Expert Answer:The white innocence concept in Get Out film


Solved by verified expert:Film : Get Out (2017), I am Not Your Negro (2016),Beyonce’s Lemonade Visual Album (2016)Write a two page response, 650 words to one of the following two questions. Write in 12-point font, Times New Roman, double spaced, with one-inch margins. Submit in ONLY .doc, .docx, or .pdf formats.Prompt 1:James Baldwin describes what he calls “white innocence” throughout The Fire Next Time and develops his assessment of the US and racism from this concept. Discuss how this concept is explored in the film Get Out. Specifically, how are the lives and actions of the white and black characters in the film informed by “white innocence” as Baldwin describes it? What do you think the film is trying to say about race and racism in the contemporary United States? Cite at least two direct quotations from James Baldwin in your answer.*OR* Prompt 2:Audrey Lorde and the Combahee Collective are engaged in a project of reformulating a black, radical, feminist politics in the wake of the limitations of the Civil Rights movement. Do you think that Beyonce’s Lemonade Visual Album participates in the same project? Why or why not? Develop at least two distinct reasons, and reference at least two examples from the visual album to support your answer.The sources for this writing assignment are all uploaded. Please check and don’t forget to use these source as citation. No outside source allowed. Only use the source I uploaded.


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The Combahee River Collective Statement
The Combahee River Collective Statement
Combahee River Collective
We are a collective of Black feminists who have been meeting together since 1974. [1] During that time we have
been involved in the process of defining and clarifying our politics, while at the same time doing political work
within our own group and in coalition with other progressive organizations and movements. The most general
statement of our politics at the present time would be that we are actively committed to struggling against racial,
sexual, heterosexual, and class oppression, and see as our particular task the development of integrated analysis
and practice based upon the fact that the major systems of oppression are interlocking. The synthesis of these
oppressions creates the conditions of our lives. As Black women we see Black feminism as the logical political
movement to combat the manifold and simultaneous oppressions that all women of color face.
We will discuss four major topics in the paper that follows: (1) the genesis of contemporary Black feminism; (2)
what we believe, i.e., the specific province of our politics; (3) the problems in organizing Black feminists,
including a brief herstory of our collective; and (4) Black feminist issues and practice.
1. The genesis of Contemporary Black Feminism
Before looking at the recent development of Black feminism we would like to affirm that we find our origins in
the historical reality of Afro-American women’s continuous life-and-death struggle for survival and liberation.
Black women’s extremely negative relationship to the American political system (a system of white male rule)
has always been determined by our membership in two oppressed racial and sexual castes. As Angela Davis
points out in “Reflections on the Black Woman’s Role in the Community of Slaves,” Black women have always
embodied, if only in their physical manifestation, an adversary stance to white male rule and have actively
resisted its inroads upon them and their communities in both dramatic and subtle ways. There have always been
Black women activists—some known, like Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Frances E. W. Harper, Ida B. Wells
Barnett, and Mary Church Terrell, and thousands upon thousands unknown—who have had a shared awareness
of how their sexual identity combined with their racial identity to make their whole life situation and the focus of
their political struggles unique. Contemporary Black feminism is the outgrowth of countless generations of
personal sacrifice, militancy, and work by our mothers and sisters.
A Black feminist presence has evolved most obviously in connection with the second wave of the American
women’s movement beginning in the late 1960s. Black, other Third World, and working women have been
involved in the feminist movement from its start, but both outside reactionary forces and racism and elitism
within the movement itself have served to obscure our participation. In 1973, Black feminists, primarily located
in New York, felt the necessity of forming a separate Black feminist group. This became the National Black
Feminist Organization (NBFO).
Black feminist politics also have an obvious connection to movements for Black liberation, particularly those of
the 1960s and I970s. Many of us were active in those movements (Civil Rights, Black nationalism, the Black
Panthers), and all of our lives Were greatly affected and changed by their ideologies, their goals, and the tactics
used to achieve their goals. It was our experience and disillusionment within these liberation movements, as well
as experience on the periphery of the white male left, that led to the need to develop a politics that was antiracist, unlike those of white women, and anti-sexist, unlike those of Black and white men.
There is also undeniably a personal genesis for Black Feminism, that is, the political realization that comes from
the seemingly personal experiences of individual Black women’s lives. Black feminists and many more Black
women who do not define themselves as feminists have all experienced sexual oppression as a constant factor in
our day-to-day existence. As children we realized that we were different from boys and that we were treated
differently. For example, we were told in the same breath to be quiet both for the sake of being “ladylike” and to
The Combahee River Collective Statement
make us less objectionable in the eyes of white people. As we grew older we became aware of the threat of
physical and sexual abuse by men. However, we had no way of conceptualizing what was so apparent to us,
what we knew was really happening.
Black feminists often talk about their feelings of craziness before becoming conscious of the concepts of sexual
politics, patriarchal rule, and most importantly, feminism, the political analysis and practice that we women use
to struggle against our oppression. The fact that racial politics and indeed racism are pervasive factors in our
lives did not allow us, and still does not allow most Black women, to look more deeply into our own experiences
and, from that sharing and growing consciousness, to build a politics that will change our lives and inevitably
end our oppression. Our development must also be tied to the contemporary economic and political position of
Black people. The post World War II generation of Black youth was the first to be able to minimally partake of
certain educational and employment options, previously closed completely to Black people. Although our
economic position is still at the very bottom of the American capitalistic economy, a handful of us have been
able to gain certain tools as a result of tokenism in education and employment which potentially enable us to
more effectively fight our oppression.
A combined anti-racist and anti-sexist position drew us together initially, and as we developed politically we
addressed ourselves to heterosexism and economic oppression under capItalism.
2. What We Believe
Above all else, Our politics initially sprang from the shared belief that Black women are inherently valuable, that
our liberation is a necessity not as an adjunct to somebody else’s may because of our need as human persons for
autonomy. This may seem so obvious as to sound simplistic, but it is apparent that no other ostensibly
progressive movement has ever consIdered our specific oppression as a priority or worked seriously for the
ending of that oppression. Merely naming the pejorative stereotypes attributed to Black women (e.g. mammy,
matriarch, Sapphire, whore, bulldagger), let alone cataloguing the cruel, often murderous, treatment we receive,
Indicates how little value has been placed upon our lives during four centuries of bondage in the Western
hemisphere. We realize that the only people who care enough about us to work consistently for our liberation are
us. Our politics evolve from a healthy love for ourselves, our sisters and our community which allows us to
continue our struggle and work.
This focusing upon our own oppression is embodied in the concept of identity politics. We believe that the most
profound and potentially most radical politics come directly out of our own identity, as opposed to working to
end somebody else’s oppression. In the case of Black women this is a particularly repugnant, dangerous,
threatening, and therefore revolutionary concept because it is obvious from looking at all the political
movements that have preceded us that anyone is more worthy of liberation than ourselves. We reject pedestals,
queenhood, and walking ten paces behind. To be recognized as human, levelly human, is enough.
We believe that sexual politics under patriarchy is as pervasive in Black women’s lives as are the politics of class
and race. We also often find it difficult to separate race from class from sex oppression because in our lives they
are most often experienced simultaneously. We know that there is such a thing as racial-sexual oppression which
is neither solely racial nor solely sexual, e.g., the history of rape of Black women by white men as a weapon of
political repression.
Although we are feminists and Lesbians, we feel solidarity with progressive Black men and do not advocate the
fractionalization that white women who are separatists demand. Our situation as Black people necessitates that
we have solidarity around the fact of race, which white women of course do not need to have with white men,
unless it is their negative solidarity as racial oppressors. We struggle together with Black men against racism,
while we also struggle with Black men about sexism.
We realize that the liberation of all oppressed peoples necessitates the destruction of the political-economic
systems of capitalism and imperialism as well as patriarchy. We are socialists because we believe that work must
be organized for the collective benefit of those who do the work and create the products, and not for the profit of
The Combahee River Collective Statement
the bosses. Material resources must be equally distributed among those who create these resources. We are not
convinced, however, that a socialist revolution that is not also a feminist and anti-racist revolution will guarantee
our liberation. We have arrived at the necessity for developing an understanding of class relationships that takes
into account the specific class position of Black women who are generally marginal in the labor force, while at
this particular time some of us are temporarily viewed as doubly desirable tokens at white-collar and
professional levels. We need to articulate the real class situation of persons who are not merely raceless, sexless
workers, but for whom racial and sexual oppression are significant determinants in their working/economic
lives. Although we are in essential agreement with Marx’s theory as it applied to the very specific economic
relationships he analyzed, we know that his analysis must be extended further in order for us to understand our
specific economic situation as Black women.
A political contribution which we feel we have already made is the expansion of the feminist principle that the
personal is political. In our consciousness-raising sessions, for example, we have in many ways gone beyond
white women’s revelations because we are dealing with the implications of race and class as well as sex. Even
our Black women’s style of talking/testifying in Black language about what we have experienced has a
resonance that is both cultural and political. We have spent a great deal of energy delving into the cultural and
experiential nature of our oppression out of necessity because none of these matters has ever been looked at
before. No one before has ever examined the multilayered texture of Black women’s lives. An example of this
kind of revelation/conceptualization occurred at a meeting as we discussed the ways in which our early
intellectual interests had been attacked by our peers, particularly Black males. We discovered that all of us,
because we were “smart” had also been considered “ugly,” i.e., “smart-ugly.” “Smart-ugly” crystallized the way
in which most of us had been forced to develop our intellects at great cost to our “social” lives. The sanctions In
the Black and white communities against Black women thinkers is comparatively much higher than for white
women, particularly ones from the educated middle and upper classes.
As we have already stated, we reject the stance of Lesbian separatism because it is not a viable political analysis
or strategy for us. It leaves out far too much and far too many people, particularly Black men, women, and
children. We have a great deal of criticism and loathing for what men have been socialized to be in this society:
what they support, how they act, and how they oppress. But we do not have the misguided notion that it is their
maleness, per se—i.e., their biological maleness—that makes them what they are. As BIack women we find any
type of biological determinism a particularly dangerous and reactionary basis upon which to build a politic. We
must also question whether Lesbian separatism is an adequate and progressive political analysis and strategy,
even for those who practice it, since it so completely denies any but the sexual sources of women’s oppression,
negating the facts of class and race.
3. Problems in Organizing Black Feminists
During our years together as a Black feminist collective we have experienced success and defeat, joy and pain,
victory and failure. We have found that it is very difficult to organize around Black feminist issues, difficult even
to announce in certain contexts that we are Black feminists. We have tried to think about the reasons for our
difficulties, particularly since the white women’s movement continues to be strong and to grow in many
directions. In this section we will discuss some of the general reasons for the organizing problems we face and
also talk specifically about the stages in organizing our own collective.
The major source of difficulty in our political work is that we are not just trying to fight oppression on one front
or even two, but instead to address a whole range of oppressions. We do not have racial, sexual, heterosexual, or
class privilege to rely upon, nor do we have even the minimal access to resources and power that groups who
possess anyone of these types of privilege have.
The psychological toll of being a Black woman and the difficulties this presents in reaching political
consciousness and doing political work can never be underestimated. There is a very low value placed upon
Black women’s psyches in this society, which is both racist and sexist. As an early group member once said, “We
are all damaged people merely by virtue of being Black women.” We are dispossessed psychologically and on
The Combahee River Collective Statement
every other level, and yet we feel the necessity to struggle to change the condition of all Black women. In “A
Black Feminist’s Search for Sisterhood,” Michele Wallace arrives at this conclusion:
We exists as women who are Black who are feminists, each stranded for the moment, working
independently because there is not yet an environment in this society remotely congenial to our
struggle—because, being on the bottom, we would have to do what no one else has done: we would
have to fight the world. [2]
Wallace is pessimistic but realistic in her assessment of Black feminists’ position, particularly in her allusion to
the nearly classic isolation most of us face. We might use our position at the bottom, however, to make a clear
leap into revolutionary action. If Black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be
free since our freedom would necessitate the destruction of all the systems of oppression.
Feminism is, nevertheless, very threatening to the majority of Black people because it calls into question some
of the most basic assumptions about our existence, i.e., that sex should be a determinant of power relationships.
Here is the way male and female roles were defined in a Black nationalist pamphlet from the early 1970s:
We understand that it is and has been traditional that the man is the head of the house. He is the
leader of the house/nation because his knowledge of the world is broader, his awareness is greater,
his understanding is fuller and his application of this information is wiser… After all, it is only
reasonable that the man be the head of the house because he is able to defend and protect the
development of his home… Women cannot do the same things as men—they are made by nature to
function differently. Equality of men and women is something that cannot happen even in the
abstract world. Men are not equal to other men, i.e. ability, experience or even understanding. The
value of men and women can be seen as in the value of gold and silver—they are not equal but both
have great value. We must realize that men and women are a complement to each other because
there is no house/family without a man and his wife. Both are essential to the development of any
life. [3]
The material conditions of most Black women would hardly lead them to upset both economic and sexual
arrangements that seem to represent some stability in their lives. Many Black women have a good understanding
of both sexism and racism, but because of the everyday constrictions of their lives, cannot risk struggling against
them both.
The reaction of Black men to feminism has been notoriously negative. They are, of course, even more threatened
than Black women by the possibility that Black feminists might organize around our own needs. They realize
that they might not only lose valuable and hardworking allies in their struggles but that they might also be forced
to change their habitually sexist ways of interacting with and oppressing Black women. Accusations that Black
feminism divides the Black struggle are powerful deterrents to the growth of an autonomous Black women’s
Still, hundreds of women have been active at different times during the three-year existence of our group. And
every Black woman who came, came out of a strongly-felt need for some level of possibility that did not
previously exist in her life.
When we first started meeting early in 1974 after the NBFO first eastern regional conference, we did not have a
strategy for organizing, or even a focus. We just wanted to see what we had. After a period of months of not
meeting, we began to meet again late in the year and started doing an intense variety of consciousness-raising.
The overwhelming feeling that we had is that after years and years we had finally found each other. Although we
were not doing political work as a group, individuals continued their involvement in Lesbian politics,
sterilization abuse and abortion rights work, Third World Women’s International Women’s Day activities, and
support activity for the trials of Dr. Kenneth Edelin, Joan Little, and Inéz García. During our first summer when
membership had dropped off considerably, those of us remaining devoted serious discussion to the possibility of
opening a refuge for battered women in a Black community. (There was no refuge in Boston at that time.) We
The Combahee River Collective Statement
also decided around that time to become an independent collective since we had serious disagreements with
NBFO’s bourgeois-feminist stance and their lack of a clear politIcal focus.
We also were contacted at that time by socialist feminists, with whom we had worked on abortion rights
activities, who wanted to encourage us to attend the National Socialist Feminist Conference in Yellow Springs.
One of our members did attend and despite the narrowness of the ideology that was promoted at that particular
conference, we became more aware of the need for us to understand our own economic situation and to make
our own economic analysis.
In the fall, when some members returned, we experienced several months of comparative inactivity and internal
disagreements which were first conceptualized as a Lesbian-straight split but which were also the result of class
and political differences. During the summer those of us who were still meeting had determined the need to do
political work and to move beyond consciousness-raising and serving exclusively as an emotional support group.
At the beginning of 1976, when some of the women who had not wanted to do political work and who also had
voiced disagreements stopped attending of their own accord, we again looked for a focus. We decided at that
time, with the addition of new members, to become a study group. We had always …
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