Agents of Knowledge and Action: Selected Africana Scholars and their Contributions to the Understanding of Race, Class and Gender Intersectionality

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article examines some of the contributions of subjugated peoples' knowledges to 'western' social science, particularly focusing on the development of analyses of race, class, and gender as interlocking spheres in which domination occurs. Often work on race, class, and gender intersectionality is taught and is understood as an outgrowth of academic western feminist inquiry that is attempting to acknowledge and embrace difference and eschew essentializing women's experiences. While feminist discourse has been an important site for the development of the intersectional framework, I argue that an important historical basis for social scientific thinking that addresses the intersection of race, class, and gender lies in activism and scholarship as exemplified by that of Anna Julia Cooper, Ida Wells Barnett, W.E.B. Du Bois, Amy Jacques Garvey, Cheikh Anta Diop, Audre Lorde, Kwame Toure, and others whose thinking about the social world has been shaped by their own western and non-western political and cultural experiences and research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-222
Number of pages41
JournalCultural Dynamics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000
Externally publishedYes



  • 'nonwestern' contributions to social science
  • Class and gender analysis
  • History of social scientific ideas
  • Inequality studies
  • Political activism
  • Race
  • Scholar/activism
  • Standpoint theory
  • Understanding domination and resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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