Intersectionality and the Experiences of People of Color
Sandra L. Barnes, Vanderbilt University
‘People Associate Being Undocumented with a Color’: How Undocumented Youth in Tennessee Navigate the Intersection of Immigration Status and Race
Krista Craven, Guilford College
Jazmin Ramirez, Trevecca Nazarene University
Maria Robles, Fisk University
Brenda Hernandez, Fisk University
Diana Montero, Fisk University
Rodrigo Robles, Fisk University
This article highlights the ways in which undocumented immigrant youth in Tennessee contest their marginalization and challenge various forms of social injustice arising from the intersection of their immigration status with their racialized identities. Specifically, this paper examines how undocumented youth challenge their social location through everyday acts of resistance, which is rooted in an intersectional understanding of political activism and resistance. This study is based on year-and-a-half long participatory action research (PAR) project with 24 members of one of the largest and most active youth-led undocumented-immigrant organizing groups, Tennessee Youth for Immigrant Justice (TYIJ).1 In general, the youth in this study are keenly aware of social injustice and many have incisive analyses of current social practices, policies, and discourses that conflate race and immigration status or espouse racist nativism. Moreover, several youth engage in multiple forms of resistance that are comparable in complexity to their intersectional experiences of injustice. By elucidating the ways in which the undocumented youth in this study adeptly navigate and resist the injustice arising from the confluence of race and immigration status, this paper illustrates how they seek to transform the unequal social and structural arrangements that marginalize immigrant communities throughout the U.S.
#Save (Bring Back) Our Girls: Race, Gender, Age and the Plight of African American Girls (Part 2)
BarBara M. Scott, Northeastern Illinois University
In the second part of her analysis on the invisibility of black girls (and women) in the United States and the My Brother’s Keeper initiative, Scott examines several issues linked to the continued invisibility of African American girls in the discourse on Black youth experiences in the United States. Challenges linked to the constrained educational opportunities, conflict around appropriate social activism, as well as counteraction by Black families and innovative community action illustrate some of the trials and triumphs around the plight of many African American girls. Based on a “village model,” short as well as long-term solutions and strategies are provided to more proactively address the needs and experiences of African American youth. This essay is part of a series provided by long-time members of the Black Caucus/Association of Black Sociologists.
Yet Another Mother: The Challenges of Black Women Serving as Kinship Care Providers to Their Nieces and Nephews
Regina Davis-Sowers, Middle Tennessee State University
Kinship care provision is a form of kinship work. St. Jean and Feagin (1998) refer to kinship work as a “double burden” for black women whose lives are impacted by the cultural expectations of other black women. Most research on this dynamic in the black community has focused on grandmothers in this role. However, historically, black aunts also frequently accept responsibility for their nieces and nephews. Yet few studies have explored their lives as kinship care providers. This exploratory study uses a modified grounded theory approach to examine the lives of 35 black women serving as kinship care providers for their nieces and nephews in hopes of fostering dialogue on how their lives are affected by this decision. Four major thematic challenges emerge linked to role ambiguity, family stress, financial instability, and altered life trajectories. In addition to detailing these themes, implications, including the need for culturally competent social policies that assist black aunts, are also discussed.
Examining Race and Privilege in Health and Human Service Organizations
Leslie Collins, Fisk University
Privilege or the unearned provision of access to resources that benefit some people, typically at the expense of others, is rooted in oppressive structures such as racism, classism, and sexism. Lack of awareness, guilt, shame, resentment, and the subtleties of privilege can make it difficult for members of privileged groups (such as whites, the middle/upper class, and/or males) to understand how such processes work to give them advantages. Moreover, maintaining systems of privilege has multiple, deleterious implications for organizations and societies. Based on a case study design, this analysis examines some of the workings of privilege as a systemic phenomenon in five health and human service organizations that serve marginalized communities and often espouse values of justice and care in their internal processes. I consider how race, class, and gender work separately and in concert to affect cultures, relationships, and ideologies to manifest privilege. Findings based on the experiences of fifty-four respondents show that white females, persons with higher positions, and persons with more formal education tend to be conveyed more privilege than their counterparts who provide crucial roles in service delivery, yet who often felt disempowered and devalued in organizations that tout social justice missions. White employees (male and female) also garner privilege as organizational representatives in the community to donors, politicians, potential board members, and powerful volunteers. Persons who desire a racially-, class-, and gender just society must begin to better understand and illumine how privilege is maintained and perpetuated through structures and processes embedded within cultures.
Children of the Prison Boom: Mass Incarceration and the Future of American Inequality by Sara Wakefield and Christopher Wildeman
James B. Pratt, Jr., University of California, Irvine
Inequality in America: Race, Poverty, and Fulfilling Democracy’s Promise by Stephen M. Caliendo
Michael D. Royster, Prairie View A&M University