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Women, Race & Class

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From one of our most important scholars and civil rights activist icon, a powerful study of the women’s liberation movement and the tangled knot of oppression facing Black women.

"Angela Davis is herself a woman of undeniable courage. She should be heard." —The New York Times

Angela Davis provides a powerful history of the social and political influence of whiteness and elitism in feminism, from abolitionist days to the present, and demonstrates how the racist and classist biases of its leaders inevitably hampered any collective ambitions. While Black women were aided by some activists like Sarah and Angelina Grimke and the suffrage cause found unwavering support in Frederick Douglass, many women played on the fears of white supremacists for political gain rather than take an intersectional approach to liberation. Here, Davis not only contextualizes the legacy and pitfalls of civil and women's rights activists, but also discusses Communist women, the murder of Emmitt Till, and Margaret Sanger's racism. Davis shows readers how the inequalities between Black and white women influence the contemporary issues of rape, reproductive freedom, housework and child care in this bold and indispensable work.

271 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1981

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About the author

Angela Y. Davis

107 books5,665 followers
Angela Yvonne Davis is an American political activist, scholar, and author. She emerged as a nationally prominent activist and radical in the 1960s, as a leader of the Communist Party USA, and had close relations with the Black Panther Party through her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement despite never being an official member of the party. Prisoner rights have been among her continuing interests; she is the founder of Critical Resistance, an organization working to abolish the prison-industrial complex. She is a retired professor with the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and is the former director of the university's Feminist Studies department.

Her research interests are in feminism, African American studies, critical theory, Marxism, popular music, social consciousness, and the philosophy and history of punishment and prisons. Her membership in the Communist Party led to Ronald Reagan's request in 1969 to have her barred from teaching at any university in the State of California. She was tried and acquitted of suspected involvement in the Soledad brothers' August 1970 abduction and murder of Judge Harold Haley in Marin County, California. She was twice a candidate for Vice President on the Communist Party USA ticket during the 1980s.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,929 reviews
Profile Image for Always Pouting.
575 reviews762 followers
March 2, 2022
I really am glad I finally got around to reading this. The book examines the history of the feminist movement in the United States with an eye towards the ways in which the movement fell short on meeting the needs of women who had other marginalized identities. I personally knew some of this history but not all and as Davis mentions it's crucial to grapple with the historic actions of movements when trying to address why certain people choose not to engage in those movements. I also think most people don't have a good understanding of what intersectionality means necessarily and have a tendency to reduce it down to being about who is "more oppressed". I think the book could do a good job of helping one develop a more nuanced understanding of intersectionality as the ways in which different identities intersect to create differing needs and experiences, which need to be addressed individually. This was 4.5 stars for me and I would totally recommend it to others who want to learn more about feminism or those trying to cultivate a better political analysis around women's liberation and the way it intersects with other movements.
Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
805 reviews3,853 followers
February 21, 2021
An early masterpiece, showing the importance of emancipation, feminism, and gender equality, owning the unresolved past with its toxic influence on present and future by using Big History, describing the story of the long term consequences of slavery and oppression, showing the truth from the points of views of the victims many ideologies, directly causing the problems in the first place, want to ignore.

It strongly reminded me of the ideas and conclusions of
White fragility
Why I am no longer talking to white people about race
and similar, progressive, critical books.

It would be interesting to know if these authors found all of their ideas themselves or developed Davis´, and possibly similar authors´ ideas, to fit to the current situation. Maybe it´s even in some footnotes or addendum, I don´t know.

It´s amazing how a four decade old work has the sharpness and accuracy to use it to extrapolate the future that sadly came, that Big History and recognizing the underlying problems constructed by terrible pasts cannibalizing away the future are a problem even more dangerous in modern times, because the internet, primarily social media, has enabled radicalization and backlashes in dimensions unthinkable just 10 or 15 years ago.

Especially the ideas of intersectionality
should be in a much bigger focus, but because they open up far too many and deep implications, they are mostly left out and ignored by established public and private media, because they are too heavy by directly showing the truth.

Some of the most interesting points newer authors like to mention too, because of the underrepresentation and no debate in general media, are the roots of feminism just focused on the interests of white, rich, influential women, leading to ignorance regarding the needs of discriminated and poor population groups, the superficiality and hypocrisy of political parties and ideologies downplaying and ignoring the problems, and a generally completely WEIRD
world in which neglecting the past leads to a blurred, surreal, artificially constructed mentality of many of the influential people that could help to initiate a positive change, but are brainwashed and indoctrinated with a kind of happy end of history for all in harmony madness, ignoring atrocities of the past like forced sterilization, not including black women in the anti rape movement, and doing as if slavery never happened. And, most important, that their political, economic, and occupational activities have of course absolutely nothing to do with postponing redemption, social justice, and equality.

A wiki walk can be as refreshing to the mind as a walk through nature in this completely overrated real life outside books:






Profile Image for Michael.
655 reviews964 followers
September 19, 2019
Incisive and concise, Women, Race, and Class charts the history of racial and gender oppression in America. In lucid prose Angela Davis breaks down how misogyny, racism, and classism have shaped the character of the nation’s social life from the Antebellum Era to the Sixties. She pays special attention to how white-dominated middle-class social movements often have forgone solidarity with working people and Black people, ostensibly for the sake of political expediency, and highlights how the narrow goals of white reformists has allowed capitalist oppression to remain in tact. Over the course of thirteen succinct chapters the author makes clear the complex ties between America’s many dehumanizing systems of social control, and builds a visionary argument for cooperation among all marginalized peoples.
Profile Image for Thomas.
1,520 reviews8,994 followers
September 22, 2018
A fantastic book that examines the history of the feminist movement with a keen attention to the intersections of gender, race, and class. The term intersectionality has become such a buzzword nowadays, often used to describe having various social identities; Kimberle Crenshaw created the term in reference to how multiple systems of oppression affect those with more than one marginalized identity. Angela Davis honors this original conception of intersectionality by examining how the feminist movement has largely failed black women, lower class women, lower class black women, and women in general who fall outside of the upper to middle class white women bubble. Davis discusses a range of historical and feminist topics such as how the anti-rape movement excluded black women, how capitalism’s devaluing of housework has disadvantaged poor women, and reproductive rights and the cruel, forced sterilization of black women. Though first published in 1983, this book’s themes unfortunately still apply to today, where the feminist movement still often devalues those who are not white, cisgender, upper to middle class, educated, straight, able-bodied, and more. Davis also pays homage to activists who have fought the racism and classism within the feminist movement such as Ida B. Wells and W.E.B. Du Bois. This classic book will continue to make me work harder to ensure my feminist actions address intersectionality and that I hold myself accountable for my errors. Highly recommended to everyone interested in feminism, especially those of us who hold more privilege than others (so basically, everyone).
Profile Image for Tasha.
357 reviews36 followers
January 11, 2019
I have been lied to about the Suffrage movement, Susan B Anthony and Elizabeth Stanton.

I think it’s pretty unsettling that words written in the late 70’s/ early 80’s ring true today and I’m left to wonder if we as a society learned anything in the almost forty years when the book was written.

This book is a lesson in the history in the fight to stop sexual violence and supporting reproductive rights and gender equality for women of color and the racism perpetrated at the hands of middle class white women. If you call yourself a feminist and a fighter for women’s rights, shouldn’t that include all women regardless of race and class?

It reminds me of the feminist movement today. White feminists call for attention to issues concerning woman today - rape, harassment, misogyny (#metoo #blacklivesmatter #timesup) but when their voices are truly needed, they are conspicuously absent.

White women really need to read this book to truly understand intersectionality and their privilege.
Profile Image for Lucy.
417 reviews626 followers
June 12, 2020
4.5**** rounded up.

If Black people had simply accepted a status of economic and political inferiority, the mob murders would probably have subsided. But because vast numbers of ex-slaves refused to discard their dreams of progress, more than ten thousand lynchings occurred during the three decades following the war.

Concise, informative and at times shocking, Angela Davis has analysed and documented how racism, sexism and classism has effected American social history. Before “intersectionality” was termed, Angela Davis used these three factors in determining why social life is the way that it is. She particularly focuses on how white middle-class social movements (particularly feminism) has forgone the inclusion of the working class and black people among their goals, for the sake of political allies, and how the systems of capitalism and oppression of these people have remained in tact.

I didn’t know much about American suffrage (being from the UK) but found out a lot more from this book. People who are held as “feminists” were excluding a vast majority of people for the sake of the vote - I was especially shocked to read of Susan B Anthony and Susan Brownmiller (both of who I have heard of within the feminist movement) and their vicious comments and actions toward those of a different race and class, in order to gain favour and try to get the vote. I, however, enjoyed learning and reading about Sijourner Truth, Ida B. Wells and Frederick Douglass and their move to improve the rights of females and black people.

To write what this book covers in this review will not do it justice. Angela Davis covers American history from slavery up until the late 1900’s and the impact of racism, sexism and class. She documents this in a concise way so you never get lost in her writing and it is accompanied by case studies and quotes. This book covered such topics as the POC strong urge for education and the white and black women who secretly helped them (if found the results would be lynching, whipping, etc); the myth of the black rapist (especially how this was upheld to promote and justify lynchings); and forced sterilisation and eugenics (since 1933 over 7500+ sterilisations had been carried out, over 5000 had been black-Nial Ruth Cox lawsuit against the state of North Carolina).

This book also delves into the important black social movements and movements for working women and the achievements they have made. I particularly enjoyed reading the section “Communist Women” and reading about the amazing women who recognised that race and sex were both forms of oppression in a capitalist society. While trying to uplift those who are oppressed in this society and speak out, these women were often locked up for long periods of time due to their communist speeches.

I enjoyed reading this book and the educational value it held. I’m sure when rereading it in future I’ll retain more knowledge and discover new things.

As a rule, white abolitionists either defended the industrial capitalists or expressed no conscious class loyalty at all. This unquestioning acceptance of the capitalist economic system was evident in the program of the women’s rights movement as well. If most abolitionists viewed slavery as a nasty blemish which needed to be eliminated, most women’s righters viewed male supremacy in a similar manner—as an immoral flaw in their otherwise acceptable society. The leaders of the women’s rights movement did not suspect that the enslavement of Black people in the South, the economic exploitation of Northern workers and the social oppression of women might be systematically related.
Profile Image for Prerna.
222 reviews1,428 followers
May 18, 2021
Back when this book was first published and Angela Davis was hailed a feminist icon, she laughed it off. "I'm not a feminist, I'm a revolutionary black woman" she said, because feminism was then still a predominantly white women movement. In a 2017 interview however, Angela Davis stated that she now identifies with abolitionist feminism - a school of feminism that's anti-racist, anti-capitalism and intersectional.

Over the past few decades black women and women of colour in America and elsewhere have redefined the goals of feminism. Women like Angela Davis have been an integral part of this paradigm shift - they're the reason why I, a bisexual woman born into an upper caste family in India, can identify as a feminist and redefine its project within the abhorrent patriarchal, caste based, class exploitative and minority-hateful heirarchical structure of my country while being aware of my privileges.

Angela Y Davis was famously charged with three capital crimes - murder, kidnapping and conspiracy each of which carried the death penalty. This led to worldwide protests and her eventual acquittal provided her with a platform that she used to become one of the leading voices of the black revolutionary movement. She brilliantly applies Marxist class analysis and explores race based social heirarchical relations to redefine feminism in a way that's intersectional and open to everyone.

Angela Davis does not ask for women to be equal to men, because she argues (and rightly so in my humble opinion) that it makes no sense to use as our standard those who are at the very centre of the structures we want to dismantle. For her feminism isn't just about gender - it is a particular methodology of organizing that places intersectionality at its centre.

Honestly, my review is severely inadequate. Please read the book.

Profile Image for sar!.
105 reviews23 followers
February 26, 2023
4.5 stars. couldn’t believe it was written in the 80’s at times, it remains incredibly relevant.
Profile Image for Z. F..
298 reviews93 followers
September 5, 2019
I think these days most people who call themselves feminists understand, at least in a vague sense, what "intersectionality" is and accept that it's important. In case you don't, here's Merriam-Webster's definition:

intersectionality (n.): the complex, cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism) combine, overlap, or intersect especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups

Of course paying lip service to the concept is one thing, while shaping one's actions and activism accordingly is another. If you browse the "feminism" section at your local bookstore or library you'll still see mostly white, cishet, middle-to-upper-class authors, addressing mostly white, cishet, middle-to-upper-class audiences and concerns. Most of the individual women held up in contemporary media as feminist icons—be they politicians, performers, or historical figures—will also meet at least a couple of these criteria, and usually all of the above. This isn't to diminish the important and difficult work that is and has been done by such women, but if the most privileged members of a supposedly-radical social movement are consistently being upheld as its most exemplary spokespeople, you can bet it's happening at the expense of those with fewer advantages. And as you might have guessed by now, this isn't a new phenomenon either.

Published in 1981, eight years before Kimberlé Crenshaw coined the i-word itself, Angela Davis's Women, Race, and Class is exactly what its title suggests: a broad study of race and class as they've historically intersected with American feminist and proto-feminist movements. Starting with slavery and working gradually forward to her own time, Davis paints a vivid and detailed picture of the occasional allyship and more frequent conflict between well-to-do white woman activists on the one hand, and people of color and the working class on the other. And mostly the situation has been even worse than you might think.

The women's movement in the U.S., Davis argues, can trace its origins to the anti-slavery movement. Many white women were vehement early supporters of abolition, but they were roused to advocate for their own rights, too, when they found themselves discounted and silenced on sexist grounds by the very (white) men who claimed to be on their side. Black people, in turn, offered their enthusiastic support to the burgeoning women's movement: Sojourner Truth's 1851 "Ain't I a Woman" speech and subsequent activism earned her both respect and notoriety in proto-feminist circles, while Frederick Douglass proved to be one of the early movement's most unshakable and outspoken male allies.

Once slavery was abolished, however, this productive partnership began to crumble. White "progressives" such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton took offense to the idea of black men gaining the vote before white women, and resorted to blatantly racist rhetoric to justify their opposition to the 14th and 15th amendments. In the decades after the amendments were passed (and then effectively repealed) these white women continued to find reasons to disregard the plight of their would-be black allies, first claiming that to support black causes would mean losing valuable support from Southern white women, then dropping the façade completely and embracing all manner of white supremacist notions such as eugenics and myths of black people's moral inferiority. Nor was the movement's track record on issues of class much better: middle- and upper-class WASPs always played the largest and most visible role in the women's movement, and they chose their priorities accordingly. Despite occasional gestures towards working-class solidarity, when pressed the mainstream women's movement would almost always prop up capitalist interests.

There's a lot more to it than that, and, though her book comes in at fewer than 300 pages, Davis makes her case comprehensively and convincing. She provides a wealth of quotes directly from the women and men she discusses, and one would be hard-pressed to deny the obvious racism and classism laid out by these figures in their own words. Here's Elizabeth Cady Stanton asking, rhetorically, "whether we had better step aside and see 'S*mbo' walk into the kingdom [i.e. receive the vote] first"; here's Susan B. Anthony admitting she'd rather drop her old friend and advocate Frederick Douglass from her convention roster than let "anything get in the way of bringing the southern white women into our suffrage association"; and here's Margaret Sanger acknowledging, in a private letter, that by promoting effective birth control in the South her real goal is "to exterminate the Negro population" (!!!). And this stuff wasn't just happening in the olden days. Well into the 1970s, prominent second-wave feminists such as Susan Brownmiller and Shulamith Firestone were perpetuating the myth of black men as insatiable rapists and even—in Brownmiller's case—strongly implying that the heinous lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Till was justified. (As if such an implication weren't cruel enough already, let us remember that Till's white accuser confessed to perjury in 2017.)

It's clear from these examples and many, many others that the operative part of white feminism has always been whiteness, not feminism. And yet despite this appalling and pervasive proof of discrimination, Davis herself does not come off as cynical or pessimistic. She expresses sincere belief in the power of united, egalitarian social movements to enact change within oppressive societal structures, and she never fails to give props to true allies and revolutionaries regardless of race or gender. She proposes little in the way of a longterm solution to the problems she flags up, but it's clear she believes her scholarship to be a base upon which future and better on-the-ground work can be built. And because her writing is concise and direct, unfettered by needlessly dense academese or theoretical jargon (which isn't to say she's not fluent in these dialects when necessary), her book is a whole lot more accessible than other classics of gender, race, or class theory tend to be.

I sometimes found myself wishing Women, Race, and Class had been given a bit more of an overarching structure (in the first edition, at least, there's no introduction or conclusion, and the chapters read more like standalone essays arranged chronologically than like a cumulative argument built up point by point), and the final chapter, urging housewives to leave the home and join the labor force, felt like an abrupt and somewhat anticlimactic conclusion to an otherwise masterful historical overview. It's also worth mentioning that the "race" portion of Davis's analysis is confined pretty much exclusively to black/white people and relations, and, while I understand and respect Davis's choice here, it would have been interesting to see how the experiences of other women of color in America have coincided with or differed from these women's. But perhaps that’s a task better left to other books and authors.

On the whole, though, Davis's book serves as the kind of would-be wake-up call that the mainstream feminist movement still hasn't quite managed to heed. Until white feminists are willing to reckon with our past and present sins and make serious moves to atone for them, feminism will never be a truly liberatory movement for most women in America and elsewhere. Reading and amplifying intersectional voices like Davis's, while not the whole solution, is at least a great way to start that process going.
Profile Image for Andrea.
Author 6 books179 followers
May 30, 2013
An important work marking the intersections of class, race and gender...and all the history behind people you've vaguely looked up to because no one ever talks about the way they really felt about Black people. So you can respect some of what they've done, but Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony and Margaret Sanger are forever debarred from my cannon of heroes.

In criticising the 14th and 15th amendments, Stanton and Anthony descended into a horrifying racism, and I believe Davis is right when she writes
Granted they felt they had as powerful a case for suffrage as Black men. Yet in articulating their opposition with arguments invoking the privileges of white supremacy, they revealed how defenceless they remained--even after years of involvement in progressive causes--to the pernicious ideological influence of racism.[76]

Anthony confessed to having capitulated to racism ”on the ground of expediency”, and remained chair of the National American Woman Suffrage Association through 1900. Despite knowing people like Frederick Douglass (whose incredible grasp of movement and the importance of fighting on fronts of race, class and gender simultaneously is so incredibly inspiring)and Ida B. Wells.

Davis writes
In the eyes of the suffragists, “woman was the ultimate test -- if the cause of woman could be furthered, it was not wrong for women to function as scabs when male workers in their trade were on strike [139-140]

With Davis I would agree this was a deeply damaging viewpoint, but one that must be critiqued and should never be forgotten--like Sangar's flirtation with eugenics.

What I love is how this book rescues the real heroes, the people who should also never be forgotten. The working class women that joined the priveliged group at Seneca Falls like Charlotte Woodward, who said:
We women work secretly in the seclusion of our bed chambers because all society was built on the theory that men, not women, earned money and that men alone supported the family ... I do not believe that there was any community in which the souls of some women were not beating their wings in rebellion. For my own obscure self, I can say that every fibre of my being rebelled, although silently, all the hours that I sat and sewed gloves for a miserable pittance which, as it was earned, could never be mine. I wanted to work, but I wanted to choose my task and I wanted to collect my wages. That was my form of rebellion against the life into which I was born.

I had never known the extent of Ida B. Wells’ work. Her first pamphlet against lynching was published in 1895. Called A Red Record, she calculated over 10,000 lynchings had taken place between 1865 and 1895, she writes:
Not all nor nearly all of the murders done by white men during the past thirty years have come to light, but the statistics as gathered and preserved by white men, and which have not been questioned, show that during these years more than ten thousand Negroes have been killed in cold blood, without the formality of judicial trial and legal execution. And yet, as evidence of the absolute impunity with which the white man dares to kill a Negro, the same record shows that during all these years, and for all these murders, only three white men have been tried, convicted and executed. As no white man has been lynched for the murder of coloured people, these three executions are the only instances of the death penalty being visited upon white men for murdering Negroes. [184]

The way she was treated in the mainstream press is almost unthinkable today, the New York Times editorializing in 1904:
Immediately following the day of Miss Wells’ return to the United States, a Negro man assaulted a white woman in New York City ‘for the purposes of lust and plunder.’ ... The circumstances of his fiendish crime may serve to convince the mulatress missionary that the promulgation in New York just now of her theory of Negro outrages is, to sya the least, inopportune.’ [192]

Davis deals with some of the ways that this connects to gender construction through the characterization of black men as rapists, and to class as 'white workers who assented to lynching necessarily assumed a posture of racial solidarity with the white men who were really their oppressors. This was a critical moment in the popularization of racist ideology' [190]. These are issues that definitely needed -- and have received -- much more attention since this was published, but as a summation of all that we knew, a rescuing and restating of feminist and anti-racist and marxist histories, and a call to future scholarship, this book is brilliant.

Profile Image for Ify.
166 reviews181 followers
February 5, 2019
4.5 stars

There's so much that this book explores, and it provides so much context for current events, like the current state of feminism in the U.S., and some Audre Lorde's essays in Sister Outsider, as well as essays in This Bridge Called My Back. Although this book ended abruptly, it doesn't detract from the obvious comprehensive work and research conducted by Angela Davis. I liked the structure of the book. Sometimes it made for a confusing read as it wasn't necessarily a chronology detailing of events, but more topical.

More thoughts to come, but this was a dense and necessary read for me & one I highly recommend. I'm eager to read Patricia Collins' Black Feminist Thought and Brittney Cooper's Beyond Respectability in the near future for other perspectives on Black feminists & intellects.

P.S: Shout out to @diverseclassics (on Instagram) for selecting this book.
P.S.S: Another reviewer (Reggie) brought up Davis' omission of Anna Julia Cooper, which seems like a huge oversight & I can't help but wonder about this.
Profile Image for Gabriela Ventura.
294 reviews107 followers
February 20, 2017
Angela Davis é um daqueles mitos que eu admirava à distância e lia transversalmente, na obra de tantos que foram influenciados por ela.

Quando a Boitempo publicou a primeira tradução brasileira de Mulheres, raça e classe, no fim do ano passado, comprei de pronto o ebook, mas senti que precisava de tempo para me dedicar a ele; adiei a leitura para as férias.

Tendo concluído agora o último ensaio do livro, só consigo pensar em como Mulheres, raça e classe é uma obra fundamental para todo mundo, e deveria ser leitura obrigatória nas escolas - mesmo que Angela Davis esteja se debruçando sobre o caso dos EUA, com todo o aparato histórico possível. As opressões vividas por negros (e, sobretudo, por mulheres negras) desde a escravidão encontram ecos em nossa própria sociedade, sobretudo nos efeitos mais perniciosos que persistem nos dias atuais, nas esferas cultural, educacional e econômica.

Para além disso, qualquer feminista que tenha problemas em entender a importância da interseccionalidade deveria ler Mulheres, raça e classe. Não há explicação mais clara das origens das diferentes opressões (e, consequentemente, diferentes demandas) vivenciadas por mulheres brancas e negras ao longo do tempo.

Que livro, meus amigos, que livro.
Profile Image for Jessica (Odd and Bookish).
581 reviews787 followers
June 21, 2017
I give this book 4.5 stars which rounds up to 5.

I read this book for my Women in Politics class.

This book's central focus is intersectional feminism. It highlights how gender, race, and class factor into inequality. This book started off incredibly strong, but lost its way a bit in the later chapters. However, still a fantastic and insightful book.
Profile Image for Sarah.
1,725 reviews103 followers
August 16, 2014
I adore this book. It is one of those books that blew apart the white middle class way I was raised, and it made me a smarter and better person. Her ideas are so powerful that they deserve to be read and reread.
Profile Image for Kevin.
289 reviews922 followers
January 17, 2018
Of particular interest in this modern American classic is the political divide-and-conquer tactics of the US Democrat and Republican parties. As the 2 parties to the same elites, they benefited from division between the abolition movement and the women's suffrage movement, illustrating the "Intersectionality" of Women, Race, and Class.
Ch.10 and Ch.13 also stand out; for the latter chapter's topic, Silvia Federici's writings on unpaid labor and Wages for Housework was what shook me to realize the magnitude of this topic. Nancy Folbre is another writer to explore here.
Profile Image for Arelis Uribe.
Author 7 books1,309 followers
February 23, 2021
Un conjunto de ensayos absolutamente académicos, que analiza la situación de las mujeres negras trabajadoras en relación a sus pares hombres negros y mujeres blancas. Me gustó mucho cómo cruza las batallas y cómo muestra la tensión entre distintas singularidades-privilegios-formas-de-ser, por ejemplo, cuando surgió el movimiento abolicionista y al mismo tiempo se discutía el voto para las mujeres, por alguna razón, la sociedad estadounidense se dividió entre dos posibilidades: o le damos el voto a las mujeres-blancas o liberamos a los esclavos-negros. Nunca entiendo por qué las libertades compiten, por qué no podemos romper todas las cadenas de una sola vez. Es un análisis muy documentado, con muchas referencias y lecturas, como si Angela Davis hubiera leído TODO sobre la comunidad afroamericana antes de sentarse a escribir. Me pareció que el libro no fue escrito como unidad, sino que reúne ensayos escritos a lo largo de la carrera de Davis y que —dado que escribir es volver siempre a las mismas obsesiones— hay un leitmotive recurrente asociado a raza, clase y género. Hubo momentos, además, en que sentí que había generalizaciones ("las mujeres negras son más fuertes que las blancas porque han trabajado como esclavas") o que se enunciaban problemas sin ahondar más profundamente en posibles salidas o soluciones. Esto lo sentí especialmente al final, cuando se habla de los problemas del trabajo doméstico generalmente realizado por mujeres, cómo esta fuerza laboral es la base del capitalismo. Las posibles soluciones —porque en ese estado de la discusión estamos— podría ser la remuneración del trabajo de ama de casa; sin embargo, eso no es garantía de la liberación de las mujeres del espacio privado ni de la necesaria reinterpretación de su desvalorización social. En fin, libro denso, sesudo, analítico y racional en su mayor definición. Me dejó muchas preguntas y también una honda desesperanza, como mujer, como piel morena, como hija de la working class. Tremenda Davis, ahora entiendo por qué es una profe tan importante en Berkeley. Gracias a mí misma por regalarme este libro en 2017 cuando viajé a California, Santa Cruz.
Profile Image for Paya.
297 reviews265 followers
June 20, 2022
Jak tu nie wystawić pięciu gwiazdek? Dużo można o tej książce napisać, powiedzieć, dużo zanalizować, ale ja sobie tu zapiszę to, że ogromnie podoba mi się umiejętność Davis w rozpisywaniu i dzieleniu złożonych problemów, takich jak rasizm, kapitalizm, seksizm, a następnie w spójnym i zrozumiałym łączeniu wszystkich wątków. To prawdziwie intersekcjonalne podejście, zanim jeszcze pojęcie intersekcjonalności w feminizmie zostało nazwane i zdefiniowane. Będę do niej wracać.
Profile Image for Neal Adolph.
143 reviews90 followers
December 12, 2017
I may at some point take the time to write something better than this, but I also might not. If I do, it will do more justice to this book than what I am currently offering. If I do not, then this short little paragraph will have to do.

Women, Race, and Class is a classic work. It is old, but it is not dated. It is essential reading in a way that the works of Ta-Nehisi Coates' are not (though that is not to detract from how essential his works are as well). Angela Davis is a visionary, an attentive academic, a marvelous historian, and an erudite, compassionate, calm writer. I am sorry that it has taken me so long to find her voice in the cacophony of voices, but I am glad to have found her at last. I look forward to reading more by her.

Essential. Important. Read this book.
Profile Image for Lizbeth.
76 reviews
May 27, 2020
This is a thorough and fascinating read! I've never read US History through the lens Angel Davis offers in Women, Race, and Class. The fact that Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a suffragist but failed to include Black women in her movement reminds me of today's so-called-feminists who refuse to include trans women in their considerations. I never know how Margaret Sanger voiced eugenic ideology with obvious racist reasoning. I didn't realize the dimensions of consequences that result from the perils of an overly capitalist culture. These things are not taught in high school. This should be required reading!
Profile Image for Leah.
335 reviews
August 22, 2014
I remember borrowing this book from the public library on Fordham Road when I was 15....it was the first book I ever took out and I never returned it. I poured over its pages. This turned me on to feminist research and critical theory in a way I can't full express. At 15 I knew the life of the mind was for me....which is crazy...
I've since donated a new copy....but I didn't explain to the librarians the circumstances of my donation.
Profile Image for Michael.
1,217 reviews114 followers
August 3, 2018
Angela Davis is a name that I often heard when we are talking about the inequality of America but I do not know much about her. However, I did knew that Angela Rye, a Political commentator was named after her dad who was an advocate of emancipation for Blacks. Now unto reviewing the book which I found very insightful and educational.

"Have not "black male citizens." been heard to say they doubted the wisdom of extending the right of the suffrage to women? Why should the African prove more just and generous than his Saxon compeers? If the two millions of Southern black women are not to be secured the rights of person. property, wages and children, their emancipation is but another form of slavery. In fact, it is better to be the slave of an educated white man, than of a degraded ignorant black one."

I had to read this quote twice, it is so poignant and sad when you think about how slavery this effects us today. It is only subtle now but it still goes on, that is what makes it frustrating because freedom is hardly even granted to Blacks, at least not the same type of freedom that white counterparts experience. I liked how this book talked about modern day slavery and the struggles that Black women are facing today.

I will consider myself a Feminist, I believe that woman should have the same rights as men. They should have equal pay, equal opportunity and they should not only be known as the nurturing kind when there are varieties of woman who have different strengths and weakness. Women should not be known by their physical appearance or their emotions but by their willingness to speak up against the injustice in society.

This was a pleasant read, I plan to read more books by Davis, she is an extraordinary woman with great talent.
Profile Image for Imane.
287 reviews133 followers
March 4, 2021
This book is an essential reading experience, one of those books that you should read at the very least once in your life despite the heavy topics of slavery, racism, misogyny, and sexism, or maybe especially because of them. Davis makes her a fundamental historical account of the links between racism, classism, and sexism and offers an excellent overview of the many battles fought and by whom, as well as the power of solidarity in advocating for common AND different causes that fall under the same umbrella. It is also a brilliant indictment of the racist and white supremacist roots of white - mainstream - feminism and the many occasions white bourgeois feminists disappointed the people they should have collaborated with, all in view of securing their own opportunistic and myopic victories, sliding further and further into essentialist white supremacist discourses. This book is an excellent reminder that racism is pervasive and omnipresent but also that gender, social and economic justice are deeply intertwined and rooted in the same struggles (and while this book doesn't talk about climate justice, it does cite capitalism as the root of many (if not all) evils, so you can easily extrapolate and "update" some information to form a modernised picture of these struggles within current configurations of late-stage capitalism). To put one aspect away in favour of securing another only adds insult to injury as this strategy has been proven time and time over to be utterly useless. Even though this book is 40 years old now, its teachings are very much still relevant to understand the current dynamics of feminism and how to counter certain discourses that put opportunism above justice. I highly recommend it.
Profile Image for Aubrey.
1,359 reviews793 followers
June 23, 2022
During the early abortion rights campaign it was too frequently assumed that legal abortions provided a viable alternative to the myriad problems posed by poverty. As if having fewer children could create more jobs, higher wages, better schools, etc., etc...The campaign often failed to provide a voice for women who wanted the right to legal abortions while deploring the social conditions that prohibited them from bearing more children.
Angela Davis is a well known literary and sociopolitical powerhouse in my neck of the woods. So, after a number of years of fruitlessly searching for a couple of her other works, I picked this up because, in all honesty, better to get to Davis in any kind of serious capacity sooner rather than likely much, much later. Within, I found a crossroads that began with ideas and figures I had previously engaged with, the latter including the praised (Ida B. Wells-Barnett, W.E.B. Du Bois), the maligned (Susan Brownmiller, Shulamith Firestone), and somewhere in between (Frederick Douglass). Many of the major ideas I had encountered previously (the falsehood of the matriarchy/weak masculinity of the Black family under slavery, the myth of the Black male rapist invented for the purposes of mass lynching, intersections between worker's rights with Communists and anti-racists as they found a great deal of common purpose), but others near the end, especially the connection between state sanctioned birth control and race genocide, did some well needed connecting of the dots that I hope to mull over with other relevant pieces of literature during the next few years. I held back on the fifth star due to various quibbles with presentation, but over all, this is a fantastic smashing to pieces of conventional views (especially the 'liberal' ones) of the US history of (white) feminism, (Black) agitation for social justice, and a good chunk of the kyriarchy of the past two centuries in terms of gender, race, and capitalism. It'd be better in my opinion if this weren't someone's introduction to all this, but Davis presents things conversationally (if a tad too myopically) enough and provides citations to further reading that it can prove a good start to a reader willing to make the effort.

Long before the 'crisis' of 'Critical Race Theory' got bandied about by white supremacists looking to rile up the liberals, we had the 1970s and the rest of the years leading up to the election of a former actor who enabled the cancerous growth of the richest few, made a plague that primarily afflicted a marginalized population a genocide by refusing to acknowledge its existence, and otherwise stabbed the longevity of the USA in the back. Even longer before that, we have the intricacies of the powerful dividing and conquering the weak through enslavement, sterilization abuse, and economic exploitation and calling the result a country. This work isn't near long enough to delve into every instance of all the myriad types of actions, incentives, and intentions that qualify in one way or another as crimes against humanity, but Davis does do a great deal to trace some of the cracks in the social justice scene of her day to the historical ideological indoctrination that drove the first wedges in US feminism, Black civil rights, and worker's unions. Much of this was review for me, albeit with some more pertinent names and dates, but the passages near the end on socialism and made me realize that certain strains of thought I had previously observed in various social scenes were actually quite insidious in their long term consequences, to the point I know that I have some ideological unpacking ahead of me if I want to make sure Davis' lessons stick. The only negative point was, as much as I acknowledge how easily objectivity is wielded as an excuse for arbitrary dictatorship, I feel Davis could have been a tad less enthusiastic in her positive/negative qualifyings, if only so that her arguments would hold up better under intense scrutiny that is far less receptive than mine. Otherwise, I would consider this to be mandatory reading today, if only so that the more popular social justice works being published today are reminded to pay tribute to one of their strongest roots.

However much my life has changed in the last few months, it's good to be able to pick up the common thread of the last decade or so of my active thinking and continue on with a lot more financial solvency in hand. This piece of Davis' isn't perfect, but I'm now even more curious about the Women, Culture, and Politics of hers that I've spent so much time looking for, seeing as how it was published eight years after this and thus has a good chance of offering a more nuanced and complex meditation on its already nuanced and complex predecessor. The similarity of the titles may be leading me in a completely incorrect assuming direction, but after so many times of reading a thoroughly revolutionary work and subsequently discovering that the author ended up being laid low/silenced/etc far too early on, it's nothing short of miraculous that Davis is still here doing what she does best. Indeed, in my brief skim of her Wikipedia page, I discovered for the first time that she is queer (as she would be), which makes me even keener to explore some of the pieces she put out after coming out in 1997, as well as makes this read even more appropriate during the last few weeks of Pride Month. As it has been with Arundhati Roy over the last several years, I expect to cultivate a rather rewarding relationship with reading Davis, as it is likely that, regardless of what I choose, I will find much to commiserate with, much to read and subsequently review, and at least one or two things of such vital importance that I'll be staggered by my not having known about them sooner. In any case, fashions in the scenes of contemporary literature come and go, and in the wake of Amazon announcing a death knell of much of what constitutes the community aspects of Goodreads versus the bottom line, who knows how long Black Lives Matter will be deemed profitable enough to be allowed by the publishing, Powers That Be. Such has minimal effect on my ability to scrounge up Davis and her kind at used book sales, and so I'll be planning my future reading accordingly.
Profile Image for Jenna ❤ ❀  ❤.
811 reviews1,267 followers
August 29, 2020
A brilliant analysis of the women's movement, beginning with its inception within the abolitionist movement, Women, Race & Class is a must read for anyone wanting to learn more about feminism and racism-within-the-feminist movement.
Profile Image for Andrea Vega.
Author 6 books450 followers
December 31, 2017

Bueno, yo sé que a mucha gente no le gusta que le digan que deben leer libros. Muy bien. En realidad no deben leerlo en todos los casos, pero creo que si son feministas o quieren ver el feminismo con una perspectiva de clase, este libro es una lectura prácticamente obligada. Por ahí empiezo mi introducción, el feminismo con perspectiva de clase. El feminismo, en la mayoría de sus corrientes, es un movimiento interclasista, que ignora las diferencias de clase entre las mujeres; aun a pesar de ello, muchas corrientes feministas han hecho grandes aportes a la teoría del movimiento. Por ejemplo, el feminismo radical nombró al patriarcado y le dio el significado con el que lo conocemos ahora. Sin embargo, el feminismo ha sido criticado muchas veces precisamente por ser un movimiento burgués (por ejemplo, durante el sufragismo) e ignorar las diferencias de las clases entre las mujeres. Por ejemplo, Alexandra Kollontai, bolchevique durante la revolución rusa y una mujer comunista, renegaba del feminismo precisamente porque este, en su tiempo, no trataba ni de cerca la cuestión de la mujer obrera. No se queda atrás Domitila Barrios de Chúngara, líder obrera en Bolivia, que durante un Encuentro de Mujeres en México, en el 79, si la memoria no me falla y no me equivoco, realizó más o menos, la misma crítica al feminismo. Espero poder hablarles con más calma de estas dos mujeres, que son admirables, aunque hoy nos vamos a dedicar un poco más a Angela Y. Davis.

Angela Davis es una activista afroamericana, marxista y profesora en la Universidad de California en Santa Cruz en los Estados Unidos. En 1969 la expulsaron de la Universidad de California (no la misma donde imparte clases ahora, pero perteneciente a la misma red), donde impartía clases de filosofía, porque descubrieron su afiliación al Partido Comunista de los Estados Unidos (y en Estados Unidos ya saben que la palabra Comunismos los hace sacar cañones, misiles y bloqueos económicos, cuando menos). Estuvo envuelta con el movimiento Panteras Negras y ha escrito varios libros, algunos de ellos donde habla de la liberación de las mujeres. Uno de esos libros es Mujeres, Raza y Clase, publicado por primera vez en 1981.

Ya sé que todavía no acabo la introducción, perdón. Les quiero poner un poco en contexto de donde sale mi lectura sobre este libro. Primero, es, obviamente, mi interés por la teoría feminista y casi todo libro que trate la cuestión de la mujer y segundo, porque en Libros b4 Tipos (facebook, twitter, instagram y goodreads) organizamos el maratón Guadalupe Reinas para leer 10 libros del 12 de diciembre al 6 de enero, todos escritos por mujeres, ya que nos dedicamos a la visibilización del trabajo intelectual femenino en su mayoría. Yo quería leer este libro de Angela Y. Davis desde hace tiempo y decidí que era un momento perfecto para hacerlo. Y vaya que fue buena idea. Ahora sí, aquí van todas mis razones para leer este libro:

1. Brinda un muy importante contexto histórico

En esta época del tiempo, en el que nos rodea el feminismo pop que viene de los Estados Unidos en su mayoría, creo que es muy importante darle un contexto desde los inicios de la mujer en la política, para entender de donde viene. La mayor parte del feminismo que llega desde allá es feminismo liberal o lo que yo llamo comunmente, Feminismo Emma Watson. Un feminismo que intenta hacer cosas, pero que conoce poco de teoría, que necesita sumergirse un poco más en su propia historia para entender de donde viene, en vez de, precisamente, casarse con el capitalismo (como lo hace la mayoría de las veces) y defender como empoderantes prácticas que tienen una raíz patriarcar sin analizar ni madres de nada. Pero bueno, volvamos a Mujeres, Raza y Clase.

Habla de la historia de la mujer negra y en general de la comunidad negra desde el esclavismo y sus condiciones de desigualdad. Remarca, precisamente, que en condiciones de trabajo las mujeres negras eran tan explotadas como los hombres, por lo tanto, no existía una supremacía masculina del hombre negro. Sin embargo, en otras cuestiones, las mujeres si que sufrían graves desventajas, como la violencia sexual sistemática a la que eran sometidas. El libro rescata desde allí hasta la lucha por los derechos reproductivos de los sesentas y setentas, hablando de la condición de la mujer, del abolicionismo de la esclavitud y poniendo, siempre, en el frente a las mujeres negras y a las mujeres obreras.

Por supuesto, también habla del sugragismo, un movimiento que, curiosamente, nació con las mismas mujeres del movimiento abolicionista. Sin embargo, poco después del fin de la Guerra Civil, el movimiento sufragista tomó forma y nació un movimiento racista y clasista porque muchas de las mujeres que fueron reclutadas en esos tiempos eran mujeres de clase media, en el sur y los argumentos usados para convencerlas muchas veces rozaba en... supremacía blanca. Muchas sufragistas blancas aspiraban a encontrar la igualdad con los hombres blancos, más que la liberación de la mujer. También remarca como en medio del sufragismo, se veía al voto como un fin y no un medio para la liberación porque en general las sufragistas blancas de la época no se dieron cuenta que la emancipación política no equivalía a la económica.

En fin, les voy a dejar de contar el libro. Ahí. Pero que sepan que les puede brindar mucho contexto histórico de interés general.

2. Trata la causa de la mujer obrera y la opresión de clase en primer plano

Al hablar de la esclavitud, habla con gran énfasis de que la mujer negra siempre fue fuerza de trabajo, parte de la producción. Y cuando habla de la abolición de la esclavitud, rescata precisamente que las mujeres negras siguieron siendo, en gran parte, trabajadoras fuera del hogar. La mayoría de ellas en el ámbito doméstico o agricultor y algunas de ellas en la industria. Precisamente por ello destaca como la opresión por su condición de mujeres, por su raza y por su clase influyó de tal manera en toda su historia. Precisamente, cuando habla del sufragismo habla de como el sufragismo era un movimiento donde las mujeres negras eran virtualmente invisibles. Y ese no fue el único error del sufragismo, sino que también alejaba a las mujeres obreras blancas... simplemente al no entender sus demandas.

Las sufragistas veían, como ya dije, el derecho al voto como un fin. La historia se ha encargado de contradecirlas y hacernos ver que el derecho al voto, si bien contribuye a la liberación de las mujeres, no es el fin de la lucha feminista, por más machos progres que nos lo quieran contar. Las mujeres obreras, en el tiempo de las sufragistas, estaban más preocupadas por sus problemas inmediatos: salarios, condiciones de trabajo, que por el derecho al voto y lo veían como algo abstracto que a saber en qué les iba a ayudar. Históricamente, la mujer obrera y trabajadora no se volcó completamente por el sufragio hasta que fue evidente como la emancipación política le podía ayudar a exigir mejores condiciones de trabajo y resolver, bueno, los problemas más urgentes que tenía.

Para Angela Davis el primer plano casi siempre son las mujeres con más desventaja. Si bien reconoce los avances de las sufragistas, de las abolicionistas, que eran mujeres relativamente acomodadas, en su mayoría, no quita el dedo del renglón ni evita la crítica cuando tiene que hacerla. Recalca una y mil veces que las mujeres obreras no buscan la igualdad con los hombres que están en las mismas condiciones que ellas (porque eso es seguir teniendo una vida de mierda), sino su liberación y mejores condiciones. Todo esto me lleva al siguiente punto.

3. La crítica de Angela es bastante valiosa

Hace ya meses leí La dialéctica del sexo. Este libro, escrito por Shulamith Firestone, una de las figuras principales en el feminismo radical. La dialéctica del sexo, es, además, una de las lecturas principales para adentrarse en el feminismo radical. Sí les recomiendo leerlo, principalmente porque trata al Género como una clase opresora, analiza de maravilla las relaciones románticas, el amor romántico y los trabajos de cuidado femeninos, pero, cuando yo lo leí, también hubo cosas que quise criticar. Luego les hablo de manera más extendida de él, pero ahora lo traigo a la cuestión precisamente porque Angela Davis lo critica en un punto. O, más bien, critica su manera de presentar al racismo como un derivado de la opresión de género, algo que en el libro de Firestone no tiene ni pies ni cabeza (pues ignora, completamente, las diferencias de clase). Así, como esa crítica, hay muchas en el libro.

Critica al feminismo como un movimiento escencialmente burgués y, en consecuencia, blanco. Remarca por qué muchas mujeres no se sienten identificadas con los movimientos de mujeres en su mayoría, al ser sistemáticamente ignoradas por ellos, al igual que sus necesidades. A pesar de apelar a los movimientos de finales de los setentas y principios de los ochentas, no ha perdido validez aún. La crítica al feminismo siempre debe ser bienvenida... pero ojo, dije crítica, no ataque. Los ataques a nadie les sirven, mientras que las criticas ayudan a avanzar y a evolucionar.

No tengo mucho más que decir en este punto, y es el final. Todas las razones por las cuales Mujeres, Raza y Clase es un libro interesante y valioso son únicamente tres razones, pero espero que sean tres razones lo suficientemente fuertes como para que el libro les interese. Ahora mismo, no tengo ni la más remota idea de si se edita en español o en qué países se edita. Lamentablemente no creo que sea una edición que llegué a muchos lugares, si es que existe, así que para eso lo tengo disponible, completamente gratis, en inglés. Cuando hablo de libros de formación siempre me interesa que estén disponibles, al menos para todas aquellas personas que tienen internet. Lo pueden encontrar aquí. Creo que ha sido una de mis mejores lecturas para finalizar el año.

Mujeres, Raza y Clase es un libro que requiere atención y, muchas veces, tiempo. No es un libro fácil, pero es un libro que vale todo el tiempo y el esfuerzo que gastes leyéndolo, eso puedo asegurarlo totalmente.
Profile Image for rozalka.
84 reviews23 followers
April 18, 2023
bardzo wartosciowa ksiazka. Polecam kazdemu kogo interesuje niewolnictwo w XIX wiecznej Ameryce, a przede wszystkim losem kobiet na przestrzeni ok. 200 lat. Mam wrazenie ze pod wieloma wzgledami rzeczy opisywane w ksiazke nie zmienily sie w ogole do dnia dzisiejszego i kobiety nadal musza walczyc o podstawowe rzeczy, ktorych nie moga miec przez to ze sa wlasnie kobietami
Profile Image for Jenia.
439 reviews99 followers
February 27, 2021
4.5 stars! Random thoughts:

Overall, I really ehhh “enjoyed” is the wrong word. But I thought it was a really strong book. I felt like Davis tried to be fair to everyone’s plight when it would have been really easy to say “yeah ok but the housewife’s problems are minuscule compared to the enslaved woman soooo fuck the housewife.” I also found the description of solidarity between people with different oppressions really inspiring.

As I’m not USian I guess I was a little disappointed because it was focused so tightly on the US + on Black and white people (I feel like I remain very hazy on what was going on with Native Americans and Asian Americans around that time period). But at the same time if it zoomed out either the book wouldn’t be able to go into so much detail or it’d have to be ten times as long.

When I read books about struggles which I’m not intimately familiar with, I feel like I also learn a lot about what the oppressors are saying based on what counter-arguments the book presents. Like, Davis spends a chunk of the first chapter discussing the “male figure” in the Black family and I guess I didn’t realise that it’s such a point of contention that she has to explain how wrong the assumptions are in detail.

Casually mentioning that she didn’t have a lot of resources to use in an older essay because she WAS IN JAIL when she wrote it is such a flex.

I really appreciated learning about the history of women’s suffrage and racism in it in such detail. I mean it’s not the first time I’ve heard that, but usually it’s thrown in almost as a gotcha or vague “I acknowledge the first wave of feminism was problematique” disclaimer. I appreciated learning the good and the bad in more detail. Anthony defending Black friends in her personal life but publicly throwing Black women under the bus for political convenience is a far too common type of person I feel. :|

Everything about forced sterilisation was nuts. Also something I’d vaguely known for a while, but seeing the numbers written out was something else.

I’m unconvinced by the last chapter. I don’t really see how a specialised team coming to my home to clean is any better than a maid coming to my home. That they get paid better? Maybe I can’t quite imagine it in a truly egalitarian society so in my head it’s still an immigrant woman, she just gets paid more, and I don’t see the positive. Tbf this book was written in 1981 - we’re going in the direction of vacuum robots and more and more people having dishwashers, and maybe more technological solutions soon.
Profile Image for Adriana Scarpin.
1,430 reviews
September 2, 2018
Esse livro parece contar a história dos EUA, sobretudo nas décadas imediatamente posteriores à Guerra da Secessão, mas ele é escrito de tal forma que não só supera o regionalismo norte-americano transformando-o num conteúdo universal, como bem apresenta um conteúdo atemporal, mostrando que o racismo de cento e cinquenta anos atrás ainda circula em nossas veias. Livro fundamental para entender o feminismo interseccional, ele é dividido da seguinte forma:
No primeiro capítulo Davis já nos dá um socão na cara explicando que mesmo dentro de um sistema de opressão de classe e raça tão brutal quanto o escravagista a questão de gênero punha em pé de igualdade escravos homens e mulheres na questão de gênero e justamente pelas mulheres negras serem tão fortes dentro de sua condição os senhores brancos aplicavam-nas um castigo para tentar ceifá-las de sua força: o estupro.
No segundo capítulo a autora nos mostra o quanto o movimento antiescravagista é inerente ao nascimento do movimento feminista nos EUA, mesmo as mulheres brancas burguesas se identificavam com as penúrias dos escravos por se verem tolhidas de sua liberdade dentro do próprio casamento, isso as levou à um engajamento ao lado das brancas proletárias e as negras já libertas no norte para a abolição da escravatura.
No terceiro capítulo Davis menciona o racismo dentro do próprio movimento anti-escravocrata, de pessoas brancas que gostaria de dar liberdade aos negros, mas que não gostaria de vê-los em suas instituições sociais, incluindo também as mulheres em convenções pelo sufrágio universal.
No quarto capítulo a autora comenta a cisão que ocorreu entre as sufragistas e os abolicionistas pelo direito ao voto, com o racismo semeado entre as sufragistas brancas por não tolerarem que os homens negros obtivessem o direito ao voto antes delas, embora fosse mais urgente pela violência extrema em que os negros eram tratados, as sufragistas acabaram sendo manipuladas por políticos racistas a ficarem contra o sufrágio negro.
No quinto capítulo Angela discorre sobre como na pós-escravidão as mulheres negras só conseguiam empregos como domésticas e ainda sendo vitimizadas sexualmente pelo branco da casa em função disso, perpetuando um estereótipo ainda entronizado dos tempos escravocratas.
No sexto capítulo finalmente vemos um acordo tácito entre mulheres brancas e negras: suas lutas pela educação do povo negro, nesse primeiro laivo de sororidade racial, muitas mulheres se uniram com o apoio do Estado pelo menos até 1876) para ensinar e construir escolas com o objetivo da educação do povo negro, fundando aí as primeiras escolas públicas nos EUA.
O sétimo capítulo traz como a supremacia branca e eugenismo transformaram o movimento sufragista em apologia à raça branca, em que as mulheres brancas seriam as salvadoras da raça e por isso elas deveriam ter privilégios acima dos negros e indígenas. Esse capítulo me fez lembrar muito de como se estruturou o cinema de D.W. Grifith que era justamente dessa geração eugenista, nós podemos encontrar tudo que Angela discutiu aqui na foram que ele dava ao seu cinema.
No oitavo capítulo é reconstruído o caminho que levou às primeiras associações de feminismo negro nos EUA e explicita a importância de Ida Wells e Mary Terrell na construção dela luta.
O oitavo capítulo nos faz odiar ainda mais o feminismo branco, diz como as sufragistas brancas negaram associação ao feminismo negro até as vésperas de conseguirem o sufrágio universal e quando conseguido fazia-se de tudo para que as mulheres negras não pudessem votar, desde intervenção da Ku Klux Klan até destruição de cédulas.
No capítulo dez Angela traz que o feminismo intersecional nasceu no sei dos partidos socialista e posteriormente comunista, sobretudo com ativistas proletárias bem distantes das burguesas do feminismo branco que até então dominavam o movimento sufragista, os maiores nomes das comunistas intersecionais pioneiras são: Lucy Parsons, Mother Bloor, Anita Whitney, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn e Claudia Jones.
O capítulo onze delineia a origem do mito do estuprador negro, muito difundido pós-guerra da secessão para justificar os linchamentos recorrentes contra o povo negro, a partir daí também surgiu o mito das mulheres negras promíscuas, para justificar os brancos estuprando as mulheres negras. Angrela faz um apanhado geral das feministas brancas até os anos 70 do século XX que ainda perpetuam o racismo estrutural para com minorias étnicas.
O capítulo doze diz respeito à legalização do aborto e as esterilizações eugênicas das minorias étnicas ocorridas até os anos 70 com o aval do governo nos EUA.
No décimo terceiro e derradeiro capítulo Angela traz a questão da servidão doméstica das mulheres, não apenas pregando uma socialização dos trabalhos de casa e criação dos filhos, como bem clamando uma eliminação das tarefas através de uma industrialização do serviço doméstico amparada por eletrodomésticos que quase a extinguem.
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