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Further to Fly

Black Women and the Politics of Empowerment

2000
Author:

Sheila Radford-Hill

Further to Fly

How feminism has failed African American women and why they must fight back.

Further to Fly describes the ways in which, since the 1960s, black women have been stripped of their traditional status as agents of change in the community-and how, as a result, the black community has faltered. Radford-Hill explores the shortcomings of second-wave black and white feminism, revealing how their theoretical underpinnings have had unintended (and often unacknowledged) negative consequences for black women’s lives and their communities.

An effective exploration of second-wave feminism. While many black women have dismissed the feminist movement altogether, others like Radford-Hill and Michelle Wallace have continued the struggle to redefine feminism in more inclusive terms. In Radford-Hill’s eyes, black feminism is essential for the entire black community. Every culture must preserve its culture bearers to survive, and Further to Fly asserts that it’s the women who’ve been the culture bearers of the black community-whose responsibility has been to transmit black survival values to black women and men. Offers great insight into the potential of black feminist discourse to save and maintain black communities.

InPittsburgh

Amid the longest-running economic boom in American history and despite the emergence of a significant black middle class, the lot of low-income black people in general-and black women in particular-seems more troubling than ever. Their plight, Sheila Radford-Hill argues in this book, is directly related to the diminution of black women’s traditional power as culture bearers and community builders. A cogent critique of feminist theory and practice, Further to Fly identifies the failure of feminism to connect with the social realities it should seek to explain, in particular the decline of black women’s empowerment.

Further to Fly searches out the causes and effects of this decline, describing the ways in which, since the 1960s, black women have been stripped of their traditional status as agents of change in the community-and how, as a result, the black community has faltered. Radford-Hill explores the shortcomings of second-wave black and white feminism, revealing how their theoretical underpinnings have had unintended (and often unacknowledged) negative consequences for black women’s lives and their communities.

While acknowledging that African American women have made significant contributions to the black struggle for justice in America, Radford-Hill argues that more needs to be done. She combines social criticism and critical analysis to argue that black women must revive their legacy of activism and reclaim the tradition of nurturing in the black community, proposing specific tactics that can be used to revive the support networks that help determine the obligations of community members and guide how people interact on an everyday level.

As a deft account of genesis and effects of black women’s diminishing power, and as a sobering analysis of the devastating blunders of feminist theory and practice, this work makes a compelling argument for an "authentic feminism," one that aggressively connects the realities of women’s experiences, needs, aspirations, and responsibilities.

Further to Fly

Sheila Radford-Hill is an educator and activist whose work has centered on community, economic development, and educational policy issues. She is currently a division administrator at the Illinois State Board of Education and lives in Chicago.

Further to Fly

An effective exploration of second-wave feminism. While many black women have dismissed the feminist movement altogether, others like Radford-Hill and Michelle Wallace have continued the struggle to redefine feminism in more inclusive terms. In Radford-Hill’s eyes, black feminism is essential for the entire black community. Every culture must preserve its culture bearers to survive, and Further to Fly asserts that it’s the women who’ve been the culture bearers of the black community-whose responsibility has been to transmit black survival values to black women and men. Offers great insight into the potential of black feminist discourse to save and maintain black communities.

InPittsburgh

In Further to Fly, Sheila Radford-Hill develops a solid case for Black women to engage in authentic feminism. An insightful, analytical, and critical tome.

mosaic

This is a refreshing, well-documentated social critique that would be a welcome addition to college-level reading in women’s studies, political science, and cultural diversity.

MultiCultural Review

Further to Fly unearths and illuminates causes and effects of the decline of black women’s activists efforts. She also advocates and proposes strategies for empowerment.

Review of Communication

Radford-Hill’s work is a practical guide that sets up the framework for authentic feminism to operate for effective social transformation of black communities.

Interventions

Further to Fly

Contents

Preface
Introduction

1. Toward an Authentic Feminism
2. Uses and Limits of Black Feminist Theory and the Decline of Black Women’s Empowerment
3. Gender and Community:The Power of Transcendence
4. The Crisis of Black Womanhood
5. The Economic Context of Black Women’s Activism
6. The Particulars of Un-Negation
7. Feminist Leadership for the New Century
8. Feminism, Black Women, and the Politics of Empowerment

Epilogue:Suffer but Never Silently
Notes
Selected Bibliography

Index