Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Open Access


Degree Name

MA in Women's History

First Advisor

Rachelle Rumph

Second Advisor

Mary Dillard


This thesis is an intellectual and cultural exploration of U.S. Black and Afro-Brazilian feminism(s). Each chapter begins with history and scholarship from Brazil to shift the conversation away from an Anglophone-Americentric perspective. Within U.S. Black feminist thought, there is an over-representation of voices and experiences of English-speaking Black women. This is not to say that U.S. Black feminists have not reached across socially-constructed borders to incorporate scholarship from women living in other parts of the Black diaspora. However, there has not been nearly enough cross-cultural and transnational dialogue happening between U.S Black and Afro-Brazilian feminists. The time frame of this project begins with the colonial history (a period marked by racialized gender violence and the various ways Black women resisted) to enter the post-abolition era (where we see the development of the myth of racial democracy in Brazil), and finally into the height of anti-racism and anti-sexism movements, such as the Unified Black Movement in Brazil and second-wave feminism in Brazil and the U.S. The goal of this thesis is to assist in bridging this diasporic divide by demonstrating that Afro-Brazilian women’s intellectual knowledge should move from the margin to the center within mainstream Black feminist thought. Multicultural communication is a vital component in any liberation struggle. It is a way for individuals and collectives to learn about people’s different struggles as well as how to struggle together. In constructing these converging herstories, my hope is for future Black feminists to not allow differences in cultures and languages to deter them from reimagining a more inclusive and diverse feminism.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License
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