black women scholars

An educated



                                                  black woman

can do yoga.  There is nothing to it but to do it. 

Folks saying that letting non-Black folks use words that originate(d) in AAVE but are not contemporaneously used is “useless”, “empty”, or “without benefit” fail to recognize the fact that the cultural is political and vice versa.

The reason certain terms are no longer used in AAVE has everything to do with their appropriation and decontextualization. This use erases their origins and original meanings. Black women scholars have written at length about the continuous evolution of Black culture and language as spurned by endless white consumption (jazz, blues, rock, hip hop, rap).

If anything, not using AAVE as non-Black peoples shows basic respect and awareness recognizes Black humanity, prevents historical erasure, and disenables further cultural erosion (appropriation). At best it reenables Black folks to take back their cultures and histories.

If you’re not Black, it’s your responsibility to always err on the side of caution and abstain from AAVE if there is contention among the Black community. Those posts and conversations aren’t for you to reblog, engage, or read.

Traditionally, many U.S. White feminist scholars have resisted having Black women as full colleagues. Moreover, this historical suppression of Black women’s ideas has had a pronounced influence on feminist theory. One pattern of suppression is that of omission.Theories advanced as being universally applicable to women as a group upon closer examination appear greatly limited by the White, middle-class, and Western origins of their proponents. For example, Nancy Chodorow’s (1978) work on sex role socialization and Carol Gilligan’s (1982) study of the moral development of women both rely heavily on White, middle class samples. While these two classics made key contributions to feminist theory, they simultaneously promoted the notion of a generic woman who is White and middle class. The absence of Black feminist ideas from these and other studies placed them in a much more tenuous position to challenge the hegemony of mainstream scholarship on behalf of all women.

Another pattern of suppression lies in paying lip service to the need for diversity, but changing little about one’s own practice. Currently, some U.S.White women who possess great competence in researching a range of issues acknowledge the need for diversity, yet omit women of color from their work. These women claim that they are unqualified to understand or even speak of “Black women’s experiences” because they themselves are not Black. Others include a few safe, “hand-picked” Black women’s voices to avoid criticisms that they are racist. Both examples reflect a basic unwillingness by many U.S. White feminists to alter the paradigms that guide their work.

A more recent pattern of suppression involves incorporating, changing, and thereby depoliticizing Black feminist ideas. The growing popularity of postmodernism in U.S. higher education in the 1990s, especially within literary criticism and cultural studies, fosters a climate where symbolic inclusion often substitutes for bona fide substantive changes. Because interest in Black women’s work has reached occult status, suggests Ann duCille (1996), it “increasingly marginalizes both the black women critics and scholars who excavated the fields in question and their black feminist ‘daughters’ who would further develop those fields” (p. 87). Black feminist critic Barbara Christian (1994), a pioneer in creating Black women’s studies in the U.S. academy, queries whether Black feminism can survive the pernicious politics of resegregation. In discussing the politics of a new multiculturalism, Black feminist critic Hazel Carby (1992) expresses dismay at the growing situation of symbolic inclusion, in which the texts of Black women writers are welcome in the multicultural classroom while actual Black women are not.

—  Patricia Hill Collins, Black Feminist Thought (2nd edition)