Against the Current: Although Black women have been central to the organizing of Black Lives Matter, it seems that the media focus on Black men and forgets the victimization that is imposed on Black women. How do you deal with this?
Alice Ragland: Ignoring the Black women who have been victimized is unacceptable. This is one of the many problems that make me feel as if I constantly have to choose between my race and my gender.
I deal with this by being vocal about the importance of including Black women in the discourse of violence against communities of color. Too often, people fall into a one-dimensional analysis of oppression. It’s either racism or sexism or class inequality that’s causing our problems, never a combination of various forms of oppression.
This is partially a result of the fact that U.S. society educates and socializes people to believe that everything exists in a vacuum and that nothing is connected. We need to start focusing on the inter-connectivity of race, gender, class, etc., because all of those factors are simultaneously influencing our lives at all times. Emphasizing the connectedness of these issues is a necessary step toward acknowledging intersectionality.
Black women have been invisible in these conversations because the compartmentalized way of thinking that is so prevalent in capitalist societies makes it difficult to grasp the concept of intersectionality...