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

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.

Comments ( 2 )

  1. Edward Mendoza
    The issue she talks about is very interesting in terms of what the issue is ad how it effects people. I thought that the first exercise that she did in the begging was very powerful and influential in terms of showing just how badly the issue is. The story that she also brings up about intersectionality and the woman who was denied a job because she was both black and a woman was very powerful, as it descried how this issue happens on an everyday scale and how much damage it can do.
  2. Ruben Genao
    I mostly agree with your point but there is some I don't really agree with. At first, I sort of agreed with her theory and that it was a huge problem but as I thought about it more I switched sides more. The case of Emma DeGraffenreid is too shallow to be considered true evidence, for this case it could've been a simple reason like not fitting requirements, the company could've thought she wasn't fit for the amount of work as she has children, just because she happens to be a minority doesn't mean we should automatically assume its racism. I agree with your point that both female and male cases should be brought to light but overall we shouldn't give the police such a bad image, at the end of the day their work is underappreciated. Instead, cops seen killing for absolutely no reason should be exposed in the media no matter the race of the victim.

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