Towards A Black Feminist Criticism Summary - Barbara Smith

Towards A Black Feminist Criticism Summary – Barbara Smith

This article is going to cover brief detail about black feminism and writing by Barbara Smith – Towards A Black Feminist Criticism Summary. The article is an important piece of writing especially for literature students. 

Towards A Black Feminist Criticism By Barbara Smith – Introduction

Toward A Black Feminist Criticism by Barbara Smith, an African critic who believed that ever since the beginning of feminism, white women’s conditions have improved and have also got their place in the male dominant society, they have also been given political rights but there has been no significant improvement in the condition of the black women. 

This is because white women are given more respect than black ones. And, if we talk about America, being black is just like a curse there because if it is a woman and is black as well, she will have to struggle double in both aspects to get recognized and get an identity of her own. This is because in those times, being a woman and on top of that being black was a lot painful.

After feminism, although women got their place in literature, all the writers only wrote in the favor of white women.

So, Barbara Smith and similar writers raised their voices against it and stated that black women should also be given a specific place because their life experience is different from that of white women, so the conditions of both white and black women cannot be described in the same manner. 

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Towards A Black Feminist Criticism Summary

Towards a Black Feminist Criticism was written in 1977. It is an article, which is more than a piece of criticism. 

The article was written as a protest against the attitude of white women and males.


The word Lesbian has also been used there which, in “Towards a Black Feminist Criticism” is not used in terms of the homosexual sense but to describe the foregrounds the emotional need of self-fulfillment of a black woman. 

The black feminist critics believe that all the white feminist writers have represented only white women towards supremacy and represented black women as slaves. 

And all the white women writers refused lesbian writing which was specially written for black women and wrote nothing about them in their writing. 

Here, the author Barbara Smith refers to the feminist Criticism of Showalter where everything has been written only on the account of white women and didn’t give any stand to the black women because she doesn’t have knowledge about the black African and black American women and thus, didn’t write anything about them. 

The author Alice Walker says that the reason for ignoring them is that they are women, and in addition to that, they are also black. And the second reason is that in male supremacy, black women are not respected at all, they are never worshipped.

In addition to the black woman, this writing by Barbara Smith is also political and Lesbian. All the critics believed that unless they are not given political rights separately, their conditions in society will not improve. Secondly, lesbians, that is, unless they have a sense of self-fulfillment, there will not be an improvement in their condition. 

Other features of the black feminists included the presence of black female activities like herbal medicines, magic, and midwifery which they included in their story. They did not use the language same as the white patriarchal culture. 

After a lot of voices stood against the prevailing culture, black women were finally given their separate stand and this also gave rise to black feminism in literature Black women were also represented in novels by depicting the life of black women. 

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