and class as forming one consciousness and the resistance of race, sex, and class oppression as forming one struggle. Womanism flows from a both/and world-view, a consciousness that allows for the resolution of seeming contradictions 'not through an either/or negation but through the interaction' and wholeness. Thus, while black and female may, at one level, be radically different orientations, they are at the same time united, with each 'confirming the existence of the other'. Rather than standing as 'contradictory opposites', they become 'complementary, unsynthesized, unified wholes'. 54 This is what Ogunyemi refers to as 'the dynamism of wholeness' This holistic consciousness undergirds the thinking and action of Maggie Lena Walker and the other Saint Luke women. There are no necessary contradictions between the public and domestic spheres; the community and the family; male and female; race and sex struggle--there is intersection and interdependence.
Dichotomous thinking does not just inhibit our abilities to see the lives of black women and other women of colour in their wholeness, but, I would argue, it also limits our ability to see the wholeness of the lives and consciousnesses of even white middle-class women. The thinking and actions of white women, too, are shaped by their race and their class, and their consciousnesses are also formed by the totality of these factors. The failure, however, to explore the total consciousness of white women has made class, and especially race, non-existent categories in much of white feminist theory. And this has allowed the development of frameworks which render black women's lives invisible. Explorations into the consciousnesses of black women and other women of colour should, therefore, be a model for all women, including those who are not often confronted with the necessity of understanding themselves in these total terms. As we begin to confront the holistic nature of all women's lives, we will begin to create a truly womanist studies. In our efforts Maggie Lena Walker and black women like her will be our guide.