Black/Brown/White Relations: Race Relations in the 1970s

By Charles V. Willie | Go to book overview

4
Black Liberation
and
Women's Lib

Linda J. M. LaRue

There is always a market for a movement. For Women's Liberation, the market will see to it that, in great quantity and unceasing redundancy, the message of "liberation" gets pushed in a way that women want to hear it, see it, and believe it.The market will appeal to their early consciousness with daring historical heroines, myths of great women in crisis, valid and half-baked truths about women's separatism and a new society, deeds or self-defense against exploitation, and words and words—pasted, paraded, and published so often that they reel, as tired old truths will, pounding the walls of that early consciousness until there is a rip or tear and the beginning of "sobering." And well it should be; it is necessary—it is also familiar.

It was barely twenty historical minutes ago that blacks first celebrated their new consciousness with the palm wine of self‐ appreciation and the pursuit of liberation. We, too, sang of our fine dark heroes, sported our elaborate dashikis, passed both half-baked and valid tales of our virtues among ourselves, and made corporations like Johnson and Company not uncomfortably rich from their sale of "Afrosheen." And well it was; it was necessary—but it was both unfamiliar and painful.

This essay will speak to the sobering moments in both movements as a new crisis imperceptibly creeps up on an entity who is both

-65-

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