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ERIC Number: ED366527
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Womanism and Me: I Know That I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
Smith, Dianne
This paper begins with a college teacher's account of certain "re-memories" of what it was like to grow up black and female in the American South--an account that leads into a recital of all the things she did not know then but knows now. For example, she did not know that speaking and knowing are revolutionary acts that project the silenced, silent object into a ranting and raving, dangerous "I." Nor did she know that power and regimes of truth circulate through educational apparatuses; that language can be used in opposition to racist and patriarchal hegemony, and that individuals, including black women, can use their power to move from silence to speech. She goes on to say that black women have struggled to use their power through speech to define and redefine for themselves who they are. Such women can be called "womanist," Alice Walker's term for black feminist. The term suggests outrageous, audacious, willful, serious behavior. Such terms as "domineering" or "hard to get along with" have been used as stoppers to silence the womanist's voice and her critique of oppressive situations to shame the womanist into submissiveness. The womanist contributes to the world of academia through the development of a theoretical perspective which moves away from a structuralist approach that seeks to snuff out her existence and intellect. She knows there is a world which is not yet, and that this world exists within her and "the not yet but that which can be." (Contains 20 references.) (SG)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Black Womens Studies