Black feminism, as defined by critical race and sociology scholars, focuses on the intersections between race, gender, c
Black feminism, as defined by critical race and sociology scholars, focuses on the intersections between race, gender, class and other forms of oppression that dominate the lives of women of African descent. Una Marson’s black feminism encompassed a tapestry of topics ranging from race pride, color prejudice and sexism to the plight of black working-class women.Marson’s diverse early black feminist ideas about race, gender and class in Jamaica centered on problems that affected the majority of the black population on the island. Marson used sarcasm and irony in her early poems to highlight the significance of racial divisions, which lay at the centre of Jamaican society.
In London, Marson recounted the everyday forms of racism she faced in her eight stanza polemic poem ‘Nigger’, published in The Keys in 1933. Marson retells an incident about a group of white children shouting the racist moniker ‘Nigger’ at her as she strolled along a street. From one perspective, the poem demonstrates how the hostility she encountered in London significantly affected her. From another, it reveals the strengthening of Marson’s racial consciousness and awareness of herself as black. Through her role as editor of The Keys, Marson’s knowledge about racial injustices in Britain and throughout the African diaspora developed. In 1935, Marson gave voice to her burgeoning race politics as she stressed the importance of racial unity, claiming that the Negro world must come together and unite – only then could the Negro race contribute richly to the world. Black internationalism was a central theme in Pocomania, which was based on the Afro-Jamaican religion Pukkumina. The play attempted to challenge the idea of African backwardness and promote the celebration of African culture.
While in London, Marson’s ideas about gender also changed from her previous efforts to encourage women to be more involved in society and critiquing patriarchy, which she voiced in Jamaica, to expressing the marginalization and alienation she faced in white-dominated London. These changes widened the scope of her black feminism and informed and intersected with her intellectual ideas concerning black internationalism. The character of Stella in Pocomania is the embodiment of the motivated but confined New Woman. It is through Stella’s exploration of and relationship with Pukkumina that Marson insisted on the feminist assertion of woman’s right to power, pleasure and control over her body and sexuality.
1. The central theme of the passage is
A. The development of Black feminism in Britain and Jamaica in the 1930s
B. The evolution of an author’s views on Black feminism
C. The convergence of feminist and nationalist themes in Black literature
D. The life and works of a Black feminist author
E. The racist themes explored in feminist literature
2. The author of the passage refers to Stella’s relationship with Pukumina most probably in order to
A. Highlight how Marson’s works started reflecting both feminist and nationalist themes
B. Illustrate Marson’s feelings of marginalisation and alienation faced while in white dominated London
C. Showcase the strengthening of Stella’s racial consciousness and awareness of herself as black.
D. Point out how Marson identified with the character of Stella, as an example of the motivated, yet confined New Woman
E. Demonstrate how Marson used her works to challenge the idea of African backwardness and promote the celebration of African culture
3. According to the passage, each of the following widened the scope of Marson’s black feminism, EXCEPT
A. Being subjected to everyday forms of racism on the streets of London
B. Becoming aware of racist injustice throughout the African diaspora as the editor of The Keys
C. Witnessing the racist divisions that lay at the heart of Jamaican society
D. Developing a sense of racial consciousness and the realization of her black identity
E. Facing marginalization and alienation from the white population in London