Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Meme: Women of Colour Feminists in Their Own Right

Over at La Chola I found a meme called Women of Color Feminists in Their Own Right. It came originally from here with these instructions:

I am asking that each of my readers point to one or more books, articles, poems, and/or key female figures of color who have discussed feminism from 1492 to the present. Please choose: one historical figure, one from 1960-70, and one from the present from the U.S. Please also choose at least one from outside of Euro-America. Please include a trackback to this post so we can all see your answers or post a comment with your answers here.

I thought I'd participate since it is a way to draw attention to important thinkers, writers, and activists whose work does not receive enough attention. So as a first step go to the above blogs, look at the important people and works already listed and leave ideas of your own.

In giving my own answers, I've decided to focus on women active in the context of the territory currently known as "Canada."

Historical figure: Mary Ann Shadd Cary, educator, first woman newspaper publisher in Canada, and anti-slavery, anti-racist, and women's suffrage activist in the 19th century in both the U.S. and Canada

1960-1970: (I admit that my timing for this one may be off, since it wasn't until the early '70s that she became more widely known, but very likely that indicates that she was active earlier.) Rosemary Brown, activist and politician, the first Black woman to be a member of a legislative assembly in Canada (elected in 1972, as a member in British Columbia for the NDP, Canada's social democratic party) and the first Black woman to run for the leadership of a federal political party in Canada

Present: Sunera Thobani, academic, writer, and past president the National Action Committee on the Status of Women, Canada's largest feminist organization. (See also my recent (unfortunately ponderously long) review of her latest book.)

Outside Euro-America: (I'm including her in this category on the basis that her nation is occupied.) Patricia Monture-Angus of the Mohawk Nation, Grand River Territory, who is an academic, an anti-prison activist, and a lawyer.(I've written about two of her books: here and here.)

I was also disappointed I didn't get to mention Dionne Brand, whose writing is amazing.

Go here and here to see learn about other racialized feminist activists, writers, and thinkers and their works, past and present.

(And while I'm linking to BFP's blog, check out this post about student and faculty mobilizing to support Andrea Smith, a renowned indigenous feminist, who was just denied tenure by the University of Michigan. I've written about one of her books, and read a few other pieces of her writing, and I think this is an absolutely appalling decision by U of M.)


bfp said...

scott--i *love* this meme, because i've never heard of any of these people!! there are so many people who have been listed that i've never heard of before--this is SO exciting!!! :-)

(and I agree with you about Andrea being denied tenure--I'm ashamed to be a UM alumni right now).

prof black woman said...

hi scott this list is great! would you mind sending a track back or just posting the link in the comments section of my blog post so my readers can see your choices?

Scott said...

Hi bfp: I totally agree...I've seen lots and lots of names I've never heard before in other people's suggestions...what a great way to learn!

Hi Prof -- for sure, I'll go over now and leave a link. I've been blogging for four years, I'm reasonably computer savvy, but I still don't have the hang of how to do trackbacks... Anyway, thanks for starting this meme!