1. Throughout this book I use “Black” to describe U.S. citizens or U.S. residents (those without legal citizenship) of Black African descent. “African Americans” is another term that is frequently used, but Black Americans remain divided as to which term is the most appropriate, particularly for Blacks whose ancestry is traced to U.S. slavery and who have little knowledge of and connection to the African continent and culture. Use of the term “Black” also can better encompass more recent immigrants of African descent who hail from Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, Canada, and so on but who do not typically identify themselves as “African American.” Although there are instances where “Black” will not be capitalized, these involve direct quotations from others who do not capitalize the term. There is no set standard for whether or not the term is to be capitalized when referring to race.
2. Gandy, Sacred Pampered Principles, 8.
3. Many terms are used to describe abuse by a spouse, ex-spouse, girlfriend/ boyfriend, ex-girlfriend/boyfriend, or dating partner. For example, domestic violence, intimate partner violence, intimate partner abuse, domestic abuse, woman battering, spouse abuse, wife abuse, and dating violence are often used to describe abuse by current or former intimate partners. In this book I use these terms interchangeably, though I most often use “intimate partner abuse” to convey violence and other forms of abuse directed toward women by their intimate companions. Using the word “abuse” instead of “violence” addresses acts that do not neatly fit within the strict definition of “violence,” such as controlling and psychologically demeaning acts (Belknap and Potter, “Intimate Partner Abuse”).
4. T. C. West, Wounds of the Spirit.
5. Wyatt et al., “Examining Patterns of Vulnerability.”
6. Rennison and Welchans, Intimate Partner Violence. See also the Uniform Crime Reports of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
7. See Collins, Black Feminist Thought; Davis, Women, Race and Class; hooks, Ain't I a Woman; hooks, Feminist Theory, 2nd ed.; hooks, The Will to Change; Morrison, The Bluest Eye; Morrison, Song of Solomon; Richie, Compelled to Crime; and A. Walker, The Color Purple.