chapter  4
Making visible the invisible: cultural scripts that inform relationships among African American women
ByToy Lisa Mitchell
Pages 15

Despite the large body of literature illustrating their adaptivity and resilience (Collins 1990; McLanahan and Garfi nkel 1989), African American women are a unique demographic group due to their double jeopardy status with regard to race and gender (Collins 1990). However, King (1988) contends that the concept of double jeopardy is limited and argues that African American women experience multiple forms of oppression that also include classism. Class, gender, and race represent salient cultural group memberships in the United States which become the lenses through which all experiences are lived and interpreted (Constantine 2002). The intersection of these cultural identities infl uences and shapes one’s realities because of their dynamic pervasiveness in one’s private and public spheres. Publically, these cultural identities are situated within societal hierarchies of power that in turn are embedded within institutions. Privately or individually, one’s identity is developed in concert with these cultural identities which entails the way they are viewed and valued by others as well as the self.