Review by Choice Review
Simien (Univ. of Connecticut) presents a strong case for political scientists to consider a black feminist perspective in the study of politics. She combines the perspectives of influential black women activists of the past, including Ida B. Wells, Sojourner Truth, and Mary Church Terrell, with a careful analysis of public opinion data to examine black feminist consciousness, its prevalence among black women and men, its determinants, and its consequences. The data come primarily from the 1993 National Black Political Study and the 1984-88 National Black Election Study. Employing the concept of intersectionality, Simien states that black women do not have the luxury of considering a hierarchy of oppressions, being affected by race, gender, and class. She notes how traditional measures of feminist consciousness are based on white women and may have limited usefulness for measuring such consciousness among black women. Unlike some other works focusing on race in politics, this carefully develops how a black feminist perspective differs from simply comparing black and white political attitudes and behavior. Based on Simien's dissertation, the text is carefully focused, laying the groundwork for future work. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. C. Shrewsbury emeritus, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.