Gloria Steinem Says Black Women 'Invented The Feminist Movement'

03/23/2015 12:06 pm ET | Updated Mar 23, 2015
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Gloria Steinem is all about sisterhood.

In an interview with Black Enterprise, published on March 19, Gloria Steinem discussed the impact black women have had on the feminist movement and the idea that the movement has and continues to exclude them.

“I thought they invented the feminist movement. I know we all have different experiences, but I learned feminism disproportionately from black women,” Steinem told Black Enterprise reporter Stacey Tisdale.

The 80-year-old activist has had made many life-long friendships and alliances with powerful black feminists throughout her 50-year career. In 1971 she launched Ms. Magazine with Dorothy Pitman Hughes and later featured actress and activist Pam Grier as the first black woman to be on the cover of the magazine in 1975. Steinem was also close with black activist Flo Kennedy and the great Alice Walker.

“I realize that things being what they are, probably the white middle-class part of the movement got reported more," Steinem continued. "But if you look at the numbers and the very first poll of women thinking about responding on women's issues, African-American women were twice as likely to support feminism and feminist issues as White women."

When Tisdale asked Steinem what she would tell black women who said the feminist movement isn't about them or doesn't speak to them, Steinem replied, "I don't say anything. I listen."

Listen to the full interview below.

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