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Social Change and the Solution

September 7, 2011 · 1 Comment

Categories: Abby

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  •   ahvang08 // Sep 17th 2011 at 8:59 pm

    The Solution-Collins
    The solution can’t be understood until the problem is addressed. African- American women in the United States are at the bottom of the domination matrix. They are continuously oppressed for not only their race, but their class, gender and sexuality as well. The matrix of domination is made up of four domains of power, which in turn organizes, manages, justifies, and influences oppression in to the lives of African-American women (Collins, 294). In recognizing these domains of power, the Black Feminist can work towards a solution. Patricia Hill-Collins believes that Black feminist thought should empower and spread knowledge and slowly change will come to our society’s social structure and power domains. Collins explains that Black women’s experiences and ideas illustrate the way in which these four domains of power shape domination, but at the same time these domains have been and can be used for Black women’s empowerment (295).
    Empowerment is the ability to take action and actually make a difference. It is one thing to say you’re going to do something and another to go do it. Collins explains that Black feminist can’t be empowered without knowledge, the two are interdependent. She believes that Black feminist thought should continuously address the epistemological debates concerning the power dynamics that underlie what counts as knowledge and that by offering new knowledge about Black women’s own experiences they become empowered (292). U.S. social institutions uphold and foster a lot of the oppression in American and empowerment cannot occur unless there is change. Black feminist have spent a lot of time addressing segregation laws and fighting to be participants in U.S. society. Black women’s resistance strategies reflect their placement both within each domain and within the U.S. matrix of domination. But without resistance, knowledge and empowerment, Black women will be forced to remain at the bottom of the domination matrix. Collins explains that change might not be recognized in each individual African-American woman, but collectively as each individual changes their ideas and actions the overall shape of power will change (293). Ultimately, it has to be a group effort for change to happen, but the individual roles are just as important as the whole entity.
    Collins, Patricia Hill. Black Feminist Thought. New York: Routledge Classics, 2009

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