Intersectionality

In this Ted Talk, Kimberlé Crenshaw explores the topic of intersectionality. According to Crenshaw, “intersectionality” is the overlapping of race, sex, gender, class, ethnicity, and politics that result in several levels of social injustice. Crenshaw argued that “in the same way that intersectionality raised our awareness to the way that black women live their lives, it also exposes the tragic circumstances under which African-American women die”. Crenshaw comments on the dynamic nature of intersectionality as it encourages awareness to these social issues, but it reveals the tragic reality of many African-American women and minority groups. Crenshaw’s talk reminded me of Gloria Anzaldua and her poem “Who are my People,” where she discusses her own struggles as a lesbian, woman, Hispanic, American, and catholic. Anzaldua explores how her different “identities” are often don’t agree with each other and the internal struggle she faces. Despite knowing the term “intersectionality,” Crenshaw’s talk was eye-opening for me since I did not know the names of the women who suffered police violence. Americans don’t recognize the problem of African-American women subjected to police violence because the media doesn’t emphasize women suffering from police brutality. The media, similar to many Americans, don’t acknowledge or understand intersectionality and the pressure it causes to those who identify with several different social, racial, and political groups.

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