Women Race and Class
“Did African American women get enough representation throughout history for what they experienced in different levels of society? In Women, Race, and Class the author shares numerous perspectives and conflicts women experienced throughout various different levels of society, more specifically, African American women. This paper will discuss the focal points made by Angela Davis dividing them by the three categories she breaks her story down by; Women, Race, and Class.
Born on January 26, 1944, in Birmingham, Alabama, as a black woman Davis experienced firsthand discrimination brought on by segregation and racial prejudice. At that time violence and hate acts towards African Americans were very common in that extremely conservative southern state. Her parents, both who were college graduates and members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, were heavy influences and contributors to her extended investment in learning and teaching through their emphasis on their children about the importance of higher education, and her involvement in civil rights movements. That would later prompt Davis to partake in integrated school programs, become more invested in expanding her knowledge and eventually join various organizations which she would later be widely known for.
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Davis was best known for being a radical African American activist who’s fighting extended to various social issues, however, she is most importantly known for her involvement in organizations such as the Black Panther Party and the Communist Party. In 1970 due to her association with the Black Panther party, she was mistaken arrested and sent to jail for owning a gun that was used in the murder of a county judge. After eighteen months she was found not guilty and released. Davis continues to voice her thoughts through her teachings.
During Women, Race, and class you get insights to a century ago during which white and African American women unite to fight for women’s emancipation and for any injustices. “Susan B. Anthony concluded the ballot contained the real secret of women’s emancipation and that sexism itself was far more oppressive than class and racism”
Women, Race, and class are divided into thirteen chapters examining all aspects of female struggles for equality throughout history, Davis’s primary goal is tracing the efforts of feminist movements for suffrage in the united states. Davis writes about African American women who were still oppressed through other forms of labor even after being freed from slavery often confined to some of the worst working conditions, domestic labor workers and often experienced violence from the male employers. In many ways Davis noticed the extensive lack of representation towards African American women had, she noticed that in many times African American men were just fighting for their rights forgetting to touch on African American women’s rights, she also felt a lack of representation toward the white middle-class feminist movements, and challenges brought by capitalism.
Angela Davis wrote this book to teach about the hardships African American women went through, she wants to represent all the women that worked as hard as men outside in horrible weather, many times African American women were called breeders and they were treated like cattle, Pregnant women did not get a break from work they would have to keep working, even after they had their kids, they still did not get a break and would have to keep working. In many cases women did the same kind of labor and worked as hard as a man would, they were in many cases raped and beaten and they still did not have any representation or anyone to stand up and speak up for them. After years pass slaves are free, she mentions many African American equal rights activists and many of them are treated poorly for speaking up for their rights, they receive threats and others are victims of lynchings. The message that Davis wants to convey is that if they were to have had more women equal rights activist speak-up they would have won the battle way earlier.
This book relates to many topics from the textbook, for example, the progressive era. Touching on what roles women’s organizations played in the progressive era, it touches on “new women” which was a product of social and economic changes for women. Also touches on women’s suffrage one of the largest movements of the progressive era, women argued that they were entitled the same rights as men, for example, the right to vote, another thing that is both in the book Women, race, and class is the (NAWSA) National American Women Association, another example both in the book and in the textbook is “African American and reform” how progressive era produced significant challenges, also both talk about the (NAACP) National Advancement Association for Colored People.
The instructor more than likely chose this book because Angela Davis took action against racial conflicts when racism was seen all over the united states. She was also a very strong civil rights activist, the instructor probably admires and values Angela Davis for not giving up after being put in in jail for a crime she did not commit, Angela Davis kept fighting for the rights of both African American men and women, the instructor more than like liked this piece because Angela Davis was very well educated, and she focused on various different conflicts in society.”