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The men in her family just seemed to get everything. The boys got to do things first, like eat, take baths. Her father got to do everything first; her mother was just kind of waiting on him hand and foot. She said to herself that she was not going to let any man boss her around, which is completely counter to traditional Japanese culture. Somehow she met my father and one of the things that she was struck by was these American men would say “ladies first” and she thought it was wonderful, but of course she didn’t understand the sexist underlying stuff.

Organizers Frazier, Smith, and Smith hoped the retreats would foster political stimulation and spiritual rejuvenation for participants. They encouraged the participants to come ready to talk, laugh, eat, dance, and have a good time. According to their recollection in interviews, this is what occurred: [Poet] Audre Lorde was involved in the retreats. I had just met her and I asked her to come and she was thrilled and that is really how we got to become friends because we would see each other periodically at these retreats.

Moynihan wrote, [I]n essence, the Negro community has been forced into a matriarchal structure which, because it is so out of line with the rest of American society, seriously retards the progress of the group as a whole and imposes a crushing burden on the Negro male13 Moynihan failed to point out the conditions that created this “matriarchy,” successfully projecting the problems in the Black community on Black women instead of White racism. The Moynihan Report was A HISTORY OF BLACK AMERICAN FEMINISM 37 a thinly veiled political agenda, but it was still received with praise, influencing both the policies of government and the sentiment of the American public.

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