary first. This kind of sensible idea rarely occurs to me. I was immediately struck by Collins' definition of

intersectionality: analysis claiming that systems of race, social class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, nation and age form mutually constructing features of social organisation, which shape Black women's experiences and, in turn, are shaped by Black women

In other words, intersectional
...more
Rebecca
Everyone should read this book. I read this for the first time during a women's studies course as an undergrad, but it works so well, as she states, outside of academia. I find her analysis of Black female blues singers as a source of feminist thought especially interesting. Anyone and everyone interested in social justice should read this book. And then read it again.
Tameika
She offers an explored analysis of the intersections of race, gender, sexuality and class as well as its practical applications. She discuss self-identification, the politics of self empowerment, how woman are essential elements in nationalist thinking and etc. I do wish she discussed the politics of sexuality a bit more.
Allison
This book blew my mind. One of the most impressive parts of it is P.H.C.'s command of black women's history in the U.S. It's so exciting to read about women who have produced "black feminist thought" in the U.S. through writing, music, and oral history since early 1800s, and before.
Veronica
What I loved the most about this book is that it is an academic text, but PCH doesn't waste time with jargon. If she uses it, she defines it almost immediately. There is also a glossary in the back of the book. A book that I will use a lot. So happy I was pushed to revisit this text.
Rosemari
This book was my guiding light while working on my thesis, "Deconstructing Auth Jemima." Patricia Hill Collins is underread and underrated. I want to sit at her feet. It remains an important reference book.
Sarah Hackley
Nov 15, 2009 Sarah Hackley rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sarah by: BLS 3024
While I enjoyed her theories, her writing style is unnecessarily obtuse and repetitive.
J.P.
I read this book for a variety of reasons, but mainly because I felt that I needed to better understand the issues black women face. This book, for me, was a great place to start. I am black, but obviously not a woman. I've always been pro-equal rights, but that isn't enough.

Patricia Hill Collins lays out the framework from the very beginning & doesn't weigh the reader down with confusing jargon. She describes her experiences in academia as well as the general experience of black women in ac
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Leland Wright
28 July 2014

Reading this book all the way through felt like a real accomplishment, both because of the density of the language and because it gave me a much more grounded knowledge of Black women's feminism and lived experience in the United States. It also gave me a much better understanding of the limits of my own knowledge. Collins quotes a wide variety of Black feminist writers (and some other contributing writers) in order to counteract, as she writes, "the tendency of mainstream scholarshi
...more
John Zavocki
I read this book during one of my Feminist studies classes in college. This and bell hooks' "From Margin to Center" have stuck with me -- staying on my bookshelf over the past two decades.

Being white, middle-class, heterosexual and male, it is this book that clocked me on my head making me realize that the privilege I enjoy(ed) and could not recognize was pervasive and everywhere ... but only for "my kind." smh

BFT is a powerful read that clearly demarcates the terrain between assumption and cons
...more
Wanyoung
Clearly and comprehensively discusses approach, aims, and the ontology of certain concepts within Black feminist thought. As a philosophy major, I found that much of this book’s discussions regarding oppression, race, gender, and sexuality reminded me of critical theory and political philosophy texts I had read regarding feminism and race I had read for classes. Collins is skilled in combining technical arguments justifying for Black feminism’s approach, with historical anecdotes that support he ...more
Tasha
I had the privilege of being one of Dr. Collin's students at the University of Cincinnati. I learned so much from this woman and her gender study class. She along with some other great writers such a Bell Hooks and others helped me shape my own definition of what it means to be a black woman in America.
Lucas
I really like Patricia Hill Collins and this is no exception, though I found much of what she filed under "Black feminism" really applied to feminism writ large. Still, it's an important work and very readable.
Oren Whightsel
patricia hill collins is one of the most important voices in feminism. this book is a must read...especially the 10th anniv. ed. because she updates her research and further develops her arguments.
Reginald Simms
Great explanation of a black feminist theory. Explains different forms of oppression how they can intersect and form a "matrix of domination". Talks about the use of transversal politics and creating self-critical and self-referential forms of epistomology as a resistance to the intersecting matrix of domination which weave themselves in relation to each other via four domains of power, stated as structural, disciplinary, hegemonic, and interpersonal.

Was a good book for understanding the curren
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Linda Le
if u claim that u're an ally/progressive advocate of feminism, then do urself a favor & read this
Mike
Flashback to August, 1995. The book that changed my life during the first year of college.
mis fit
Finally got around to reading this all the way through. It is awesome. Duh.
Dr. A
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Read this and reviews of other classics in Western Philosophy on the History page of www.BestPhilosophyBooks.org (a thinkPhilosophy Production).
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Patricia Hill Collins’ Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment develops an intersectional approach to the analysis of oppression.

Collins argues that African-American women are uniquely positioned to understand how oppression works because of their experiences at the intersections of race, gender and class
...more
Roberta Villalon
thank you pat for writing this and changing the world!
Marilyn Diamond
I've loved her work since Women Studies classes
Quin Rich
Unfortunately, I didn't realize until halfway through that I had picked up the 1990 first edition of Black Feminist Thought, and not a more recent edition which features updated scholarship and additional chapters.

Despite not feeling particularly earth shattering (mainly because this is a foundational text and I read it years after it was first published) Collins' Black Feminist Thought remains a key entry in the cannon of women of color feminist scholarship. Clearly laying out an overview of Bl
...more
Andrea
I loved this book, the way it battles to discover what is unique to black women's voices and experiences, and how they can empower, aid in resistance, and form part of the larger coalition that is needed to create a more just world.

I've pulled out her own basic summary of what she wants this book to do and be, because it highlights what is missing from much other work, and because it is ambitious and beautiful and she almost does it all:
First, I was committed to making this book intellectually
...more
Lily
This book has guided my thinking for years. Now that I am re reading it I am even more impressed. Her thinking is clear and insightful. When I think of intersectional feminism I think of PHC.

Randie
This book helped me to see historical events and analyze societal beliefs/attitudes/rituals/values/ideals through a Black Feminist lens. I really enjoyed the incorporation of personal experiences being told by Black women to highlight and demonstrate the concepts being proposed/examined. I felt the Collins was telling me a story, she asks questions and really interacts with the reader throughout every chapter.

While this book was required reading for a class, I didn't have force myself to read it
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Polly
The most referenced author only second to hooks for most of my academic career.
Joe
This would be a great book for an introductory sociology course. Collins' writing achieves a rare mixture of refreshingly clear and concise prose without slipping into the pitfalls of objective analysis. It has a nice glossary in the back, although Collins is careful to quickly and clearly define any terminology the moment it is introduced. As a secondary text that chronicles the works and thoughts of others, it could not hold my interest for long periods of time, although it has gotten me more ...more
Angela
I was assigned this book in graduate school, in a class called: Black Feminist Theory. I am Hispanic and honestly, this book changed my life. I think all women of color can find themselves somewhere in the pages. The interconnection of race, gender and sexuality and how our identification, either by self or other, shapes our very reality, truly caused a paradigm shift in my lens of the world. I finished school over 10 years ago and I still own the copy that has all my notations from the first to ...more
Lindsey
This was a very interesting book from a perspective that I had no idea about. I really enjoyed most of it.
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Patricia Hill Collins (born May 1, 1948) is currently a Distinguished University Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is also the former head of the Department of African American Studies at the University of Cincinnati, and the past President of the American Sociological Association Council.

Collins' work primarily concerns issues involving feminism and gender wi
...more
More about Patricia Hill Collins...
Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender, and the New Racism (PB) From Black Power to Hip Hop: Racism, Nationalism, and Feminism Fighting Words: Black Women and the Search for Justice Another Kind of Public Education: Race, Schools, the Media, and Democratic Possibilities On Intellectual Activism

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