Race, Class and Gender: Black Women In Academia

Adah L. Ward Randolph, Ph.D.

Paper Prepared for Presentation at
Black Women In The Academy II: Service and Leadership
June 25, 1999

Copyright 1999 by Adah L. Ward Randolph

In What A Woman Ought To Be and To Do: Black Professional Workers During the Jim Crow Era, Dr. Stephanie J. Shaw argues that

     African American women have held a unique place at the confluence of the histories of African Americans and of women. From one angle, Black women faced a variety of constraints in their lives because of private sphere responsibilities bequeathed to them as women. From a second angle, they were consigned grave public responsibilities because of the needs of the race. Reconciling these seemingly opposing traditions (among others) is both necessary and difficult, as numerous scholars from a variety of disciplines have noted. And as these scholars eloquently demonstrate, the pitfall to avoid is one of forgetting or ignoring the circumstance that African American women are both Black and female (Shaw 1996, 4)


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May 2000