cover image Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot

Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot

Mikki Kendall. Viking, $26 (288p) ISBN 978-0-525-56054-8

Blogger Kendall (Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists) indicts mainstream feminism for focusing on “debates over last names, body hair, and the best way to be a CEO” rather than the basic survival of marginalized women in this searing essay collection. Grounding her critique in personal experiences of gun violence, police discrimination, single motherhood, poverty, sexual harassment, and the “school-to-prison pipeline,” Kendall accuses “theoretically feminist white women” of failing to “make common cause against white supremacy” and “turn[ing] to the patriarchy for protection” when they feel threatened. She asks white, straight, cisgender, middle- and upper-class women to become “accomplices” rather than “allies”; to stop fetishizing the bodies of women of color; and to make a living wage, safe neighborhoods,“food insecurity,” voting rights, and access to quality medical care and education feminist issues. In the case of Muslim and African-American women challenging the patriarchal structures of Islam and the black church, however, Kendall advises mainstream feminists to step back and resist the impulse to play “white savior.” Her forays into satire, including instructions for “How to Write About Black Women,” are less impactful than her autobiographical reflections, but Kendall manages to draw a clear picture of what true intersectional feminism looks like. This hard-hitting guide delivers crucial insights for those looking to build a more inclusive movement. [em](Feb.) [/em]