By Irma McClaurin
Within the discipline's early days, anthropologists by means of definition have been assumed to be white and male. girls and black students have been relegated to the field's outer edge. From this marginal position, white feminist anthropologists have effectively carved out an stated highbrow area, pointed out as feminist anthropology. regrettably, the works of black and non-western feminist anthropologists are not often mentioned, and so they have not begun to be revered as major shapers of the path and transformation of feminist anthropology. during this quantity, Irma McClaurin has collected-for the 1st time-essays that discover the function and contributions of black feminist anthropologists. She has requested her members to reveal how their reports as black girls have encouraged their anthropological perform in Africa, the Caribbean, and the U.S., and the way anthropology has stimulated their improvement as black feminists. each bankruptcy is a designated trip that allows the reader to determine how students are made. The writers current fabric from their very own fieldwork to illustrate how those studies have been formed by way of their identities. ultimately, every one essay indicates how the author's box stories have stimulated the theoretical and methodological offerings she has made all through her profession. no longer in view that Diane Wolf's Feminist Dilemmas within the box or Hortense Powdermaker's Stranger and good friend have we had this kind of breadth of girls anthropologists discussing the serious (and own) concerns that emerge whilst doing ethnographic study.
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Additional info for Black feminist anthropology: theory, politics, praxis, and poetics
After her return to the United States in 1963, Oscar Lewis persuaded Green to become his research assistant for his work in San Juan. 52 Lewis recognized the value and sensitivity of Green’s fieldwork in El Barrio with Padilla and her UNESCO training. After the Puerto Rico project was completed, Lewis gave Green the mentoring nudge to finish her doctorate at the University of Arizona. Continuing her work on migration and community, Green focused her dissertation on migrants to Aruba and the relationships between ethnicity, poverty, and family life.
47 She earned the first master’s degree in sociology from Atlanta University, and when she traveled to Cuba on holiday, she vowed to return to the island and continue her exploration of another black culture that was not her own. ” While in Cuba, she collected songs, poetry, and recorded the music and dance of Afro-Cubans in the western part of the country for her dissertation. 49 Vera Green’s engagement with anthropology began as a child, when she used to criticize Hollywood’s portrayals of Native Americans in the movies she watched on Saturday afternoons in Chicago.
She trained her ear to listen well and took seriously the value of the insider’s (emic) perspective well before it was popular in anthropology. Believing that the wisdom held by the common Black man and woman was valuable, Hurston recorded folktales in Florida, New Orleans, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Haiti, and Harlem. 56 The academy required total allegiance—something Hurston was unable to give. Although Hurston is often cited for her contributions to folklore (especially in terms of the quality of the data she collected and her fieldwork ethics and interactions), she should also be acknowledged for her development of alternative research methods.
Black feminist anthropology: theory, politics, praxis, and poetics by Irma McClaurin