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Dr. Camille Wilson Cooper

Associate Professor

Dr. Camille Wilson Cooper

Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment by Patricia Hill Collins

Patricia Hill Collins’ Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment has greatly influenced me personally and professionally. I discovered the first edition of this book when I was finishing high school. For an African American girl plagued by questions of “how?,” “why?” and “what can I do?” with regard to racial inequality, Black Feminist Thought offered me invaluable insight about my heritage; the insidious nature of racial, gender and class oppression; and the knowledge, resilience and political resistance of Black women. In the book, Collins examines how Black women -- specifically African Americans -- have long functioned as intellectuals, artists and activists who have helped shaped U.S. culture. The legacy of African American women’s fight for social justice that Collins describes, along with her conceptualization of “Afrocentric feminist epistemology”, continues to influence my scholarship, teaching and service. Overall, Black Feminist Thought is a deeply provocative, inspiring and empowering book.