Combahee River Collective Statement Analysis

979 Words4 Pages
Despite oppression women have always resisted. Women have resisted oppression in many ways. Women have responded to their multiple sources of oppression of sexism, racism, heterosexism and colonialism. Women resisted oppression by standing up for their rights. Women have been left out of the discussion of oppression for centuries. In a patriarchy society where males are the narrators and voices being heard, one is rarely educated on women struggles. In the Western world gender is a construct made to keep one group superior and the other inferior. Gender concerns what it means to be women or men in society. The traditional notion of gender is acknowledged to not be defined the same all over the world. The general concept of gender is challenged…show more content…
The Combahee River Collective Statement addresses and response to the interlocking oppressions that women face. This resonated with me because they emphasized black women’s importance in the struggle against all oppressions. This document was one of the earliest explorations of the intersection of multiple oppressions, including racism and heterosexism. For the first time in history, black women openly and unapologetically communicated their sexual orientations, no longer trading their silence for permission to engage in political struggle. The meetings promoted consciousness-raising but they also allowed the gathering of information and generated needed support for many women who had worked in isolation (Balliet, pg. 160). tTheir greatest impact was in preparing the way for current-day community organizing among people of color who face both sexual and racial oppression. The Combahee River Collective Statement was issued in 1982. The statement is an important piece of feminist theory and description of black feminism (Balliet, pg. 159). The Combahee River Collective is devoted to fighting race, sex, and class oppression. As black feminists, members struggle together with black men to fight racism, but against black men to fight sexism. If black women were free, everyone would be free, because that would mean all systems of oppression had been destroyed (Balliet, pg. 162). The Collective would continue to examine politics, including racism in white women’s
Open Document