Black Women, State Violence, and the Logic of the Narrative of ‘Mothers of the Movement’ February 16, 2022, 6pm Dr. Shaeeda Mensah Assistant Professor of Philosophy McDaniel College Dr. Mensah is an assistant professor of philosophy at McDaniel College. She earned a PhD in philosophy from Pennsylvania State University and a B.A. fin sociology from Spelman College. Her areas of research specialization include black feminisms, social and political philosophy, philosophy of race, and feminist philosophy. Her current research focuses on Black women’s experiences with police violence and mass incarceration. More specifically, her research centers Black women as victims of police violence and mass incarceration, and considers the social, political, and epistemological implications of centering Black men and boys as the near exclusive targets of such practices. In this paper I will critically examine the emerging narrative of Black women as the ‘Mothers of the Movement.’ In doing so, I will argue that this narrative situates Black women as the indirect targets of state violence, and I will consider the implications of the tendency to fail to see Black women as directly targeted and impacted by state violence. Throughout the paper, I will draw on the distinct ways in which Black men and women’s experiences with state violence have emerged in ways that often overlook their histories as shared experiences of racial injustice.
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