Arms Akimbo: Africana Women in Contemporary Literature

By Janice Lee Liddell; Yakini Belinda Kemp | Go to book overview

Introduction

Black Women's Studies and the Intellectual Legacy--
A Praise Song

As women, we must also resist any attempts at being persuaded to think that the woman question has to be superseded by the struggle against any local exploitative system, the nationalist struggle or the struggle against imperialism and global monopoly capital. For what is becoming clear is that in the long run, none of these fronts is either of greater relevance than the rest or even separate from them.
Ama Ata Aidoo

Arms Akimbo is a logical culmination of the sociopolitical and academic experiences of women of African descent over the past quarter century. During these twenty-five years, women of African descent, or Africana women, in the United States and other parts of the world participated in correlative sociopolitical movements that would change the course of their history. And from this historic social period, Black Women's Studies evolved. As indicated by the above quote from writer, teacher, and social activist Ama Ata Aidoo, the interlocking components of economics, politics, race, and gender comprise the platform or battlefronts for Africana women in social struggle. Yet Aidoo's second and perhaps more profound point-that all areas of struggle are equal-is one that continues to confound and divide those involved in the community and in academe.

One illustration of the interlocutory and conflicting appositions that provided the impetus for Black Women's Studies is the movement initiated within the United States during the 1960s and '70s that has come

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