Community & Government
Black Women & The Struggle For Liberation
Angela Davis describes slavery’s lasting impact on Black women—from emancipation to the Moynihan Report and beyond. She focuses on the lasting significance of Black matriarchy and how Black women were at the crux of two great struggles.
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Topics include: The Greatest Rebellion: Making Family
Lessons from Influential Black Voices
Seven preeminent Black thought leaders share their insight on the reckoning with race in America in three parts: past, present, and future.Sign Up
[EERIE MUSIC] REPORTER: Angela Davis, the 26-year-old former UCLA assistant professor, is charged with one count of murder and five counts of kidnapping under a California law which holds anyone who aids a major crime as guilty as the participants. - The time I spent in jail had an enormous impact on me. I was arrested in New York City. Therefore, I spent some time in the New York Women's House of Detention. ANGELA DAVIS: This is Angela Davis, December 5, 1970, speaking to you through the concrete walls and iron bars of the Women's House of Detention in New York, where I'm being held captive, victim of a gigantic frame-up. - I wrote my first published article when I was in jail. The title of that article was "The Role of Black Women in the Community of Slaves." And I was writing about slavery, but I was trying to respond to the ideas that were circulating at the time that were designed to put Black women in their place and to argue that Black liberation really was only about liberation of the Black man. - (SINGING) No more brothers in jail. - Off the pigs! - (SINGING) Pigs are gonna catch hell. - Off the pigs! - (SINGING) No more brothers in jail. - Off the pigs! - (SINGING) Pigs are gonna catch hell. - Off the pigs! ANGELA DAVIS: And I can remember, in the 1960s as an activist, having to address critiques that came from both men and women who argued that Black women should not be in the forefront of the movement, that we as Black women should be doing the cooking and the domestic work. And if we had a role in these new movements that were emerging, then it should be perhaps as the educators. I personally remember getting into a number of arguments with people very much captured by that notion, that in order for the Black man to rise, the Black woman had to step back. And so I wrote that article in 1970. It was published in "The Black Scholar." And about 10 years later, I decided to write "Women, Race, and Class" because I thought it was important to point out the part that Black women played in the Black struggle, but also the part that Black women played in the women's struggle. It tries to look at the ways in which Black women were responsible for so much of this impulse toward freedom and how Black women actually use their role in the domestic environment in order to promote education, in order to promote liberation, including helping to organize slave revolts. I understand that there's new literature about the role that Black women played in slave revolts. But of course, because of the overwhelming patriarchal structure of our society and of the knowledge that gets produced, Black women have been completely neglected with respect to understanding their role in the struggle for Black liberation. What did Black women do to assist us not only in moving toward an end to racism, but also toward greater democracy and also toward the eventual emancipation of ...
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From critical race theory to the 1619 Project, Black intellectuals are reshaping conversations on race in America. Now seven of those preeminent voices share their insight on the reckoning with race in America in three parts: past, present, and future. Gain a foundational understanding of the history of white supremacy and discover a path forward through the limitless capacity and resilience of Black love.
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Angela Davis, Cornel West, Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Sherrilyn Ifill, Jelani Cobb, and John McWhorter
Seven preeminent Black thought leaders share their insight on the reckoning with race in America in three parts: past, present, and future.Explore the Class