'The Evolution of Black Feminism, Womanism, Africana Womanism, and Afrofuturism'

4 Pages Posted: 28 Dec 2018

See all articles by Timothy Williams

Timothy Williams

Independent; Political Science Dept of Clark Atlanta University

Date Written: November 13, 2018


This paper will analyze the scholarly works and ideals of Black feminist, feminist, womanist, Pan Africanist, and Africana womanist thinkers to address the progress of Black feminism, womanism, Africana womanism, sexism, racism, and Afrofuturism. To address racism, sexism must be addressed first to challenge the structures of power to pursue equality and equity for all. Through the systematic lens of Black feminism, womanism, Africana womanism, and Afrofuturism will help with approaches to challenge the sexism and racism that dwells in our culture and society. Many academic scholars have added to the foundation of Black feminism, womanism, Africana womanism, and Afrofuturism that have been overlooked by the hegemonic culture. The paper will analyze those academic works from Maria Stewart, Angela Davis, Anna Julia Cooper, Alice Walker, Betty Friedan, bell hooks, Elizabeth Spelman, Kimberle Crenshaw, Sandra Harding, Clenora-Hudson Weems, Chikwenye Okonjo Ogunyemi, Marie Pauline Eboh, and Patricia Hill Collins, who have added to the advancement of Black feminism, womanism, Africana womanism, and Afrofuturism.

Afrofuturism was established with the ideas, ideals, minds, writings, thoughts, actions, and experiences of the women in the Africa/ African Diaspora. Afrofuturism is a philosophy that discovers the art and beauty of the African/ African diaspora. Also, is used to create a world the has a space and time for black bodies to live within their culture. Womanhood is Afrofuturism. By this definition, the feminist outline has engulfed different issues ranging from political rights to educational opportunities within a worldwide setting. The Black feminist plan is determined to make headway on these issues and concentrations on those that are priority to African-American women. According to Patricia Hill Collins, Black feminism: “… is a thought stating that sexism, class oppression, gender identity and racism are inextricably bound together.”

These terms mentioned above are grouped together to form a concept called intersectionality, which was introduced by a legal scholar, Kimberle Crenshaw in 1989. Crenshaw discussed in her that Black feminism, contests the experience of being a black woman who cannot be understood in terms of being black or of being a woman. On the other hand, each concept should be understood separately while maintaining the experiences that occur to establish each other. Activist and author Angela Davis was one of the first people to organize an argument on intersectionality from her book, Women, Race, and Class (1981). Anna Julia Cooper added that black feminism is necessary, because:

“the vital agency of womanhood in the regeneration and progress of a race, as a general question is conceded almost before it is fairly stated. I confess one of the difficulties for me in the subject assigned lay in its obviousness. The plea is taken away by the opposite attorney’s granting the whole question.”

By examining the ideals and theories of black feminist thought in race and power, there will be a connection made between the works of black feminist authors, womanist thinkers, Pan African thinkers, and Africana woman thinkers who have relevance in Black feminism. Black feminism, womanism, and Africana womanism allows for examination of sexism and racism that is deeply-rooted in the institutions and systems of American society. In the speech, “Ain’t I a Woman” (1851), Sojourner Truth discussed sexism and racism in the statement:

“…I am a woman’s rights. I have as much muscle as any man, and can do as much as any man. …I have heard much about the sexes being equal; I can carry as much as any man, and can eat as much too, if I can get it. I am strong as any man that is now. As for intellect, all I can say is, if women have a pint and man a quart- why can’t she have her little pint full? You need not be afraid to give us our rights for fear we will take too much, for we can’t take more than pint’ll hold. Through God who created him and woman who bore him. Man, where is your part?”

The institutional sexism and racism are forceful in the hegemonic culture. Black feminism, womanism, Africana womanism, and Afrofuturism is used as a systematic lens to examine existing power structures. The theory analyzes these power structures which are based on white privileged and white supremacy and sustains alienate people of color. Ultimately, Black feminism, womanism, Africana womanism, and Afrofuturism critically examines society and culture through the scopes of race, law and power.

Keywords: Black Feminism, Womanism, Africana Womanism, Afrofuturism

Suggested Citation

Williams, Timothy, 'The Evolution of Black Feminism, Womanism, Africana Womanism, and Afrofuturism' (November 13, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3283912 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3283912

Timothy Williams (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

No Address Available
United States

Political Science Dept of Clark Atlanta University ( email )

223 James P. Brawley
Atlanta, GA 30314
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics