Fri Apr 13, 2012, 11:01 PM
Starry Messenger (28,445 posts)
Angela Davis speaks on struggles of feminism
A point to which Davis returned throughout her speech was the need for feminists to be conscious of class and race as well as of gender. Davis also stressed the interdependence of the various issues that constitute the struggle for women's rights.
"In 1971, I was in jail," said Davis, drawing scattered laughter from the crowd. "While I was in jail, I tried to participate as much as possible in movements that were unfolding in the so-called free world ... There was a huge reproductive rights rally scheduled in San Francisco. I was in Marin County, just across the Golden Gate Bridge.
"I was asked to write a statement that very specifically engaged with the issue of abortion rights. Of course, I was in favor of women's abortion rights, but I did not want to take women's abortion rights out of the context of the broader conglomeration of issues that constitute women's reproductive rights.
"At that time, we had learned that vast numbers of Native American women had been sterilized. We'd also learned about the extent to which Puerto Rican women were used as guinea pigs by pharmaceutical companies in the production of what was then the new birth control pill. So, I wrote a statement in which I tried to make connections between women's reproductive rights and women's right to be free from forced sterilization. The statement wasn't read.
"My position was, I cannot talk about abortion rights in isolation from these other issues. I've come to understand that when we talk about feminist epistemologies, we speak precisely about the ability to think, together, about things that often do not cohabit the same analytical space."
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Response to Starry Messenger (Original post)
Sat Apr 14, 2012, 09:39 PM
Number23 (20,960 posts)
1. Thank God she said this
In this vein, she said, the struggle for racial equality has been artificially framed as a phenomenon that is no longer relevant and ongoing, and hermetically sealed in the past.
"We want to have a nice Hollywood closure to past struggles so that the problems of the past don't bleed into our current lives," said Davis.
"Martin Luther King, Jr. announced, at the end of his life, a poor people's campaign. This is why, when he was assassinated, he was working with a group of sanitation workers who were trying to get their union recognized in Tennessee.
"So, the struggle was continuing. It was not the case that civil rights had been achieved and now the struggle is over. The conception of democracy-- that, unfortunately, bears a strong resemblance to capitalism-- which is offered to us in this country, relies on the notion of past victories."
If I have to hear one more person here claim that King had somehow "moved on/past/beyond" whatever from civil rights issues when he started his Poor People's campaign, and that he was killed "only when he started tackling the issues of the poor" as if that was not one of the pivotal thrusts of the Civil Rights Movement and something he hadn't put his life on the line for years for, I will scream. It seems that some have chosen to believe that his focus on the poor didn't really start until he began to focus on and talk about the WHITE poor, a group which of course included people that had villiainized him including calling him the "anti-Christ," communist, and "black devil" and had threatened his and his family's life for years.
The campaign was an INTEGRAL PART of his continuing campaign against social injustice and for black rights and equality. Anyone who believes otherwise hasn't listened to a word the man has ever said.