African American Womanism Speaks To Dalit Feminism: Special Reference To Telugu Dalit Women’s Literature

D. Jyothirmai1 & K. Sree Ramesh2

Adikavi Nannaya University in Andhra Pradesh, India. Email:

Volume 9, Number 1, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v9n1.15

Received March 1, 2017; Revised April 6, 2017; Accepted April 27, 2017; Published May 7, 2017.


‘Mainstream feminism’ in India remained substantially elitist in its concerns carrying the legacy of ‘western feminism’. As such it failed to appreciate, accommodate and represent the specific concerns of Dalit women. Consequently Dalit women are forced to lead a separate movement.  It is the premise of this paper that the nascent Dalit Feminism, which could not derive any theoretical and representational sustenance from the Indian Feminism, can draw from the African American womanist/feminist experiences as it shares a similar socio-historical environment. Further, it argues in favor of Dalit feminism as a more inclusive kind of feminism that challenges oppression of any form for women in India or elsewhere. As much of Dalit women’s writing is produced in Indian vernaculars a few short stories from Telugu Dalit writing, translated into English are analyzed to reflect different perspectives of Dalit women’s discourse.

Keywords: Feminism, Dalit Feminism, African Feminism, Untouchability, Education of Dalits