Abstract

“Intersectionality and Socialism: Black Women Navigating Racism and Sexism in American Social Movements”

Caitrin Smith

Intersectionality gained recognition as a theoretical tool latter half of the twentieth century. It allows for a comprehensive analysis of how systems of oppressions overlap, rather than function as mutually exclusive categories. For instance, intersectionality allows us to recognize how racism and sexism combine to create a unique set of oppressions experienced by women of color. This paper is an analysis of how American black women have developed and experienced intersectionality in the context of being discriminated against in both race-based and sex-based liberation movements. Examining the marginalization of black women in the male dominated black power movement and the white privileged feminist movement allows for an analysis that sees racism and sexism as systematically intertwined, rather than blemishes in an otherwise perfect society. This research utilizes intersectionality to provide a critique of certain American social movements in the context of capitalist hegemony and argues for the revolutionary spirit of Marxism and its call for socialism.

 
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