Faculty Advisor

Holly Gastineau-Grimes, Mary Ellen Lennon

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Latin American Literature | Literature in English, North America, Ethnic and Cultural Minority | Race and Ethnicity | Women's Studies


In this essay I examine the relationship between black feminism, writing, and the possible ways we might interpret black feminist women’s writing as activism. I also explore the cross-cultural development of black feminism in the U.S. as compared to Brazil. The varying works of black feminist women, whose writing often reflects the intersectional places of oppression black women (and women of color) routinely face, perhaps unintentionally, creates safe spaces for black women to identify, reaffirm, and feel supported. Black feminism calls for the equitable treatment of all persons and proffers itself as both ideology and practice. Therefore, the safe visibility of black feminist women writers across the globe, a guarantee that is not always certain for black women, especially those in developing countries, is a necessary feat to combat. Safe visibility advocates for harassment free recognition, due payment for all works and basic respect for writers who help contribute to black feminist thought. Within this essay, a brief discourse about the ability for black feminism to safeguard black feminist writers and their words is of the upmost importance to highlight. Writers such as Alice Walker and Carolina Maria de Jesus, whom are further discussed in this essay, demonstrate the range of black feminist women writers to explore social inequalities and the undeniable ways black feminism, the women, writings and works, help maintain a sisterhood of accountability. It is only because of black feminism that I know of Carolina Maria De Jesus. Through her words, may she be seen, heard and advocated for more ever present.


Copyright 2017 Marah Leonfils