Identity Politics

noun. / ˌīˈden(t)ədē ˈpäləˌtiks /

1). All politics are identity politics.

2). More narrowly, identity politics refers to the ways in which people living in oppressive systems achieve self-determination. The phrase was coined by Black lesbian feminists belonging to the Combahee River Collective in 1977. They used “identity politics” to center their intersecting experiences as women, as Black women, and as lesbians. “This focusing upon our own oppression is embodied in the concept of identity politics,” they wrote. “We believe that the most profound and potentially most radical politics come directly out of our own identity.”


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