Date of Award

Spring 6-11-2018

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of arts (BA)


Global Honors

First Advisor

Dr. Christopher B. Knaus


This thesis examines intersectional oppression operating within a South African township through the framework of Black Feminist Thought. Due to colonialism and the lingering effects of Apartheid-era policies, experiences of Black women in South Africa - particularly motherhood - must be navigated in a constant state of intersecting racism, sexism, and classism. In this current study, daily lived experiences are documented in thick, descriptive detail through portraiture, describing a day in the life of Somanga, a mother and non-governmental organization (NGO) employee residing in a township in the outskirts of Cape Town. Themes of conditional and individual violence, motherwork, othermothering, and racialized exploitation in the workplace are documented, with parallel analyses for Black women in the post-colonial nations of Brazil and the United States. Somanga’s portrait contributes to transnational conversations of Black Feminist epistemology, extending beyond the primarily White, colonial-centered documentation of South African history and contemporary research frames. Ways in which to resist global intersecting oppressions of Black women in the context of Black Feminist Thought are discussed.