The Black Feminism Introductory Research Guide highlights works by black women within the Schomburg Center's collection and the broader New York Public Library. These works specifically engage in the black feminist tradition of working towards the inclusion of black female narratives, and is meant to highlight black women's involvement in black liberation and gender equality movements. The black feminist tradition looks to examine the experiences of being both black and a woman. This guide is meant to serve as an introduction.
This research guide was produced by Amara Green, a former Pre-Professional at the Schomburg Center in the Jean Blackwell Huston Research and Reference Division. Amara, in her blog post Black Feminism Introductory Research Guide states,
"I was driven to create this guide to form a digital location which specifically highlights the work of black women within the collections of the Schomburg Center and the New York Public Library. This guide is reflective of my own academic and personal interests, and has allowed me to further explore topics that I am passionate about at both the Schomburg Center and NYPL."
"Womanist is to feminist as purple to lavender."
- Alice Walker (In Search of Our Mothers Gardens)
In her pivotal text In Search of Our Mothers Gardens, Alice Walker describes womanism as a particular feminist movement which engages with the many identities that women carry. This distinction was particularly important for black women because it allowed for space to discuss blackness and gender inequality side by side.
“There was one of two things I had a right to: liberty or death. If I could not have one, I would take the other, for no man should take me alive. I should fight for liberty as long as my strength lasted.”
"I am a Black Feminist. I mean I recognize that my power as well as my primary oppressions come as a result of my blackness as well as my womaness, and therefore my struggles on both of these fronts are inseparable."
"That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I could have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man- when I could get it- and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen them most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?"
"Above all else, Our politics initially sprang from the shared belief that Black women are inherently valuable, that our liberation is a necessity not as an adjunct to somebody else's but because of our need as human persons for autonomy."