A new exhibit in the Maryland Room celebrates Black and Women’s History Months. Two cases showcase works by and about black women, including essays, poetry, and black student newspapers. They feature civil rights icons like Angela Davis, Pauli Murray, Maya Angelou, and Shirley Chisholm.
Another case explores intersectional feminism as a whole. It includes documents by and about lesbian and trans women, disabled women, Native American and Chicana women, working class women, older women, and women from developing countries.
What is intersectional feminism? Put simply, intersectional feminism emphasizes the fact that all women have different experiences and identities. People are often disadvantaged by more than one source of oppression: their race, class, sexual orientation, religion, or nationality may affect their experience as a woman. Intersectionality explores how multiple identities interact with each other, especially within the frameworks of oppression and marginalization.
Some of the items in the exhibit explicitly deal with the concept of intersectionality, including Frances Beal’s “Double Jeopardy: To Be Black and Female” and “An End to the Neglect of Problems of the Negro Woman!” by Claudia Jones. Both of these essays explore black women’s role in society and analyze black women’s marginalization as compared to black men and white women in the civil rights movement.
One quote from Audre Lorde (whose poetry is included in the exhibit) sums up the concept of intersectional feminism quite well: “There is no thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.”
Post by Rigby Philips
Junior history major with a focus on women’s history and the history of sexuality