By Whitney Battle-Baptiste
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Womanist Is to Feminist as Purple Is to Lavender” When I decided to pursue a career in archaeology I predicted that my work would provide solutions to my own internal frustrations 36 Chapter I. Constructing a Black Feminist Framework and solve the world’s core problems. This premonition was quite naive, I will admit, but this belief continues to motivate me to find a realistic way to connect scholarship and real life issues. In the process I still experience extreme internal warfare stemming from my training in mainstream history and education and concern about how the larger archaeological audience will perceive my alternative approaches to the study of material culture.
I was nervous because this was my first time away from the safe and protected world of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. I had been there nearly two weeks and loved almost every aspect of the internship. However, there was something a little off that I could not yet explain. I was immersed in the full field experience; I was digging, eating, socializing, and living with the field crew. I was learning from archaeologists like Larry McKee (the director of the program) and Brian Thomas (the assistant director) and Jillian Galle (the field supervisor) and absorbing as much as I could.
This may seem so obvious as to sound simplistic, but it is apparent that no other ostensibly progressive movement has ever considered our specific oppression as a priority or worked seriously for the ending of that oppression. g. mammy, matriarch, Sapphire, whore, bulldagger), let alone cataloguing the cruel, often murderous, treatment we receive, indicates how little value has been placed upon our lives during four centuries of bondage in the Western hemisphere. We realize that the only people who care enough about us to work consistently for our liberation are us.