Transfiguring Masculinities in Black Women’s Studies

By C. Riley Snorton | The Feminist Wire

Although there continues to be controversy regarding whether men can create black feminist scholarship, numerous black feminist theorists have argued for the inclusion of black men and studies of masculinities as components of black feminist thought and practice.  These debates are borne out of the relationships between racism and sexism, which have been important in figuring alliances across movements while also illuminating the tensions that emerge from privileging race over gender-based oppression.  Black feminist scholars, like Angela Davis, Barbara Smith, Hortense Spillers, Valerie Smith, bell hooks, Hazel Carby, and Audre Lorde, among others, have taken this up in their work.  However, the Combahee River Collective (CRC) Statement, a founding text in black women’s studies and a theoretical blueprint for numerous movements within the last several decades, is among the earliest texts to explicitly engage and theorize an inclusive black feminist politic. More than once the authors of CRC Statement make clear their commitment to a black feminist politic that does not leave out Black men, women, and children.

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