Barack Obama: his most important racial justice speech

Brittney Cooper in Salon:

Barack_obama26-620x412President Obama gave an unprecedented speech focused exclusively on the social plight of Black women and girls at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual weekend of events. This speech represents a moment of triumph for intersectional politics, a term Black feminist scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw invented to describe the ways that racism, sexism and classism work in interlocking fashion to make Black and other women of color invisible in the broader body politic. But Black feminists have also argued for several decades now that placing Black women at the center of political discourses about race and gender would have a positive effect on every marginalized group. Addressing the disproportionate poverty Black women face necessarily helps other women who struggle with poverty. Combating racism helps all people of color and not just Black women. And dealing with the war on women and its effects on Black women automatically improves the condition of other races of women.

As the president noted, Black women’s work “to expand civil rights opened the doors of opportunity, not just for African-Americans, but for all women, for all of us – black and white, Latino and Asian, LGBT and straight, for our First Americans and our newest Americans.” Using Black women’s narratives to highlight the struggles of other groups of marginalized Americans in the extensive way that Obama did on Saturday simply has never been done before in American public life.

More here. (Note: At least one post will be dedicated to honor Black History Month throughout February)