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Inquiry/Argument Essay


Intersectionality is a concept and term created in 1989 by Kimberle Crenshaw, an American civil rights advocate. It examines how different social identities, such as gender, race, class, age, etc., overlap and intersect with each other to create unique forms of discrimination or experiences of marginalized groups. This issue challenges existing understandings that power is only based on one identity or source and suggests that power often stems from multiple intersecting privileges gained through various identities.

Thesis Statement

This paper will discuss how intersectionality exposes black women to structural racism, sexism, and classism, which varies across individuals depending on the privileges granted by their race or gender combination.

First, Black Women experience varying levels of structural racism depending on the privilege gained from their race or gender combination. As many believe that access to manhood is racially biased, the intersection of race and gender means that Black Women are faced with increased amounts of discrimination from society. Few studies have found that this intersectionality has created unique opportunities for Black Women to be more successful in professional careers and poverty prevention. Still, the underlying effects of individual and systemic racism towards them remain largely unchallenged (Al-Faham et al., 2019). In addition, owing to the proportionately lower wages amongst African-American women compared to those with White privilege, there is a considerable wage gap related to their intersecting identities, which affects their financial security significantly more than it does for others.

Second, sexism is another form of structural-based discrimination that varies across Black Women’s experiences due to intersecting factors, including race or class position, amongst others. Research shows multiple examples in which high-ranking wealthy individuals were found harassing female subordinates, proving how intersections like class and wealth exclude many black women from ever having stable working conditions (Sapiro, 2018). In a broader sense, looking across categories such as media representation or education, how these various combinations create more significant disparities within demographics where black women face extreme forms of insults or misrepresentation not faced by other demographics highlights how sexism affects them.


In conclusion, this paper has discussed how intersectionality exposes black women to structural racism, sexism, and classism, which vary across individuals depending on the privilege granted by their race or gender combination (Al-Faham et al., 2019). Limited studies have found that this inequality can create unique opportunities for Black Women as well as financial security based on the extent of their resources and support from family members. However, these benefits are scarce compared to those gained through White privilege. It also highlighted how intersectionality brings forth different enterprises of sexism, such as sexual harassment or misrepresentation in media, which disproportionately affect Black Women more than others due to its various intersecting identities and lack of protection surrounding it overall (Al-Faham et al., 2019). Last but not least, further research must be conducted to understand intersectionality better while exploring ways to mitigate discrimination against marginalized groups. Such theoretic approaches can lead us into fruitful future conversations regarding a more comprehensive understanding of these uniquely diverse experiences in our society today.


Throughout my process, I extensively researched the topic, discussing both primary and secondary arguments formed toward advancing black women’s rights. One challenge I faced was exploring statements from both sides, trying not to put forward an opinion that was not supported by information or bias because I remained critical throughout my exploration, even tackling points regarding disagreements between topics relevant to intersectional feminism and potential solutions presented. My main focus during revision was understanding what sources were best suited to advance my claim while keeping credibility through sources not easily manipulated, such as those from peer-reviewed journals, which is an essential aspect of writing when trying to show an argument that supports critical evidence.


Al-Faham, H., Davis, A. M., & Ernst, R. (2019). Intersectionality: From theory to practice. Annual Review of Law and Social Science, 15, 247-265.

Sapiro, V. (2018). Sexual harassment: Performances of gender, sexuality, and power. Perspectives on Politics16(4), 1053-1066.


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