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History of the Womanist Movement and Comparisons with Feminism

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Sociology
Wordcount: 1991 words Published: 18th May 2020

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The womanist movement is constantly looked down upon and as a black woman, situations can get pretty judgmental. There is more behind the womanist movement than people may jump to conclusions about.

Black women felt that they needed something that can represent them and their situations. As Dr. Bray mention in her video that they felt feminist was too grounded for them and they need something that respects them. It represented their sexuality, ethnicity, abuse, and more. Being a black woman is more challenging compared to an average Hispanic woman. Feminism focused more on the white middle class women and then it branch out into different types to include all women. It was more of trying to get equal rights and be treated equally with men in the workforce.

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When I was watching the video “Womanist Theology Documentary”, I could honestly say I could relate to some of the women stories. For example, my mother raised me in a Baptism church and she was a preacher but because she was women they wouldn’t give her a license. From then, I watch how that made my mother felt and it was a struggle but she started to branch out to different churches and find one that gave her a license to preach at an Pentecostal church right here in Macon. She never gave up but she kept fighting and kept preaching until someone gave her the acknowledgment she deserved. She went to school and graduated and still was treated as such. Womanists are not egoistic because they don’t believe in self but they believe in sharing their experiences with others to educate them on the truth of what black women go through.

Reasoning Behind Womanist Movement

People often confuse womanism with feminism. With feminism, you look at woman who solely focuses on all the wrongs done to women, mainly Caucasian women. With feminism, at times women have a strong hate for men. Womanism dives deeper into the world of feminism in reference to race and class base within the economical triangle. There were two waves the feminist movement. The first-wave woman’s rights of the nineteenth and mid twentieth hundreds of years concentrated on upsetting legitimate imbalances, especially tending to issues of ladies’ suffrage. The second-wave of women’s liberation, this took place from the 1960s to the 1980s, expanded discussion to incorporate sex standards, social imbalances, and the placement of women in the public eye.

Jeannette Rankin was the first woman to enter congress in 1916, which sparked women’s pursuit in believing that there is hope for other women to be put in higher places. Women were seen as servants or never to surpass men in the world. At this time, men still had high beliefs that women could not have a high positioned role in the world. She later became the lobbyist for the National American Woman Suffrage Association or NAWSA for short. This association lasted over 20 years and was the headliner behind the national suffrage movement.

Womanism vs Feminism

 The two women’s activists and womanists have a fundamentally the same as objective – so comparative, you could nearly consider it the equivalent. The genuine distinction between the two ways of thinking, lies in racial and social standing. Women’s liberation and womanism both battle for the equivalent privileges of ladies in the public eye. Women’s liberation was generally advocated by working class white ladies who might endure no incredible outcome. In any case, the more unfortunate dark network of ladies couldn’t manage the cost of similar freedoms. Accordingly, womanism will in general be all the more tolerating and steady of male partners – joined by their basic racial separations. Alice Walker, who originally thought of the stage ‘womanism’ said the thing that matters was insignificant and “Womanist is to women’s activist as purple is to lavender”. The greatest contrast among womanism and women’s liberation belief system is the kind of people they are mobilizing against. Women’s activists are battling male centric society – normally found as white guys – and the stigmatisms that exist against ladies. Womanists are battling this separation in term of their race, shading and socioeconomics. They are all the more tolerating of one another’s battle and less radical in their dissents.

Black Feminists Against Womanists

 The Black Feminist Movement became out of, and in light of, the Black  Freedom Movement and the Women’s Movement. With an end goal to meet the necessities of dark ladies who felt they were in effect racially abused in the Women’s Movement and explicitly persecuted operating at a profit Liberation Development, the Black Feminist Movement was shaped. Very frequently, “dark” was likened with dark men and “lady” was compared with white ladies. Thus, dark ladies were an imperceptible gathering whose presence and necessities were disregarded. The motivation behind the development was to create hypothesis which could enough address the way race, sexual orientation, what’s more, class were interconnected in their lives and to make a move to stop bigot, chauvinist, and classist separation.

 Looked with the sexism of dark men and the bigotry of white ladies, dark ladies in their separate developments had two options: they could stay in the developments and attempt to teach non-dark or non-female friends about their needs, or they could frame a development of their own. The primary option, however respectable in its goal, was not a reasonable alternative. While the facts confirm that dark men should have been taught about the impacts of sexism and white ladies about the impacts of bigotry on dark ladies’ lives, it was not exclusively the obligation of dark ladies to teach them. Quoted by Audre Lorde: Ladies of today are as yet being called upon to extend over the hole of male obliviousness and to teach men as to our reality and our needs. This is an old and essential device of all oppressors to keep the mistreated busy with the ace’s worries. Presently we hear it is the undertaking of ladies of Color to teach white ladies even with enormous obstruction as to our reality, our disparities, our relative jobs in our joint survival. This is a redirection of energies also, a heartbreaking redundancy of bigot man centric idea. In light of these actualities, the ladies chose to manufacture their own development, the Black Women’s activist Movement.

Black Womanism of Today

 Woman’s rights, a term conceptualized and received by White ladies, includes a plan that was intended to address the issues what’s more, requests of that specific gathering. Therefore, it is very conceivable for White ladies to relate to women’s liberation and the women’s activist development. Having said that, the reality remains that setting all ladies’ history under White ladies’ history, along these lines giving the last the complete position, is dangerous. Truth be told, it exhibits a definitive of supremacist haughtiness and mastery, proposing that bona fide movement of ladies lives with White ladies. Subsequently, in this regard for White ladies, Africana ladies activists in America specifically, for example, Sojourner Truth

(activist cancelation representative and widespread suffragist), Harriet Tubman (Underground Railroad conductor who spent her lifetime helping Africana slaves, the two guys and females, in their getaway to the North for opportunity), and Ida B.

Alice Walker’s Input on Womanism

 As womanist philosophy and morals celebrate very nearly thirty years in the institute, it is imperative to lift up the important commitments womanists and non-womanists alike have made toward the improvement of the interreligious, worldwide coming to, and interdisciplinary field of womanist religious idea. Recognizing the different floods of womanism that stream from the North American setting and the apportionment of Walker’s term “womanist,” just as the surges of idea rising up out of African and Africana abstract developments, this section surveys different understandings of the womanist development all in all. It additionally proposes an extension of womanist talk and presents a third influx of womanist religious idea. A portion of the signs of this wave incorporate growing the interreligious scene of womanist religious idea, concentrating on the worldwide connections inside the field, and taking extraordinary note of the associations among African and African American womanist abstract and insightful authors, consequently promising interdisciplinary investigation so as to extend the customary limits of the field.


 Dark Feminist and Womanist speculations are socially based points of view that think about the relevant and intuitive impacts of her story culture, race, class, sexual orientation, and different types of abuse. These structures give a contextualized comprehension of African American young ladies’ encounters and points of view. The motivation behind this article is to give a diagram of the ebb and flow status of research about African American young ladies. What’s more, this article shows the requirement for a hypothetical point of view that can be utilized to deliver inquire about that precisely looks at the lives of African American young ladies. Significant topics of Black Feminist Thought and Womanism will fill in as a practical hypothetical system for contemplating this populace. Last, standards of a Black Feminist-Womanist research model will be characterized.


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  • Second-wave feminism. (n.d.). Retrieved July 9, 2019, from https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/us-history/postwarera/1960s-america/a/second-wave-feminism
  • The Women’s Rights Movement, 1848–1920: US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives. (n.d.). Retrieved July 9, 2019, from https://history.house.gov/Exhibitions-and-Publications/WIC/Historical-Essays/No-Lady/Womens-Rights/


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