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American Sociological Association: Patricia Hill Collins Award Statement
Patricia Hill Collins’ Black Sexual Politics: African Americans, Gender and the New Racism (Routledge, 2005) is a co-winner of the 2007 American Sociological Association’s Distinguished Book Award. A work of great theoretical sweep, Black Sexual Politics shows how neither race-blind analyses of gender nor gender-blind analyses of race are sufficient to make sense of the new racism of the era following the civil rights movement. Also showing how our understandings of both race and gender are shaped by class and drawing on the discourses of popular culture, including television, movies, and music, Collins shows how images of both overly strong Black women and irresponsible Black men hinge on notions of hypersexuality that were part of an earlier era of racial oppression.Black Sexual Politics is a call to reinvent Black sexual identities, allowing for agency and innovation, reflecting the needs of lived Black experience, and free of implication in a system of domination.
Collins received her BA from Brandeis Universityin 1969.After receiving an M.A.T. from Harvard in 1970, Collins worked for six years in community schools in Boston, Massachusetts. She was director of the African American Center at Tufts from 1976 to 1980 and completed her Ph.D. at Brandeis in 1984.From 1982 until 2005, Collins was on the faculty at the University of Cincinnati in the Departments of Sociology, holding the Charles Phelps Distinguished Professor of Sociology and African American Studies since 1995.She is now a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Maryland.
Collins’ first book, the widely read, deeply influential and now classic Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment (Routledge, 1990 ) excavated the “subjugated knowledge” of Black women and helped develop a distinctive Black feminist epistemology by placing Black women’s experience at the center of its analysis.Black Feminist Thought won the 1991 C. Wright Mills Award of the Society for the Study of Social Problems,the 1991 Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Prize of the association of Black Women Historians, and the 1991 distinguished publication award of the Association for Women in Psychology, and the 1993 Jessie Bernard AwardWomen Award for scholarship in the area of gender.
In addition to Black Sexual Politics and Black Feminist Thought, Collins is also the author ofFighting Words: Black Women and the Search for Justice (University of Minnesota Press, 1998) and From Black Power to Hip Hop: Essays on Racism, Nationalism, and Feminism (Temple University Press, 2006). Her anthology on Race, Class, and Gender (Wadsworth), edited with Margaret Andersen is now in its sixth edition and is used at over 200 colleges and universities. With John Solomos, she is currently editing the Handbook of Race and Ethnic Studies.In addition to continuing her research on the intersections of race, gender, class and sexuality, Collins is also examining how issues of globalization and transnationalism affect Black male and female youth.