The theme of race, class, and gender as interlocking systems of oppression unites these original essays about the experience of women of color—African Americans, Latinas, Native Americans, and Asian Americans. The contributing scholars discuss the social conditions that simultaneously oppress women of color and provide sites for opposition.
Though diverse in their focus, the essays uncover similar experiences in the classroom, workplace, family, prison, and other settings. Working-class women, poor women, and professional women alike experience subordination, restricted participation in social institutions, and structural placement in roles with limited opportunities.
How do women survive, resist, and cope with these oppressive structures? Many articles tell how women of color draw upon resources from their culture, family, kin, and community. Others document defenses against cultural assaults by the dominant society—Native American mothers instilling tribal heritage in their children; African American women engaging in community work; and Asian American women opposing the patriarchy of their own communities and the stereotypes imposed by society at large.
These essays challenge some of our basic assumptions about society, revealing that experiences of inequality are not only diverse but relational.