Intersectionality

Intersectionality is a term created by legal scholar and social activist Kimberle Crenshaw in her standpoint on identity politics. The term was meant to define the intersections that make up one’s identity mainly that of black women. We must consider every aspect of a person’s identity. Very often the term is used loosely and in a way it was not intended to serve different viewpoints. However, regardless of the misuse of the term, I do believe it is very important to consider a person’s identity in its entirety and not pick apart the pieces that may be more or less comfortable.

People are compositions of several elements and no one element can exist without the other. For me in my career it is important to incorporate intersectionality in my work in two very important aspects:

  1. As an artist, it is my responsibility to explore human exists and try to understand who people are and what makes them who they are. I am not only creating art for people I am also creating art that reflects people.
  2. As an educator I must be able administer knowledge to my students that is not only in keeping with what is required but in a way that is conducive to their success. To ensure students are successful it requires actively learning and understanding of who they are. I must also understand the “intersections” of art, education and development.

I cannot present, create or educate people if I do not understand their needs, to understand their needs I must be open to all aspects of their identities.

2 Replies to “Intersectionality”

  1. Trichia, I completely agree with your statement about us as people of the community tend to define each other based on one salient identity while disregarding other important identities that make-up the person.

    Also, it’s great that you recognize the areas where you wish to incorporate intersectionality in your work moving forward (art, education, development). As you mentioned, educating your students on the importance of intersectionality and recognizing the identities they hold will help them create art/programs that will reflect not only them but the people they create art/programs for.

  2. Great post. I really liked this sentence ” I am not only creating art for people I am also creating art that reflects people”. It truly represents the need to incorporate people and their identities in every aspect of life. As you said, understanding of the different identities is necessary in order to educate other people.

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