The article by Taylor offers a detailed analysis of Black feminism as a theory, as well as the processes it inspired. The key argument is that Black feminism in the USA was triggered not only by the “dialectical engagement” with White women but also by the need to alleviate the environment for empowerment.1 The main points made by the author are reflected in the analysis of the four major topics in the creation of Black feminist thought and the discussion of two feminism waves in the US.
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The main strength of the article is a relevant and thorough analysis of one of the most significant social movements in the country’s history. By using a variety of examples and employing numerous sources as references, Taylor has managed to provide a thoughtful diachronic discussion of Black feminism. A crucial benefit of the article is that it views Black feminism from two perspectives. On the one side, the author analyzes this process as a way of freeing women’s rights. On the other hand, Taylor makes a clear distinction between Black and White feminism and identifies the core difference between the two.
The article under consideration does not have any considerable weaknesses. The sources referenced by Taylor are relevant to the time of publication, and their number is sufficient for a twenty-page article. The analysis of the topic is thorough, and the author frequently resorts to sources to illustrate her point or prove her argument. The approach mentioned in the introductory part – historiographical – is fully justified in the body of the paper.
In the study, Taylor points out not only the outcomes and achievements of Black feminism but also the initial stages of its formation and the core idealistic principles that lead to its emergence. In particular, the author mentions that “the most pronounced” party of Black female activists was composed of lesbians.2 Taylor pays attention to this issue since she believes that the identity of these women increased their awareness of heterosexuality as a threat to the free expression of their views. Hence, the author raises a specific subtopic of the major issue: the relationships within the Black feminism movement’s members.
With the help of Taylor’s evidence and arguments, it becomes possible to identify several levels of Black feminism as they were represented in society in the second half of the 21st century. The primary aim and layer of the activists’ assembly was the need to defend women’s rights against those of men. The second level involved protecting the rights and freedoms of Black women as opposed to White females. Finally, the third stage presupposed an inner argument between the Black feminism movement activists: those who were heterosexual against those being homosexual.
The implications of Taylor’s scholarly study include the possibility to further analyze the evolution of Black feminism and its effect on the next few decades’ social and political processes. Having Taylor’s article as a basis for research, one can identify the most crucial trends in the Black feminism movement, as well as in some other important events and activities that were initiated in the 20th century. Also, data included in the article may be utilized to trace the roots of gender equality and inequality.
Taylor’s article provides a detailed account of the Black feminism movement, its causes, and its outcomes. It inspires the reader to reconsider some of the historical events and processes by viewing them from the angle of Black women and lesbians rather than females in general. The historical evolution of Black feminist theory has been portrayed and analyzed in the article in a highly professional and multidimensional manner.
Taylor, Ula. “The Historical Evolution of Black Feminist Theory and Praxis.” Journal of Black Studies 29, no. 2 (1998): 234-253.
- Ula Taylor, “The Historical Evolution of Black Feminist Theory and Praxis,” Journal of Black Studies 29, no. 2 (1998): 235.
- Taylor, “The Historical Evolution,” 249.