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Black Feminist Voices in Politics

Evelyn M. Simien

Publication Year: 2006

In Black Feminist Voices in Politics, Evelyn M. Simien charts a course for black women’s studies in political science. Examining the simultaneous effects of race and gender on political behavior, Simien uses a national telephone survey sample of the adult African American population to discover the extent to which black women and men support black feminist tenets. At the heart of this book are answers to such questions as: How does the absence of black feminist voices impair our understanding of group consciousness? What factors make individuals more or less likely to adopt black feminist views? Are men just as likely as women to support black feminist tenets? Simien analyzes the survey data, responds to limitations of existing research, and addresses critical questions that many black academics, intellectuals, and activists have devoted significant energy to debating without much empirical evidence.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Title Page

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CONTENTS

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pp. vii-

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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pp. ix-x

I am indebted to many people who have supported me throughout the process of writing this book. I am very grateful for the financial support provided to me initially by my dissertation advisor, William R. Shaffer, in the Department of Political Science at Purdue University, who sponsored me for the Purdue Research Foundation Grant....

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1. CHARTING A COURSEFOR BLACK WOMEN’S STUDIES IN POLITICAL SCIENCE

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pp. 1-17

This book represents a conscious and deliberate effort to chart a course for black women’s studies in political science. According to Mack Jones, distinguished professor of political science at Clark Atlanta University and founding president of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists, the responsibility of black political scientists is to “develop a political science which grows out of...

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2. FROM MARGIN TO CENTER: African American Women and Black Feminist Theory

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pp. 19-40

On May 4, 1884, Ida B. Wells took a seat in the ladies’ coach on a Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad train en route to her teaching job in Woodstock, Tennessee (Mulane 1993; Hine and Thompson 1998). Since the 1875 Civil Rights Bill guaranteeing equal treatment in public accommodations had been repealed, the railroad was operating...

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3. RACE TRUMPS GENDER OR VICE VERSA?: Cross Pressures and Deliberate Choices

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pp. 41-62

On February 27, 1869, the Fifteenth Amendment passed in the United States Congress. Prior to its passage, Frederick Douglass argued at a meeting of the Equal Rights Association that the ballot was “desirable” for women, but “vital” for black men because women were not as threatened by extreme acts of terror. As Douglass put it...

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4. BLACK FEMINIST CONSCIOUSNESS AND ITS DETERMINANTS: Factors Rooted in Experience

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pp. 63-91

In 1803, Maria W. Stewart was born in Hartford, Connecticut. Both of her parents, about whom little else is known except that they were African and freeborn, died by the time she was five years old (Sterling 1984; Richardson 1987; Waters 2000; Andrews 2003). From the time of their deaths until she was fifteen, Maria...

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5. BLACK FEMINIST CONSCIOUSNESS, RACE CONSCIOUSNESS, AND BLACK POLITICAL BEHAVIOR

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pp. 93-118

In 1863, Mary Church Terrell was born in Memphis, Tennessee. Both of her parents were former slaves; however, neither one experienced the hardships of plantation life (Sterling 1979). Her father, Robert Church, was considered the richest black man in Memphis and perhaps the first black millionaire in the South. He secured his wealth at a time when the yellow fever epidemic plagued the residents...

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6. THE FUTURE OF FEMINIST SCHOLARSHIP AND BLACK POLITICS RESEARCH

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pp. 119-137

From 1900 to 1960, Nannie Helen Burroughs challenged the hierarchal practices and religiously sanctioned rules that effectively silenced black women’s voices and accentuated their subordinate status vis-à-vis men in the National Baptist Convention—the largest black religious organization. In 1900, Burroughs delivered,,,

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EPILOGUE: Stability and Change in Attitudes toward Black Feminism

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pp. 139-155

One thing about African American public opinion is clear. Both the women’s liberation and the civil rights movements have had a profound effect on attitudes toward gender equality and feminist priorities among African Americans. It is not so much the case that black civil society has come to embrace feminisms, nor has it come...

APPENDIX A: Black Feminist Consciousness

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pp. 157-158

APPENDIX B: Determinants of Black Feminist Consciousness

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pp. 159-161

APPENDIX C: Race Consciousness

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pp. 163-164

APPENDIX D: Political Behavior

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pp. 165-166

REFERENCES

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pp. 167-184

INDEX

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pp. 185-196


E-ISBN-13: 9780791481646
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791467893
Print-ISBN-10: 0791467899

Page Count: 206
Illustrations: 21 tables
Publication Year: 2006