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“The Urgency of Intersectionality” Reflection – Jamirka De León

Posted by Jamirka De León on

The moment Kimberlé Crenshaw started speaking, I was hooked. Instead of going straight into her speech she began by immediately engaging her audience. I found it very interesting that she asked all of them to stand up and started listing the names of the African Americans that have been killed by the police over the last two and a half years. She separated the names into gender, to show that the first half – men, were recognized more than the women who have died. She used a strategic way to introduce her point from the very beginning. Crenshaw explains that there are two topics that are presently being talked about often: police violence against African Americans and violence again women. The two issues have not been integrated and analyzed as a whole. Throughout her speech, she used hand gestures accordingly to go along with what she was saying, her call to action was clear, and although she was talking about a serious topic, she threw in a couple of jokes to lighten up the audience and keep them engaged.

One of the statements Crenshaw made that grabbed by attention was “Well, the answer is that this is a trickle-down approach to social injustice and many times it just doesn’t work. Without frames that allow us to see how social problems impact all members of a targeted group, many will fall through the cracks of our movements, left to suffer in virtual isolation.” This is when I really strayed to understand what she was saying. I paused the video and started thinking, and then realized how many groups we seek justice for, but yet succeed at excluding certain people from those subject to the injustice, who in fact also need the attention; especially how we differentiate issues between men and women. As a person who’s interested in politics, Kimberlé Crenshaw really grabbed my attention. I wasn’t even there and she had my attention the entire time. I think her speech, maybe did not make a huge difference. But it most definitely left an impression and caught people’s attention.


Kimberlé Crenshaw “The Urgency of Intersectionality”- Rachel De Leon

Posted by Rachel De Leon on

Throughout Kimberlé Crenshaw’s speech, “The Urgency of Intersectionality,” she addresses an idea called intersectionality by giving an example to her audience. Kimberlé Crenshaw starts her example by asking her audience to stand up and each time they heard a name they did not recognize, to sit back down onto their chairs. Crenshaw started of naming, “Eric Garner, Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Michelle Cusseaux, Tanisha Anderson, Aura Rosser, Meagan Hockaday.” Once the first four names were called,about half the audience was seated; once the other four names were called, about 4 people were still standing, everyone else was seated. The only difference between the first four names and the last four names is the gender. All these names that were called were African- Americans who have died due to police brutality. Only African- Americans that were categorized as males were mostly recognized, females not as much. Intersectionality is social justice problems, race and sexism, that overlap to create various levels of injustice, discrimination. Kimberlé Crenshaw talks about how African- American women experience intersectionality when it comes to this issue of police brutality and how their story is told to the public audience.

Kimberlé Crenshaw uses the example of Emma DeGraffenreid to support the idea of intersectionality. Emma DeGraffenreid was an African- American who was a working wife and a mother. In one of her interviews for a job, she experience intersectionality towards her race and her gender. When she viewed the work area, DeGraffenreid noticed that African- American men did the maintance jobs and White women did the secretary and related jobs. When presenting her case at court, it was dismissed because there is no frame that views discrimination of both, race and gender. The judge did not notice the difference in this job, when there was only white women, not other race women and there was only African- American men, not other race men. The judge just payed attention to how there was some form of employment that was African- American and some for of employment that was women. In the society we live in, these frames should expand and become greater because there are various issues ignored due to there being no understanding towards those issues.

When watching this video, I was impressed by the situation African- American women have experienced and were not recognized due to intersectionality. There should have been more publicity about these women on articles and on the news to make everyone aware of this issue. These women don’t deserve being unmentioned, they deserve being known for the police brutality and the violence against them. In addition, in the video, I noticed Kimberlé Crenshaw form of speaking towards her audience. She does not stutter or flinch, she keeps her eyes on her audience, she engages them into her topic, and when she has your attention, she doesn’t let it go. Kimberlé Crenshaw seems to be a great public speaker.


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Posted by jenncy mejia on

In the video “The Urgency of Intersectionality,” Kimberle Crenshaw explains why you should be knowledgeable about intersectionality and why it is important. In the beginning she mentioned many male victims of police brutality and almost all of the audience recognized them. She then proceeds to mention  female victims of police brutality and a staggering amount of people did not recognize the women. The concept she explains in her talk is Intersectionality, an idea that identifies how social and political discrimination, and gender, sexual orientation etc. are connected. To bring across her point she mentioned the case of an African-American woman Emma DeGraffenreid. DeGraffenreid sued a manufacturing company on the claim that they did not allow her a position in the company due to her race and gender. The judge dismissed her case since the particular company had black people in the company all of which were men, and women all of which were white. She then expands on how this case relates to intersectionality and what should be done about it. At this point, her talk gets emotional when she talks about the say her name movement while showing pictures of female victims of police brutality. With the video she really showed how big the conflict is. Lastly she shows a video of several women while encouraging the listeners to say their names in support of the movement. I believe Crenshaw did a good job using pathos as she used emotion with her visuals. I feel she had ethos as well because she demonstrated her knowledge in the topic.


Maximo Martinez – Response to: “Kimberlé Crenshaw’s “The Urgency of Intersectionality”.

Posted by Maximo Martinez Grullon on

In the TED talk by Kimberle Crenshaw, called “The Urgency of Intersectionality”, she overall talks about what is intersectionality and why it is important. She start her speech with an exercise which purpose was to make the audience know, how people aren’t really aware of specific black females that die in hand of policemen. She says that this is because “there is no frame for us to see them”, reffering to the fact that they are not cover in the media as much as the cases of other black males that died in hand of policemen. But then I think she went a little bit of the rails when she said that as a result “policy makers don’t think about them”, because I think that’s a really big assumption to make, just from the given fact that some people in the audience don’t recall some of those women names, doesn’t mean that when the U.S. makes a law, they don’t think about black females.

Then she goes on talking about what is identity politics and introduce the audience to the term intersectionality, which she describes to be when “many of our social justice problems like racism and sexism are often overlaping creating multiple levels of social injustice”. But then another problem that I had with this TED talk was when she start talking about Emma Degraffenreid. She introduces Emma’s story as “the experience that gave rise to intersectionality”. From the TED talk what I learned from her is the following. She was an African American woman that was seeking for a job in a car company; she applied, but she didn’t got the job. But instead of accepting it and try to work in another place, she believed that she didn’t got the job because of her race and gender, she believed that she didn’t got hired because she was a black women. She sued the car company, but the judge dismissed her suit. The judge made the argument that her ciliv rights weren’t violated because the car company hired blacks, and females. Kimberle says that by the time of the lawsuit (which by the way happened in the 1970’s), all the women hired were white and all the blacks were men, therefore she was facing double discrimination. My problem with this is that we are assuming that because Emma made the claim of not being accepted because she was a black women, that what she is saying is true. We are not seeing this from both sides; what if she wasn’t prepare for it? what if she just didn’t meet the requiremets/standards for that job? why does it have to be an identity issue, and not an individual one? we lack of information to know that the reason she wasn’t accepted in that job, was because she was a black women.

Finally she goes on talking about police brutality towards black women. She goes on talking about how black women died in hands of policemen, which again ones would assume that is a clear sign on injustice and police brutality, but Kimberle doesn’t provide the audience that much context for one to make a fair conclusion of those scenerios. She goes on saying how some were “sophocated to death”, “tasered to death”, “shot to death”. She also says things like “they been killed shopping while black” and “driving while black”, like to make us think that they were killed just for being black, which again, with the lack of evidence provided, I think is not a fair assumption to make.

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