chapter  6
24 Pages

Dynamics of Race, Class, and Feminist Praxis

In 1974, Josephine Card was hired by a women’s health organization in New York City to help open up women’s clinics in her community. The group identified Josephine through her work administering a health care program in East Harlem. Despite her active engagement in this feminist health organization, Josephine did not define herself as a feminist nor did she view her activism solely in terms of women’s issues. She explained why, in the early 1970s, she came to view the women’s health movement in New York City as a white, primarily Jewish, women’s movement:

The [women's health organization] was going around opening up women's clinics, and that's when the whole abortion thing got to be very popular, and they opened up women's clinics and [were] teach­ ing women about their own bodies, that whole movement, which was not a black movement, primarily, I believe, a lot of Jewish women [were in it]. 'Cause all the women I met, practically all of them were Jewish....When [the director] came to the office one day to speak to me, she said that she heard there was this woman up in East Harlem with a [health-care program], and they wanted to know more about it....So she came up to talk with me, and I took her all through the clinic, explained to her what we did and why, and how we had our resources, and a couple of weeks later she asked me to join her [organization]. And I did. And then when they got involved with their project of opening clinics, they asked me would I do it because...[she said:] "We've got a lot of talent, but we don't have anybody who is [experienced as] a clinic administrator.".. .So I did go out and work with them.