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Women, Race, and Class (1981)

by Angela Y. Davis

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2,028197,894 (4.4)30
A powerful study of the women's liberation movement in the U.S., from abolitionist days to the present, that demonstrates how it has always been hampered by the racist and classist biases of its leaders. From the widely revered and legendary political activist and scholar Angela Davis.--Publisher website.… (more)
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Davis eloquently pinpoints the historical connections between sexism, racism, and economic inequality throughout America's struggle for gender equality. Chapter by chapter she dissects how those dehumanizing efforts have been a part of society: from antebellum America to the early 1980's. She highlights people who historically pointed out those intersections and rightfully should be heroes: like Frederick Douglass or W. E. B. Du Bois. Likewise, she casts a critical light on people like Margaret Sanger, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton--three women whose feminist ideas often took them down paths advocating racism or eugenics. Davis is best when summarizing history (as at times her pullquotes aren't that compelling). And I wish more of her caustic wit and personality would shine. Still, this book will knock you on your ass. It's as relevant today as it was when written. ( )
  JuntaKinte1968 | Dec 6, 2023 |
A good summary history of the ways the 3 topics in the title have intersected in American history - their struggles and the conflicts between them (predominantly focusing on gender and race). Of course it doesn't cover everything or in deep detail but it's written in a very clear, easy to read style with minimal jargon that gives an excellent introduction to the problems faced by eg black women in the suffrage movement. It's definitely really interesting and has lots of new stuff even if you're very familiar with this area. ( )
  tombomp | Oct 31, 2023 |
Required reading.

Be prepared for a challenging read. Not because of difficult writing, but because of the dark, complicated topics Davis brings to light. Here is so much history that was not part of my education and I am grateful to be schooled by the thoughtful work of Dr. Davis.

In light of current national news, here's one passage that rings true today even though it was published over 35 years ago:

"Racism has always served as a provocation to rape, and the white women of the United States have necessarily suffered from the ricochet fire of these attacks. This is one of the many ways in which racism nourishes sexism, causing white women to be indirectly victimized by the special oppression aimed at their sisters of color." 177 ( )
  rebwaring | Aug 14, 2023 |
Brilliant. ( )
  liberation999 | May 6, 2022 |
This sentence shows up in the opening paragraph:

"But amidst all this scholarly activity, the special intuition of the female slave remains unpenetrated."

At that point you already know your in the company of someone who understands the power of meaningful words.
1 vote thenumeraltwo | Jun 9, 2021 |
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To my mother, Sallye B. Davis
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When the influential scholar Ulrich B. Phillips declared in 1918 that slavery in the Old South had impressed upon African savages and their native-born descendants the glorious stamp of civilization, he set the stage for a long and passionate debate.
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A powerful study of the women's liberation movement in the U.S., from abolitionist days to the present, that demonstrates how it has always been hampered by the racist and classist biases of its leaders. From the widely revered and legendary political activist and scholar Angela Davis.--Publisher website.

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Book on race, class and feminism by black US communist Angela Davis.
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