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Th ough the late twentieth century marked the emergence of intersectionality in the critical lexicon (specifically by Kimberlé Crenshaw [2000] in her 1989 essay, “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex”), many insights encompassed by the term had been developed and articulated by women of color for over a century. Beverly GuySheftall traces nearly two centuries of intersectional theorizing1 by black women in Words of Fire (see especially her essay, “Evolution” [1995b]). As Barbara Smith emphasizes, “History verifies that Black women have rejected doormat status, whether racially or sexually imposed, for centuries” (1983, xxiii). While U.S. black feminist thought is not the only place where intersectional thought has been developed (e.g., there is a strong thread of intersectional analysis within Latina feminism(s), and Indigenous feminists have long asserted analyses informed by interdependence and interconnection), intersectionality’s beginnings in black feminist theorizing are noteworthy. Unfortunately, this longer history is often overlooked.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRethinking Women’s and Gender Studies
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781136482571
ISBN (Print)9780415808309
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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