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Catholicism's Other(ed) Holy Trinity: Race, Class, and Gender in Black Catholic Girl School Narratives

Jeana Delrosso
NWSA Journal
Vol. 12, No. 1 (Spring, 2000), pp. 24-43
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4316707
Page Count: 20
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Catholicism's Other(ed) Holy Trinity: Race, Class, and Gender in Black Catholic Girl School Narratives
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Abstract

Catholicism at the end of the twentieth century remains a significant force in the lives of American women. One of the most critical ways in which women, whether Catholic or not themselves, are exposed to Catholicism is through Catholic education. In this article I posit that contemporary women writers examine, in their girl school narratives, the notion of Catholicism as difference. This study thus considers the intersection of race, gender, class, and Catholicism in recent literature by women writers of the Americas and explores, through a feminist perspective, the varying perceptions in girlhood narratives of the value of parochial education for young black girls. I argue that race, gender, and class issues remain entangled in much contemporary literature by women, and I thus investigate this "holy trinity" of Women's Studies through the lens of Catholicism in texts such as Merle Collins's Angel, Bonnie Greer's Hanging by Her Teeth, and Audre Lorde's Zami: A New Spelling of My Name.

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