Catholicism’s Other(Ed) Holy Trinity: Race, Class, and Gender in Black Catholic Girl School Narratives
A few years ago at a literature conference, I presented a paper on Catholicism, sexuality, and women’s madness as part of my research for chapter two of this book. After my talk, a colleague approached me and questioned the legitimacy of my use of the concept of the saint/madwoman in Alice Walker’s essay, “In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens,” as an introduction to my discussion of Catholic literature by women. A conversation ensued, and I suggested that perhaps a study of race, class, and Catholicism was in order for my further research. My colleague insisted, however, that while class would be a necessary category of analysis in Catholic literature, race would not because (and here I paraphrase) there really are not any Catholic African Americans. Indeed, she claimed (and here I quote), I was “barking up the wrong tree.”
KeywordsBlack Woman Catholic School Catholic Church Racist Symbol Catholic Woman
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