Michelle Ortiz- Response to “Kimberle Crenshaw: The Urgency of Intersectionality”

In the video “The Urgency of Intersectionality,” Kimberle Crenshaw discusses the intersection of racism and sexism which often overlap in order to create different levels of social problems. She presents a speech where she describes the urgency of this issue. African American women are discriminated on a basis of race and sex. In order to solve this problem, we must recognize this issue. We must broaden the frame of discrimination to include women as Crenshaw describes this as a “framing issue.”

An interesting example she presents is the case of Emma DeGraffenried. She was double discriminated on a basis of race and sex when she was rejected by a local car manufacturing plant. The court quickly dismissed her case as they claim the plant hired both African Americans and women. However, the court failed to recognize how all African Americans working in the plant were men and all the women working in the plant were white. DeGraffenreid was quickly rejected because of the fact that she is both a women and an African American. In order to solve this issue, American society must recognize this issue and broaden its frame of discrimination to include African American women.

While delivering her speech Crenshaw uses slides to show images of African American women that have been victims of police brutality. This was a really effective action. By doing this, she indicates the relevance of this topic. Women are being murdered by police because they are being discriminated by race and sex. It shows the inhumanity of this issue. African American women are being killed and injured over the cruel actions of police and it is a shame that American society fails to have any knowledge about this issue and these women. In her presentation she makes eye contact with her audience, hand gestures, and has facial and vocal expression which all enhance her communication skills and effectiveness of her delivery.

Finally, she also interacts with her audience by conducting a survey in order to have an understanding of her audience’ knowledge of these women that are being murdered by the police. She also shows a video that includes some of the many women that were killed by the police and clips of police brutality against women in which she asked her audience to yell out the names of these women. She did this in order to bear witness to them, to let their names be heard and to being them to the light. SAY HER NAME!


Comment ( 1 )

  1. Kayla Cason
    I agree with you about the effectiveness of Crenshaw’s decision to show the faces of the victims. It was powerful to see how many black women suffered from police brutality as their stories are unfortunately, very uncommonly heard. I also found the compilation at the end of the speech extremely effective as it emphasized Crenshaw’s message and proved to her audience that there is an issue present. Encouraging her audience to yell out the names of these black women was powerful as well. This act allowed her audience to truly acknowledge the lost lives Kimberlé Crenshaw discussed, and feel the need to create change.

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