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Building Womanist CoalitionsWriting and Teaching in the Spirit of Love$
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Gary L. Lemons

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042423

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042423.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

On Becoming a Feminist

On Becoming a Feminist

(p.210) 13 On Becoming a Feminist
Building Womanist Coalitions

Rudolph P. Byrd

University of Illinois Press

The author of this chapter writes about his childhood experience of domestic violence and the impact his mother’s life experiences would have upon him. In it he recalls one particular moment while witnessing his mother being physically abused by his father. Taking a bold stand of resistance, he remembers as an eleven-year-old boy “from that day to the last day of his [father’s] life . . . [he] would be at war with [him].” Yet, as the son of an abusive parent, the author states that this event would mark the beginning of his “commitment to feminism,” a stand against domestic violence. His mother became the first model of feminist identity in how she viewed herself, her independence, and the ways she maintained her family’s home. In sum, she taught him how to be a feminist. Additionally, as a college student, the author would come to read writings by noted pro-feminist female and male authors of varying races. He would be particularly influenced by the lives and works of Alice Walker, as well as Beverly Guy-Sheftall and bell hooks.

Keywords:   domestic violence, childhood, mother, father, parent(s), physical abuse, feminist, spiritual, memory

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