About this topic
Summary

Black feminist philosophy is a version of feminism whose primary focus concerns, at least to some degree, Black women from within African diasporic contexts. It has the aim of understanding problems facing Black women along with identifying and/or uncovering liberation strategies. It also includes work that seeks to highlight the ways Black women's thought illuminates broader philosophical questions and issues. Least one think that Black feminist philosophy only concerns oppression, it also concerns celebrations of the lives and work of Black women across African diasporic contexts. These investigative paths lead to particular social ontologies, epistemologies, and pragmatic orientations, for example. 

Key works Intersectionality: A conceptual tool that demands identification of multiple social relationships for the purpose of rendering visible experiences that have been theoretically erased by prevailing, relevant practices of knowledge production. Crenshaw 1989, Crenshaw 1991 Double Jeopardy: A metaphor developed to gesture to the need to consider multiple vectors of oppression when attempting to understand ranges of vulnerability for any given group. (Beale 1969) Interstices: A metaphor developed to signal to gaps within contexts of signification that signals empowerment and disempowerment. (Spillers 1984) Unknowability: A form of active ignorance that is created by utilizing socio-epistemic orientations that render complex positions in our social landscapes difficult to detect. (Williams 1905)
Introductions Crenshaw 1989, Collins 1991/2008
Related categories

106 found
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1 — 50 / 106
  1. added 2020-03-21
    Keyword: Interlocking Systems of Oppression.Anna Carastathis - 2016 - In Nelson M. Rodriguez, Wayne J. Martino, Jennifer C. Ingrey & Edward Brockenbrough (eds.), Critical Concepts in Queer Studies and Education: An International Guide for the Twenty-First Century. New York, NY, USA: pp. 161-172.
    The concept of “interlocking systems of oppression”—a precursor to “intersectionality”— was introduced in a social movement context by the Combahee River Collective (CRC) in pamphlet form in 1977. Addressing Black lesbians’ and feminists’ experiences of invisibility within white male-dominated New Left and socialist politics, male-dominated civil rights, Black nationalist, and Black radical organizing, and white-dominated women’s liberation and lesbian feminist movements, the CRC argues for an “integrated analysis and practice” of struggle against “racial, sexual, heterosexual and class oppression” (CRC 1977/1981/1983, (...)
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  2. added 2020-03-21
    Feminism and the Political Economy of Representation : Intersectionality, Invisibility and Embodiment.Anna Carastathis - 2009 - Dissertation,
    It has become commonplace within feminist theory to claim that women’s lives are constructed by multiple, intersecting systems of oppression. In this thesis, I challenge the consensus that oppression is aptly captured by the theoretical model of “intersectionality.” While intersectionality originates in Black feminist thought as a purposive intervention into US antidiscrimination law, it has been detached from that context and harnessed to different representational aims. For instance, it is often asserted that intersectionality enables a representational politics that overcomes legacies (...)
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  3. added 2020-02-12
    Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender, and the New Racism. Patricia Hill Collins. New York: Routledge, 2005.Emily Grosholz - 2007 - Hypatia 22 (4):209-212.
  4. added 2020-02-03
    Feeling, Knowledge, Self-Preservation: Audre Lorde’s Oppositional Agency and Some Implications for Ethics.Caleb Ward - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 6.
    Throughout her work, Audre Lorde maintains that her self-preservation in the face of oppression depends on acting from the recognition and valorization of her feelings as a deep source of knowledge. This claim, taken as a portrayal of agency, poses challenges to standard positions in ethics, epistemology, and moral psychology. This article examines the oppositional agency articulated by Lorde’s thought, locating feeling, poetry, and the power she calls “the erotic” within her avowed project of self-preservation. It then explores the implications (...)
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  5. added 2020-01-26
    White Feminist Gaslighting.Nora Berenstain - forthcoming - Hypatia.
    Structural gaslighting arises when conceptual work functions to obscure the non-accidental connections between structures of oppression and the patterns of harm they produce and license. This paper examines the role that structural gaslighting plays in white feminist methodology and epistemology using Fricker’s (2007) discussion of hermeneutical injustice as an illustration. Fricker’s work produces structural gaslighting through several methods: i) the outright denial of the role that structural oppression plays in producing interpretive harm, ii) the use of single-axis conceptual resources to (...)
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  6. added 2019-10-15
    Framing Intersectionality.Elena Ruíz - 2017 - In The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Race. pp. 335-348.
    Intersectionality is a term that arose within the black feminist intellectual tradition for the purposes of identifying interlocking systems of oppression. As a descriptive term, it refers to the ways human identity is shaped by multiple social vectors and overlapping identity categories (such as sex, race, class) that may not be readily visible in single-axis formulations of identity, but which are taken to be integral to robustly capture the multifaceted nature of human experience. As a diagnostic term, it captures the (...)
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  7. added 2019-09-27
    Tales From an Apostate.Kristie Dotson - 2019 - Philosophical Issues 29 (1):69-83.
  8. added 2019-08-17
    Women of Color Structural Feminisms.Elena Ruíz - forthcoming - In Shirley-Anne Tate (ed.), The Palgrave Handbook on Critical Race And Gender.
    One way to track the many critical impacts of women of color feminisms is through the powerful structural analyses of gendered and racialized oppression they offer. This article discusses diverse lineages of women of color feminisms in the global South that tackle systemic structures of power and domination from their situated perspectives. It offers an introduction to structuralist theories in the humanities and differentiates them from women of color feminist theorizing, which begins analyses of structures from embodied and phenomenological st¬¬andpoints--with (...)
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  9. added 2019-06-06
    Theorizing Transformative Revolutionary Action: The Contribution of Bell Hooks to Emancipatory Knowledge Production.Make Fitts - 2011 - Clr James Journal 17 (1):112-132.
    bell hooks is one of the seminal feminist theoreticians whose body of work not only provides discursive understandings of intersectional modes of oppression, but also a conceptual roadmap for creating the material conditions that lead to social transformation. In this essay, I posit the formulation of a theory of transformative revolutionary action that comes out of hoolis' ruminations on the following concepts: marginality as a position and place of resistance, killing rage, revolutionary interdependency and the politics of sisterhood, and the (...)
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  10. added 2019-06-06
    Comments: In Search of Tanzania: Are Effective Epistemic Practices Sufficient for Just Epistemic Practices?Kristie Dotson - 2008 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 46 (S1):52-64.
  11. added 2019-06-06
    Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness and the Politics of Empowerment. [REVIEW]Angela Davis - 1993 - Teaching Philosophy 16 (4):351-353.
  12. added 2019-06-05
    The Fortune of Wells: Ida B. Wells-Barnett's Use of T. Thomas Fortune's Philosophy of Social Agitation as a Prolegomenon to Militant Civil Rights Activism. Curry - 2012 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 48 (4):456.
    Jesus Christ may be regarded as the chief spirit of agitation and innovation. He himself declared, “I come not to bring peace, but a sword.” One cannot delve seriously into the centuries of activism and scholarship against racism, Jim Crowism, and the terrorism of lynching without encountering the legacies of Timothy Thomas Fortune and Ida B. Wells-Barnett. Black scholars from the 19th century to the present have been inspired by the sociological and economic works of Fortune and Wells. Scholars of (...)
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  13. added 2019-06-05
    Feminists, Black Candidates, and Local Politics: A Report From Baltimore.Nancy Hartsock - 1984 - Feminist Studies 10 (2):339.
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  14. added 2019-04-08
    Words of Fire: An Anthology of African American Feminist Thought.Beverly Guy-Sheftal (ed.) - 1995 - The New Press.
    In this groundbreaking collection of articles, Dr. Guy-Sheftall has taken us from the early 1830s to contemporary times. Only since the seventies have black women used the term 'feminism.' And, yet, it is that concept that she uses to bring into the same frame the ideas and analyses of Maria Stewart, Sojourner Truth, and Frances Harper of the early nineteenth century, and the work of women such as Audre Lourde, Barbara Smith, and bell hooks, who stand on the threshold of (...)
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  15. added 2019-02-28
    Dialética negativa e radicalismo negro: Angela Davis nos anos 1960.Raphael F. Alvarenga - 2018 - Blog da Boitempo.
    The article focuses on a chapter of the biography of Angela Davis which, unless mistaken, has not yet received due attention: the training and intellectual experience with her German professors, Herbert Marcuse and Theodor W. Adorno. From the philosophical studies in Frankfurt in the 1960s to the more recent reflections on movements such as Black Lives Matter, there seems to be a continuity in the way she approaches contemporary social reality, a démarche that draws its strength from the original combination (...)
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  16. added 2019-02-18
    Word to the Wise: Notes on a Black Feminist Metaphilosophy of Race.Kristie Dotson - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (2):69-74.
    It is not uncommon to ask a race and gender-based question of a philosopher of race, only to hear ‘I do race, not gender’. To the ears of many Black feminists, this sounds, to be frank, utterly foolish. Here, I identify three metaphilosophical assumptions, i.e. the disaggregation, fundamentality and transcendental assumptions, that aid in underwriting the ability to use the statement, ‘I do race, not gender’, as a means for avoiding gender-based questions in ‘race talks’. Then, I gesture to a (...)
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  17. added 2018-11-30
    Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny, by Kate Manne. [REVIEW]Nora Berenstain - 2019 - Mind 128 (512):1360-1371.
    Kate Manne’s Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny combines traditional conceptual analysis and feminist conceptual engineering with critical exploration of cases drawn from popular culture and current events in order to produce an ameliorative account of misogyny, i.e., one that will help address the problems of misogyny in the actual world. A feminist account of misogyny that is both intersectional and ameliorative must provide theoretical tools for recognizing misogyny in its many-dimensional forms, as it interacts and overlaps with other oppressions. (...)
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  18. added 2018-11-09
    On the Politics of Coalition.Elena Ruíz & Kristie Dotson - 2017 - Feminist Philosophy Quarterly 3 (2):1-16.
    In the wake of continued structural asymmetries between women of color and white feminisms, this essay revisits intersectional tensions in Catharine MacKinnon’s Toward a Feminist Theory of the State while exploring productive spaces of coalition. To explore such spaces, we reframe Toward a Feminist Theory of the State in terms of its epistemological project and highlight possible synchronicities with liberational features in women-of-color feminisms. This is done, in part, through an analysis of the philosophical role “method” plays in MacKinnon’s argument, (...)
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  19. added 2018-08-19
    Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment.Patricia Hill Collins - 1991/2008 - London: Routledge.
    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 for group empowerment. In the tenth anniversary edition of this award-winning work, Patricia Hill Collins expands the basic arguments of the first edition by adding (...)
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  20. added 2018-08-19
    Women, Race, & Class.Angela Y. Davis - 1981 - New York: Vintage.
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  21. added 2018-02-18
    Situated Black Women's Voices in/on the Profession of Philosophy.Anita Allen, Anika Maaza Mann, Donna-Dale L. Marcano, Michele Moody-Adams & Jacqueline Scott - 2008 - Hypatia 23 (2):160-189.
  22. added 2018-02-17
    The Prison Contract and Abolition Democracy.Eduardo Mendieta - 2007 - Radical Philosophy Today 5:209-217.
    This article discusses the fortuitous genesis of the book of my conversations with Angela Y. Davis, Abolition Democracy and traces some of the intellectual and philosophical sources that informed the specific questions and approaches that inform the dialogue. Davis’ relationships to Georg Rusche and Otto Kirchheimer, as well as to Foucault, are discussed. Similarly, Davis’ place within a critical black American political-philosophical tradition is analyzed. The essay focuses mainly, however, on the way in which Davis’ work on the prison industrial (...)
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  23. added 2018-02-17
    Book Review: Bell Hooks. Where We Stand: Class Matters. New York and London: Routledge 2000. [REVIEW]Kim Q. Hall - 2003 - Hypatia 18 (2):233-236.
  24. added 2017-03-30
    Fighting Words: Black Women and the Search for Justice.Iris Marion Young - 2001 - Hypatia 16 (2):91-93.
  25. added 2017-02-14
    Convergences: Black Feminism and Continental Philosophy.Beverly Guy-Sheftall & George Yancy - 2010 - State University of New York Press.
    Black Feminism and Continental Philosophy in dialogue.
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  26. added 2017-02-14
    Learning From the Outsider Within: The Sociological Significance of Black Feminist Thought.Patricia Hill Collins - 2004 - In Sandra G. Harding (ed.), The Feminist Standpoint Theory Reader: Intellectual and Political Controversies. Routledge.
  27. added 2017-02-13
    Resistance, Language, and Law: An Interview with Angela Y. Davis.Chad Kautzer - 2005 - In Abolition Democracy: Beyond Prisons, Torture, Empire. Seven Stories Press. pp. 105-132.
  28. added 2017-01-22
    Scholar’s Symposium: The Work of Angela Y. Davis: The Prison Contract and Surplus Punishment: On Angela Y. Davis’s Abolitionism.Eduardo Mendieta - 2007 - Human Studies 30 (4):291 - 309.
  29. added 2017-01-15
    Book Review: Patricia Hill Collins. Fighting Words: Black Women and the Search for Justice. University of Minnesota, 1998. [REVIEW]Iris Marion Young - 2001 - Hypatia 16 (2):91-93.
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  30. added 2016-12-12
    Traditio: Feminists of Color and the Torn Virtues of Democratic Engagement.Romand Coles - 2001 - Political Theory 29 (4):488-516.
  31. added 2016-12-08
    Situated Black Women's Voices in/on the Profession of Philosophy.George Yancy - 2008 - Hypatia 23 (2):155-159.
  32. added 2016-12-08
    On Angela Davis and Abolition Democracy.Douglas Kellner - 2007 - Radical Philosophy Review 10 (2):149-156.
  33. added 2016-04-05
    Representative Women: Slavery, Citizenship, and Feminist Theory in Du Bois's “Damnation of Women”.Lawrie Balfour - 2005 - Hypatia 20 (3):127-148.
    In this essay, I contend that feminist theories of citizenship in the U.S. context must go beyond simply acknowledging the importance of race and grapple explicitly with the legacies of slavery. To sketch this case, I draw upon W.E.B. Du Bois's “The Damnation of Women,” which explores the significance for all Americans of African American women's sexual, economic, and political lives under slavery and in its aftermath.
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  34. added 2016-04-05
    Sarah Grimké: Letters on the Equality of the Sexes and Other Essays.Elizabeth Ann Bartlett - 1989 - Hypatia 4 (1):175-180.
  35. added 2015-04-17
    Is Transracial Adoption in the Best Interests of Ethnic Minority Children?: Questions Concerning Legal and Scientific Interpretations of a Child’s Best Interests.Shelley M. Park & Cheryl Green - 2000 - Adoption Quarterly 3 (4):5-34.
    This paper examines a variety of social scientific studies purporting to demonstrate that transracial adoption is in the best interests of children. Finding flaws in these studies and the ethical and political arguments based upon such scientific findings, we argue for adoption practices and policies that respect the racial and ethnic identities of children of color and their communities of origin.
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  36. added 2015-03-23
    Bringing Bell Hooks to Japan.Cabell Charles - 2007 - Fenomenologia. Diálogos Possíveis Campinas: Alínea/Goiânia: Editora da Puc Goiás 7:89-99.
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  37. added 2015-03-23
    Bell Hooks.Seduced by Violence No More - 2006 - In Elizabeth Hackett & Sally Anne Haslanger (eds.), Theorizing Feminisms: A Reader. Oxford University Press.
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  38. added 2015-03-23
    Patricia Hill-Collins, Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment Reviewed By.April Herndon - 2001 - Philosophy in Review 21 (1):20-22.
  39. added 2015-03-23
    Defining Black Feminist Thought.Patricia Hill Collins - 1997 - In Linda J. Nicholson (ed.), The Second Wave: A Reader in Feminist Theory. Routledge.
  40. added 2014-11-09
    Musing: A Black Feminist Philosopher: Is That Possible?V. Denise James - 2014 - Hypatia 29 (1):189-195.
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  41. added 2014-11-09
    Buddhism and Bell Hooks: Liberatory Aesthetics and the Radical Subjectivity of No‐Self.Leah Kalmanson - 2012 - Hypatia 27 (4):810-827.
    This article engages bell hooks's concept of “radical black subjectivity” through the lens of the Buddhist doctrine of no‐self. Relying on the Zen theorist Dōgen and on resources from Japanese aesthetics, I argue that non‐attachment to the self clarifies hooks's claim that radical subjectivity unites our capacity for critical resistance with our capacity to appreciate beauty. I frame this argument in terms of hooks's concern that postmodernist identity critiques dismiss the identity claims of disempowered peoples. On the one hand, identity (...)
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  42. added 2014-08-24
    Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organize for Reproductive Justice, And: Policing the National Body: Race, Gender, and Criminalization, And: Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide (Review).Sarah Lucia Hoagland - forthcoming - Hypatia 22 (2):182-188.
  43. added 2014-08-24
    Healing Identities: Black Feminist Thought and the Politics of Groups (Review).Patricia Hill Collins - 2000 - Hypatia 20 (4):227-230.
  44. added 2014-08-11
    "Now, How You Sound": Considering a Different Philosophical Praxis.Devonya N. Havis - 2014 - Hypatia 29 (1):237-252.
    This paper is a tentative attempt to set out some of the basic points for articulating an alternative philosophical praxis derived from some Black women's lives and experiences. It begins with an explanation of delegitimating processes and the importance of not dividing theory from practice. The essay offers six practices that outline the unique critical attitude that constitutes philosophical practices rooted in Black women's lived experience and asks “How we sound” when doing academic philosophy.
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  45. added 2014-07-21
    A Black Feminist Statement.Black Feminism - 1995 - In Beverly Guy-Sheftal (ed.), Words of Fire: An Anthology of African American Feminist Thought. The New Press.
  46. added 2014-07-03
    Audre Lorde's (Nonessentialist) Lesbian Eros.Ruth Ginzberg - 1992 - Hypatia 7 (4):73 - 90.
    Audre Lorde reopened the question of the position of the erotic with respect to both knowledge and power in her 1983 essay "Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power." This is not a new question in the philosophical literature; it is a very old one. What is different about Audre Lorde's examination of Eros is that she starts with a decidedly lesbian conception of Eros, in marked contrast to other Western philosophers' work.
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  47. added 2014-06-16
    “Thinking Familiar with the Interstitial”: An Introduction.Kristie Dotson - 2014 - Hypatia 29 (1):1-17.
    It's not that we haven't always been here, since there was a here. It is that the letters of our names have been scrambled when they were not totally erased, and our fingertips upon the handles of history have been called the random brushings of birds. (Lorde , ix) Because… [racialized peoples'] dehumanization has not been successful, conceiving of self and others and their exercise of themselves both against dehumanization and toward liberatory possibilities has meant living double lives backed up (...)
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  48. added 2014-05-29
    Anna Julia Cooper, Visionary Black Feminist: A Critical Introduction. By VIVIAN M. MAY.Cathryn Bailey - 2009 - Hypatia 24 (1):185-188.
  49. added 2014-05-29
    Identity, Knowledge, and Toni Morrison's Beloved: Questions About Understanding Racism.Susan E. Babbitt - 1994 - Hypatia 9 (3):1 - 18.
    In discussing Drucilla Cornell's remarks about Toni Morrison's Beloved, I consider epistemological questions raised by the acquiring of understanding of racism, particularly the deep-rooted racism embodied in social norms and values. I suggest that questions about understanding racism are, in part, questions about personal and political identities and that questions about personal and political identities are often, importantly, epistemological questions.
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  50. added 2014-04-08
    The Concept of Intersectionality in Feminist Theory.Anna Carastathis - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (5):304-314.
    In feminist theory, intersectionality has become the predominant way of conceptualizing the relation between systems of oppression which construct our multiple identities and our social locations in hierarchies of power and privilege. The aim of this essay is to clarify the origins of intersectionality as a metaphor, and its theorization as a provisional concept in Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw’s work, followed by its uptake and mainstreaming as a paradigm by feminist theorists in a period marked by its widespread and rather unquestioned--if, (...)
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