African American Women: Intersectionality in Politics

Jamila Celestine Michener, Andrew Dilts and Cathy J. Cohen

in The Oxford Handbook of African American Citizenship, 1865-Present

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780195188059
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

 African American Women: Intersectionality in Politics

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Political participation has been a fundamental constant in the lives of African American people. Whether it is voting, membership in social/political community organizations, or participation in social movements for causes ranging from abolition to civil rights, black Americans have consistently leveraged politics and civic engagement as vehicles for freedom and justice. This article focuses on the history of political activism among African American women, reviewing the manifold ways they have participated while traversing the often perilous American political landscape. It highlights significant trends and provides a broader context for understanding those trends. To that end, the article begins with a broad discussion of the intersectional positioning of African American women. Subsequently, it discusses the patterns of black women's participation between Reconstruction and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Finally, it rounds out the historical account by addressing black women's traditional forms of participation since the Voting Rights Act.

Keywords: political participation; African American women; community organizations; social movements; black Americans; political activism

Article.  11092 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Political Economy ; US Politics

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