articles tagged "African American women"
Tuesday, 11 December 2012 | buzz
On Tuesday, December 11, host Aaron Perry speaks with Professor Beth Richie, author of Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence, and America’s Prison Nation. Beth Richie is a professor at University of Illinois at Chicago and Director of a research institute that looks at race and public policy. She has also been an activist in the anti-violence movement, and has been conducting research on the prison industrial complex. She speaks about the situation, “The prison industrial complex and all of its apparatus has really targeted black men. So we know that, and not that we’re not interested in that, but there’s an untold story about the ways that the prison nation – the law enforcement, the court system, the way jails and prisons are run – those same factors disproportionately affect black women, and it rubs right up against the ways black women experience domestic and sexual violence. So the book is really about making sure that in our work and our attention to the problem of mass incarceration and its impact on black communities, we don’t forget the sisters in that struggle.” Beth explains that in addition to the way mass incarceration has a profound impact on the black community, it poses as especially difficult for the women. “We are additionally vulnerable to excessive violence from police officers, we experience domestic violence, and we sometimes don’t call the police because we don’t want to turn our men over to the criminal legal system. We are experiencing sexual assault at profound rates in our community, but we don’t talk about that because of the shame associated with sexual violence and because we don’t want to feed that larger narrative about black men as rapists.” She wants readers to consider possible alternatives to prison incarceration, for people who have human, social, or medical needs. “If we put a few mental health clinics, a couple of health care facilities, a day care center, all of that would cost so much less than incarcerating people, and we’d be a stronger society because our communities would be healthy.” Read more about Arrested Justice on Facebook Listen to the interview here: more »
Wednesday, 24 October 2012 | buzz
On Wednesday October 24, Jan Miyasaki spoke with Cindy Hooper, author of Conflict, African American Women, and the New Dilemma of Race and Gender Politics. In her book, Cindy surveys the history of black women in American politics in both women’s suffrage and in the civil rights movement. She looks specifically at the 2008 presidential election, examining how race and gender politics have shaped their political decisions. Cindy cites the lack of adequate research about the African American women subgroup and their influential role in the presidential elections as the reason that prompted her to explore the topic further and write her book, “there was one statistic that kept coming through the wires…that African American women had the highest turnout rate percentage of all racial and gender demographics in the 2008 presidential election. So I began to look for more books and more research about this specific subgroup, and I couldn’t find too much, so at this point… I felt someone had to examine this, and I wanted to be the one to do that.” Cindy explains how this particular voting bloc has been largely overlooked and passed over to focus more on others, “Given the fact that we are President Obama’s most loyal voting base, in a traditionally loyal voting base of the Democratic Party, it is disappointing when we feel we are not in the forefront of the candidates, in terms of their focus and making us a priority in their presidential campaign.” African American women participated in two struggles: the women’s suffrage movement and the civil right’s movement. This dual struggle, which was unique to African American women, created internal struggles in which they were often torn as to which direction to focus their attention upon. In her book, Cindy discusses the issue that many of the women faced regarding the “prioritization of race over gender.” She explains how, during the civil rights movement, the issue of women’s rights had to take a step back, noting how during the 1963 march in Washington, black women were not asked to speak, the focus being instead on the black male leaders of the movement, “we were strong workers in the background of the civil rights movement, and a lot of it was by choice, because we felt that the black men should be in the forefront, and they, in effect, became the leaders who were the most visible within that movement.” The book also talks about women of color in politics …. more »