Black Sexual Politics Up Close
On May 7th, 2004 Santa Monica College had
the privilege and honor to receive Dr. Patricia Hill Collins as
a guest speaker. Listening to her speak was an unforgettable moment
as Dr. Patricia Hill Collins
is a wonderful speaker with a great sense of humor. She represents
one of the successful black women of the US, challenging the position
of women, especially black women in the system. As a black feminist
she not only expressed herself about women but also about Race,
Class as she did in her newest book entitled: Black Sexual Politics:
African Americans, Gender, and the New Racism.
Dr Collins first started her speech with a little
story about an important event of her childhood. Living in Philadelphia
she was asked among all the students of her class to write a speech
for “Flag Day”, which of course was an honor. She said
what she felt important to mention in that speech but being too
honest and real her teacher simply rewrote it. She then decided
not give that speech, because it did not reflect who she was and
what she wanted to say.
This story would show what a strong woman she would
turn to be. Which she is. As a graduate from Harvard, Collins told
us about the reactions she had from men knowing about her accomplishments.
Of course they were not happy with the idea of a woman having such
a successful life,
probably more successful than some of them!
During this very educational speech, we learned
about “New Racism” and I really liked what she said
about “Color Blindness”. She pointed out that people
pretend not to see race and explained how the system works: “you
have to see color in order to say you don’t see it”.
As an example she talked about all the show on TV that always try
t have at least one Black, one Asian, and one Hispanic.
Collins talked about the different prejudices there
are about black and white people; Gender are being sexualized; black
men are said to be promiscuous heterosexuals with a hyper sexuality
while white people are said to be gay/lesbians. Blacks are denied
humanity and most of the time are attributed the different situations
involving rape. She also said that “ideas don’t change
Collins pointed out how segregated education still
is in the United States and also how Power and privileges are associated
Listening to Dr. Patricia Hill Collins was a real
pleasure and really educational. She is definitely a role model
for all the young women, especially black women.
Masayi Johnson is the former "focus on
Smc Editor", and a student in International relations who is
also passionate about Sociology.